healing

Prayer and Paint Workshop Afterglow

Photo slideshow from the workshop...

Below are some photos from the Prayer and Paint workshop that I held on Saturday at Summerbridge (take a look at the new website---->) church that we are a part of.  I was thrilled that so many came and in the end we had around 20 people approx.! 

The workshop's aim was to explore the idea of using the medium of paint with prayer and reflection.  This is really close to my heart and has been so for some time now.  I really care about this aspect of my personal creative/reflective time and so wanted to offer this personally as a 'way in' for people that wouldn't necessarily paint or consider themselves 'creative'.  

I began by encouraging everyone to write out in pencil, without censoring, their worries, fears, anxieties; however small and to let them just pour out (side note: I ran out of paper).  I absolutely love this process and find it cleansing and such a relief to 'get it all out'. 

We then covered over our writing with gesso (white primer) and let that dry.  The idea being that by covering over our 'junk', we can 'start again', refresh and re-boot with Jesus' help.  We continued with another layer; this time with willow charcoal sticks.  I like to sketch out imperfect faces and encouraged others to do that or, to find their own way.  Some examples of what came out of this stage were: flowers, portraits, buildings, pattern, a wall, shapes and lots of mark making.

My piece from the workshop - a bit psychedelic, I think...

My piece from the workshop - a bit psychedelic, I think...

I really enjoyed having people of all ages present.  We had a few men, younger children, teenagers, mid-life and older adults and it felt lovely to combine this experience with them all.

Next, we got out paint and began to add colour - it was akin to bringing light, warmth and 'nourishment' to our pieces.  Again, this idea of covering over the heartache/worries and lighting everything up with technicolour - so great.

Some people covered over their charcoal layer with something new, whilst others 'coloured-in' with the paint and added lots of vibrancy to the charcoal underdrawing.  All of it was just right.

I recognised that this could be challenging for people because putting the 'logical' side of the brain to one side is foreign to so many of us and can feel counterintuitive.  However, as the workshop went on, I sensed that more people were managing to do this and to appreciate the process rather than the end result.

We then finished the workshop by eating together and enjoying our shared buffet that everyone had contributed to.  A perfect way to spend a few hours on a Saturday. 

I think in a smaller setting it would have been lovely to have had a mutual time of prayer and reflection in a way that felt right for that individual.  I also think doing this at home would be fabulous with a few additions: lighting a candle, putting on some soft music, making a pot of tea and lastly, opening up your bible. 

Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.
— Mahatma Gandhi

Lastly, I think this would be a beautiful practice to do as a family, with your children, your church, with a special friend, prayer partner or perhaps your spouse (maybe??? lol).  

Anyway, I hope this inspires you to give this a go and please let me know how you get on... 

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#HeadsUp50Project - Collages, Conversation and Depression

#HeadsUp50Project - An honest look into depression and mental health that concerns all of us...

I introduced my #HeadsUp50Project back in January and now I find that I'm typing this just one day before my project begins!  It's super scary and vulnerable but I'm also really ready to start examining my past history of depression and what that has meant in my life.  I'm feeling curious about who I might be without the medication (Prozac) but also and really most importantly, to have some honest chats with you and society as a whole on the broad topic of depression and mental health.    

From tomorrow, I will be following my doctor's protocol for reducing my medication and well, ultimately stopping completely, all being well. 

In the videos below, I chat a little about what's going on at the moment, how I'm feeling, supplies I'll be using for my 50 collages and how I'm treating this whole 'thing' as an 'experiment' and I'm finding that this helps take some of the pressure off me and removes the whole 'failure' thing and suits my personality of doing things in my own organic way.  This approach also fuels my curiosity and that I feel is a really good thing.

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
— St Francis of Assisi
headsup50project.jpg
Both a personal journey and an opportunity to look at depression and help to rid the stigma associated with mental health issues through shared conversation, authenticity, kindness and embracing who we are and celebrating that. I will be creating 50 (just turned 50) collages directly onto antidepressant medication boxes of various expressive faces, Yorkshire Tea teabags, personal writing and treasured finds.
I've taken my last Prozac tablet and I'm going to start with my doctor's protocol for reducing from tomorrow. I talk about materials I'm going to use for my collages, insights and how I'm feeling. www.janehinchliffe.com

I do hope the above videos give you some sense of what I'll be doing in the future and I'd really love for you to come along on this journey with me by using #headsup50project is you so desire and maybe starting up a conversation with me if you have any experience of depression whether personally or with someone close to you.  

Thanks for being here with me...

Jane x

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