An Art Class Made My Bad Day Better

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by Kate Spencer |

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It was what I least felt like doing that Saturday morning: learning something new and being among a group of people. But the friend who urged me to attend a mixed media collage art class at the local library must have sensed it was exactly what I needed.

Since being diagnosed with sarcoidosis, I’ve had good days and bad days. On the really bad days, I tend to feel like being by myself, retreating into my own little world.

I’m certain I agreed to attend this art class on a good day. Now, the day had arrived and I wasn’t so certain I felt up to it. In fact, I was sure I didn’t.

Mixed media collage. (Photo by Kate Spencer)

Despite my reservations and plenty of objections, we went. Before long, I was immersed in a new activity, which seemed to help me feel better.

Want to give it a try yourself? Here’s how:

  • Start with a blank piece of cardboard. Since we were utilizing as many recycled materials as possible, we used old file folders.
  • Rip pictures or patterns out of old magazines, bags, colored paper, and other materials.
  • As you rip, make two piles of pictures: larger ones (scenery such as sunsets, trees, or the ocean, for instance) and smaller ones (words, phrases, or images) to use later.
  • Attach the larger pictures to the file folders, covering as much of the blank cardboard as you like.
  • Begin painting by placing a small dollop of paint in the center of the file folder. Using an old credit card, start spreading the paint out to the edges. Let the paint dry completely before going to the next step.
  • Start gluing the pictures from the second pile onto the cardboard. You may wish to add another layer of paint over this set of images.
  • Finish the piece with a layer of Mod Podge sealer.
  • Finally, add fun extras, such as material, ribbon, and charms to complete the look of this mixed media piece.

As with knitting, beading, and other crafts I take part in, I found this exercise quite relaxing. Since it requires focus, I found it helped me to forget about the fact that I was having a bad day. However, since we were creating one-of-a-kind collages, there was no specific set of instructions to follow, which was perfect for that type of day.

You can find projects using many different mixed media collage techniques online or at classes. This particular technique was adapted from a workshop someone in the group took with Suzi Banks Baum.

The next time you’re having a bad day, give mixed media a try. Who knows? You just might find a new activity you love, too!


Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.


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