The first creative activity I was able to manage and enjoy – and that didn’t impact pain levels too much – was collage.
I painted paper with watercolour (all very light and easy) and then tore that paper up when it was dry.
Tearing paper gave me so much pleasure and I still recall it feeling like I was in a rocking chair. I’ll never forget how unusual it was for me to find an activity that made me feel good instead of set the pain levels off.
That was around the 5 year mark of my chronic pain journey.
The cutting of paper lead to the portrait of my marionette that’s on the cover of my book, Art & Chronic Pain – A Self Portrait.
Here are a couple of closeups – can you see my medication scripts in there?! It felt good to also write my feelings on the coloured paper and then put them somewhere.
I’ve been wanting to provide some kind of art task to help people living with pain.
It’s not just distracting but I believe the benefit is in the expression, making something, getting frustration out of the body.
Another recent discovery I’ve made is the therapeutic benefit of carving lino!
So, I thought to make you guys (or rather get Theo to make!) some ready to go packs that you can purchase.
Everything you need to make a linocut is in these packs. I’ve not included paper as that part is a very personal preference. You can choose textures, colours, mix up paper to make a patch work, make cards, print on fabric, etc.
The purpose of these packs is not so much about the patterns but rather about the process of carving. It’s also to provide all the materials if you’ve never done printmaking before. Once you have these basic materials (carving tools, barren and roller), you only need to source lino and ink which you can find at most art shops!
All the packs cost $99 each (inc. packing and shipping) and they are now available online via our gallery website. Just click on the images.
Every pack contains:
- 1 x piece of lino (A5 size)
- 1 x set of linocut carving tools
- 1 x roller
- 1 x barren
- 2 x coloured inks (orange and green)
- 2 x laser printouts of each block
- 2 x transfer sheets
- 1 x colour printout of pattern
- Step by step instructions with images
Image of instructions using ‘Flower Tile’ example. Finished print not included.