sketchbook check up : october

Holy crow, where has the year gone? I feel like I blinked, and suddenly I am nearly done my second last semester of grad school. Eep — and then I’m one step closer to my qualifying exam.

When sitting down to write this month’s reflection, I didn’t expect there to be much art. This fall, a lot of the art I have created has been in response to client experiences. It’s helpful for me to reflect on as many sessions and experiences with each client as possible through art, as I find it really helps me find the clarity and space necessary to both distance myself from their stories, and to honour them and our relationship properly. As a result, however, I feel like I have not been engaging as much in my own, personal art making.

Well, that might have been true for September, but apparently not for October! I have a lot more art to talk about than I thought I would, so let’s get cracking.

Finally did a few more affirmation cards, featuring some choice quotes from a few cups of tea. Seriously, whoever decided to put quotes on tea bags did a good thing.

Perhaps part of the reason I originally thought I hadn’t created much art this month, is because a lot of it has been part of my seasonal decor. These leaves on my wall, for instance. I love collecting leaves and using them in my art, but this year it felt better to put them above my bed and admire them for a bit longer before I put them into a journal.

oct flower crown

Speaking of fall… I am still seriously in love with this flower crown-esque headpiece I made as part of my Halloween costume. I was pulling moss and leaves out of my hair for days afterwards, but I’m pretty sure it was worth it. Word to the wise, however: glitter glue is not comfortable on the face.

Another way I have been reflecting this month is by returning to this abstract, “mess free” finger painting technique I learned from my colleague, Hannah. The first image is a reflective response to a homework piece we did for our Trauma course, which focused on teaching a sort of “writing workout” journalling exercise for therapists. As you may recall from my 25 before 26 list, I’m working on making a stronger commitment to journalling this year and found this exercise created a lot of space to breathe and think. Geddit?

The second piece is a mourning piece. A childhood friend passed in the spring, and this October would have marked her twenty-fifth birthday. Grief is new to me, and I was not entirely sure what to do with it as her birthday approached, so I decided to make some art. I focused on my favourite memory of her — chasing fireflies at night. There’s a beautiful feeling of appreciation and fondness mingled with sadness every time I look at it. It’s comforting, in its own way.

oct whale

So the lighting isn’t great in my office, but please enjoy this amazing little clay whale planter I made and glazed with my partner. He looks absolutely hilarious with that tiny cactus hairdo. I think I am going to name him Walter.

And finally, splatter painting! Okay, okay — these are technically from November, but this was my birthday gathering so it totally counts. This was incredibly fun, and I cannot wait to pick up the dry pieces and see how they turned out. There’s really nothing better than letting loose and getting messy with some of your dearest friends, amirite? I don’t think I’ve ever seen my cohort get so messy and so colourful, it was a true treat! I’m truly grateful for the laughter and colour they bring to my life out here on the wet coast.

So there we have it, another month done. Lots of paint and colour this month, and I’m certainly not complaining!

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