Art Making, CEU Offerings, Reflections

3926830by Magdalena Karlick

Let’s go for a walk, and pick up with permission
pieces from the earth, resting branches, fallen leaves, rocks rolled with time,
or shells that once were homes.

What history do they hold?
There is room for more, from me.

Let’s whisper into the rocks.
They can keep our secrets, our emotions, our wishes.

Shells can be held as they once held life.
Stones can lay cool in one’s palm or with a deep warm from the sun.
Rocks can be thrown in anger, wind and quake have done worse.
Branches may be broken, as they have been before.
Dried petals fragile with time, reminiscent of what once was, c


an be gingerly moved.

Touch, feel, place, throw
The natural world calls to us, holds us, and wants to be felt.

Recently we had the first in a series of Art Workshops at Southwestern College, “Rocktray: Nature as a Medium,” led by SWC grad Karen Wennberg, and current Art Therapy student, Nicole Morgan. They led us through theory related to Sandplay, Art Therapy, and Ecopsychology. They wove experiences of connection between pieces of nature and memory. We discussed how to make personal altars, and imbue natural objects with moments, or have them represent archetypal guides, witnesses, or guardians. We discussed how to externalize difficult feelings into these objects, so as to release or minimize discomfort. We experienced how this is personally helpful as well as an accessible offering to our clients.

Collection of Natural Objects














My Rocktray creation: Free Association Writings:
Tidy space, messy container
Picked off advertisement
Was messed with paint and earth
Natural Space
Calm center with spiraled petals 
On a bed of l
ong thin shoots of leaves
No longer bristling, laying comfortably under.


I  was inspired by the dried avocado in Nicole’s altar. I came home from the workshop, ate some avocado and saved the skin to dry. And this is what I made:


This is to help.
To help us move, cradled in taught skin
Floating lightly on protective wispy eyes,
Keeping striking snakes at bay.

We hold our seed within.

We protect our selves with hope, 

and calm movement through the unknown.


This was made with an avocado skin, an apricot pit, chicken feather, and peacock feathers on a dish rag.




See more photos from this workshop, here.
To find out about future workshops, or information about leading a workshop, click here.