Art Therapy: A Perfect Day

When I began my “neurographic journey” on Sunday — the start of my 100-Day Creative Project — I promised I would not be posting 99 more pieces of neurographic art. I still stand by that promise. I am, however, posting another colorful piece from the project today.

I’m using various art therapy prompts in conjunction with my neurographic art, and today’s “therapy session” taught me a lot, so I’m eager to share it. If you haven’t yet tried neurographic art, I’ll encourage you to do so. My experiences so far with this art form have not been all positive, but they’ve been very interesting. I’m finding neurographic art to be quite thought-provoking, and that makes it ideal for personal art therapy.

My “assignment” was actually based on “collage” — and if collage appeals to you, by all means work through this exercise by cutting, pasting, or creating a digital collage. It would definitely be fun! The topic, you see, is “A Perfect Day”. Imagine all the pictures and photos and ideas  you could put together for a “Perfect Day” art collage!

But, since I’m playing with neurographic art, I decided to forego the collage idea and somehow express the feelings of “a perfect day” through my loops and swirls and colors. Now, here’s one of the most appealing aspects of neurographic art for me: I don’t have to “try to draw” anything. I don’t have to question whether or not I have sufficient skills to create a specific scene or to visually express an idea through representative art. I can just “let loose” and express myself through what I’ve come to call “symbolic scribbles.” In other words, I scribble in ways that seem meaningful.

That was the approach I took when I began creating my own “Perfect Day” through neurographic art. I closed my eyes momentarily and thought of what a perfect day felt like. To me, it felt warm. It felt like sunshine and soft, green grass. I remembered being a child, sitting in the grass, simply enjoying all of nature.

I didn’t attempt to “draw” any memories. I was content to just move my Sharpie over the page in ways that “felt comfortable”, all the while thinking still about that “perfect day.” Then I began coloring in the shapes I’d made. Soon, I saw a ladybug appear. I smiled and kept going. I clearly saw a bright golden sun, so I colored it in and set it in a blue sky.  I added greens for grasses, and that violet…? It reminded me of a skeletal structure of some insect or flying bug. There are wings of a bird or a butterfly. There are warm rocks. There’s a sense — to me — of curiosity here, an adventure in the outdoors, which is, in fact, what I would deem “a perfect day”.

I don’t ask that you see any of these things in my art therapy drawing. I can see them, and, actually, with a little imagination I can see even more. I can see a gigantic bullfrog ready to jump into the water.  I can see imaginary fish swimming in a stream. I can see so many things, all of them pleasant memories from childhood.

I mentioned earlier in this post that I’m not finding my neurographic art experience all positive. I do find it a bit nerve-wracking at times. I still worry whether or not I’m “doing it right” and I’m constantly tweaking lines to create a more uniform effect. All the same, I’m beginning to enjoy the process, mostly because it does make me think — a lot.

To me, this is what good art therapy — or simply good art — should do. It shouldn’t be measured by how well we draw or paint, but by the feelings it invokes. Art is definitely personal, and obviously art therapy is even more so.

I encourage you to create your own artistic version of “A Perfect Day” — whether with collage, paints, crayons, or whatever! I encourage you, too, to play with neurographic art and see what thoughts — and images — emerge through your subconscious. You might be surprised at what you find.

6 Comments

  1. I have not heard of neurographic art. What a great idea! I love what you have created. Thanks for sharing. I think I do something similar with my leftover paints. When I am done with a painting, I don’t like to waste the unused paint, so I randomly brush it on a clean canvas. Sometimes the result is the start of a new painting. I will try it with the marker as well and see what happens. Life is good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Let me know your thoughts! I’d never heard of it until recently, and then suddenly it was everywhere I looked! I know what you mean about leftover paints. I usually keep a pad of canvas paper or a few small canvas panels just to do what you’re doing… randomly brushing on paints, or sometimes doodling. Even if it doesn’t become a painting, it often gives me inspiration.

      Liked by 1 person

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