Reflecting on past Painting In Layers Workshop

I had the wonderful opportunity of teaching a sold out painting process workshop on the last Saturday of January, 2015.

As a teaching artist and art therapist, MAAT,  I combine wellness and art by researching both art therapy directives along with mindfulness techniques. I have combined those with various artist’s books on painting intuitively to come up with my last workshop.

And, after three years in grad school for art therapy, I painted in layers intuitively myself after reading about Carl Jung and his active Imagination process.  His archetypal images also has influenced my interest in looking for personal symbols, archetypes and metaphors that could help me tell my own story.

Symbols, metaphors and archetypes can work well with intuitive painting processes as layers of paint help us to discover marks that might look like a dragonfly, bird or figure.  When the line of an image spontaneously appears while painting abstractly, the artist can look at the line and decide if it has meaning or not. If there is meaning, the image can be enhanced and brought out. It is a very exciting process and I am excited to teach more of these painting process workshops.

The workshop brought students interested in the class for different reasons. Some for the art therapy connection, some because of the intuitive painting and some just to start painting again.  It was a wonderful experience and I am hoping to grow as a facilitator of these workshops.

I found out yesterday that one of my students painted for hours last Saturday. I am grateful that she has found a way to express herself creatively!

My next workshop will be in April of 2015. So stay tuned.  Here is my artist website http://www.lauraknapikbohn.com

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Music is the Muse

Laura’spaintbrush is my Etsy online gallery.  I have had the opportunity of selling paintings to customers since 2013.

My latest painting is a reflection of the love of the cooling ocean and the heat and passion of music.  It was always easy for me to draw and paint growing up but sticking with a musical instrument was more difficult.  I am fortunate to have musician friends who I listen to as they collaborate and play at local venues.  I do wish I could collaborate more as an artist but can share by teaching and through being an art therapist. Painting while playing music has lead me to paint energetically to express this rhythm and movement of music.

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UCF Healing Art Exhibit

This Thursday I will be part of the Healing Art Exhibition at University of Central Florida.  I have three paintings that I worked on over the last three years as a grad student of art therapy.  The paintings were all done with exploring paint in layers with mark making.  Some imagery arose from a line or shape that would appear and others because of metaphors and symbols that kept emerging in my studies. 

Flight of the Dragonfly investigated the emerging metaphor of the dragonfly in my life. The dragonfly has the capability to change flight directions at anytime.  As an art therapist, I have to meet clients where they are at and be ready to change directions at anytime to help clients fully express themselves through the arts.

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The next painting titled “Trust the Process” was also done as painting exploration while studying at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods college as an art therapy graduate student.  Since the painting was done in layers I was able to explore the process abstractly until images emerged from the unconscious. I suspect reading Carl Jung had an influence on my work.  I felt as if I was blooming in art therapy so the bloom came about like the the thing I was needing to express.  A few days after I painted the bloom, my husband told me he saw a face. I could not see it for awhile and was astonished to find how obvious it was there when I finally saw it. In the photo it is even clearer than the real painting and to this day, I do not understand how it came to be. But this is the amazing part of the painting process when one is open to discovery.  I am still not sure about who the woman is in the painting as I have not asked that of the image as of yet.  In art therapy one can explore witness writing from the perspective of the painting and that will be how I will investigate the next two paintings on a deeper level.

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This last painting was actually the first painting I explored in layers. This one was done with a trowel knife.  The title is “Active Imagination” and as I was painting it the image of a dark skinned woman in a lotus appeared. It is still a mystery to me who this woman is, but the waves that appeared in this painting as well as paintings that have come after this one represent the awareness of waves of emotion and lucid dreams.

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Thanks for reading!  Laura Bohn artist’s website

Expressive art and healing workshops, next one Saturday March 7th, 2-4:30 pm

My next workshop will be held in a beautiful classroom with large windows at Deland at Casa Montessori school on Saturday March 7th from 2-4:30 pm. Cost is 35 dollars without journal and 45 with a new mixed media journal. Class will be kept at a maximum of 8 people. Below is a link to word document with all the information above the photo.

When my brother-in-law died a couple years back, I know he loved the Beatles song Blackbird.  So by taking some of the key lyrics to the song, combined with paint and symbolism I built a tribute page to my lost loved one.  This is only one example of healing through art journaling.

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Open the document link above for more information or  contact for more information as well. Email me at  bohnlaura1@gmail.com

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As a teaching artist and art therapist I am happy to be now teaching healing art workshops that combine art processes with mindfulness.  The journey and discovery of creating art as it unfolds can help unblock artists and unlock creativity for anybody interested in the arts.

The beauty of mixed media journaling is that without any drawing skills, images, memorabilia, lyrics, paint, pastel and other media choices can be combined to tell you personal story.

In my last workshop at The Hub in New Smyrna Beach, we explored painting intuitively in layers to build a history by playing with mark making before adding imagery or symbols.  Composition and design elements come after the play and discovery to release the inner child.