Through layers of paper, fabric, oil pastel, glitter, soul images, you find yourself peeled open like a fragrant tangerine, exposing the veins of tender nourishment and juicy segments of ripe, succulent fruit.

expressive-arts-divine-feminineCrystallizing self through the reflection of process, meaning and image, you develop a relationship to your own art-making, as a mother-replacement, attachment to the arts, as a rock-solid container of self-created safety, the divine interceder shape shifter, open to all projections, a cornucopia of possibilities. A mirror to reflect perfect timing of the unfolding and revealing of your true authentic self, your Being.

Expressive arts is an approach to self-discovery where the artist-creator comes to the paper/materials with a willingness to let go of preconceived ideas of what should happen or the image should look like. A hallmark of Expressive arts is the option to combine or layer art mediums to deepen with the project and the information gleaned from the experience and image. I value both the process and the creation, as I believe the image can stand alone in its symbolism and message to the creator. More often than not, artists will create many images over and over while they experience in their bodies a visceral experience of whatever the image is holding. Sometimes a block is being created in the form of a large black square and this image is painted over and over until it is ready to be released. Through repeated creations and trust of the process, an artist can move through blocks, grief, and unresolved psychological-spiritual material, reveal disowned parts of the self and provide the means to accept and love it into wholeness.

divine-expressive-artsExpressive arts provides the container, mirror, witness, and language from which to explore self, other, relationship. Opening oneself up as a portal for Divine messages about what is here now, what is ready to be revealed, Expressive arts provides the platform to see, to take in, by passing language, linear mind, reason, social conditioning, limited self-expectations, doubts or beliefs. In creating art from a place of radical freedom, enjoying both the dark, difficult, chaotic images as well as the more familiar, softer, “pretty” images, one fully accepts themselves as whole, complete. Expressive arts allows for all of a person to fully integrate in a pace that honors divine timing, self-timing, surrendering to the present.

As I practice Expressive arts, my approach is non-analytical, non-interpretive. I sit with each client and their creation, dance, song or poem in utter presence for only the image knows what it wants to be. I don’t wish to be limited by my own past experiences or associations. I trust the image has the key and the person will enter the portal of their own accord. The art is the first witness to the maker; I stand as the guide, ready to find the desired materials, set the space ready and offer my trust in the process, in the client. This is where my experience provides a foundation from which the client-artist feels my comfort-level, my passion for the arts and artistic process and child-like wonder for what wants to come through for the client.

expressive-arts-danielle-saundersI have sat with hundreds of clients, art students, adults and children, while they explored materials for the first time and for the 100th time. I have witnessed over and over the delight, the surprise, the crystallization of self-discovery that comes through the arts. My evolving relationship with the Divine Feminine has greatly inspired my work as an Expressive Arts Therapist. I see what combining the deep acceptance, self-nurturance and unconditional love with the arts can do for an artist. Through the lens of Archetypal awareness, the artist activates the part of them that is universally whole, available, ready to remember themselves as God/Goddess intended, their true Being-ness.

Expressive arts is about approaching the art-making with a beginner’s mind, full of vulnerability and open curiosity, watching judgment and expectation as they may pass though the mind. Sometimes I give instructions, help with technique and other times I will sit silently as the artist fully immerses themselves into their process.