The first things we did an art therapy exercise called Old Masters Art Collage. We laid out about 1,000-1500 cards on the tables in the room:
And then we each picked 10-20 cards, looking for even numbers of cards that we were positively and negatively drawn to. So, for example, I chose 10 cards - 5 that I really liked, and 5 cards that I did not like. Then we put our cards into a collage. We were in small groups when we did our collage - about 3-4 people. We each explained out collage to the others in our group and then we had a few volunteers that explained their collage to the entire group. Here are come of the collage pictures:
|This is my collage - the likes are the 5 on the left, dislikes the 5 on the right|
Next we chose 10 cards and we laid them out to tell a story. We were in different groups this time and again we told our stories to the others in the group. Here is my story collage:
It was very interesting. What I found was that it was hard for me to pick cards that I disliked - what I felt was that I was drawn to cards that I liked and others I was kinda apathetic about - I didn't like or dislike them. The one that I disliked most was only a dislike because looking at it made my head hurt - I think I am more sensitive to those things because I get migraines. It was very interesting to see how other people arranged their like/dislike collages as well as their story collages.
Later we did an exercise were one person picked a card (without seeing what was on the other side) and had to describe it to another person. The idea was the person who picked the card would describe it to their partner who would drawn it. It was hard! I was the describer - I kept wanting to point to the paper. It was interesting to see how when I described it in a way that I thought would be very clear, my partner did not always understand my directions. But, overall we did pretty good at replicating the picture. I did not get a picture of that exercise.
Next we did an exercise where we chose a paper with a woman's body, a man's body, a woman's head, or a man's head. Then we finished the picture. I chose the woman's body:
|The color is a bit off - the sides are green and the trail is brown like she is at a park. Her shirt is purple too.|
This exercise was interesting because we split up into groups with other people who had chosen the same starting picture that we chose. Even though we all started with the same thing we all ended up with extremely different pictures!
We then did mandalas - again choosing from 4-5 different starting pictures and we finished them. Here is mine:
|The color is a bit off on this too but its red, yellow, and orange on the inside, and the things around the outside are trees.|
It was a great workshop - I had a blast and I feel like I learned a lot. It was cool to see what kinds of exercises art therapists use - I have read about it before but it was different to experience it first hand. I am very glad I was able to attend this workshop.
I found out that there are two people in the program who are working with Veterans in one way or another. From talking to them I found out that there are a lot of possibilities in this area - lots of things that should be evolving over the next few years - the years that I would be at the program if I get to come here. So, its pretty exciting to think about!!