Femininity – a loaded term.

Image created by Hearts Made Visible workshop participant (used with permission of the artist)

I was so inspired by the women who participated in my Summer 2019 Hearts Made Visible workshops. Their bravery, vulnerability and insight were truly a blessing for me to witness. One of the areas of identity we explored together was “femininity” — a loaded term in our culture today.

Here are some thought-provoking and often polarizing words and phrases that came up during our intro discussions:

Gentle, Subtle, Weight, Depth, Curves, Unique, Difficult, Identifier, Limiting in workplace, Strong, Lots of hats, Not subservient, Deep conversations, Appearance, Vulnerable, Delicate, Empathetic, Power differentials, Expectations, Specific “right” way to be, Norms?, Children (bio, adopt, choose not to, losses), Single vs Married, LGBTQ vs Heterosexual, “Emotional” = bad/wrong, Old vs New, Nurturing, Creative, Freeing, Limiting, Boldness, Less-than, Comforting, Slavery, Ideal vs Reality, Radiance, Softness with firmness/inner strength, Beauty, Leader, Intuitive, Personal, Changing/Transformation, Hidden strength, Endurance, Solid, Always evolving…

What comes to your mind when you hear the term “femininity”? Is it largely positive, negative, or filed with contradictions?

In the coming weeks, I will be announcing new, monthly workshop dates for 2020! Contact me through the Connect page to ask questions or to be added to my email list so you can receive updates.

#femininity #louisville #louisvilleart #feministart #arttherapy #identity #strength #vulnerability #witness #processpainting #trusttheprocess #thestudioprocess #trauma #traumasurvivor #abuse #community

I was in the hallway.

I was in the hallway, 30″x22″, mixed media on paper
I was in the hallway (detail)

“This painting began as a hallway. A door. A traumatic memory. I turned it upside down. Literally on it’s head. That’s what it needed. My ground. My rock. My starting place. Bubbles floating and growing and going. And going. Everything opening. It feels so full. Growing. Blowing – but not away. Up and up. Like fire.” (excerpt from my reflective witness writing, done right after completing the painting)

The art-making process allows us to make new meaning from dark places. Through attaining a sense of control over the materials and images, we gain control over our emotions and responses to traumatic circumstances.

#louisville #louisvilleart #arttherapy #artasprocess #processpainting #trusttheprocess #thestudioprocess #witnesswriting #trauma #traumasurvivor #emotionalabuse #domesticviolence #domesticviolenceawareness #strength #griefandloss