Art Therapy Trees

Tree Sampeler 2One tree drawn three different ways. Monochrome pen, multicolored pen, and pen and marker. ~ Doodle by Jeanine A Thriver

I have found that doodling calms my nerves and anxiety.    Doodling is art therapy for me.  I now carry around colored pens in my purse and a small sketch book.  Now I can break out and sketch when I want.

In this doodle I started out drawing the tree monochrome with only one color representing each part of the tree.  I scanned the tree at that point because I wanted to doodle on it more but I was not sure how it would turn out.  On the second tree I doodled with multiple colored pens to bring out more life to the tree.  I liked this effect but I still wanted to doodle more so I scanned that and then I kept on doodling more.  On the third tree I colored over the pen with marker.  I used two different tones of marker which adds interest and life.  I am happy with how it turned out.

In this piece I discovered for myself the magic of using pens and markers together.  Together these two medias create detail (pens) and color (marker) that really brings the piece to life.

Did you know that a tree can tell you a bit about your abuse history?  If you did not know that, and you want to try to see what it will tell you then…..Don’t read any further.  Draw a simple tree, you can use a scrap paper, you don’t need to worry about how artistic it is.  Draw a simple tree and then read on to see what you might find out about yourself in that tree.  You may find you like art therapy too.  Warning, if you read on before drawing your tree it will not work as well.

Here it is, what does you’re tree tell you about your abuse?  A scar in a tree trunk in therapy drawings can be indicative of abuse in the artist’s life.  I started out wanting a happy tree so I was trying to not draw the scar on the tree, but to me the tree felt most natural and complete to draw in the scars on the lower trunk.   Which makes sense, since abuse is part of my past. It is interesting to me how scars on the trunk are the most natural way of drawing a tree to me.

The age of the abuse is estimated by dividing the trunk up into the sections equal to the age of the artist.  In this way you can see where the scars appear and estimate when the abuse is.   Trees are often used in art therapy in assessing the abuse.

It is interesting to me that as I drew this tree, the third version with markers started to heal or cover over the scars so they were less obvious.  To me that means that I am healing.

Also the tree tells about the overall mental health of the artist.  Bare branches means the person is not doing well in life at this time.  Leaves on the branches means the person is doing better.  Fruit or birds in the trees means the person is thriving.   Trees are often used in art therapy to asses the general mental health of the artist.

Did you learn anything about yourself with your tree?  If you did I would love to hear about it.

Tree Sampeler 2
One tree drawn three different ways. Monochrome pen, multicolored pen, and pen and marker. ~ Doodle by Jeanine A Thriver
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