Friday, July 20, 2012

Making Whole: Line Drawing: Tree

by Diane Steinbach

"Making Whole" is a bi monthly column focusing on art therapy to help heal inner trauma or promote healing and personal growth.

The tree image is a profound symbol. We plant a tree to memorialize big events: births, deaths… We stand in awe at the roots of giant Sequoias trees or Redwoods and witness them as testimony to the very power of nature or God.

Trees are perfect in all their imperfections, just like us; in fact, it is their very imperfections that make them interesting and complex. The organic shape of the bark, the knotholes, the scars, the twists and turns of the branches, our eyes are transfixed.

Imagine yourself as a tree.  Using a pen, marker, crayon or pencil, draw your tree. 

Once done, look at your tree. Does it look full and thriving or dying off? Is it scarred or smooth? Does the tree represent how you feel about yourself?

What could you do to nourish or improve your tree? What does the tree need? Over time, do more tree drawings and strive to nourish and care for the tree that you create. Feed the roots and protect them. Allow the tree to have foliage and provide shade. Add more things to the surrounds of the tree, a sun, grass, and animals… provide a glorious environment for your tree – you- to thrive and heal.  

Diane is 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

Attribution Some rights reserved by Dan Morelle


  1. How interesting! Why not put stories abut what happened when you used this? Patsy from
    HeARTworks and

  2. Diane --another great article!

    Inspired on Monday!

  3. Good Idea Patsy, I hesitated to do that as I didnt want to influence anyone elses results by adding any interpretative information in the article. The article is meant to lead people into doing the drawing for themselves, and I didnt want to put any ideas into their heads before they draw about what something might mean before they draw it...

  4. I enjoyed your post. The artists in my family have a fixation with trees. Now I know some of the reasons why.

  5. WOW I loved this post. I am always drawing hearts, smilies, trees and the sun when I do draw. My trees when I draw are always huge and full of leaves. This really puts things into perspective.

    Thank you for this.

    also thank you for commenting on my blog as well.

  6. This is such a thought provoking post- love how it uses art to heal!

  7. Thanks for sharing this at Inspire Me Monday - I am SO exited about this series! Congrats on being featured at

    Create With Joy

  8. Thanks! We appreciate you at Create with Joy!


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