Expressive Art Therapy Workshops are custom designed for small or large groups.

A variety of mediums and modalities are available.

The objective of each individual workshop is unique and based on the needs and interests of the participants.

Workshops qualifying for grant funds can also be designed by request. For more information, contact me at:


Cindy Hartzell is an experienced instructor and counselor, having taught a variety of topics to a wide range of students. Teaching venues include:  Michaels (crafts), several public schools in southeastern NC, the Mesa Association of Retarded Citizens Center (AZ), Pembroke State University, and NCSU. She has a BS degree in Marketing Education, a MS in Textile and Technology Management, and is obtaining certification in Expressive Art Therapy.

Please Note:  It is my hope that you will find value in this workshop lesson and that it can compliment whatever you’re doing to maintain good mental health.  Participation in a workshop does not eliminate the need for medication and/or care prescribed by a licensed psychiatrist.

Questions/Problems?  Feel free to contact me at:

Rules:  There are no rules!  Please feel free to write and create anything you want in your book!


Supplies needed for Altered Books:

  • Old hardback book (old Children’s books work great!)
  • Glue or Gel Medium
  • old plastic gift card or credit card
  • wax paper
  • removable tape
  • White Gesso
  • 2 or 3 acrylic paints (in your choice of colors)
  • inexpensive paint brushes (1 to 2 inches wide)
  • small containers for paint
  • sandpaper (medium grit is fine!)
  • A few permanent markers (in your choice of colors)
  • old sponges (any kind)
  • old mesh bags (vegetable and fruit bags work great!
  • Old magazines and newspapers
  • Scissors
  • Old pictures
  • Any interesting objects you would like to add to your book
  • Game tiles with letters
  • Various alphabets
  • Metal and wood glue
  • Clorox pen

For Review -

From Week Four:

This week we are going to look at how journaling can and will be a component of the visual art in our books.   As always, you are welcome to send pictures to be posted.

This Week’s Song – “Dr My Eyes” by Jackson Brown  

Here is a link where you can hear the song on Youtube. 

Doctor, my eyes have seen the years
And the slow parade of fears without crying
Now I want to understand

 I have done all that I could
To see the evil and the good without hiding
You must help me if you can

Doctor, my eyes
Tell me what is wrong
Was I unwise to leave them open for so long

 cause I have wandered through this world
And as each moment has unfurled
Ive been waiting to awaken from these dreams
People go just where there will
I never noticed them until I got this feeling
That its later than it seems

 Doctor, my eyes
Tell me what you see
I hear their cries
Just say if its too late for me

 Doctor, my eyes
Cannot see the sky
Is this the prize for having learned how not to cry


 Step 1:  Think about the feelings and situations where you have run away!  Pick pages in your book that you want to use.  Try to use some of the words (or just letters) that are already there; you can still work on top of or around them!   Focus on feelings, relationships and/or situations that cause you to run away and hide.  Feel free to write incomplete sentences, phrases or just words.  You can even take lyrics from selected songs or use poetry – whatever resonates with you!

Step Two:  Mask the book words or letters you want to stand out, by covering them with removable tape.  Trim the tape down if necessary. Or, overlap tape edges for covering large areas.

Third Step:  Use paint (no gesso this week!) to dab, sponge and/or brush over whatever portions of your pages you would like hidden.   Separate wet pages with wax paper.   Continue to mix and match colors and shades in which ever fashion you like.  Let paint dry before moving to the next step.

Forth Step:  Cut out letters and words that help communicate the thoughts and ideas that you are trying to convey in your book, to paste on your page(s).   Cut out lots of different letters, in different types of fonts.  Use any other letters from game pieces, or whatever you have as well.  Think about the cut and paste letters (like ransom notes, etc.) that are shown on movies.  This is the effect that you are trying to achieve.  If the letters wind up looking crooked, all the better!

If you are so inclined, take any old colorful paper and magazine pages to a scrapbook store.  Use the stores die cut machines to cut out letters.  This will help expand you collection of diverse alphabets!

Step Five:  Arrange your letters and words to spell out desired messages on your page(s).  If you like, you can also hand letter some of your letters and words.  Be sure mix your writing in with the pasted letters, rather than concentrating it all in one spot.   Select any additional pictures and/or objects you would like to add to your page(s).  If you have large pictures try overlapping some of your words and letters on top of the picture.  After you are satisfied with your arrangement, glue them all down.  Some of your game pieces and other alphabet may require stronger glue, made for metal and/or wood.  Repeat these steps as often as you care to this week.

Questions to ponder:

What are the reasons people (portrayed in movies) use cut and paste letters?  What are they hiding?

What words did you put in your book this week?  Are there any hidden meanings behind them?