Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Making Whole: Healing Through Art: The Art of Giving Away

by Diane Steinbach

Making Whole is a bi-monthly art therapy column focused on art to heal.

Not long ago I read about an artist that would create small canvas paintings, beautiful creations really, and leave them around a city.  The artist would leave the artwork on bus station benches, park benches, at restaurant booths, in churches, store fronts, laundry mats, anywhere people might gather or stop.  On the artwork she'd leave a note saying something like," This is for you. This art was meant for you to find today. Take it and keep it. Enjoy it." Some call it Guerilla Art.

Giving away artwork is difficult for some people, just like letting go of our pain and guilt, or our egos and pride.  Anytime that we invest ourselves in something and then have to let it go... it is a painful process.

It can also be a rewarding process. The act of investment, and release, although painful, and although grief is part of it, can lighten our emotional load. It can relieve us of our internal baggage, our heavy -hearted burden that we drag with us through life. When we invest, and release, we can discover new life, new eyes to see the world. A renewed spirit. 

Definitely a journey worth taking. Although painful, is worth the journey, most would say.

So, with this in mind, this weeks Making Whole art process challenges you to take a small (4x6") pre-stretched art canvas and some acrylic paints and create something beautiful.  Whether an abstract swirl of color and line, a whimsical backdrop for a heartfelt poem, a fiery rose or scenic pasture with a lovers confession or mother's regret written across the bottom.  Whatever moves you... create it on the canvas.
Allow it to dry completely. Do not sign it.

On the back, attach a note. Say whatever you want to say, but make it clear that the finder of the art may keep it, may love it, may accept it in the sense that it was made and given to bring joy and happiness.

Take your art to a place where it will be found and leave it there. With it, leave any sense of ownership, pain, regret, grief... and walk away from it.  With each step you take, breathe deeply and feel lighter and lighter.....

Own the new you.

Read more about other Guerilla artists...

Diane Steinbach is an art therapist and the author of: Art As Therapy: Innovations, Inspiration and Ideas:, Art Activities for Groups: Providing Therapy, Fun and Function and A Practical Guide to Art Therapy Groups

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  1. I love this concept!
    Thanks for sharing it with us at Inspire Me Monday Diane - you always inspire me!

    Create With Joy

    1. Thanks Ramona! Glad you liked the idea, hope you get to put it use1


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