News

Women’s Art Group in Plymouth

Our mindful art courses at The Sunflower Women’s Centre are six weeks long, and free of charge to the participants, thanks to funding from The Sunflower Women’s Centre, and funding from Comic Relief.  Each weekly session is an hour and a half long.

Phone The Sunflower Women’s Centre to get on the waiting list. Tel: 01752 977614 (Leave a message).

What to bring: Your own felt tip pens, hand sanitiser if you wish. Coffee and tea is provided.

The Sunflower Women’s Centre, The Gables, 29 Sutherland Road, Plymouth, PL4 6BW.

Cost: Free to women registered with The Sunflower Women’s Centre.

How to Draw Paisley

We hosted a lovely mindful art session for Rhizome Artists’ Collective recently, drawing paisley Anyone can join us on Zoom on Tuesdays by booking here.

How to Draw Paisley

Draw a long, continuous curved line. Curve your line so it connects with the beginning of your drawing to draw a paisley shape. Begin to decorate your paisley. Start with a raindrop shape in the big part and a circle in the small part. Add more patterns and shapes such as flower petals. Add more detail like lines, stripes, waves, flowers or whatever you can think of. Colour it in.

How to draw paisley, step by step.

For more printable mindful art activities join our mailing list.

One Year Since First Lockdown

It’s now one year since the first coronavirus lockdown. This Facebook Live was our first attempt at offering our creative mental health sessions online. We hadn’t yet learned to use Zoom! Since then we have continued to support mental health and combat social isolation with socially distant groups, outdoor retreats and online sessions. There is a rich archive of 45 videos on our Facebook page if you want to try mindful art at home, for free, at any time. We offer creativity and company to anyone struggling in the Plymouth area, in Devon, in these difficult times.

In this video Peggy reads out live comments from people reacting to their very first day in UK lockdown, and viewers share different experiences of their first socially distanced Mothers Day.

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How to Share With Just Friends

How to share with just friends.

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Two Art Groups to Start Next Week

As lockdown begins to ease we are able to start two new support groups next week, bearing in mind the ongoing restrictions.

Sunflower Women’s Centre

On Monday afternoons we are starting a small, socially distanced group for four women at a time, thanks to new funding from Comic Relief. These will be at The Sunflower Women’s Centre, 29 Sutherland Road, Plymouth PL4 6BW. To secure your free place on a six week mindful art course call The Sunflower Centre on 01752 977614 and leave a voicemail, asking to be put on the waiting list for Mindful Art Club.

The Clipper, Union Street

The Clipper is Omnium Radio’s Community Hub, at 65 Union Street, Plymouth PL1 3LU.

We will be holding weekly sessions at The Clipper from 9.30am to 11.00am every Friday thanks to Community Sparks Funding from Stronger North Stonehouse. These start on Friday 19th March and you can come to one session at a time, rather than committing to a six week course.

We will be holding the first couple of sessions as non-booked sessions, however bear in mind under current COVID rules we can only have 15 participants in the support session. We will adjust any rules along with COVID restrictions changes. You must bring your own food and drink, and face mask during current guidelines. Once guidelines are eased, The Clipper cafe will be open for refreshments.

Listen to Emma’s interview on Omnium Radio to find out more about this new group.

We also continue to offer Zoom on Tuesdays funded by your individual donations.

Mindful Art Club:

  • Improves mental health
  • Improves social connection
  • Teaches new skills: mindfulness and art for self care

To find out about when our next online courses and real life groups are launching join our mailing list now. As a thank you for joining, we’ll instantly send you a mindful colouring bundle with meditative art activities inside, to try at home.

Good News if You Don’t Like Support Groups

Are you wary of support groups?

Do you hate people looking at you?

Dislike feeling pressured to speak?

We get it.

Listen now: Trace Jared-Davis and Emma Sprawson talk about why Mindful Art Club is different, and why social connections are now more important than ever.  You will also learn why you don’t need to be Van Gogh to join in with this art club.

This interview was first broadcast on Omnium Radio, Plymouths Community Radio on o5th March 2021. The full interview is below.

The new group launches Friday 19th March 2021.

How We Started Offering Immediate Mental Health Support, Without Any Waiting Lists

When Emma and Peggy suddenly lost the jobs they loved, they started a business on a shoestring, to offer mindful art groups, support mental health and tackle social isolation in the Plymouth area.

Mental health services were already overstretched and the pandemic has made that even worse. Mindful Art Club gives people a way to access help and support immediately, without a waiting list, and without finances being a barrier to access.

Emma and I are helping to create a world where peer support, mindfulness, creative activities, and social connection is more easily available in local communities. 

Peggy Melmoth

Watch Now:

If you’ve ever felt stressed, anxious or depressed, we have a free downloadable mindful colouring bundle with zen doodling exercises for you. Just enter your email now to receive our colouring bundle today, and we will write to you monthly to let you know about our latest free and low-cost events in the Plymouth area.

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Free Printable Mandala Template

Drawing a mandala doesn’t have to be complicated. Mindful art means drawing without self-judgement. Get in the flow and enjoy being in the moment without putting any expectations onto yourself.

Use our free printable mandala template as a guide. Just place some plain paper over the top and trace the segmented circle image. Then fill in the separate parts with zen doodles, patterns, positive affirmations, things you are good at, or things that you are grateful for. Check out some examples done by people who come to our mindful art groups. The important thing is to have fun with it.

You may also like this short video of Peggy and Emma: How to Draw a Mandala.

Feeling isolated? Stick on an hour long video recording of one of our classes in the background, and enjoy some coffee, creativity and company. (You will need to be on Facebook to see these videos.)

Can’t be bothered to draw your own mandala? We get that! Colour in a ready-made mandala instead, included in our free mindful colouring bundle.

Zen Doodles: 3 Week Course Online

We are happy to be launching a new online course with Devon Recovery Learning Community.

Zen doodling is a kind of meditative drawing practice which can be used to easily calm your mind.  Zen doodles are just repeating patterns; no artistic talent is required.

Zen doodling combines meditation and art.  Learn to practice relaxation exercises and art for self-care. The session includes five minutes of guided mindfulness, a simple art project that can be done at home just with felt tip pens, and the opportunity to chat while we are making the zen doodles and to relax.

In this course you will create zen doodles while learning about the philosophy and benefits of zen doodling:

  • Improves mental health
  • Improves social connection
  • Teaches new skills (relaxation exercises and art for self- care).

We start with a ‘check in’ to see how everyone is feeling. There is no obligation to speak if you don’t want to. We end the group with a ‘check out’ to share how everyone is feeling after making zen doodles.

This online, three week course will start on Thursday 4th March, then the 11th and 18th March.

Booking is essential and places are limited: Zen Doodles Book Now

You may also like: Create Your Recovery.

Not ready for an online course? Try zen doodling at home instead, with our free mindful colouring bundle.

New Art Groups to Start After Lockdown

Who are Mindful Art Club?

Are they a business, a charity, a CIC or a community group?

And what are they going to do next?!

Mindful Art Club® is an unincorporated association. We have a small group constitution and a management committee. We recently held our annual general meeting to report on the organisation’s activities. The three trustees were present: Emma, Peggy and Clare, and the minutes were circulated to our regular volunteers, Lee and Linda.

First Emma reported on our funding bids. We were unsuccessful in two bids since the last general meeting. However we have been successful in bids with Comic Relief, Sparks Community Fund and have also received £250 from Plymouth Octopus Project. Emma is about to submit another bid to POP and a bid for Arts Council funding to run two groups.

Because of this funding Peggy reported that the following groups will begin after the current lockdown restrictions end.

  1. Sunflower Women’s Centre on Mondays, funded by Comic Relief.
  2. Zoom on Tuesdays funded by individual donations.
  3. Ivybridge Salvation Army to start after lockdown, funded by DRLC
  4. Emma to start a Friday group at The Clipper in Union Street, Plymouth funded by Sparks Community Fund.
  5. Various online courses to be funded by Devon Recovery Learning Community.
  6. Friday afternoons at Ocean Studios to be funded by Community Sparks Fund.
  7. Rees Centre, wellbeing course, Tuesday evenings funded by individuals.

Since our last meeting we have networked with a lot of different community organisations including Devon Mind, the Wolsley Trust social prescribers, Plymouth Argyle, Shekinah Mission, Devon Recovery Learning Community and The Clipper.

We have decided to invest in regular professional supervision meetings with a mindfulness teacher, retreat host and counsellor.

We have written a six week course, Doodle Your Recovery, and a three week course Zen Doodles for DRLC which will be run on Zoom.

We have joined the Loneliness Action Group with Labour councillor Kate Taylor, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care.

We have been featured in The Plymouth Chronicle twice and Emma has been on PTown Radio and Omnium Radio.

We celebrated one year in business with a dinner party, and made a video of it and sent thank you cards as a PR activity. We promoted our anniversary on our website and social media.

And finally, Emma and Peggy have both completed a five week business course called AWE Sofa Sessions with Dartington School of Social Entrepreneurs.  Emma is now going to study the Nuts and Bolts of Business course with them.

To find out about when our next online courses and real life groups are launching join our mailing list now. As a thank you for joining, we’ll instantly send you a mindful colouring bundle with meditative art activities inside, to try at home.

Community Sparks Funds Mindful Art Club

It was great to see ourselves in The Stronger North Stonehouse Journal this month after winning a grant from their Community Sparks Fund to run mindful art groups in Stonehouse, Plymouth.

Stronger North Stonehouse is an initiative bringing local people together to create a stronger, safer and friendlier community in North Stonehouse, Plymouth. The Community Sparks Fund has just funded over 20 projects!

The scheme received 30 funding applications ranging from £150 to the maximum of £3,000.

All applications were assessed by a panel made up of members of the Safer Stonehouse Board and independent judges. The panel was asked to make recommendations based on the merit of the potential impact they could have in the community.

We have been awarded £1000 to deliver two different, weekly art groups in the Stonehouse area. One will be at The Clipper, Omnium Radio’s Community Hub, in Union Street. The other will be at Ocean Studios. Located in the historic surroundings of Royal William Yard, Ocean Studios is home to an array of resident and visiting artists who regularly host workshops, exhibitions and events for Plymouth’s creative community. We are able to work at Ocean Studios thanks to winning a place on the Start Something project, run by the Real Ideas Organisation.

The grant will help us to buy art materials, and market the project so that we can reach as many Stonehouse residents as possible. The funding will also allow us to cover our ongoing costs such as administration, staff time, project planning, insurance, and project impact evaluation.

These Stonehouse venues are large enough to allow socially distanced support groups to take place. Although the UK is currently experiencing a mental health crisis, exacerbated by the pandemic, personal finances can be a barrier to local people needing to access support. This grant will help us to offer our services to people struggling with poor mental health, social isolation, poverty or addiction.

If you would like a place in one of these Stonehouse groups, which will be up and running after the current lockdown restrictions end, please contact us now. Places are limited.