Art for Self-Healing and Enlightenment (2 part series)

Live from Afidnes, Greece

According to several spiritual traditions, enlightenment is synonymous to complete individuation. When we truly know ourselves, we can create from a place of confidence and freedom. In this 2 part series with VAWAA artist Annette, we will explore art as a tool for healing and self-discovery and, in doing so, find new ways to gain personal insight to guide our creative process.

Session 1: Sunday July 11th 11AM - 1PM EDT
Art therapy for self-healing using music, doodling and collage 

Art therapy is a technique rooted in the idea that creative expression can foster healing and mental well-being. The goal of art therapy is to utilize the creative process to help people explore self-expression and, in doing so, find new ways to gain personal insight. Making art can help people explore emotions, develop self-awareness, cope with stress, boost self-esteem, and work on social skills. 

In this first session, we will explore mindfulness and guided imagery exercises to open the pathways to expression. We will ground ourselves in these exercises to tune into our feelings. Then we'll explore and express these feelings through music and doodling and experiment with playful ways to turn our doodles into a collage or painting.

Session 2: Sunday July 18th 11AM - 1PM EDT 
Enlightenment and deepening the experience of self through art

Artistic development goes hand in hand with personal development. If we want to grow in our artistic practice, we must develop ourselves personally; we need to turn inward to develop ourselves and then develop our art making. Our attention has to shift from being overly focused on the world outside of ourselves to our inner-experience in order to really make the art that expresses us. 

In this session, we will focus on creating a composition while reflecting on “where we are tuned into right now in ourselves." There may be a feeling or belief that is present every single day, and guides our choices. Maybe there is a mythical being or archetype that comes to the fore that can represent this feeling or belief. Or maybe it is a shape or a color. We will consider where we are in our life’s journey right now, and work with symbolism and the active imagination to create a collage, painting, or zine.

All levels are welcome and there is no prior experience required. There will be plenty of time to share, get feedback and meet other participants from around the world.

If you are not in EDT time zone, be sure to convert the time.

What you'll need

Colored pencils, felt pens, paint, scissors, glue, pen, pencil, paper/notebook, charcoal, magazine cut outs, paper and cardboard to use as background for collage — whichever medium you feel comfortable with or wish to explore!

How to join

We'll be hosting this VAWAA Online on Zoom. We'll send the link and details to join via email 1 day and again 1 hour before it begins.

About Annette

Annette is a collage and photomontage artist based in Athens' beautiful countryside. Trained in prestigious art schools in United States, France, Austria, and Greece, she has been focusing on collage, photomontage, and mixed media for three decades. Led by a passion for theatre and the human soul, her photo montages look like "film stills" of human relationships and are made with scissors, glue, found photographs, or photographs taken by her. She creates collage portraits that are deconstructions of familiar everyday faces to shed light into the sinews of their being. She strives to merge fantasy and reality in each composition to lead us to the dreamland of human emotions. Dostoyevsky, Ibsen, Bergman, and Hitchcock inspire her, as well as collage artists like Hannah Hoch, Max Ernst, Martha Rosler, and John Stezaker.

Visit her artist page to learn more about her in-person VAWAA.


"I enjoyed the format very much. Seeing examples by artists, followed by the guided fantasy and then time given to create our self portrait triggered ideas and images. I needed more time though I appreciate how limited time and materials can also serve to enhance the creative process. I am sorry I could not stay to see all the works of other participants." - Anna Marina

"I’ll just say this- working with Annette left me hungry to know more." - Colleen

"Annette's guided meditation was one of the most useful creative triggers for conceptualising an inner landscape that could actually inspire imagery I could create in the moment. Just wish there was a way for more interaction during the process of creation. Ah well, lockdown eh!" - Lyn

"I loved the meditation into yourself and the quote. everything was very well planned for the class. I would love to take another with her. I also enjoyed the music while we were all working. I also overall love learning where everyone is from around the world." - Elfe

"This was a delightful hands-on experience which allows us to tap into our inner selves and try to express what we find. Annette is an excellent teacher and clearly knows what she’s doing." - T.

"It was a well paced course integrated with a great introduction by Annette (of her practice and art), a solid foundational review of diverse portraiture by other artists, impactful, guided exercises that led to discovery and creation." - Carol

Sessions are ticketed to support artists, makers and our small team. If you’re experiencing financial hardship, reach out. We may have a generous participant who has paid it forward. We would ask that you pay the love forward by sharing online sessions with friends.