Penny Pictures

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Today, I wanted to share with you a directive I call, “Penny Pictures.” This is intended to be a fun and projective exercise, to loosen the creative juices and see what comes up!

Step 1. Collect your materials.

To complete this project, you will need a handful of pocket change and various art materials of your choice. Any size paper, paints, pastels, crayons, colored pencils, markers, tissue paper, collage cut outs, glue, glitter, found objects, etc., will do for this.

Step 2: Toss the pennies.


Take the pocket change and toss it onto the page. You can do this as many times as you like until you find a configuration that appeals to you. Then, trace around the coins. You could approach this in one of two ways: by focusing on the negative spaces between the pennies, or focusing on tracing the positive shapes they make.

Step 3: Fill in the shapes.

Using the materials of your choice, fill in the shapes you’ve traced. In the example above, I gave myself a week, and came back to it at several different points in time. This allowed the image to evolve in a certain way. But you can also commit yourself to completing the directive in one sitting. It’s entirely up to what feels right for you!

Step 4: Answer projective questions.


With projective directives,  open-ended questions help us play with incorporating meaning into personal narratives. In my case, I chose three “I am” statements to do this, but your open ended questions could take on many forms.

If you wish to follow my example, simply fill in the blanks for the following three statements: 1. “I am____.” 2. “I feel____.” 3. “I look____.”

Then you might reflect on what came up for you, how you might title your piece, and what was your experience of completing the entire directive, as a whole.




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