Karen is an art therapist, artist, art instructor, educator, and Focusing Trainer. Her private practice, working with adults and children, is located in Regina, Saskatchewan Canada, and also facilitates different kinds of creativity and art therapy groups internationally, such as The Archetypal Journey, Learning to Love the Body You Have, Claiming Your Ruby Red Slippers, and Honoring the Mother. Karen will draw on her rich background of experience to bring you the best of her world of using art for personal and community change.
Q: What kind of art are you known for?
A: As a visual artist I work in mixed media. I consider my therapy work ‘art’ and I also feel that presenting a good workshop is ‘art’.
Q: What are you working on right now?
A: I am writing a book on Archetypes and Art Therapy and creating Archetypal Theatres for the different archetypes. I am also writing a book of poetry that deals with my therapy work.
Q: What’s your current favorite, can’t-live-without-it tool/supply/material/junkyard find? (Photo?)
A: My Bernina sewing machine that is fifty years old. The children that come for Art Therapy use it to make dolls, clothes, pillows, etc. I use it to alter clothes and play on paper. It seems to be indestructible.
Q: What’s the most inspiring trip you’ve ever taken or adventure you’ve ever had?
A: In the early 1980s we traveled throughout Europe and North Africa in a VW van. We were young, naïve, adventurous, free and in love.
Q: What’s the last thing you cooked?
A: Breakfast; eggs, toast, tofu bacon and coffee. I am writing this at 11:00 am.
Q: If you could surround yourself with only one color, what would it be?
A: One color, oh, how awful! I can’t, I won’t choose, you can’t make me!
Q: What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
A: I am teaching an Arts Education course at the local University and I am really inspired by the book that I am using for the class: Art for Change by Beverly Naidus.
Q: What’s your favorite place in all the world?
A: Our little house on Denman Island B.C. It is in the middle of the woods, with an ocean glimpse. It has a gentle, quiet feel and is a place we go to write, paint, recharge and reconnect with nature.
Q: What is your first memory?
A: I was two or three sitting on the arm of the kitchen chair starring out the window watching my brother and sisters go down the lane to meet the school bus. I was feeling mellow and listening to the radio, which was playing a song called “Take a Message to Mary” by The Everly Brothers.
Q: What one thing do you want to do that you haven’t done yet?
A: Volunteer work in Africa.
Q: What’s the best day you’ve ever had?
A: I can’t think of a day, I can think of moments, hours, times, minutes, but not days. Moments of connection, love, creativity, authenticity, and presence.
Q: What’s today’s Word to Live By?
Q: Do you have a talisman/power garment/ magical thing you wear?
A: I don’t wear a talisman. I do tarot readings and I do feel very attached to my old Mother Peace Tarot cards. They do feel magical to me after reading from them for over 23 years.
Q: What is your guilty pleasure?
Q: What do you listen to when you create?
A: I usually don’t listen to music when I create.
Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
A: To help my clients create the change and attain the healing that they want to in their lives.
Q: With whom would you love to spend one day making art?
A: Clarissa Pinkola Etés.
Q: When is your favorite time of day?
A: Morning, after my partner has the coffee ready.
Q: Why do you make art?
A: Making art is such a big part of my working day with clients and during my alone down time that I don’t really think about why I do it. I guess it is what I know how to do and it has become a deep part of my daily habitual way of living that I don’t see it as a separate thing, but an integrated part of my life.
Q: What is on your workspace right now (physical objects)?
A: My workspace is covered with materials for my Art Therapy clients to use. Wooden trays, sand, clay and stones for making mini Zen gardens, soap stone and carving tools and drawing materials. There is also a pile of white paper.
Q: If you could re-do a classic movie, what would you remake and how?
A: If I had to, Casablanca. No changes but with more music.
Q: What’s your best piece of advice for artists?
A: Do what you feel passionate about and find your own creative style.
Listen to a podcast with Karen Wallace as she discusses removing creative blocks so you can create more art.