13 Aug 2010

Art + Therapy = Art Therapy part 2

/climbs out of the chasm of doom......
/looks round sheepishly

Okay here is my explanation of what was going on in my head whilst I was doodling this: Just click the image to BIGGIFY and read Part One if you haven't already or need a refresher: Art + therapy =???

What was going on in my head the wordier version:
When I signed up to do the art workshop, I thought I would be much further along with catching up with all my assignments than I was. I knew there was going to be qualified therapists, trainee therapists etc at the workshop and was already feeling out of my depth. So when they said the first task was 'Draw how you are feeling right now' , my thoughts where:
  •  Use a pen, you can draw well with that!
  •  Ohhh white paper will look good
  •  God I hope they don't ask me about assignments or placements
  •  Urggh Assignments, that pile of doom haunting me
  •  Wow I feel like crap now, must add some clouds
  •  More rain!
  •  Oh dear it looks too sad now, I do have fun sometimes!
  •  Happy stuff?
  •  Erm doodling, gardening, the sun? 
  •  Lets Emphasise the two areas, by drawing a line round the middle bit
  •  More rain!
Why do something like this:
By using my own doodle, I wanted to highlight just how much information you can get from a person, with a simple doodle. It opens up an avenue of conversation that you otherwise wouldn't have. There are no really wrong answers, just observations that may or may not lead the conversation somewhere. If you read the comments and/or left one in the previous post, you will see how much people saw in the doodle. I was quite honestly shocked that so many of you saw so much and were bloody spot on! Not just regular readers, but new readers left such thoughtful and thought provoking comments, that I can't thank you enough for taking the time to do that.

What now?
I have been at a crossroads for a while now, especially in regards to my studies and what to do next. I have not formulated a concrete plan of action yet, but I am closer to making some decisions! I have mentioned previously that I may retire this blog, but I am not going to do that. I know that was rather bloody cryptic, but I just wanted to say something and offer some explanation about why this blog has been so neglected as of late.

Doodle Stuff:
I have been doing a lot of stuff in the world of doodle, that I can't mention at the moment. Here is a sneak peak of something that I have been working on. As and when I can say more, I will! Honest.

Grammar Nazi:
I have a problem, a grammar problem. In an effort to improve the way that I write, I am trying to be more vigilant with grammar. One of the things I always seem to make a hash of, is the use to/too, but never two. I broke out in a grammar induced sweat, just writing those short sentences. I am not aiming for perfection, I like the stream of conciousness/ramble style of writing that seems to come naturally to me. Any tips on how to improve the editor within? At the moment I am using things like this to improve my inner homophone.


  1. nice art and very good work and nice approach

  2. Hi Claire, I'm glad to learn that you aren't shutting down this blog, after all, I just got here!

    I agree with showpanmohsin, you do produce very nice art work. Good luck with your doodle project, even if you can't talk about it right now.

    As for the grammar, the tool that you linked to is good. Practice and proof reading your work helps too. Don't worry if you slip up every now and again. We all do it.

    (Secretly, it drives me crazy when I do it though). :) Ray

  3. I think that Rupert Grint's really upset that the green monster is copping a feel.

    Either that, or he's fuming because he hates wearing pink shirts.

    Perhaps a bit from column A and a little from column B.

  4. ::Ohhh Claire is watching me:: I know what you mean about the grammar. It takes me about 20 minutes to write a post and then 2 hours to edit it for grammar!

    Love the doodles and don't stop blogging, I think us busy, creative, college student types need an outlet like this or we'll self implode.

    See ya,


  5. Please keep on doodling. The world needs fewer lerts and more of your bright, clever doodles.

    I'm lucky in that, since I'm so anal, I proof everything I read, so I edit my stuff as I go along, but I can spend a good hour or so polishing.

  6. My problem is their, there, and they're.


    I write a post, edit it one or two times, and then post it. Then I edit it in place -- mostly to make it funnier 'cause it LOOKS different when posted.

    As a method, it just seems easier (otherwise I might never post anything).

    Sadly, I think that it might annoy folks because sometimes I have to remove comments that point to a piece of the post that is no longer there.

    Oh well. Blogs are living, breathing things. That's the beauty of them.

    And ~this~ one :).

    And I am glad that you aren't pulling the plug on it.

    I love it!


  7. If I was you I (would be a cheeky Brit and) would keep writing the way I do, and go back later to edit. If you worry too much about the words coming out of your head, they will stay in your head and be stuck there.

  8. Don't get hung up about the grammar - that's what your editor is for when you get the zillion pound book deal "How I created the Bogart Therapeutic Framework" LOL
    I can spell and I can do grammar, my problem is, my typing stinks! Somedays I think my fingers are on backwards the rubbish that comes out and I nearly always transpose ent to net! I do read through but seem to be typo blind and i dread to think how many comments I have left with a big Juliana-typo in them!
    Anyway, I am glad you are continguing - for goodess sake, you have got me trying to draw my crows.! There was a line in the film Ghostbusters where Vinkman, referring to Sigourney Weaver and the little guy who was posessed said "we must get these two together" - perhaps one day the Bogart can come to a crows tea party... and we can go shopping!
    Smiles always.

  9. Love the spontaneity of this drawing exercise.

    Regarding grammar editing, etc., if it's any consolation, I've been editing this comment on and off for ages, and really... Oh, it might help to leave it overnight, then read the draft the next day; doesn't work so well with comments though.

  10. Thanks guys for the great comments, this is my second attempt at replying because I clicked out of this page before publishing the replies I just spent half an hour writing! Not that I am bitter, twisted and really fucked off for doing that, who me? No bloody way!!!!!

    /imports blog to wordpress.....

    @Showmanpan: Thanks for the lovely compliment and for commenting. I am 97% certain that you are spam man, but I will reserve judgement for now.

    @Ray: Hello Ray! Your comments have definitely confirmed that I made the right decision and I am glad that I am continuing with this blog. I am super excited about doodle projects and hopefully can blog about them soon! Practice and proof reading is definitely what I need to do. I am thinking that I should probably write my blog posts in microsoft word and edit them there, before importing them to my blog. At least no one has jumped in and declared that my grammar is horrendous, hooray :)

    @Jeremy: Ha! I like your interpretation of the doodle. I wonder if anyone knows what it is actually about. Anyhoo real men can wear pink. You lost me with the column bit though, I am brain dead lately.

    @Jazz: 2 hours! Sheesh I feel good if I edit something for 5 minutes. I apologise for this in advance, but when I read your name, this pops in my head, I keep reading your name as Jizz and not Jazz! Sorry about that. Blogging has definitely helped me keep my sanity whilst studying! Although a bit of a naughty distraction at times.

    @Melody: Not sure what 'lerts' are, but I hope it is something deliciously filthy, so I can like it?
    Your writing is in another league/galaxy compared to mine, so all that anal polishing is working! Thank you for the lovely words and for popping in!

    @Giant Hatted One: Oh my dear giant hatted one, such a relatively new reader, that already means a lot to me! Whatever works for you, even annoying people by deleting things! Blogging is definitely better for you than WOW! Okay it is better for us too :)

    @Stick Man /Doug: Hey Mr Substantial Sticked one. I LOVED your substantial post, not the belly button one, it really made me appreciate how different we are as writers/users of English and how much FUN those bloody difference are. You are RIGHT, they would stay stuck in my head if I thought about it too much, in fact they already do.

    /note to self.. Stop Thinking!

    @LadyJG: I wish I had your confidence in my writing and Bogarts! It means a lot that you say such lovely things and I ADORE/LOVE the fact that you are developing your crows. It really inspires me to want to do more with the Bogart and the rest of the mental health monster menagerie. If only I could get the ideas that are trapped in my noggin to download more efficiently onto this weblog. We need to go shopping/have tea soon :)

    @C.Bosco: Anyone can do that drawing exercise, at any time! Quick grab a pencil and do it now :) As you can tell, I don't have much luck writing comments either, bloody blogger comment sections. I like your idea about writing a post and leaving it overnight, the trouble is I am a very spontaneous/sporadic blogger.

    @Andrew: Aww thanks Andrew/DB/AGC! You can write 'shit' here, no *** needed. I have a style? Ohh what is it?. Hmm maybe I should have asked people to guess what the doodle is about?

  11. So glad you've decided to continue with this blog. Your unique sense of humor and colorful use of language always add a bright spot to my day. Plus, I enjoy very much seeing the Claire you reveal here as a contrast to your forum persona. Your emotional side, creative nature and humanity really shine through.

  12. You got a lot of great stuff going on here Claire and I'm glad I came across your blog. It's really interesting how much a person's doodles can reveal a lot about their thoughts and aspirations. I doodle when I'm on the phone or waiting for something to load on computer but I never really take so much notice of it. I have a pad paper that I doodle on but it's nothing like yours. Mine doesn't get an audience. lol As for grammar, I'm very particular myself, because there are days when I think in Spanish (i live in Spain) and days when I think in German (worked 10 years in Austria). When I speak in English, sometimes I can't help but get all my words mixed-up and start speaking all 3 languages together.

    Anyway, glad you are keeping this blog - I just got here you know! I think you're a very talented and artistic lady and I'm looking forward to many more doodles from you. :)

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  14. I'm so glad you are not retiring this blog. Yay! I like your tumblr one too. :) Although I don't comment frequently but I do read your blog posts and I'm a big fan of your doodling. I'd love to see you do an ebook of mental health issue doodles. That would be so cool. Kepp on keeping on Claire - you rawk!

  15. I hope you take this another step some day, after you've been in practice for awhile and write a best-selling book on counseling with doodling! Seriously, you have a way with words, and your doodling is just getting better and better!
    I agree with the grammar stuff. I was a secretary in my past life, and I was the one with the red pencil that everyone came to for proofing. It's funny, because I can hardly even spell anymore, let alone place a proper comma. Go with the flow of your thoughts and maybe go back and reorganize a tad. But don't stress out over too, to, their, and they're. I can't get drink, drank, drunk correct, and there's no such word as "snuck." It's "sneaked." I know that because I had a paper graded down a point in 7th grade because I wrote snuck. See how much fun you could have with my psyche?
    Toodles, kiddo...

  16. umm..If you "get me" with the spelling mistakes .. I'm the first one ..I recognize and I'm outta from here ..:P ..but I know you understand .. or even try to understand the essence of what I mean.

    I think many of us even if we know or not to draw and make our piece-of-shitt or art ..we draw some lines on paper with a pen or a pencil when we wanted to focus on something.

    It happen to me for ex when I talking on the phone at home .. and .. I have a pencil in my hand (my favorite) and a notebook in my face .. .. and I began to draw while I speack till the end of that call. Well, something looking good other time are not .. but.. out of his I wanted to recommend the doodling -( by the way, about the hot subject on BC) ..that doodling is a good therapy like you said already ..and can help those with depression a lot, I think.

    I know that depression manifests itself differently from person to person...we all have it in some of our days ..Some feel "knocked down" for a long time, while in others feelings of depression come and go and may be able to continue their working life and could cope with everyday activities...(This happen just to normal peoples ..:P) but doodling it's something more useful and enjoyable than
    pretending that „you are..” what „those voices” says in „that” head .. right?

    PS _ I drew myself sometimes ..(long time ago ..) I've left a sample in your doodle’s thread ..but I like yours more ..of course ..becouse are happy , lively and of course crazy like I like .. :P

    That’s it! I come back next year cuz I wrote a whole page.=]]

  17. I think I was way off with my guess.

    Btw, I wish I had the cure to the grammar/spelling thing. I am an absolute Nazi when it comes to being my own grammar/spelling police. I will proofread an entry at least 10 times before posting and ALWAYS find something later on that I missed or needed to re-word.

    Glad to see that you are keeping the blog up!

  18. @NP, I am definitely a complex bunch of fun, not everyone takes the time to see that there is more to someone, so thanks for that :)

    @Funkee, Hey,I think doodling is just sometimes a doodle! But I think this type of doodling is a bit more directed, so you come up with more elaborate stuff. If you sat down and decided to draw a picture about how you were feeling right now, I am sure it would be interesting to see. You can use any type of materials, but mine is a pencil, whereas others love paint etc.

    In regards to the grammar! Wow, I can't even begin imagine what it is like knowing so many languages, my brain is already too full! I hope you come back and that the BC drama hasn't frightened you away.

    @TimeThief, Hey thanks for commenting, it seems quite a few people have noticed my tumblr blog, maybe because it is new and the posts are short!

    @Gracie, I am not sure what steps I will take next, that is my current dilemma. I hope I can do something that incorporates all the therapy stuff and creative stuff that I have learnt over the years.

    I love snuck! You are right about going back and reading things over.

    @Dyeve, Bloody hell that was a long comment, but appreciated all the same.

    I think a lot people don't doodle, draw, paint whatever because they think they should be good at it, when I think, as long as you are having fun or getting something out of it, then doodle away!

  19. @Rico, Hey you might have been a bit off with what the doodle meant at the time that I doodled it, but you are pretty close to how I am feeling right now!

    You can tell you spend a lot of time on your posts, they are well written and enjoyable to read. Not many people can write long posts and keep peoples attention like you are able to. So being a grammar nazi works for you!

  20. Claire, it must be an American thing. "Be a lert (alert). This country needs more lerts!"

    But if you'd prefer, a lert could something naughty you do on long lazy summer afternoons when you're supposed to be napping. ;)

    Thank you for the lovely compliment, as well.

  21. @Pacific melody

    Wow I feel stupid now! I hadn't heard that expression before though. Over here 'Blurt' is sometimes used and that is not a nice expression, hehe.

  22. I really love how clever & fun & inspiring your blog is! I'm actually an Art Therapist & Counselor in the United States...and it sounds like you are a fellow art therapist at heart.
    It is required that we do our own personal art therapy in addition to working with others, and it really saved me when facing some serious life potholes.

    I have a few activities anyone can try, if you like, that go along with your workshop.

    1. Draw a scribble (or doodle). Next, take a deep breath and as you exhale, draw a scribble. Notice a difference in the 2 scribbles?

    2. Scribble a ball of stress. Imagine the end of it, like a ball of you breathe, "unwind" the stress ball on paper. What did you notice on paper?

    3. Doodle a person and make a "map" of distress. Where do you feel stress in your body? Using colors, lines, shapes, show where the stress is. (You can do this for sadness, anger, anxiety, etc.) You can breathe into areas of distress, just like the scribble ball.

    4. Draw or paint your "inner critic"...and learn to talk to him/her/it. (Does it look like a school teacher? Monster? Parent?)
    Doodle yourself sitting down to tea or coffee with your critic. Feed it something nice like biscuits and ask why it's so mean to you. (This is a technique called "dialoging with the image.") It sounds like something insane people do, but it's actually a big part of art therapy! It helps you communicate with nay-sayers and put-downers, and negative people...including that nagging part of yourself we all have!

    With any art therapy activity, you can examine thoughts-feelings-actions. I usually do it the next day, so I can be present with the moment & not thinking too much! Even the simplest pieces of art becomes part of your creative journal / journey.

    Keep being brave and silly. Enjoy your artwork!
    Doodles and scribbles are how the whole thing started, you know.

    -Cheryl Silinskas