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Creative Arts Therapy

Mark Pinard

Mark Pinard
Harvest Moon, Oil Pastels 2008

Troll Toll
Mark Pinard, September 2008

"What is a Mandala?"
"The word 'Mandala' is from Sanskrit, a classical Indian language developed over 2300 years ago.  Loosely translated to mean 'circle,' a mandala is far more than a simple shape.  It represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself-a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds."
Mandala: Journey to the Center, Cunningham, Bailey.  (Dorling Kindersley:New York, NY. P.12) 

Marble Series: Blue World
Oil Pastels, October 2007

I cannot stress the importance of art therapy in association with personal dreamwork.  Picking up a marker, clay, oil pastel, charcoal, paint, or whatever your taste to create, can be extremely  healing and illuminating. 
If you have already started a dream journal, you should think about adding a dream symbol book to compliment your journaling.  
Use something durable and lasting.  
Adding artwork to compliment your dream journaling will not only open up new forms of interpretation but will show you, through your own choice of symbols to work on, which dreams are the most important in understanding. 

Oil Pastels, January 2007

The Mandala, a circular form found in all forms of nature and found as early as the Paleolithic times can be the most spiritual, intense, and powerful form of art therapy.  Jung wrote of mandalas:
"While I was there [Chateau-d'Oex, a camp for interned British soldiers during WWI (1918)] I stetched every morning in a notebook a small circular drawing, a mandala, which seemed to correspond to my inner situation at the time.  With the help of these drawings I could observe my psychic transformations from day to day.  Only gradually did I discover what the mandala really is: 'Formation, Transformation, Eternal Mind's eternal recreation.'  And that is the self, the wholeness of the personality, which if all goes well is harmonious, but which cannot tolerate self-deceptions." (C.G. Jung Word and Image, edited by Aniela Jaffe, 1979. Princeton University Press)

Marble Series: Purple and Orange
Oil Pastels, October 2007

Corn Anhk
August Corn Harvest, 2007

Dream Symbol Book
It is helpful to start a dream symbol book alongside a dream journal.


July Rock Carving....See below

Deer Carving
Sandstone, July 1st, 2007

Ceremonial pipe
Carved sandstone and Sumac, 2005

Small Bear fettish made from carved sandstone
Carved Sandstone and ancient arrowhead, 2007

Carving or sculpting from stone is perhaps the oldest form of expression.  Whether it was for art or religious purposes, litterally hundreds of thousands (maybe millions!) litter the world.
Two years ago I bought a large piece of untouched sandstone and was able to carve a tiny Bear.  Days ago I found an arrowhead in our vegetable garden and decided to make a fettish from the small Bear effigy. 
What made this medium so special?  The unforgiving nature, longevity and lasting nature of the stone, to be sure, had something to do with it.  Whatever the case, there is NOTHING like taking a carving knife to a piece of rough sandstone.
DON'T LET THE ROCK INTIMIDATE YOU!  Allow yourself to start carving without any forethought or plan as to what will emerge.   If you need help finding a piece of sandstone, send me an email and I will search for you! 
All you need is a cheap small carving knife to get started and you will be amazed at the peace and determination that takes over when you start!

Bear or Buffalo Ceremonial Pipe
Sandstone and Sumac Ceremonial Pipe, 2005

Unconscious or free Art:
in otherwords creating without intent; allowing yourself to draw, paint, whatever! without limitations or preconceived ideas...
Can be interpreted in much the same fashion as dreams.
Mandalas can be used as templates or clean slates for letting your unconscious flow.  Begin with the plan of creating either a square, circle or combined (circle inside a square or vice versa) and allow yourself to pick up the colors and add the lines, curves, images, ect. that come out. 
Remember to stay out of your head!  Don't try and interpret the colors you choose, only allow yourself to gravitate naturally.

Mandala done in one sitting.
Slate Blue and Red Mandala, 2007

Basil and blue bells
Environmental Art

Recurring dream image taken from Symbol book.
Working on dream image will uncover deeper meaning.

Your dream symbol book can also be utilized for art therapy.  When an image or symbol from your dream seems to stand out, take that image and create it in your dream symbol book.  Use colors and pens or markers to draw your symbol, incorporating emotion into your symbol/image.  This is also a form of dream therapy and can help you understand what energy that image carries.  For example, in the picture below, I sketched a river from a dream I had the night before.  When coloring the path of the river, I saw the flow as circular, eventually leading me back to where I had begun-the beginning.  The dream became a mandala for me; I would not have understood had I not sketched it out. 

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