Ellen Schroeder is down-to-earth and one of the most gentle-hearted people you will ever meet. She finds beauty in everything around her and brings color and understanding to the world through her artwork. So, it’s no surprise that she chose to pursue the creative counseling path of art therapy.
Painting, collages, sketching, sculpture (even one heck of a paper mache monkey)–this girl does it all! When we think of the quintessential artist, we think of Ellen.
For more on Ellen, check out her blog, “My Soul Magnifies”.
Now, step inside her studio and take a look at her tools of the trade!
“My Studio Essentials”
1. Watercolors. I take these with me out into “the field,” which pretty much means everywhere. The spontaneity and fluidity always give me new ideas.
2. Oil paints, walnut palette, apron made by mom. I was trained first as an oil painter in the traditional Renaissance sense. My tube of Cerulean blue is my most-used color recently.
3. Coffee. When I am in the studio, I always have something warm to sip on.
4. Cameraphone. It’s not great quality, but I don’t always bring my Nikon dSLR, so this captures the small moments I want to make sure I remember.
5. Nature. I often try to just let nature teach me—all I have to do is be open and observe and listen. The most powerful metaphors are found in nature.
6. Sketchbook/journal. Every day. I am old school with the paper and pen—no ipad and stylus for me yet. I used to put my calendar in the sketchbook, so I knew I would never be without it, but have since entered the 21st century and now use my phone for planning my month.
7. Odds and ends. Anything from popsicle sticks to liquid gold leaf. Finding new materials to add to collages or paintings excites me. Found objects are my favorite way of interacting in an art therapy session.
8. Pens/Pencils. Once again, old school—pilot precise fine tip ink pen, along with prismacolor pencils. You can’t go wrong with those.
9. Books. As a student, I have been learning much about phenomenology and art therapy theories like relational aesthetics, but a lot of my ways of working come from the heart, and a lot of my inspiration comes from children’s books.