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Intrigued by the medium almost a decade ago, I dived into the process of encaustic art. To make a long blog a little shorter let me just say I was hooked. Something about the sensory experience of working with beeswax, illuminated my imagination.It seemed that the images were creating themselves, like magic. It was like a subcontious psychological tap had been opened. This was the beginning of my 180 degree turn on my life journey. Who knew that beeswax would open a new door. Two years ago I was accepted into a graduate Art Therapy program. I finished the 2 year master level program and am presently working on a thesis to explore the benifits of encaustic art as therapy with health care professionals. I continue to share my passion of art, predominantly encaustic art, although I believe that any art form can be therapeutic. One of the most validating forms of art therapy is the sharing of images with others. The comments can serve as a validation of ones most inner expressions, sometimes deeper than one can imagine. I caution one to think before they post, as these precious images are often more than we can imagine. As a therapist, I look at images insightfully, but ultimately it is the artist that knows the truth. We must always honor the artist's descriptions. On a personal note, I use the art as my life journal. I consider every piece to be apart of myself and I recognise the process.

My currency is emotion.

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Comment by Liesbeth Vaes on January 17, 2012 at 5:03pm

Agree!

Comment by Heather Hennick on January 17, 2012 at 4:51pm

A reference to waivers would be a good thing to investigate for all teachers. It may save  a lot of head ache.

Comment by Liesbeth Vaes on January 17, 2012 at 4:47pm

might be a good solution. 

Comment by Heather Hennick on January 17, 2012 at 4:42pm

In by business, you never know. you would be surprised. Perhaps a waiver should be signed prior to sessions.

Comment by Liesbeth Vaes on January 17, 2012 at 4:39pm

A slight burn can always happen, never has been the case during my workshops but you have to be aware it can happen.  I  don't think it would lead to serious legal matters overhere though.

Comment by Heather Hennick on January 17, 2012 at 2:14pm

Liesbeth, thank you for your reply. Thanks for letting me know how you managed the groups. With this population , you really need to access the clients to make sure they can handle the iron. A fumble or burn with the iron can lead to a serious 'Legal' matter. Nevertheless, this leads me to  'insurance issues' when practicing. It becomes even more concerning when their are mental health issues. You never know what can happen in or after the session. Although my experience has always been safe and positive ,I have been forwarned by other seasoned practitioners. I am interested in the best insurance policies.

Comment by Liesbeth Vaes on January 17, 2012 at 12:27pm

During the workshops with the children i had small groups, 4 in a group.  Starting with tiny cards to get the feel and slowly working up to larger sizes. With 4 kids it's easy enough to keep an eye on all of them, though some need more personal attention then others. 

When i worked with the older adults the groups were larger 10- 14 and i had 3  ( non encaustic ) helpers to overlook the situation, but i found out i wanted to give more personal attention then possible in those groups which took too much energy . 

Comment by Heather Hennick on January 17, 2012 at 11:24am

Liesbeth, thanks for sharing your experience with children and older adults. It is a wonderful medium. I always concern myself with saftey to vulnerable populations. I agree the medium is powerful. When you work with children or older adults, what is your ratio and how do you supervise. Do you have a helper?

Comment by Liesbeth Vaes on January 17, 2012 at 4:54am

"When this happens, I go with the flow and work with what appears. It feels as if my higher power is giving me a message.."

I feel the same.. at least when i'm able to let go of the want to create 'myself'...  ;)

 

I have done a few workshop with children and 'older' people.. great to see how especially the insecure ones open up.. it can unlock parts of their hearts simply because of the effects they get without being able to paint.. to me that is the beauty of encaustic..

Comment by Vera Sattler on January 17, 2012 at 1:10am

You are right, to be a short time alone, to sort thoughts, emotions, or to plan certain things, orto  analyze situations, results or states - all this can be very useful and even one need sometimes such state. But not for long time. I hope, you have in your art successes and can  your satisfaction with it discuss with other people and so additionally get resonances on your art and activities with the art als healing process. Very good theme you touched.

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