Mindful Art Club on PTown Radio

In this relaxed and fun radio interview Chi asks Emma,

What is Mindful Art Club?

Where in Plymouth does it happen?

And who exactly is it for?

Emma Sprawson talks to Chi Bennett on Show and Tell With Queen Chi, PTown Radio, (15/01/21) about Mindful Art Club(R), a unique support group, that tackles social isolation and mental health in Plymouth, Devon.

Skip to 11 minutes in to hear Emma read a poem that explains how to stop, breathe and walk slowly into the mystery.

Skip to 12:35 where Chi asks, what if I’ve got kids at home? Can I still join in with the online group?

How to Make Zentangles

Zentangle artwork by Cara H.

Zentangles® are a kind of meditative drawing; creating abstract, repetitive patterns, without worrying what the patterns look like. This process slows down the breathing, calms the mind, and helps you to focus on the present moment. It’s a therapeutic way of drawing that offers peace of mind, and is accessible to all.

The method was created in 2003 by an American couple called Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. You can find out more about them at www.zentangle.com The Zentangle teaching materials and tools are covered by copyright and “Zentangle” is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc.

  • You will need a piece of plain A4 paper and a black pen.
  • Draw six boxes to put your Zentangles into.
  • Inside the first box, draw a line to make a “string.” The string separates your square into sections, in which you draw your tangles. A string can be any shape.
  • Take your pen for a walk, and draw random patterns inside the shapes. Try shading different areas.
  • On an A4 page you might have six different boxes full of Zentangles.

There are eight steps in the original Zentangle method, which you can read about on their website.

What is a Zentangle and why would you draw one? Watch Emma explain here:

Watch Peggy draw Zentangles here:

https://www.facebook.com/MindfulArtClub/videos/660535961437055/

Join in with the Facebook Live session here:

https://www.facebook.com/MindfulArtClub/videos/196899558173904/

Skip to 25 minutes in to watch the part about Zentangles.

Alternatively, instead of drawing in squares, you could incorporate zentangle style patterns into your own drawing, as with the example above created by Cara H, a client at one of our weekly groups.

Now we’d love to hear from you. Have you tried drawing zentangles? How does it make you feel? Leave us a comment below.

Mindful Colouring: Free Download

Are you stressed? Anxious? Depressed? This mindful therapeutic gift could be the start of a creative solution for you.

It’s amazing how the simple act of colouring can calm the mind down. I have designed a few mindful art colouring pages around the theme of “I am enough” using a little egg character that I created. His caption is, “I am an oeuf.” (Oeuf is French for egg.) The oeuf character makes me smile. Grab your free colouring pages by signing up to our mailing list, and then we’ll write to you monthly to let you know about our latest free and low-cost events in the Plymouth area, plus videos and mindfulness recordings. (Your details are safe with us, and you can unsubscribe at any time.)

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New in 2021: Free Online Course

Want to learn to practice relaxation exercises, and art for self-care?

We are looking forward to working with Devon Recovery Learning Community in 2021 to deliver a new six week course, on Zoom.

This recovery college is provided by Devon Partnership NHS Trust to support mental health and wellbeing. Their students are people with experience of mental health difficulties, their family and friends, and the professionals who support them.

Each session of our new course includes five minutes of guided mindfulness, five minutes of mindful drawing, a simple art project, and the opportunity to chat and relax.

‘Doodle Your Recovery’ gives people the opportunity to share their feelings, practice mindfulness, create art, relax and chat. This course:

  • 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. This is followed by some guided mindfulness, then a simple art project e.g. drawing Zentangles or paisley, or making a greetings card.

We end the group with a ‘check out’ to share how everyone is feeling after practicing mindfulness and making art.

This 6 week, online course starts on Thursday 14th January, then 21st and 28th January and 4th and 11th February.

Places are limited. Book early to avoid disappointment: Doodle Your Recovery Online.

Double Win For Community Art Group

We were pleased to see we’ve hit the headlines again, on page 11 of The Plymouth Chronicle. You can read the latest issue online.

Double Win for Community Art Group

Plymouth’s first and only Mindful Art Club are celebrating receiving £250 funding, and £3000 worth of business support. The £250 was awarded to them by Plymouth Octopus Project, to cover some of their volunteer expenses, and the year-long business support package has been offered to them by The Real Ideas Organisation.

Peggy Melmoth and Emma Sprawson had only been running community art groups for a few months when the coronavirus lockdown forced them to cancel all of their groups. They immediately began offering online versions of all their sessions using Zoom video conferencing software and broadcasting to Facebook Live. Before lockdown their groups had been part-funded by individual voluntary donations, but since the end of March 2020 Peggy and Emma have been running the groups purely as a volunteers.

When lockdown restrictions began to ease in July, they started running small outdoor mindful art groups in a park in Plympton, and then in August they launched a new weekly group at The Sunflower Women’s Centre in Plymouth. They now run four weekly groups around Plympton and Plymouth, and continue to run their free online group for those who can’t make it to a real-life session.

“We started Mindful Art Club to improve mental health and social connection in the Plymouth community by offering mutual aid support groups, and teaching mindfulness and art for self-care. We were literally trying to fight social isolation at a time when we were all advised to isolate ourselves!”

Peggy

“We used to be part of the support team at Broadreach House addiction treatment centre. When Broadreach closed last year we were both made redundant, but decided that we still wanted to use our skills to support people in the community.”

Emma

In October The Real Ideas Organisation offered a number of free membership packages worth over £3,000 each, to entrepreneurial people with ideas that they thought could become brilliant businesses. To apply for a fully funded Start Something membership Peggy and Emma submitted a written business proposal and a three minute video outlining their ideas.

Peggy said, “We are so excited to win this, and are really looking forward to networking with the other businesses that won a place.”

The fully funded membership package from Real Ideas gives Mindful Art Club access to workspace at Ocean Studios in Royal William Yard, business support mentors and access to events, workshops and one to one coaching. The Start Something project is part of the iMayflower project and has been supported by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who fund the Cultural Development Fund, which is administered by Arts Council England.

Emma said, “Just after winning the Start Something membership we also received £250 funding from Plymouth Octopus Project (POP), which covers some of our expenses volunteering at The Sunflower Women’s Centre.”

POP offers funding advice, business and planning support to Plymouth’s voluntary sector.

The Sunflower Women’s Centre is a women’s only outreach centre set up by Trevi House in 2016. Sunflower is a trauma-informed women’s wellbeing hub, providing opportunities for any woman who has support needs.

“We have been very happy to have had Peggy and Emma come into the Sunflower Women’s Centre  and give their time volunteering to run their wonderful Mindful Art group for our women.  This has been a valuable service and given many of our women support and some purpose and stability, with their patience and gentle listening ears during the lockdown period.”

Paula Carnell, Team Lead

To keep updated about Mindful Art Club’s latest weekly groups, online sessions and wellbeing courses sign up to the mailing list in the top right corner. We’ll send you some mindful colouring pages to soothe your mind while at home!

Join Us On Zoom!

Every Tuesday at 10am we host a supportive online meeting offering creativity, company and social connection: A short mindful meditation and an easy art project.

There is no art experience required, it’s friendly and informal. Just grab a coffee and join in.

Connect with others, share your experiences of COVID-19, and discover new ways of practising self-care through easy art and mindfulness exercises. Practice being here in the present moment, and accept where you are right now, without self-judgement.

We start with a brief chat about how everyone is feeling, then a short guided mindfulness session, followed by a simple art activity that anyone can do. Our mission is to make mindfulness more fun! We’re not teaching art techniques, we’re just here to play.

You will just need any pen, felt tips, some plain paper and a cup of tea or coffee.

You will also need to download Zoom, free video-conferencing software, to your computer, tablet or smart phone, before Tuesday. https://zoom.us

IMPORTANT: You will need to book your place in advance to receive the private link to the zoom meeting.

Book your place in advance for next Tuesday.

Like and follow us, and select notifications at www.facebook.com/mindfulartclub for updates about more free and low-cost events.

Our Plans For Lockdown

November Lockdown: We have made the difficult decision to postpone our in-person meetings for the moment. We will continue to offer our weekly online group via Facebook and Zoom every Tuesday at 10am. Participants can watch live on Facebook, or message us for the Zoom link.  Let’s stay connected! Our Facebook page is Facebook.com/MindfulArtClub

Wellbeing Course Postponed

We are still taking bookings for our new wellbeing course at Plympton Rees Wellbeing Hub. However, the start date has been postponed to Tuesday 8th December 2020

We hope to be back in the community offering support, mindfulness and art as soon as possible.

Keep safe.

Peggy and Emma

New Group: Royal William Yard

Want to learn to manage stress in a creative way?

Want to meet new people without feeling awkward?

Want to relax your busy mind, without the practice and discipline needed for meditation?

You just found the easy answer!

Our new art group at 1pm on Friday afternoons at Ocean Studios, Royal William Yard, Plymouth, offers a safe, easy-going space to have coffee, try guided mindfulness and do some art, just for fun. There is absolutely no talent required, so if you haven’t done anything creative since school that’s fine. It really is the taking part that counts. (Sorry for sounding so cliched but it’s true!)

Booking

Booking is essential due to restricted numbers during the pandemic. Message us to confirm your place. The group costs £2.00

If you arrive around 12.45pm you can grab a coffee at the Ocean Studios Cafe, then head upstairs to the Event Space on the right, where you will find Mindful Art Club. You will need to wear a mask to enter the café, but once you are seated at our (socially distanced) art table you can remove your mask for the duration of the group.

How to find us

Ocean Studios, The Factory Cooperage, Royal William Yard, Plymouth PL1 3RP. 

Plymouth city centre is 20-minute walk or a 12-minute cycle away. Find us at The Factory Cooperage, opposite Las Iguanas with the red telephone box. 

Drive  

From Plymouth City Centre take A374 to Durnford Street in Stonehouse. From Cornwall take the Tamar Bridge, A38, A3064, B3396 and A374, continue onto Durnford St until you reach the yard. There are plenty of Pay and Display car parking spaces at Royal William Yard. 

Bus  

The number 34 bus travels from the city centre and stops at the Royal William Yard roundabout.

Boat  

The ferry runs every hour from the Barbican to Royal William Yard, or you can travel from Cornwall on the Cremyll Ferry to Stonehouse. 

Read more details about accessibility at Ocean Studios.

Feeling unsure? Send us a message and we can chat. We’d love to see you there.

How to Reduce Stress in 8-Weeks (or Less!)

Do you suffer from stress or worry?

Want to practice art for self-care?

Looking for a fun and easy way to learn mindfulness?

Then you’re going to love our new 8-week wellbeing course!

We’ve been testing this course out on a small group of people who agreed to give us feedback on the course content. Here’s what they told us;

The ‘work’ we did with Emma and Peggy in the group gently helped us to listen to ourselves and each other.
On the surface the art projects are simple, and the mindfulness gentle….. but I allowed myself to let go of preconceptions and BE IN THE MOMENT within the group. I was amazed at how my child-like art work was just what I needed to get in touch with my inner healing me.
The mindful training got me so interested, that I now start my day with mindful meditation.
As with most groups you get out as much as you put in… I have ‘worked hard’. I have listened and shared, and supported other members of the group. I am leaving with mindfulness a part of my daily life, and am more confident in trying new art practices. I also have a new set of friends.

Wellbeing Course Student

The next course begins on 17th November 2020, in Plympton, at The Rees Centre. Places are very limited due to Covid-19 safety measures, so it will be first-come, first-served. In the New Year 2021 this course will be on sale at £120. However, for this month only we are offering the course at HALF PRICE!  £59 for eight weeks, including all of the course materials.

EDIT: Due to the UK November lockdown this course will now start on 8th December 2020.

Read more: Brand New Mindful Art Wellbeing Course

How To Do Art Club When You Don’t Really Want To Go Out

  • Were you thinking of trying mindfulness?
  • Does your anxiety prevent you from coming to our groups?
  • Would you like to feel a little bit calmer and happier?

Here are three ways to try mindful art club, without even getting out of bed!

1) Listen to our free 15 minute recording.

This 15 minute mindfulness recording guides you to bring your attention to experiences happening in the present moment, without judgement. For best results, choose a place where you will not be disturbed, listen with headphones and close your eyes. 

Listen Now: Mindful Body Scan

2) Watch a Mindful Art Club Video

If you’re short of time watch one of our quick YouTube videos and join in with a simple art project.

If you have an hour to spare, join in with one of our online classes. They are all recorded to Facebook in an archive of videos. Each recording includes a guided mindfulness session and instructions for a simple art project that you can do at home with felt tip pens and plain paper. Art Club Catch-Up TV. It’s like being at Mindful Art Club, but without leaving your house! (You could even stay in your pyjamas!)

3) Try Mindful Colouring

I know, I know. When I first heard of “adult colouring books” I thought it sounded like a ridiculous idea! But it’s amazing how the simple act of colouring can calm the mind down. I have designed a few mindful art colouring pages around the theme of “I am enough” using a little egg character that I created. His caption is, “I am an oeuf.” (Oeuf is French for egg.) The oeuf character makes me smile. Grab your free colouring pages by signing up to our mailing list, and then we’ll write to you monthly to let you know about our latest free and low-cost events, videos and mindfulness recordings. (You can unsubscribe at any time.)

Yes please, send me free stuff!

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