Artful Expression

You don’t need “artistic talent” to be creative, all you need is the willingness to play and enjoy the process. Engaging in a creative activity is a positive way to allow yourself to express feelings and emotions that may be bottled up inside.  The goal of these sessions is to help you discover activities that are soothing, enjoyable and fun, and to create something unique that gives you a sense of pleasure and accomplishment.

Thursday Nov. 29

Artful Expression Adults

Activity#1 – I Am More Than…Paper Bag Journal

Who knew you could make a journal out of paper bags!!  We will make a simple paper bag journal that provides spaces for “hidden thoughts;” pockets for bits and pieces of ephemera, and more.  This paper bag journal will provide a space for questions that may not have answers, a place for thoughts that may otherwise not have a home, a safe container for emotions.  It can be a place to reflect on our life journeys during and after cancer treatment or as a caregiver for a cancer patient. It can be a place to recognize what helped us navigate the rough waters of such profound and unexpected change; a place to help discover what guides us on this journey—our beliefs, aspirations, or faith; and a place to understand that we are more than a cancer patient, cancer survivor or caregiver.

Activity#2 – Sanctuary Gate

The word sanctuary refers to a place of refuge or safety. In this activity we will create a mixed media collage to represent the gate that opens into our personal place of sanctuary.  Our inner strengths such as gratitude, joy, hope resilience or humor sometimes need a sacred haven, a place of serenity, respite and healing. We will use magazine images, scissors, glue, markers and our sense of play to create a shelter for these things that we value in our lives and that give us a feeling of comfort and security.

Friday Nov. 30

Artful Expression for Youth

Activity #1 The Big C Monster

It is frightening enough to be an adult facing cancer, so imagine how it must be for younger patients and their siblings.  For this activity we will create a picture with collage and/or drawing of our cancer as a monster. We will imagine what it looks like; how it talks or sounds; how it moves; and what kind of powers it might have. Once we have a clear image of this monster then we can decide what actions we can take to control or destroy the monster.

Activity #2 Animal Totem Collage

Have you ever wished that you were fierce like a lion, strong like a gorilla, swift as a cheetah, or wise like an owl?  In this activity we will select at least 4 qualities about ourselves that we feel are our best traits. Then we will select at least one animal that represents each quality.  We will use magazine images to create a “new” animal totem collage that represents the combination of all of the animal qualities we admire.

(Optional for older youth) Activity #3 Listening to Your Feelings and Needs

In this activity we will use magazine images and words to create a collage that shows who we are; how we feel; what we need; and what is most important for our life right now.

Saturday Dec. 1

R & R (Rest and Relax) Room Saturday

Activity #1 – Found Poetry

Select random words and phrases to create found poems.

Activity #2 Make One – Take One Care Cards

Create an art card with collage and/or drawing about what gives you hope, strength or helps you cope. You can also illustrate favorite quotes, words of wisdom, advice or inspiration. Make a card to share and take a card to keep.

Activity #3 Tree of Strength

Facing the day to day reality of life as a cancer patient, survivor, caregiver or family member can be physically and mentally challenging.  It may be difficult to recognize that we all have strengths to help us navigate these difficult times, but they are there and we just need to remember to draw on them. By creating our Tree of Strength, we can identify our inner talents and strengths, welcome the support of others, and take positive steps to cope with our emotions.  We will use our arm and hand as the tree trunk and branches and then we will cut out large leaves and on each leaf write one thing that helps us get through a difficult time – this can include personal strengths, coping strategies, enjoyable activities, and supportive people. Then we will glue the leaves on our Tree of Strength.

Activity#4 I AM

We will use magazine words and images to create a collage that illustrates who we are.

Activity #5 The Place Between Hope and Despair

For this activity we will draw two large circles that overlap on our paper.  In one circle we will draw and/or collage an image of how despair feels.  In the other circle we will do the same for how hope feels.  And in the section where the two circles overlap we will create and image of what the in-between feels like.