Art Therapy (Me too, Part 2)

Art Therapy (Me too, Part 2)

Creating a Me Too banner


  1. muslin or canvas material
  2. sewing machine
  3. fabric and/or acrylic paint
  4. small pieces of printed fabric, yarns, lace, and buttons
  5. anything else in your stash bag
  6. glue (I used Aleene’s Clear Gel Tacky Glue)


I used a Christmas flag as my guide and added allowances for hems and a pocket rod. Ultimately I cut a 13.5″x 20.5″ rectangle of fabric to work with. I then painted the fabric, hung it to dry, and while waiting, assembled my message and some other graphics from fabric. I was totally delighted that my glue would affix everything securely, rather than having to sew everything in place. It did take me most of yesterday, and a bit of time this morning, but I did take frequent breaks!

This is an incredibly scary time and I think a new experience for us all. I have and am struggling with the isolation and worry and yet I know I am not alone. But my feelings of vulnerability are heightened as the only adult in the house. I know the decisions I have made and continue to make are good ones, but I grab Pat’s favorite shirt a lot to wear for comfort because I feel his reassuring presence whenever it’s on.

If my mother were here she would no doubt say it is time for a change. When I was in a funk she would often get me to list what I should be thankful for. That’s where the list mania comes from!( And also the “husband to die for” comment!!).

She would be worrying that I am dwelling too much on the sad stuff right now. I remember the summer I brought home a book called Father Loss from the library. I thought she would have a bird. But only because she wanted to protect me and because she felt so bad for not being able to control my pain. How difficult that must have been for her, and how hard it is for me right now. You cannot stop the bad stuff from happening. It comes just the same, but you can and need to redirect your sadness sometimes. So out of respect for Mom’s memory, and her own incredible resilient nature, I sat down and designed a flag for the front step and thought about the healing power of art, particularly as it has unfolded during the last little while.

I come from a family of “hands occupied” kind of people. Growing up I was very, very fortunate to have aunts, my mother’s two sisters, who not only taught me how to knit and sew, but gave me never ending access to their stash bags of yarn and material. In so doing, Aunt Joan and Aunt Ruth both showed me the importance of sharing what you have and what you know with others, so they too can find the peace in keeping busy.

Early into this self isolation, facebook began sharing ideas for art that all of us could experience. Some artists, like Christian Corbet, here in Sackville, NB, have prepared short video tutorials on water color painting and oil painting. It’s thoughtful, it’s proactive, and it’s healing. It’s also a voice, perhaps even a new one, that comes to you from a neat source, inviting you into their art space.

I have also seen an increase in posts about two artists whose lives were affected by their health and subsequent isolation: Henri Matisse and Frida Kahlo.

Matisse had health problems which eventually confined him to a wheelchair, and with limited eyesight, Matisse redefined himself as an artist, using scissors instead of the paintbrush. His colorful organic shapes became huge collages of beauty and wonder, some pieces reaching gigantic proportions. The point is, with his limited mobility, he spent years of his life inside, still creating incredible art for the rest of us to enjoy and to pass on. Some of my most memorable art lessons are those that involve the style of Henri Matisse and when this isolation is over there is a big ol’ canvas waiting for me at the Great Canadian Dollar Store that is going to be filled with Henri!

Frida Kahlo has to be one of my favorite artists. I try not to let her tragic life overshadow her work but it’s hard not to because her paintings depict so much of the pain and sadness she seemed to always be feeling. Kahlo presented her anguish, both physical and mental, like a confession, for her viewing world to see and experience. Some of it is tough to look at but pain through loss is hard to look at! Like Matisse, Kahlo spent parts of her life in isolation. It was her dad who devised an easel for her bed where she could paint her image by looking at a mirror placed above her. That is why self portraiture is such a large part of her work. One of the happier aspects of Frida’s story is her brief time as a teacher of young Mexican art students. Perhaps it is here, passing on a little bit of herself, that she received true satisfaction in her work. I think I can relate {insert heart emoji}.

If you would like to see more of Frida or Matisse, there are different links to follow when searching the web.

Mom, I love you and miss you so very, very much. And yes, it was a good idea to take a break from my blog and actually create a piece of fun and pleasing art! But I need to tell you that sometimes pain produces the best work, and teaches the best lessons. I am sorry that I freaked you out with that book so many years ago, but you know what I was looking for. Another sufferer. Another person in pain that could validate mine. That me too. Please be happy in knowing that it is getting better.

Until next time,


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2 Responses

  1. Ready to start those socks? We can use Messenger when we need to see the challenging spots. Another art form that graces.

    In the midst of the chaos there seems to be such deep self-understanding and peace. Be mindful of that peace.

    Hugs ❤

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