The Pain Exchange

Art during Covid-19


By Leidy Moreno

I found something quite relevant from the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT)

“The Arts Matter.  Now, More Than Ever.  In times of disruption, isolation and anxiety, the arts comfort us, connect us and keep us well”

Also Thinking of some of the tips from what the NHS Every mind matters recommends STAY CONNECTED WITH OTHERS & KEEP YOUR MIND ACTIVE 
By looking at a Henri Matisse postcard, I thought of his amazing cut-outs work that he produced in his late 60’s until his death, what he called his second life!

As one of his friends said “If he couldn’t go out into the world, he could recreate it in ART, colour and beauty”

Why don’t we give it a go!  

Here is an exercise we can do to be in touch with members of the PEX group or in general with family, friends and of course with nature!  

Stay inspired while staying at home, when you go for a little stroll, look around and rediscover nature, or even looking through your window…
Here are some images that show the sequence of the process for making these postcard images



pic 1pic 2                        pic 3pic 4

    pic 6pic 8pic 1a

pic 7



image 6pic 1a

        pic 9           

pic 10


Here are the Steps to follow to make a post card if you want to try

1. collect some flowers or leaves for inspiration
2. if there is no access to a garden look in your cupboards and fridge for bay leaves, coriander, basil.  They work nicely too.
3. Press the leaves or flowers; put them in between 2 sheets of newspaper, let them dry for 3 days.
4. Start making some quick drawings, don’t go into detail, look at the overall shape and colour.
5. Be playful, think of light and dark and composition. 
6. After drawing some leaves or flowers with different colours, cut out the ones you like 
7. Find old magazines or pieces of coloured paper and cut out different shapes (circles, straps etc)
8. start arranging, making your composition, gluing all the pieces/shapes you want to include, shapes onto a piece of coloured paper background (or paint a coloured background if you only have white paper/carton (think cardboard) to choose from).
9. Be as playful and free as you want

ART Blog 1 by Leidy Moreno

We have been using art to help with wellbeing and pain in the sessions.  By offering an open space to invite people to journey with their imagination we share a space in a creative way.  We create an environment where we can share ideas, memories, be creative and be playful.  Art and the creative processes can bring focus and help us to be mindful. We can think in the here and now by observing the shape of a leaf for example.  

As mentioned in the International Journal of Art Therapy 

"art-based activities  had a positive impact on cognitive processes, in particular on attention, stimulation of memories, enhance communication and engagement with creative activities."  International Journal of Art therapy, volume 24 June 20019

We have enjoyed working together and doing art in a in a community setting.  Let us try and continue with art during this time of isolation.  Even though we are physically isolated we can feel the strength of our community through our faith and art.  Art can be a great companion for life , especially when feeling isolated.  

As the TATE commented: 


Using art is one a way to exercise our brain by finding new ways of thinking new  ways of looking  and finding new discoveries. By sharing our art work we feel valued.

Here is one idea about what we can do during this period

If we have a garden or a chance to go to a park.  Why don’t we look at some branches or twigs.   If we have a smart phone take some pictures, for example: zoom up, look at the shades, look at how inter-twined they are.  Or even you can pick some, take them home. 

Find a piece of paper (A4 for example) place the twigs on top of the pieces of paper and arrange them and make one or various compositions.  You can be adventurous and creative and playful

Be ready to draw, try to copy this image on another piece of paper by using graded pencils, inks or food colouring.  Remember there is not a right or wrong way to be creative,  have fun and keep your mind distracted and your brain  working.


Look out for lines, rhythms, directions: vertical, horizontal, dark, light and shadows

When drawing the shadows don’t spend too much time be quick, 5 minutes the most.

Attached are some photos of images I have done

Images 1 and 2

image 2

image 1Collect twigs 

I arranged them and make a compositionI placed them on colour paper. In this picture, I painted a colour background by using 2 hues of blue watercolour.

Images 3, 4 and 5

image 3image 4

image 5

I found  more interesting and  complex set of twigs , 

Playing with the twigs, the light and shadows , I found the right angle  to draw the effect of the shadow of the twig on the paper

using a marker I made a quick drawing, don’t be too precious about it, experiment making                      different marks and lines .

Images 6, 7(some of the materials used) and 8

image 6image 7image 8

Arranging  thin twigs I make a composition on a piece of watercolour paper. I placed the paper vertically this time.

With a pencil I traced softly where the twigs are, now take the twigs off  and start  painting over the traced lines with the food colouring (yellow and blue), use a thin paint brush. 

 Using the big brush I painted the background (red, blue and white watercolour).

Adding  little blossoms and viola!