Humanities in Medicine – Photo-Inspired Painting

12 05 2015

I’ve posted before about my involvement as a volunteer with the Humanities in Medicine department of a local hospital. This is a great program where volunteers work with patients at the bedside, family members in waiting rooms, and hospital visitors at “drop-by” table events (e.g. for Valentine’s Day) to encourage them to make art as a means of healing, positive distraction, and just plain fun!

We had a session recently led by the coordinator’s son, an independent artist in California, and an intern to try out a new project. Photos of campus scenery are glued (using something like Modge Podge) to a piece of watercolor paper. Then you can create whatever you like around the photo.

image

We had colored pencils, watercolor pencils, and watercolor crayons to work with. I like representational art, so naturally I did an extension based on the image. Others did abstract colors, shapes, or a motif based on the image.

This may be challenging to do at the bedside because of the set up (anything involving water is tricky, especially when patients only have a tiny table they can access usually with food/drinks on it), but for a drop-by table event, pre-glued images could work well. Most people who don’t think of themselves as artistic have a hard time creating work from scratch, so the image would provide inspiration and a starting point.

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Zentangle Once More

2 08 2013

Some time ago our volunteer group at the hospital started doing zentangle, which I introduced here.

We just had a new weekend workshop to really focus on zentangle, since we only got about 10 min with it last time. It was in the CoRK Arts District, which I hadn’t been to before:

All the CoRK buildings are painted with murals. I liked this one (despite the dumpster view) cause of the birds!

All the CoRK buildings are painted with murals. I liked this one (despite the dumpster view) cause of the birds!

Now, zentangle is all about doodling – you don’t have to be “an artist” or be perfect with line structure to get the meditative benefit from it AND actually create something cool. That’s why it’s good for patients. So, my belief is that you also don’t have to memorize the specific zentangle patterns…you can just make things up, but, especially if you’ll be teaching, it’s a good idea to learn some basics.

Below is a “string,” where you draw points and connect them to make a shape, and within the shape you draw a squigly “string” or lines to make shapes within it. You do all of that in pencil and zentangle inside it with pen (so that the frames you drew disappear). We learned each pattern as we drew it.

my zentangle 2

my "learning sheet" - learning different patterns

my “learning sheet” – learning different patterns

The amazing Dorian Eng was our teacher. Dorian excels at pretty much every type of art possible, and she’s super nice! She has been doing this for a while and brought a ton of beautiful examples: bookmarks, coasters, booklets, with and without color, black glaze on black paper, etc.

Dorian's zentangle - believe she used a stamp and then went over it (the flower) and did the rest freehand using a metallic pen that shows up very well on the black paper.

Dorian’s zentangle – believe she used a stamp and then went over it (the flower) and did the rest freehand using a metallic pen that shows up very well on the black paper.


"Mentangling" - ok, delving straight into gender stereotypes here, but I've heard many male patients not want a tissue paper flower because it's "too girly." Perhaps zentangling with pipe structures would be better? Looks pretty cool anyhow - very steampunk.

“Mentangling” – ok, delving straight into gender stereotypes here, but I’ve heard many male patients not want a tissue paper flower because it’s “too girly.” Perhaps zentangling with pipe structures would be better? Looks pretty cool anyhow – very steampunk.

I think I’ll make a little book of zentangles during downtime…had a webinar again this week that was easy to listen to while doodling, so I zentangled a face. Nevertheless, regular office ball point pens aren’t great for this. I highly recommend a Micron pen or similar.
my zentangle 3





DIY: Tissue Paper Flower Tutorial

5 04 2013

The post popular (and easiest) art project we do with the Humanities in Medicine volunteering program is making tissue paper flowers. This is a great project; it’s low-cost, fast, easy, and anyone can learn to do it. I’ve taught this one to several kids and older patients at the hospital, and most people need some solid instruction for their first go. After that, it’s super simple.

Since I’m always benefiting from other peoples’ online tutorials, I thought I’d make one here with lots of photos since I finally have the time (nothing like taking the day off work to get sun only to have it rainy and cloudy).

Tissue Paper Flowers

Supplies: a pair of scissors, 1 pipe cleaner, and assorted tissue paper (kleenex also works)

Supplies: a pair of scissors, 1 pipe cleaner, and assorted tissue paper (kleenex also works)


First, cut the pipe cleaner in half (unless you want a really long stem, or to wrap the stem around something).

First, cut the pipe cleaner in half (unless you want a really long stem, or to wrap the stem around something).


Now cut the paper. This pack of tissue paper unfolds into rough rectangles that are the right shape, so I just cut on those. You want it to be rectangular. Cut 4 - 5 sheets, approx. the same size. It's okay if some are shorter/wider than the others.

Now cut the paper. This pack of tissue paper unfolds into rough rectangles that are the right shape, so I just cut on those. You want it to be rectangular. Cut 4 – 5 sheets, approx. the same size. It’s okay if some are shorter/wider than the others.


Here are my 5 sheets. (Normally I do 4, but I cut the light pink not realizing it was so close to the white.)

Here are my 5 sheets. (Normally I do 4, but I cut the light pink not realizing it was so close to the white.)


Stack all the pieces together. If they differ in size, try to center them as best as possible. Then, starting at one of the short sides, grasp all the papers in the stack and give a small fold upwards.

Stack all the pieces together. If they differ in size, try to center them as best as possible. Then, starting at one of the short sides, grasp all the papers in the stack and give a small fold upwards.


Flip the stack over. (Now my fold is at the top because of how I flipped it.) Make a fold on that side, the reverse of the first side you folded. The fold should be the same size. Basically, we're going to accordion fold the whole thing.

Flip the stack over. (Now my fold is at the top because of how I flipped it.) Make a fold on that side, the reverse of the first side you folded. The fold should be the same size. Basically, we’re going to accordion fold the whole thing.


You can see the accordion fold here. We're part way through. Do this to the whole thing.

You can see the accordion fold here. We’re part way through. Do this to the whole thing.


Completed accordion fold. Then squish it flat.

Completed accordion fold. Then squish it flat.


Squishing it flat makes a rectangle shape like the one here. Take your 1/2 pipe cleaner and wrap a small part of it around the middle of the rectangle. Twist the end around so that the point of the pipe cleaner doesn't stick out.

Squishing it flat makes a rectangle shape like the one here. Take your 1/2 pipe cleaner and wrap a small part of it around the middle of the rectangle. Twist the end around so that the point of the pipe cleaner doesn’t stick out.


Now the pipe cleaner is wrapped, firmly but with the rectangle still flat. Now we have to fan out the 2 sides of the rectangle. Note: if you want to jazz up the petals, you can shape the ends of the rectangle by cutting with scissors before you fan it out.

Now the pipe cleaner is wrapped, firmly but with the rectangle still flat. Now we have to fan out the 2 sides of the rectangle. Note: if you want to jazz up the petals, you can shape the ends of the rectangle by cutting with scissors before you fan it out.


I've "fanned out" 1/2 of the rectangle. Next I'll do this to the other side. The sides will not meet; that is normal.

I’ve “fanned out” 1/2 of the rectangle. Next I’ll do this to the other side. The sides will not meet; that is normal.


With my "fan out" complete, I now take the top-facing layer of tissue paper (the blue) and, starting with 1 side, gently pull it up away from the others.

With my “fan out” complete, I now take the top-facing layer of tissue paper (the blue) and, starting with 1 side, gently pull it up away from the others.


You can see better from this angle how to pull up the paper. If it tears a little, that's okay.

You can see better from this angle how to pull up the paper. If it tears a little, that’s okay.


Now one side of the blue is completely pulled up. It's time to do the same thing with the blue on the other side.

Now one side of the blue is completely pulled up. It’s time to do the same thing with the blue on the other side.


Ta da! One layer is done. Now do the same with the layer below, etc. until all layers are pulled up.

Ta da! One layer is done. Now do the same with the layer below, etc. until all layers are pulled up.


2 of the layers are pulled up.

2 of the layers are pulled up.


Your flower is complete!

Your flower is complete!


You can make alterations if you like. Sometimes if you pull up the top layer or two now, pushing the others flat a bit, you can trim those shorter. It can make a daffodil effect. You can't see it well here; I'd recommend different colors.

You can make alterations if you like. Sometimes if you pull up the top layer or two now, pushing the others flat a bit, you can trim those shorter. It can make a daffodil effect. You can’t see it well here; I’d recommend different colors.


Here I trimmed the blue shorter and pulled it away from the center, gluing a button to the center.

Here I trimmed the blue shorter and pulled it away from the center, gluing a button to the center.


Easy peasy! You can also make a tissue paper butterfly to sit on the flower but that one’ll have to come later. 🙂





Meditative Doodling (and cupcakes)

14 01 2013

NOTE: Cupcake recipe to come tomorrow. WordPress will not properly display post from my home browser.

So I’m volunteering with an “Arts at the Bedside” division of a Humanities in Medicine program. This particular program is carried out within a Jacksonville hospital, where volunteer artists make creative projects to share with patients to give them a positive distraction from their medical issues, and to enhance the health of the mind/spirit while the hospital works on the physical stuff. 🙂

Will have more posts on this program and what we do in the future, but for now I wanted to share one of the things we just did at our weekend workshop: zentangling (click on link for main site). This is a style of “meditative doodling” that’s very free-form, effortless (anyone can do it), and pattern/repitition oriented, which is what gives you that calm feeling while doing it. A micron pen is perfect for this, plus a gray copic marker for smooth shading.

Here’s my starter zentangle:

sample zentangle sketches

sample zentangle sketches

ALSO! Fernandina Beach used to have this awesome cupcake place called Patty Cakes Bakery. Unfortunately, I learned this weekend that Patty Cakes is no longer there, which means no more apple betty cupcakes. 😦 So I decided to make my own:

finished cuppycakes!

finished cuppycakes!

Post-filling, pre-replacing tops and adding icing

Post-filling, pre-replacing tops and adding icing








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