The Expressive Arts Experience - Yvette Lyons, Ph.D., Expressive Arts Therapist

Recent Posts

Dance Movement Therapy and Artistic Expression For Healing
The Story of Aslan ~ My Hero’s Journey Through Art


Art Projects
Articles of Interest
Courses being offered
News Alerts
Seminars and Workshops
powered by

My Blog


Hello Expressive Arts Therapy Enthusiasts,
This year I was drawn to an artist who is teaching a form of art or she calls "Brave Intuitive Painting".  Her name is Flora Bowley.  I was drawn to this process at first because of the name, 'brave intuitive painting'.  I know it takes a certain amount of bravery to approach a blank canvas, and to release your creative spirit.  So, I wanted to see what this ‘brave intuitive painting’ was all about.  So, I joined this online painting e-course by Flora Bowley. She calls her painting trainings Bloom True and affectionately calls her tribe of painters, “Bloomers”.   So I bravely jumped in and became a Bloomer.
Expressive Arts Therapy, does not focus on the art PRODUCT (the visual quality of the painting, drawing or mask etc.), but rather focuses more on the healing PROCESS of the or art-making experience.  In expressive arts we aim to use the art process to get to deeper internal experiences, feelings, memories which may be within our conscious awareness, or still lurking in the unconscious realms of our psyche.  Also, in Expressive Arts we are not concerned with a ‘formula’ to making art.  There IS NO FORMULA.  You do not have to be an ‘ARTIST’ or trained in any method or technique of art making.   What we want to do in Expressive Arts is to EXPRESS, to use the creative process to express our inner experience.
Another aspect of Expressive Arts Therapy is to open up to self -rust.  This is a tricky thing in art.  We are all guilty of self-criticism.  We all have experienced that inner voice we call the INNER-CRITIC.  That nagging voice in our head telling us that we are not artists, we are not creative, we can not paint, draw, dance, express.  This is a crippling voice. But through the development of self-trust comes self-acceptance, and through self-acceptance we are freed.  Our energy is free to flow with creative inspiration.  With creative flow also comes a joy and passion for life.  As we are immersed in the creative process, we allow that critical mind, that inner critic to relax allowing for solutions to problems and issues in our lives to come to the surface.

Open to the mystery.   To be open up to the mystery also requires that we have self-trust.  We must be open to allow whatever is within us to come up from the depth of our inner soul.  This requires much bravery.  When we attempt to freely express our internal experience through our art, through color, form and image.  We strive to be surprised by the mystery of what is within us that yearns for expression and acknowledgement.  Those internal expressions that wish to be heart and understood and supported.  Most of my creative experiences are a discovery to me. I am constantly discovering myself through my art.  This is what is means to be open to the mystery.  We seem to develop an observing “I”.  Our egos become the observer of this process that is being prompted by a much deeper and wiser part of our being.  And when we come to completion of a creative endeavor, we are in awe of the messages that emerge from taking part in this process.

Developing a visual vocabularyis a new awareness for me.  A visual vocabulary is a book of images that have meaning to you.  Things you may see in your daily life that brings you joy, or expresses emotions, bring up reminders.  For this you need an unlined art journal.  You simply add simple drawings to this journal when inspired.  This will give you a vocabulary when you are in the midst of a creative project.  I love doing this.  As children we speak in images before we can speak in words.  Therefore many of our early experiences cannot be spoken in words and image is the only language we have for those experiences. 
OH, did I mention movement?  Well, in Expressive Arts Therapy, movement is also an important element.  We move our bodies to move the energy.  Our memories become trapped in our bodies and our bodies become the memory-bank for our emotions as well.  When we move our bodies, we move the energy and the memories.  We move those things that become trapped in our bodies so we do not have to deal with them.  Through the act of moving or bodies, we move the blockages.  We free up our body/mind and ultimately our spirit to be free and to experience more joy. In an expressive arts experience we will put on music and dance and move our bodies.  We can move out fear, sadness, anger, paint and trauma and make room in our bodies for love, joy, and passion for life.

 So, let me get back to my discoveries as a new ‘Bloomer’.  I was pleasantly surprised as I embarked on this journey of brave intuitive painting that many of the concepts that Flora Bowley was using in her teaching technique were so in line with Expressive Arts Therapy.  In her workshops she teaches about movement and music to increase the creative flow.  Flora encourages her Bloomers to move to music, dance and do yoga.  All this increases the life force energy that flows through us.  Through the movement process we are better able to bravely and freely face the blank canvas or paper.
Another concept that Flora teaches is, “There is NO FORMULA”.  No have-to’s to follow, no rules to paint by.  You simply allow color to flow through you.  This is brave indeed.  Color flows intuitively from your pallet, through your arm, then your body onto the canvas.  One layer of paint after another applied to a canvas. One mark after another is applies without any need to control the images or colors or shapes.  This of course is a PROCESS.  It is something you have to experience to really understand.  As you intuitively layer colors and forms to your surface, you begin to have all these internal experiences arise.  Yes, that inner critic appears, and yes your fears emerge, but your allow them to flow as well.  The flow into your painting and become released through color, marks and splashes. Through this process, one develops a sense of freedom and self-trust.  You begin to see your creativity starts to flow, your passion for life returns to you and you begin to envision new positive possibilities for your life. 


As an Expressive Arts Therapist and a teacher I was very glad that I had discovered Flora Bowley’s Brave Intuitive Painting and that I became a Bloomer.  I will incorporate this process in my own teachings of Expressive Arts Therapy because I believe that it is a process that encourages self-trust, self-acceptance and stepping out in a new bold way into your life experiences.
If you would like more information about this process, you can find Flora and her Bloom True Tribe at:

All Artwork by Yvette Lyons, Ph.D.



Comments RSS
Verena Lang on Sunday, January 18, 2015 1:50 PM
dear Yvette! thank you for your conclusional thoughts about the e-course and the workshop, I really enjoy the communication with you! and I love what you are doing and how you do it, with much enthusiasm and fascination! the healing component of the painting work is so much worth every single struggle, cause there is no failure!! kisskiss Verena
Reply to comment
sale Windows 8.1 Standard key on Monday, February 13, 2017 7:50 PM
windwos 7 key , office pro plus 2013 keys online , 7 keygen , cheap windows and office product keys , windows 7 online key store valid , windows 8 pro key shop online , serial office 2013 microsoft genuine , ultimate upgrade key free , lawq7r
windows 7 ult key sale online
buy office pro plus 2016 keys
cheap windows 10 pro keys for sale
windows server 2016 standard key and download
get office 2016 product keys online

Windows 10 License Key on Thursday, June 29, 2017 6:59 PM
free active key window 10 ultimate , windows 10 professional sp1 key , product key windows 10 home premium 32 bit free , windows vista genuine product key , buy windows 10 key ,

Vicki Kielas on Sunday, January 18, 2015 2:17 PM
Just love how Serendipitous one style of painting is with the other~~dropping the should's and the have to's to allowing and trusting as you go. More tools for your tool box in sharing with others. Great insights!
Reply to comment

Teresa on Sunday, January 18, 2015 8:56 PM
Your students and staff are so lucky! If I could go back and do it all over again, I would major in expressive art. In the meantime, my second career is coming (retirement), and I hope to be an influence in healing with art.
Reply to comment

Basia Zielinska on Monday, January 19, 2015 2:14 AM
Yvette reading your very thoughtful and insightful blog, it became clear to me that there are many parallels between Expressive Art Therapy and Transpersonal Art Therapy which I studied and still work with part time, as well as apply to my painting.Of course Flora's course is underpinned with all of that, looking at out art we can see all sorts of personal stories. We use a similar approach, and reading between the lines, what you do is also client centered rather than therapist centered. I have always marveled at the stories from very deep in the soul, come to the surface, through client's marks on paper or canvas. Possibly the difference I see is that in art therapy the result is not important as an art work, with Flora's course, we can discover a lot about ourselves and can end with a beautiful art work., Thank you for such a rich post.
Reply to comment

lbgrde on Thursday, January 29, 2015 6:34 PM
I really be keen on the subject matter to facilitate you shared Thank you on behalf of relocation
Reply to comment

Check Cashing on Saturday, December 05, 2015 3:45 AM
The capital benifiet by branch off unmitigated to your coffer is you won't claim to accord your ID, on the off stunning that you starting now see a record. This may mass you a little fortune. My examination to you is boutique about perform calls be told!
Reply to comment

car title loans chicago on Sunday, January 24, 2016 5:03 AM
An Orange County-based organization, ProtectConnect is utilizing this abode to advertisement its buzzworthy accession - a abstinent acclimation of advocacy ancient electrical outlets and switches.
Reply to comment

check cashing on Monday, February 01, 2016 1:09 AM
Bicycle advances are an candid best to pros ashamed allocation out banknote for continuing through a bicycle. The bribery and aftereffect of bike advances are amazing for the borrower about there complete it a afire choice.Trendy abettor bicycles are one of the redirection activities of today's adulterated allocation period.
Reply to comment

check cashing corona on Tuesday, February 02, 2016 3:05 AM
Some lenders allegation up to 5,000% absorption - this is outrageously high. You don't allegation to be slapped with added accounts charges. The acumen abounding lenders are able to accord payday loans to so abounding bodies is due to the aerial absorption ante they collect.
Reply to comment

check cashing san-diego on Friday, February 05, 2016 11:38 AM
The advantageous action about these sorts of credits is the apperceive admiral as a aftermost resort don't bind a acclaim emphasis at the beyond that they access your abettor appellation as affirmation and beforehand for the change. By then, you can affiliated now drive your auto and pay abashed the avant-garde in domains
Reply to comment

Check Cashing Costa-mesa on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 1:14 AM
Customers may seek advantage or a acquittance for a cardinal of reasons. According to analysis studies, about 30% complaints are about lenders who booty out money via a alternating payment. About 20% barter filed complaints that counterfeit loans were taken out in their names. Below are some of the accepted affidavit you may book a complaint about a payday accommodation lender.
Reply to comment

check cashing on Friday, March 04, 2016 1:00 AM
Save for retirement - Putting abreast for your approaching has got to be a antecedence if you demand to be able to retirement and accept a acceptable timethe fruits of your labor. Retirement websites and allotment books can advice you accept how abundant you charge to save for retirement. Attending at your assets and costs and adjudge how abundant of your all-embracing assets you demand to put abreast for the future.
Reply to comment

check cashing on Sunday, April 03, 2016 6:04 AM
The eventually you pay off your acclaim cards, the eventually you will accept added money in your account every month. If anything, pay added than your minimum acquittal but bethink that advantageous off your payday accommodation has to be a antecedence as well. If you can't pay banknote for an item, again you apparently can't allow it!
Reply to comment

Cargill on Sunday, September 11, 2016 6:01 AM
Poll Ads have been in short perfect for getting direct feedback out of your fans. See related article: Is Facebook inside your marketing arsenal. Click this link to participate in the Visa business network.
Reply to comment

Behm on Sunday, October 09, 2016 3:31 PM
If your just starting to try to tackle premature ejaculation, the last thing that you need are a whole bunch of techniques in your mind that will only confuse you and make things worse for you. Read through the different ingredients, check reviews and be sure to ask a doctor’s or herbalist’s advise before proceeding. This is found mostly in the younger men and it gets better with age and experience.
Reply to comment

Auto Title Loans Chicago on Friday, November 11, 2016 12:19 PM
Nonetheless, littler nearby banks have simpler guaranteeing for credits. When you are wanting to take budgetary assistance from a bank, then you should think about the preparing time taken by banks.
Reply to comment

Check Cashing on Sunday, November 13, 2016 5:01 AM
One of the grievances encompassing the business is that a few suppliers attempt to propel more cash than the organizations ability to pay back. While this might be valid now and again; my experience has demonstrated to me that by far most of suppliers work intimately with organizations to decide an adjust of greatest working cash-flow to what the business can practically bear to pay back.
Reply to comment

check cashing san-diego on Sunday, November 13, 2016 11:11 AM
In spite of the fact that there are various approaches to legitimize this, the money related organization won't see it that way. Neither will the IRS specialist at expense time. What's more, there is a twofold punishment for doing this as well - If you are inspected and have blended your costs the IRS may decide to 'dis-permit' ALL your operational expense.
Reply to comment

Check Cashing on Sunday, November 13, 2016 1:59 PM
As far as concerns its, the legislature is searching for a guarantee from the ECB to reach out to the medium term the crisis transient liquidity it accommodates Ireland's banks. It needs the ECB to give ?60 billion in medium-term financing to part-supplant the ?71 billion in crisis subsidizing that the national bank has been compelled to loan to the banks in the course of recent months.
Reply to comment

Thurray on Thursday, January 25, 2018 10:53 AM
Wow, it can be a dream painting always be careful about house painting so that your all beauty can remain safe. For this Painting Services of your house is a best option? I think that painting service must be decorated. Don’t you have any plan for that?
Reply to comment

Thurray on Thursday, January 25, 2018 10:54 AM
Its interior Painting is cultural. I like its exterior painting. If I get a chance to renovate it, first of all, I would like to paint its house. Painting Services is the most essential part of home. I will replace it by using Dubai Paint Service. The reason for choosing is it is waterproof and cost-effective.
Reply to comment

Add a Comment

Your Name:
Email Address: (Required)
Make your text bigger, bold, italic and more with HTML tags. We'll show you how.
Post Comment
Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint