Please join the private Facebook Touch Drawing Group and invite your participants to join also. When you request membership, you will find two questions to answer. I screen all requests. It is a warm community where people share their drawings, facilitation experiences and inspire each other. https://www.facebook.com/groups/touchdrawing.
My Standard Time Structure for a 3-hour Introductory Session
• 30-45 minutes for opening, demonstration and conversation
• 75-90 minutes for drawing
• 30 minutes for witnessing drawings privately with writing or with a partner
• 30 minutes for reflection and closure with the whole group
I want to start this section by saying that to draw and to look is enough. I have been Touch Draw-ing since 1974. I have created thousands and thousands of images. I have piles of drawings that have never been seen by anyone else. I have kept almost every drawing I have ever done.
Reflecting verbally on the drawings, either through talking or writing can be very powerful. But there are other ways to integrate images that have just as much validity. During my early years, I would hang a whole series of drawings on the wall in order and simply gaze at them. I would “read” the images like a book, from left to right, feeling the sensations of transformation from one to another. Something would happen inside me as I reflected energetically on this moving inner mirror.
Very often people feel like nothing much happened in their Touch Drawing session. Those who feel this way usually express gratitude for both private writing processes and sharing with a partner. These days, I find that people crave private time with their drawings. A writing practice can be the safest and most fulfilling approach to integrating the images, especially after their first session. See page 6-4 for a simple and effective writing practice.
If you do multiple drawing sessions, then witnessing with a partner can be very enriching. But it is still important to tell people they are not required to share their drawings. It is vital that they do not feel coerced into showing their drawings. I also tell participants that they can have their drawings witnessed without revealing the personal issues they were working with. Being witnessed does help them step back and see more objectively what happened in their drawing session. The energetic attention of someone else helps them focus their own attention on their drawings more fully. Witnessing with others can happen in groups of two to three. If they have just one partner, they will have more intimacy and more time to share. With three, they get the richness of added perspectives on their own drawings and the opportunity to see more of a range of Touch Drawing experiences.
Physical Set-Up for Looking at Drawings
At the end of the session, participants should pick up their whole pile of drawings and flip it over. This places the first drawing on top. Now they can look through the drawings in the order of their creation. Seeing the drawings from first to last is much more powerful than viewing them randomly or from last to first. The organic process of transformation is much more apparent. This apply to private time or witnessing with a partner. If the tables fill most of the room, move the art materials off the tables to make room for viewing drawings.
Care of Rollers and Paints
It is good to take excess paint off the rollers. This can be done as a closing meditation after the drawing boards are rolled smooth. Have participants place a final sheet of paper over the wet board and roll over the top of the paper. This will take excess paint off both the roller and the drawing board. Remind participants to pull the paper off the board or they might be glued down when the paint dries. The rollers don’t have to be kept perfectly clean unless they are also used for printmaking. If you want to keep them more cosmetically appealing, wash them after use. If you use water mixable oil paints, do not wash the rubber roller part. It tends to get sticky. I have spoken to the manufacturer, Speedball. They think that a binder in water mixable oils is causing this. To help your rollers last as long as possible, the best approach is to separate the rubber roller from its handle before cleaning. Wash the handle with soap, water and a scrubby. The water mixable oils come off just fine this way, especially when the paint is still wet. Just wipe excess paint off the edge of the rubber roller. Leave the thin layer of used paint to dry on the rubber. Then snap the roller back onto the handle. Vegetable oil can be substituted for toxic solvents if you use regular oil paints or printing ink (or try Soy Solv). If you don’t clean the rollers, you might occasionally need to scrape excess dried paint from the joints with an old knife or single-edged razor blade. This keeps them from getting stuck. A little bit of oil in the joints will help them roll smoothly and get rid of squeakiness if that occurs. At the close of a session, ask participants to wipe excess paint off the mouth of the tubes, and screw the lids into place. To keep water soluble paint tubes really clean, you can rinse them off with soap and water.
Mounting and adding color
For mounting Touch Drawings, you can also use a common craft medium called Mod Podge. It is less expensive than acrylic medium.
Computer Enhancement of Images and Card Making
This may not be done completely during class time, but you can suggest to participants that they photograph their Touch Drawings. They can then use a graphics program to add color to their images and print them out. People also enjoy having their images available for viewing digitally. Noreen Wessling took this a step further by making her own deck of cards. She added titles to the images, printed them out in card size, then laminated and cut them to create her Dream Treasure Cards.. Read more from her about this process in Offerings to Inspire and Enrich Your Presentation.
Staying in Touch
Right now the easiest way to connect with others who both do and facilitate Touch Drawing is to join the Facebook Touch Drawing Group. Go to https://facebook.com/groups/touchdrawing and ask to join. You will see a couple of questions to answer. I screen each request to join, so it is quite a safe space. Many of the active members have attended my workshops. They are creative and dynamic people who each have their own passion for Touch Drawing. Here you can report on your experiences facilitating Touch Drawing, share your own drawings, and inspire each other to keep doing it! You can find colleagues who are working with Touch Drawing in similar arenas. Please make the leap to join, even if you do not consider yourself to be the type of person who does online networking. This community is made up of people like you! Please help to bring it more fully alive by your presence.