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Finding Our Voices is a non-profit organization in Colorado Springs that sponsors an art exhibit each April. The event showcases artistic expressions of survivors of sexual abuse and their allies. Artists are invited to exhibit in the annual April FOV Art Show for Sexual Abuse Awareness Month (SAAM)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Finding Our Voices Facilitates Healing Painting Class

I took a workshop facilitated by Joyce Aubrey, founder of Finding Our Voices: Healing Art Activities for Survivors of Sexual Assault.This was a "process painting" class "designed for the novice or experienced artist who wishes to focus on the creative process rather than concentrating on producing a product or specific image. Participants play with colors and brush strokes in a manner similar to stream-of-consciousness writing. Some find the process a meditative experience, some find it relieves stress or releases trauma. Focusing on the process rather than the outcome eliminates the inner critic or personal judgement that often blocks the creative process." 
I was familiar with the cathartic process of journal writing, which was the foundation for my memoir Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor's Story. Yet I found it discomforting to paint without a plan or reference material; who knew what would be unearthed from the opaque rock of my unconscious? What evolved on plain paper was a full-bodied self-portrait guided from within and reflected outward in brush strokes in vivid color. I interpret my painting as putting the chaos, confusion, and craziness in the background, while I see L-O-V-E up close (as symbolized by the eyes and hearts). A good example of the use of process painting for therapeutic purposes is Pictures of A Childhood by Alice Miller.
Lynn C. Tolson at Process Painting

Post completed by Lynn C. Tolson, Project 4 TEARS: Telling Everyone About Rape & Suicide

1 comment:

  1. That was a fun workshop to facilitate Lynn. It is a thrill to see what evolves in process painting. I'll be teaching the class again at the Senior Center on Hancock starting July 7 for six weeks on Thursday evenings. I bet you didn't know that folks younger than 55 can take classes at the senior center.