Doodling into the deep, deep unconscious

Paul Clark

During a bout of depression, famed psychiatrist Carl Jung drew mandalas to explore his thoughts. Later, he was able to track his progress of his depression by reading the imagery in each drawing.

Lynn Underwood, an artist at Red House Studios and Gallery in Black Mountain, will be guiding people through personal explorations, via mandalas, on the second Sunday of each month starting Sunday, Jan. 10. The workshops are 1-3:30 p.m., with a suggested donation of $40 for each workshop.

Underwood will supply the art materials. No art experience is required, but she asks participants to bring a journal, because they will write about their experiences as well.

Mandalas are powerful symbols of expression in many cultures, including Native American and Buddhist. They’ve been used by people for centuries to bring coax new information from deep within.

Each week in Underwood’s class will involve a different theme, using art to explore images that come from the intuitive self, the unconscious part of us that expresses its inner wisdom, Underwood said.

The workshops “are not about making pretty pictures,” she said, “but about letting the art unfold and bring forth its own message. It’s like journaling, but journaling with images. The images are what is in the unconscious. Our ‘head’ is very logical and structured and keeps telling us the same stories. But stuff from the unconscious that comes out with our art, that is the new information.”

Participants will talk about their work and also write about it in their journals, which is another way to examine the imagery – and possible meanings behind it – that the artwork brings up.

Register for the class be contacting Underwood at Red House Gallery is at 310 State St., Black Mountain.

Underwood recently moved from California to Black Mountain, where she teaches yoga and works with her arts therapy and coaching practice. She has worked in a variety of settings, with both children and adults healing from the effects of domestic violence, substance abuse, grief and emotional trauma.

She has facilitated workshops for the Betty Ford Center, the California Arts Project and Institute for Arts Education. She received her MA in Expressive Arts Therapy from European Graduate School in Switzerland.