Celebrating Earth Day from across the Atlantic

Hola, It has been a while I have checked-in here….

Lately, projects, life, and things are super busy…So after the USA, the middle-East and Europe,  I am back across the Atlantic following my expressive arts therapy journey in Mexican Carribean…Here nature is stunning..inspired by the colors of the ocean and the jungle nuances…Perfect to be grateful and celebrate Earth Day!!!

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It is a continuous evolution in an incredible journey of discovery of self and others in the path of life on this amazing planet! Earth Day reminds me to honor it and be grateful.

 

The itinerant Travel Bag of Hope: an art journey connecting 14 creative women

I was thinking of incorporating some random acts of kindness through creative projects into my current surroundings while in the Middle East…Sharing is caring and I find that wherever I go it expands the networks within expressive arts therapies, arts and healing communities…
I feel that this could be a little something celebrating the important values of peace, love, gratitude, respect, hope, acceptance and diversity. I got the idea from an amazing previous project by super inspiring art therapist Gretchen Miller and her project: Random Acts of Art adventure traveling pouch that went global.
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The aim of the creative random act is to pass on the “Traveling Bag of Hope” with art materials and a little something made for the receiver. Everyone taking part will receive instructions on what/how/whom to send it. The receiver will send me pictures of arrival, creative present made of things inside the bag, add a little something to the bag, do a page in the bag’s traveling art journal and send it off to the next destination:)
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Ultimately local artists, art therapists and their communities will be connected and good creative vibes will be spread:)
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So the “Traveling Bag of Hope” (something I made with improvised materials) has already made her way from me to Dana Shaham as the second stop and continue the travels further.
Inside among the creative goodness and artsy vibes, there is also a journal in which everyone will contribute:)
Safe happy travels to “Traveling Bag of Hope” and its encounters:)

Rebirth as a catalyst for change and growing wiser

Recently after undergoing more changes in the chaos of life I have been pondering on how whatever happens to us is how we deal with it, how we handle something that happens…We cannot control everything yet we are free to take action, decide and tackle things the way we want. I can’t help to think about the phoenix or phenix (Greek: φοῖνιξ phoinix; Latin: phoenix, phœnix, fenix) the special bird that undergoes constant cycles of rebirths arising from the ashes of the previous elements and connecting to the sun. There are so many fascinating stories in mythology and of course Harry Potter 🙂

The phoenix just like other philosophies and elements of wisdom give a powerful image to how sometimes a cycle has to come to an end and we need to let go complitely in order to rise again and this time it will be inevitable that we would acquire stenght and wisdom in teh process…

So to all of you out there undergoing this process, following teh patterns of change with natural elements, with personal and professional life…I just want to tell you taht you are not alone and the process is so worth it that the new you will surprise you even more!!!

Celebrating all the phoenixes out there I share this great image from Spirit Science

Light and Love

Lizzie x

 

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My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365

Amazing Illumination project…a super positive inspiration by Gretchen Miller

creativity in motion

It is now month four of my 2016 project: Illuminate 365.  Uploading all the photos and captures I’ve taken everyday over this first quarter was a wonderful (yet, a little overwhelming!) opportunity to reflect on the images, concepts, and messages they each convey.  This creative adventure has become a daily treasure hunt for illumination- revealed through rays of light, shadows of darkness, nature’s beauty, the morning sun, ordinary objects, warm candlelight, and many, many different places both outdoors and inside throughout this year’s winter season and now the fickle springtime that is upon us….

Many days honor inspiration such as, but not limited to: hope, grace, passion, courage, and creation…. other days provide a reminder or awakening of guidance, validation, and encouragement…. or a time embrace slowing down… while other days help me recognize that you cannot appreciate the light without the presence of darkness… each of the images…

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Working the pre-artwork on the mural: on the road to resilence

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Wow times flies…we have started the spring semester…While I am waiting for all art supplies to arrive and figure out the logistics of the mural project I am collecting information from International Students…So this is a shout out to the international crowd: I am after volunteers in the social community of international students at the University of Haifa. I would like to collect stories to inspire the mural project and for whoever is up to there is the chance to contribute hands on…Art heals and empowers and everyone is creative so I really welcome anyone from any background to get involved:)

Anyone wants to sit down for a juice, tea or coffee and chat about their experience of dealing with trauma and how they overcame it? It is just an informal chat in which I would like to explore creative ways to handle trauma and how resilience helps to move forward and foster well-being. You care share whatever you like with me, it will be informal and all information will not be disclosed.

So who is in??? Do you want to contribute to the multicultural art project??? There are many ways in which you can be part of the collective puzzle focusing on emotions, feelings and interactions celebrating resilience through different dialogues among creative contribution. Let’s work together!!!

Please get in touch with the Expressive Arts Therapies Department at the University of Haifa or contact me directly.

 

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For more information about the master’s program in Art Therapy, check out the International School website or feel free to email us at infograd@univ.haifa.ac.il.

Looking at my Self Portrait: 生き甲斐 (Ikigai)

Recently I have been working on a personal art project for one of my classes for the MA in Expressive Arts Therapies with Art Therapy as specialization. The experiential course in Materials and Creative Processes class with super inspiring lecturer, artist and art therapist Dr. Tsaphie Zohar, Ph.D.

Throughout the course we got to explore hands on and understand the therapeutic utility and psychological influence of art processes, and the therapeutic qualities of art materials.  The course really enabled the experiential encounter with the art therapy world, and allowed me to delve deeper into the use of different art materials in relations to therapeutic intervention. In class we got to experience different media and look at processes and products considering the mental states, different populations and patients’ needs.

Looking at my Self Portrait: 生き甲斐 (Ikigai),

This project started with exploring different materials and settings. The more I was working with materials the more I digged into an very personal journey about myself and what matters to me. So the project took shape while I was working both out in nature and with art materials in different settings. It looks into a core idea that is part of my philosophy : the Japanese concept of 生き甲斐 (Ikigai),“the Japanese equivalent of the French, raison d’être. In English, these translate respectively as ‘something one lives for’ and ‘a reason for being” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikigai) . I think the concept is better grasped by the nuance: “what gets me up in the morning” as Janet McLeod, Art Therapist/Artist/Photographer/Puppet Maker and friend describes .

While delving into art material letting the process guide me I suddenly realized that the inner child, the artist was now under the scrutiny of the art therapist in training. All emotions and feeling that emerge in the process and in the art piece are nonetheless something very deep about my inner world and interaction with my surroundings. So the message becomes clear: All I have been doing is sharing my world and what I am about. I truly believe that art and creative expression speak louder than words and give infinite nuances. So bringing mindfulness to the product I can see and feel it is my own personal response…The message is simple: I ask to pause and breathe, try to tune into a moment and be, then look at my artwork and connect to it…Somehow it will speak to you and will give you a window into my world and yet you as audience will go through your own unique experience. You will get to know me from the inner self speaking, through the layers and emotions. It is a special connection enabled by the artistic dialogue…

You get to “feel” what I am extravagant and passionate about and hopefully see my deep connection to nature and artistic creative expression as a way of life. Connecting to nature and finding balance is the core of my exploration…..

While putting together this installation with mixed media I got to appreciate how the creative process revealed my story… Through the use of materials I connect with the inner child, the inner artist. I used nature as my constant, my safe place where the power and energy of the elements remind me of the essence of being, practicing mindfulness and finding balance. Connecting to the the water, the earth, wind specifically here as I am adventuring to them: the art sign that states presence and the ephemeral moment. The sensory experience is amplified and held by nature that allows presence. The sea and its flow meets with the sound of the wind and the music of Ludovico Einaudi Una Mattina. The constant change and movement in the sea, the swell,the stormy weather…Everything contribute to a cycle of energy and emotions that reconnect to a personal journey and have a cathartic effect: whatever brought uneasy feelings now is washed away and taken back to the sea and more space is left to focus on the good.

The video then continues with the sequential display of my artwork created both during this course and also inspired by it. I am leading you into my own body tracing figure by connecting to it with a real jump in the air. I find it elevating, raising good positive energy and also that beautiful sensation of feeling and seeing freedom and connection to the world around you.

The body tracing of my figure was done with help of my friend, artist and fellow art therapist in training Megan Adair . 

After having my body outline I went on creating the content: funny I am my own container LOL:) In art therapy one of the therapist functions is to contain and here I am “containing” my world.  I felt drawn to use collage so I intuitively assembled pieces of paper : interesting parts reflecting sides of me and my being in the world, my influences, cultures and places I love and connect to…The images are torn and not cut so there is no clear defined line, but rather a more natural flow of paper engaging in different nuances with acrylics, guache and oil pastels to bring nuances and light. The figure was sewed to a large natural canvas that folded as a scroll but also open as an origami puzzle each time revealing different parts and more guache printed paper parts extends extremities, giving freedom, wings to fly.  Creative expression travels  within the canvas and outside of it: drawings also travels outside the canvas onto an olive tree and reach for the sky: different art creations enter the installation space and time. Charcoal and pastel drawings highlighting connections from the heart to the spiral, more watercolor detailed parts of emotional paint lead the way to paint capturing the waters and its reflections. Further there is a small artwork that is a an homage to a special mentor and celebrate the spiral of life the power of nature and the connection with the inner child. To close the circle the video shows how these parts folds and unfold and echo my essence, my presence in the surroundings. It is all part of the whole yet there is value in unique presence and relations.

The last sequence shows the pages of my personal story. I used the paper from previous class experiments with paint and water, torn into smaller pieces and I made a little booklet with natural sturdy thread…Inside and throughout words meet the magical flow of paint and you get to “feel” my story.

A special thank you for patience, hard work in all weather conditions and hours to fab videographer, artistic director and friend Hubert Wybransky.

I hope you enjoy the experience and until we meet next Namaste.

Lizzie

 

Creating a mural “on the road to resilience”

Graduate Life in Haifa

Written by Lizzie, Art Therapy master’s student

blog 1I have been pondering on how to tackle this interesting Art Therapy project involving social community of international students at the University of Haifa. Given the broad and challenging topic of trauma for this year I have been exploring which angle to take and what to focus on. What has been continuing to fascinate me is the power of resilience and how one reacts to trauma, a sort of rebirth of the Self with new inner strength, more awareness and empowerment. There is a transformation taking place: moving forward from trauma and going back to the world, the community and the social/private life. Cultivating resilience through creative practices of expressive arts therapy allows fostering strengths (Malchiodi, 2008: 2011). “Trauma-informed art therapy is based on the idea that art expression is helpful in reconnecting implicit (sensory) and explicit (declarative) memories of trauma and in…

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AWAKING AFTER A LONG BREAK….

Hello everyone….

It has been  long time indeed…

I have managed to hop few places around the world and collect great experiences and learning…Yet I have detached a little from cyber world and didn’t managed to keep up with social media and blog….

I decided to come back as I miss the great connections and fab people I met through the web and I feel it is also time to share my new experiences…I am also working on another website that will incorporate my work and projects so stay tuned:)

 

Meanwhile I would like to wish everyone Happy new year:)

 

nye wishlizie

 

 

A creative manifesto & sharing good vibes to create more happiness!

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Oh yes tackling the Fun Monday Challenge #34 – What is your creative manifesto  in the middle of the week..Awesome 🙂

Lani’s great idea to pass on is to create a manifesto and share it with the world…

My manifesto is a little scroll carrying the nice whispers of the magic story “Le Petit Prince” by  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry … We are reminded that our heart can see through the invisible and it can take us where our eyes can’t:)

“On ne voit qu’avec le coeur l’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux” 

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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And today Lani shares another super inspiring post inviting us to spread secretly positive vibes: ” Secretly find two people (could be strangers) to wish well, to hope their suffering be lessened, or that they be happy.”

Top secret way to have a happy life (#30 out of a thousand)

Beyond amazing….It is so beautiful how positive energy changes physical reality!!!! So please get going and share some goodness 🙂

As usual feel free to share your art or play anywhere on blogs, on Instagram  #14SecretsChallenge or by adding your photo to our  Flickr pool

 

mid-week pondering

Calling Sock Monkey Makers!

Sock Monkey Makers Join the 6 Degrees of Creativity Sock Monkey Swap by November 25, 2013. Join and Share Sock Monkey Love 🙂

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Calling sock monkey makers: I’m organizing the 3rd Annual 6 Degrees of Creativity Sock Monkey Swap!

Everyone who signs up for the sock monkey swap will be randomly paired with another sock monkey maker.  You’ll be making one sock monkey for someone, and someone will be making one for you. To sign up for the swap, e-mail your full name and a mailing address to me at 6degreesofcreativity@arttherapyalliance.org by November 25, 2013. During the week of November 25, you will receive mailing info from me on where to mail your sock monkey to. Please note you are responsible for postage, which could be to an international destination. Please don’t sign up for the exchange unless you are committed to the swap and following through. All sock monkeys should be mailed out by December 16, 2013 to their new home.

Need sock monkey making information and tutorials?  Check out…

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