As an artist/art therapist creating art as wellness workshops, I research art therapy directives with a basis in mindfulness based art therapy. For this directive, I was to transform a portrait that was either a part of the self, archetype, loved one, or simply a character that relates to meaning in my own life. I of course, worked on my own before I facilitated the workshop for others.
I started with deep breathing and relaxation, I have learned to relax and focus while choosing images to work with as we do in the workshops. When I found this image of a girl in National Geographic, she was supposedly a generated representation of a future young lady of mixed ethnic heritage as the norm in America. I thought she was stunningly beautiful and it reminded me of the beauty that comes out of two people loving each other from different backgrounds. It also reminded me of all the prejudices some of my friends went through when they were involved in relationships that were not accepted by others and they resulted in beautiful children who were trying to find their place in the world. And so I just wanted to transform those prejudices into something beautiful into acceptance and love.
While working, on this piece, I let it evolve naturally. I used paint, printed images, and words to transform this piece. I started painting on the image for fun and the results were simply from playing with paint.
The words in the finished work are from Maya Angelou who eloquently states…
“I can be change by what happens to me but I refuse to be reduced by it”
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