Touch Drawing is Facilitating Change in Me – Barbara Davis

 I experience Touch Drawing as an opportunity to invite my inner world to come out and play; to be seen and to be heard.  Sometimes it feels like Touch Drawing is awakening parts of me that have been dormant for years, and other times it feels like the process is connecting me to something much bigger than myself – a collective unconscious or spiritual path – that is asking to be seen and understood. 

As an abstract artist I was blown away during the first few months of Touch Drawing.  Spirit animals and human faces appeared over and over again.   Repeatedly the messages were about creativity and strength.  Just what I need – we all need – at this time.  It is fascinating to me and so different from any other type of art making I have engaged with over the years.  It feels like an old friend who knows me well, even though we met only recently. 

I chose to learn Touch Drawing to facilitate the process for others and instead it feels to me as if Touch Drawing is facilitating me.  Touch Drawing has led me back to a regular studio art practice – something I lost years ago – while also easing my discomfort with “not knowing” what comes next.   Sometimes the drawings stand on their own and sometimes they join with sculptural forms.  When this happens the work is reminiscent of my early sculpture in which I focussed on insides and outsides; questions about how the skin or exterior reveal or obscure what is on the inside.  So often the outsides look one way and yet the insides reflect another experience all together.  And isn’t this what Touch Drawing does?  Bringing to awareness something that is just under the surface or otherwise out of our awareness? 

I am pleased to be helping to celebrate Touch Drawing’s 50th anniversary and I am so grateful to Deborah and the other Touch Drawing devotees for holding space and showing up for one another on this incredible journey.  

Barbara is Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and artist. Barbara holds a BFA from RISD and a MSW and MFA from Rutgers University. As a teenager Barbara experienced the healing power of the arts while her family was navigating her father’s life threatening illness. Since then Barbara has held a strong belief that participating in art making processes is good for our physical, mental and spiritual health and is excited by current scientific research that demonstrates this to be true – regardless of whether or not one is an artist. In addition to working as a therapist, Barbara has taught all ages on and off throughout her career. When not at work or in her studio Barbara enjoys cross country skiing, hiking and swimming.

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