Tuesday, December 16, 2014

#107 of a thousand ways to have a happy artist's life; Enjoy Your Art.

"The Secret of Contentment: We Enjoy Our Art" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.
The #107 secret of contentment or having a happy artist's life is to enjoy your art.  Every day, as much as possible.

Want some of the research behind this assertion?  Check out this article (and thank you Gretchen Miller and Art Therapy Alliance for posting it).

Monday, December 08, 2014

#106 of a thousand ways to have a happy artist's life; Try bringing a little affection into your life.

"Bring Color to the World" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.
This morning, while doing my morning pages, I was watching Kory Floyd give a lecture at Stanford (on YouTube).  He was talking about the health benefits of affection or the Importance of Being Prosocial.  It was a fascinating talk that you can see for yourself here.  The gist of it was that basically prosocial behaior, specifically expressing affection has an effect on our health and well being.  His research was for the most part correlational, so we can’t conclude that being affectionate is the only possible cause in these outcomes, however people who score high on expressing affection also scored high in the following areas.

1.  We tend to be happier and have higher self-esteem.
2.  We tend to experience less susceptibility to depression.
3.  We tend to have lower average blood sugar and lower resting blood pressure.
4.  We tend to be more comfortable with closeness and less fearful of intimacy.
5.  We tend to have healthier 24-hour cortisol rhythms (which aid the stress response).
6.  We are less likely to experience loneliness and social isolation.
7.  We have a more positive body image.
8.  We are more likely to be in romantic relationships (and are more satisfied in those relationships).
9.  We have more effective natural killer cells in their immune systems.
10.  We recover more quickly from stressful experiences.

So #106 way to have a happy artist's life is to express your affection when ever you can.  For more Kory Floyd, see his website here.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

#105 of a thousand ways to have a happy artist's life; Use your gifts!

"Always be true to your gift" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.

This post is all about remembering your gifts and using them.  I had been been feeling increasingly weighed down by various events in the US.  And I noticed that my morning pages were getting a little dreary.  Suddenly it came to me that using a sense of humor was one of my resilience strategies, or gifts, so why not add a little laughter to my morning pages?

When life gets difficult, that's the time to pull out your creative gifts and get busy. Your gifts will help you feel resilient and strong. Use them. Always.

Friday, November 28, 2014

#104 of a thousand ways to have a happy artist's life.

"This Day is a Gift" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.
It's that time of year again, the onslaught of frantic materialism disguised as a holy season begins today.  Hmmm.  Well, I continue to search out ways to counter this a little bit.  Free stuff is good, and real life wanderings and adventures are also good.  So here's an offering from Keri Smith that combines both of those things.  Happy Black Friday everyone.  Go out and have a free adventure.  This would be #104 of a thousand ways to have a happy artist's life.

Bricolage - Keri Smith from Lucky Treehouse on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

#103 - Happiness is in the search!

"Beautiful Hearts" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.

Here's the Happiness Discovery for today! (#103, of a thousand ways to have a happy artist's life.)  I am getting ready for a trip to Vienna for the Edith Kramer Symposium.  When traveling, I easily lose track of where I am in the moment, especially if uncomfortable travel is involved, long flights, delays in travel plans, jet lag.  It is so easy to get really caught up in wishing to be "there" already. The exact opposite of being here now.  And I imagine traveling to Quebec in order to catch a flight to England, and then on to Vienna will be a similar experience.  So I'm imagining the worst already (definitely not a way to have a happy artist's life)!

But there are things that can counter that disorienting feeling of not wanting to be where I am. One, of course, is morning pages daily art practice.  I decided to do a little prep research on the subject of daily art practice while traveling (what kind of scissors can I pack) and I discovered some really interesting spots on the internet.  First of all there's Belzer Designs Hand Made Art website which has a corner devoted to art journaling every day.  There is a whole archive of 4 years of inspiration, tutorials, and links.  Of great interest is her blog post on 15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy: Art Version.  And an article about a magazine I had never heard of called Featuring which is all about art journaling and mixed media.  Who knew?  Their website is here.

From the magazine website I decided to explore one of the featured artists, Sandra van Doorn.  She had an intriguing little description of a character, Mademoiselle, walking into her studio, and how they be inseparable, from that day on.  And together they make the world more beautiful.  How cool.   She also has an invisible pet elephant and a lovely video about living in a fairy tale, minus the witches.

So the #103 of a thousand happiness is in the search and in allowing the adventure to unfold, and maybe exploring a fairy tale or two and an invisible pet elephant while the adventure unfolds!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Edith Kramer workshop at the Summit in NYC

Photo from Herschel Stroyman
Word has it that our workshop at the Summit is just about sold out.  To take advantage of the early-bird special, click on the link below. 

November 6 & 7
Art As—and Is—Therapy: Hands-On Teachings of Edith Kramer (2 Days)
School of Visual Arts — Thursday
132 West 21st Street (between 6th & 7th Avenues)
Art Therapy Department, Co-sponsor
A 2-Day Training Intensive
9:30 am  -  4:30 pm

Lani Gerity, DA, ATR
Martha Haeseler, MA, ATR-BC
Susan Ainlay Anand, MA, ATR-BC, ATCS, LPAT

This team of art therapists, students of the late art therapy pioneer, Edith Kramer, have spent their working lives using art to build strengths and resilience, much in the way that they were taught by Edith Kramer. The presenters, weaving experiential evidence throughout the didactic segments, will carefully examine the lessons of the mindful, collaborative, strength-based and culturally adaptable form of art therapy practiced by Kramer in her lifetime. With a focus on Kramer's teachings, participants will learn a broad range of interventions that can foster intrinsic rewards and optimize daily function for clients, patients, and therapists alike.
Registration is available separately for each day. Attend either or both.
Edith Kramer Self Portrait