Saturday, September 29, 2012

Art as Therapy... A Fun How-To Project

At times, we all have emotions we need to process. Some of us are very visual, and find it helpful to just relax and doodle. There's not a lot of planning to it. It's stress free, and it can allow our mind to relax and just feel. We're not out to impress anybody with our oh-so-serious art. It's just casual fun.

That's the approach I took after my Dad died in March of 2011. I wanted to contribute a personalized photo to a collection being put together in his memory. 

I picked out a favorite of photo of me and Dad from when I was about 3 years old... and doodled on it! Mine was done digitally. I found an old black and white photograph, scanned it in, cropped it, changed it to sepia tone, and then did my doodling in Photoshop Elements.

But you could use Sharpies or whatever you like on a printed photo (can click photo to enlarge).

Loretta and Dad, 1954

As I doodled, I let the good memories bubble to the surface... and yes, shed a few tears. There was symbolism for me in the design, with the hearts, thorns, stars, spirals, etc. It was all so therapeutic, and I felt like Dad would have liked the finished personalized photo.

Naturally, it doesn't have to be for such a serious event! It can be for anything... a wedding photo, a birthday, anniversary, a loved one, a favorite memory, or just because! 

There is something about doing this to a photo that makes it feel special. It made me feel connected to my Dad, and to good memories.

If you try this, I would love to hear about it. :-)

Happy doodling,



  1. Hi ya! Said I'd see you at the Art Channel and here I am. Glad you liked my 'poem.'

    I love doodling but have never managed anything so delightfully creative.


    1. Oh, your poem for me felt like a tender hug... thank you so much.

      I've doodled ever since I can remember. No scrap of paper is safe when I am talking on the phone. My budget notebook that I've used for 25 years is a veritable doodlers dream inside, ha ha. Jim has gone to the grocery store with lists that had funny looking chickens and moo cows on them. :-D And if the preacher ever saw the doodles on my notes... well, he would be positive I wasn't listening, LOL!

  2. What an imaginative way to doodle. I love your art, Loretta. It's fantastic. I think, what you said about making it personal and connecting, is important in all the creative arts.

  3. I really like that...I'm certain your dad would have loved it!