Prepping Teaching Samples x4

It has worked the best for me to teach mixed media art cross-culturally and bi-lingually to break the project into distinct steps/layers and to have a sample of each step/layer. The first step is often the most tedious because I often have the participants write (dump) about a particular life experience. This means I've got to write out that bottom layer x4 for each of the layered steps. Additionally, I've got to write it x4 in Spanish! My big epiphany today was realizing I could use an online translator, cut and paste into a Word Doc, print, and then use carbon paper to write over the copy x4. I cranked up some music and mindlessly copied the bottom layer x4!
Next up I added a solid layer of watercolor to all four boards (yellow) and then added bits of color in orange and rust. 
The bottom layer is now ready...x4!

Oremos: Bilingual Instructions for a Guided (Art) Prayer

Primero: Marque una estrella donde se encuentra Karnes en Texas. Pida ayuda para identificar y luego marcar con otra estrella a dónde va después de Karnes. Luego tome un pedazo de papel de colores y arrancarle la forma de una cruz. Use un lápiz o tinta de color pluma para escribir sus preocupaciones e inquietudes para el futuro. ¿Cuáles son sus temores? Las preocupaciones ? ¿Qué esperas para sus hijos? ¿Para ti? Escribe las preocupaciones sobre la cruz y los dará a Jesús. [Ajuste la cruz a un lado.]
First: Mark a star where Karnes is located in Texas. Ask for help to identify and then mark with another star where you are going after Karnes. Then take a piece of colored paper and tear out the shape of a cross. Use a colored pencil or ink pen to write your cares and concerns for the future. What are your fears? Worries? What do you hope for your children? For yourself? Write the concerns on the cross and give them to Jesus. [Set the cross aside.]

Segundo: Utilice acuarelas a los símbolos de la plantilla de la esperanza para su futuro. Por ejemplo: mariposa = libertad; flores = nueva vida ;cruzar = Jesús ;paloma = Espíritu Santo; la cara de una mujer = ti. Pegue abajo elementos de collage como papeles cortados , palabras o imágenes de una revista , y / o un versículo de la Biblia.
Second: Use watercolors to stencil symbols of hope for your future. For example:
butterfly = freedom; flowers = new life; cross = Jesus; dove = Holy Spirit; face of a woman = you.
Glue down collage elements like cut papers, words or pictures from a magazine, and/or a Bible verse.

Tercero: Pintura sobre pequeñas áreas del fondo.
Third: Paint over small areas of the background.

Cuarto: Pegue la cruz de color con sus oraciones en el fondo. Pegue una forma de corte de un corazón en el centro de la cruz para simbolizar el amor de Dios para ti. Esquema de la cruz y el corazón con crayones o pasteles al óleo. Y plantillas (palabras o un símbolo). Firmar y fechar su oración arte.

Fourth: Glue the colored cross with your prayers onto the background. Glue a cut shape of a heart in the center of the cross to symbolize God’s love for you. Outline the cross and heart with crayons or oil pastels. And stencils (words or a symbol). Sign and date your art prayer.

Identifying, Naming and Listing

Sometimes a journal entry can be as simple as identifying, naming and listing ________ whatever it is that relates to whatever is burning on your heart. It could be a career goal, a relationship issue or a (possible) life change. Take an already begun background and begin identifying and naming and listing.
I liked the simple prompt of a stamped image on "prayer" as the stamp reminded me that I have, in fact, prayed much about a given topic. The question was t prayer but response/action based on (much) prayer. 
I was hanging out in an airport waiting for a flight with my art journal and a single stencil. I opted to reflect on (previous) prayer and identify the necessary action steps. The beauty of stenciling words is the slow and reflective process required. It isn't fancy art journaling, but it provides an important reflective layer. 

Glop on the Gesso

There's nothing quite so freeing as glopping on the gesso to cover up a page spread in an altered book journal. The process of glopping is mindless and it creates a page spread ready for...whatever!

"Please Help My Country"

Imagine if you could write an important person on the international scene as ask for help with your country. Who would you write? What would you say?
Here is a multi-layer art reflection to guide one through the thought process from letter writing about the problems of one's homeland and that then moves to celebrating the strengths. It mixes diverse art media. The goal isn't a pretty piece of art journaling. Rather, the goal is thoughtful reflection through mixed media. The original context was intended for immigrants seeking asylum, but the concept holds true for anyone who wants to reflect critically and analytically through art on the challenges of one's country. 
Use carbon paper and trace over a printout of your home country. Write a letter and then top with key words which define what is good about your country. 
Use stencils and stamps to symbolize your dreams & desires. Here the butterfly symbolizes freedom and also being a new creation. 

Perspective through the Lens of a Camera

A camera provides a beautiful eye to look at the world through a fresh perspective. I recently walked along the shoreline in Seal Beach, CA. I opted to have my cell phone camera be my "eyes" and perspective as I walked along the boardwalk to downtown.
Of course the obvious is the overview of the beach (at sunset). 
I thought it would be interesting to show different angles of the houses that faced the beach. 
The reflected light and strong angles provided an interesting contrast. 
It's always good to look for new perspectives and unique textures. 
Extreme closeup images always add contrast (and impact). 

Art Journal Do-Over

The beautiful thing about art journaling is the wonderful product: gesso. If you don't like a page for whatever reason glop on the gesso and call DO OVER!
I'd been taking notes as sermon prep. I didn't like the notes I'd been putting down (& I hadn't like the too dark stenciling background that I was doing the note taking on). I called do over & covered the page with white gesso; added some watercolor stencils and started all over again. 
The shadow of notes were still there but otherwise it was a fresh page and a definite do over. 

Art (Therapy) Training 101

At a national gathering of people who do visitation with incarcerated immigrants who are seeking asylum, I shared the experience of doing artful reflection inside a detention center by duplicating the "Ya me voy" exercise recently I had done with immigrant women. 

I brought one suitcase (instead of two) filled with a condensed selection of my usual diverse selection of art materials. I also provides copies of the same bilingual one-page teaching tool and my 4-step sample of the prototype for the art reflection. 

While the participants worked on their art I have an overview of process and procedure. I'm always amazed and inspired by the diverse expressions of the "same" project. 

The final steps include adding one last large art element in a bold shape (or word) which symbolizes the message of the medium and then signing and dating the art.