Since founding Artspiration, I've been searching for ways to make art more accessible. Maybe I overlooked some obvious methods. LOL. Check out my first attempt at a video tutorial and learn how to make watercolors from 5 ingredients you probably have in your kitchen.
DIY Watercolors Video Tutorial.
Art-making as a method of healing and mental health maintenance should be process-centered. Meaning, it's more about the experience than what the final art object looks like. I will be honest, I am a bit of a perfectionist and want to produce "good" work, but when I let go and ease into the flow of creation, I always feel 10 times better! My worries fade away, my mind and body relax, and I give myself permission to play! I hope you enjoy this tutorial! Comments and feedback are always welcome!
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 Tbsp. baking soda
3 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 1/2 Tsp. light corn syrup
Plastic egg carton
Mix cornstarch, baking soda, vinegar, and corn syrup together until the fizz settles. Pour mixture into egg carton so that each cup in about 1/2 full. Add a few drops of food coloring to each cup to create your desired colors. Stir well. Allow colors to sit for several hours or overnight until the paints set and are dry and hard.
Use a wet paintbrush and paint just as you would with traditional watercolor cakes.
Share your pics and experiences on IG and tag @getartspired
Long, hot, sunny days are here. Pool and beach days, cookouts and vacays a plenty! Be sure to make time for self-reflection and meaningful self-care.
Here's 5 prompts to engage you in creating art or writing:
1. There are tons of things that stimulate the senses during the summer months.
Stop and notice what you hear, see, smell, feel, and taste. What do you sense around you? What thoughts arise? What feelings arise? What memories arise? What new memories are you in the process of creating? If you are creating art, this is a great prompt to guide you into a still life drawing or watercolor painting about your surroundings. Become a spectator of your environment, become mindful of the here and now. Make a record of this moment in time.
2. Find the sun and your shadow.
Trace your shadow (it could be just a part of your body). On the inside of the shadow, write the words that describe the parts of you that you avoid or don't know well. On the outside of the shadow (the background) write words to describe your light . . . the parts of you that make you unique and special, the things about you that make you feel proud and confident. You can draw images or symbols instead of writing.
3. At the beach?
Create a mandala in the sand! I invite you to do this with a friend or family member. Start by drawing a large circle in the sand. Divide the circle into sections. In each section, create a design with things you find on the beach (i.e. shells, rocks, seaweed, water, trash). After you complete the mandala, give it a title and write it in the sand. You just created some public art!
4. There's plenty of sun, so why not use it to make some art!
Sun Print Tutorial 1
Sun Print Tutorial 2
Sun Print (cyanotype) Tutorial (detailed info)
5. Here's a fun color scavenger hunt to do with kids outside.
Color Scavenger Hunt Tutorial
Click here, to watch my doodle tutorial.
Drawing isn't always about trying to create a work of art. Sometimes drawing is meant to be aimless, mindless, and a way to pass the time. It's about stream of consciousness drawing - a doodle. Doodles are most simply described as a series of marks created spontaneously with little intention or direction.
When we doodle, we are able to bring awareness to our inner critic - that inner voice that tears us down and leaves us feeling incapable or not good enough. We can begin to notice how it affects us and our actions.
Doodles span from simple line drawings to detailed self-symbols. They keep us entertained and engaged, and can benefit us in other ways too!
Doodles . . .
Viewing art can provide some of the same benefits as creating art. Many of us don't feel creative or artistic, and for many adults, making art seems too childish. Well, try taking a trip to a local art museum, gallery, or artist market! When we view artwork objectively, it can promote relaxation, reduce stress and anxiety, improve our memory and cognition, and increase our quality of life.
One study by a researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, found that women gain more benefit from actively making art, and men gain more benefits from passively observing art. Neurobiologists have found that viewing art you find beautiful releases dopamine (the "feel good" hormone) into brain and mimics the physical sensations of falling in love! Wow!
Click here to read more! And follow me on IG @getartspired to take a trip to the museum with me!
If you live in the Miami area, I will be hosting art tours for healing and wellness soon! Be sure to comment below if you're interested and share your email at the bottom of the page to stay informed!
While I believe self-care should include proactive routines and not reactive activities, sometimes life gets the best of us, we lose sight of our self-care, and we need a BOOST. Click here to read 10 quick ways to boost your mental health! I especially like #2, #3, and #5. Give yourself daily pep talks, name emotions the best you can when they come up, and focus on your strengths and accomplishments!
One story my mom will tell is how she entered me into a diaper race when I was a baby, and once they said, "On your mark. Get set. GO!" all the other babies started to crawl towards the finish line. But not me!! I was too busy groovin' to the music that was playing! LOL
Like music, dancing and movement has always been a huge part of my life. I started formal dance training at the age of 3, and continued performing throughout my life into college with the Spelman Dance Theater. I had a dream to be a professional dancer, but after injury and learning more about myself, I realized the Universe had other plans for me (that's a post for another day)!
Dancing can benefit our physical and mental health. To match our movements to the rhythm of the music, requires focus, concentration, flexibility, and adaptation. Dancing is a great way to exercise our brains! Studies show that dancing can positively affect our cognitive flexibility. This can help us better adapt to changes in our daily lives. Click here to read more about the benefits of dance in a recent TIME Magazine article.
Or better yet, turn on some music and dance!
It's a new year! If you plan to make some New Year resolutions, take time to tune in and listen to all the messages your body and your mind are sending you. Diet, exercise, sleep, stress level, work-life balance, and relationships should all be considered when working to maintain emotional wellness. Take all aspects of the self into consideration. The mind and the body are connected. Click here to read more about how the mind AND the body are connected to our mental health.
Music!! Oh how I LOVE music. I listen to music throughout most of the day and limit watching TV. This is really important for me, because it limits my exposure to negative vibes that I seem to absorb easily. I am an emotional sponge! I have a pretty eclectic collection and I am drawn to strong rhythms, emotional and thought-provoking lyrics and anything that makes me want to dance! Part of my self-care regiment is to listen to music as a way to keep my mood in a positive upswing. I created a playlist and I want to share it with you! It's called "New Mindset"! I hope it brings some positivity into your day and gets you into a new and upbeat mindset! Remember to smile and dance along! If there's a song that really connects with you, share your thoughts and the song below. I also love to hear your recommendations on songs you love. Click here to get my New Mindset playlist on Spotify. Enjoy!!
The first book I ever read about art therapy was by Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC, REAT. I always enjoy reading her works. In her article about visual journaling, she reminds us that many of our experiences cannot be expressed in words. Through images, we are able to gain self-awareness and better make sense of our thoughts and feelings. So, next time you reach for a journal to decompress and let it all out, reach for one without lines and try doodling or drawing, It just might surprise you!
In the past few weeks the news has been quite depressing . . . and kids are seeing it, hearing it, and feeling too. Talking to your children about what is happening in the news and the world is important. I encourage you to make art too! One idea is to have your kids draw a picture about how they see the world and another about how they want the world to be. This article from CNN is a great summary of the best ways to engage children in a discussion about racism and diversity. Helping the world's youngsters become culturally sensitive is key to the change we all desire.
Let's start talking!
About the Author
Hi! I'm Deanna Barton! Living through my creativity is were I find joy and fulfillment. I want to share this with all of you. This blog is intended to provide quick tips and fun posts about how to live more creatively and improve your emotional wellness. Personal growth is a process and I am here to inspire and motivate you!