It’s March again!

25 03 2009

So it’s been a year… and I’ve taken a break from blogging, using the extra time to write my thesis on the color RED.   Now that the 100 page “masterpiece” is just about complete, I feel it might be time to start writing again…

More to come.

Person Picking an Apple from a Tree

15 03 2008


Curious about how you make decisions? I know I am! That’s where the Person Picking an Apple from a Tree (PPAT) drawing assessment comes in handy. The artist is asked to draw a person picking an apple from a tree in anyway they want using shape, line and color (the artist is provided with a drawing medium like markers, pastels or colored pencils). The drawing can then be assessed for prominence of color and color choice, developmental level, energy, line-quality, realism, logic, detail, and problem-solving. Someone with depression might have low prominence of color, detail and may show some difficulty with problem-solving to pick the apple.

How would you draw someone picking an apple from a tree?


Save Polaroid

14 03 2008

As a self-proclaimed (and coined) “creativist,” I have always loved the charm and classic look of the Polaroid. Unfortunately, this will be the last year that the world can satisfy their vintage urges through Polaroid pictures because the company has decided to discontinue their film. What can you do to keep Polaroid alive? Here is a list of fun ways to use one’s creativity to explore the world through the lens of a Polaroid camera:

1. Take pictures of nature and hide them so that others might find them while walking along the same path and have a souvenir of their outing to take home with them.

Tree Polaroid

2. Drive around town and take pictures of all your favorite spots so you can post them in your cube and daydream about not being at work.

Old Polaroid

3. Send a picture to a loved one as you would a greeting card. Snail mail needs just as much business as Polaroid, people.

Flower Polaroid

4. Take a self-portrait to remember an awesome hair day or just a moment in time, and stick it in a book somewhere to be found and admired later.

Man Polaroid

5. Find Yeti, Nessie or a Leprechaun and get yourself famous by take a picture that cannot be digitally altered! (If you can’t find any mysterious creatures, you can always get your midget buddy to dress up like a creepy gnome.)

Arm Polaroid


Doodles Everywhere

13 03 2008

Ever drive in your car to work and notice an unexpectedly beautiful advertisement as you cruise on by?  Or walk out your front door and catch a glimpse of a tag along the wall of your apartment complex that strikes you as something you would consider mounting on your wall?  How about sitting down for a delicious cup of coffee and finding an image in the swirl of foam atop your cappuccino?  If so, you my friend are a true urban art connoisseur.  While driving my car to work this morning, I noticed that someone had painted words on the foot bridge that spans the freeway.  I don’t know how many people actually look up and are aware of the lettering, or the message behind it, but it was a brief reminder that art can be found everywhere…

Below I’ve displayed some art, pulled from places you might not think to look, but when you take a second glance perhaps you’ll see the image differently.  It’s an important lesson for art therapists who are quick to look for the obvious in art.  Sometimes the subtle, hidden, mundane might be the most interesting part.

Graffiti Planes           Cuppachino Art

San Francisco Art      Street Art

Keep your eyes open.

Sarcasm:Asperger’s Disorder as Apples:Oranges

12 03 2008

Half of the kids I work with are classified as on the “spectrum” of autism. They have Asperger’s syndrome, and delight me every day with their quirky comments, awkward interactions and clumsiness. I have an adoration for kids afflicted with this disorder not just due to their straight shooting, candid, fact-loving nature, but also because their mind works in intricately fascinating ways.

For an excellent example of what the personality of one with Asperger’s might be like, take a look at Napoleon Dynamite or Mr. Spock.

Napoleon Dynamite

Just to give a little insight into the fabulousness of the comments, noises and movements that these kids exhibit daily, I have listed below my top 5 “Aspyisms” of March 2008:

Aspyisms 03.08

1. “MAJOR PWNAGE!” translation: “I’m kicking your ass at this video game!”

2. “TACO!” translation: “I need to randomly say something because that is my concept of humor!”

3. “YOUR MOM SITS DOWN.” translation: “No, I will not sit down as you have requested, and I will furthermore toss in what I believe to be an insult in an effort to show how pissed I really am that you even asked me to sit down right now.”

4. “UMM THAT WAS WEIRD.” translation: “I don’t know how to react to social behavior so I’ll use “weird” to express my confusion.

5. “MEH.” translation: “I am bored” (also used to express just about every feeling across the spectrum of human emotion)

What the hell is art therapy?

12 03 2008

Whenever I divulge that I am a graduate student in an Art Therapy masters program, I get a lot of people to cock their head to the side and utter a polite, “huh?” So, what the hell is Art Therapy? Glad you asked! My best description would go something like this:

Art therapy is an expressive form of psychotherapy that uses art materials, such as colored pencils, markers, paints, chalk and clay. Art therapists use the same psychotherapeutic techniques that talk therapists use, but they integrate the creative process into their session. Art therapists have an understanding for the way that different materials can evoke different emotional experiences, as well as the symbolism for shapes and color within the art. Merely creating through line, color and shape can be a major part of the healing process of art therapy.

Want to know more? There isn’t a huge amount of information out there that I trust on Art Therapy, but I recommend perusing the Art Therapy Association website.

House-Tree-Person art assessment drawing