with Deborah Koff-Chapin

July 10-12
Omega Institute
Rhinebeck, New York 

July 26-31
13th Annual Touch
Drawing Gathering
Whidbey Island, Washington

August 13-15
Expressive Arts Conference
Boston, Massachusetts

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on These Events


Letter from Deborah

What's New at CFTD

Soulcards and
Shamanic Healing

Touch Drawing
at Stroke Retreat

A Lifetime of Creating

Feature Members

Featured E-Card

Each issue we will introduce a new e-card.

Send it or another selection to a loved one with a personal message.


 Featured Groups

Touch Drawing & SoulCards
in a Hospital Setting

Shamanism Integrating
SoulCards & Touch Drawing

Featured Online
Community Members
A sampling of some of
the wonderful people
who have recently been
active on the site.
Please consider
joining us!

Click on their names to visit their member pages.

Irv Knowlen

Deborah Catton

Gail Baker

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Hi Touch Drawing friends –
I hope you have been weathering the wild seas of these transformational times. Contact with our creative source is essential in times like this. It helps us make choices from a deeper place and be open to the new possibilities that are emerging amidst the disintegration of old forms. There seems to be a strengthening  hunger for creative contact these days. The people attending the Touch Drawing workshops I have offered in the last few months are just so ready to delve into their souls and bring forward the fullness of their being. Each workshop has felt deeper that the one before. Call it art, call it spiritual practice – we serve as a force of stability and inspiration for those around us when we live from our creative core. Let’s support each other to do the practices that help our actions arise from this place.

Blessings, Deborah    

What's New at the Center?

Since opening the basement office to the light and air with new windows, a wonderful new person has been drawn to the Center. Christine Hall is now our office manager. She brings many levels of connection along with the vital office skills. We begin each week with a brief meditation and reflect on the vision and goals of the Center. I am grateful for her presence and excited to see what unfolds from our combined energies.

I have also journeyed further into the new lands of social networking. If you go to the homepage, you can access my weekly image blog, new twitter feed and facebook page. Our online community is taking on more life. As new forms of communication emerge and grow, it feels like we are taking part in an evolving ‘cyberecology’. I am doing my best to keep up!

Artwork in Books

A recent Touch Drawing was selected by Lorian Press for the cover of a new book by David Spangler entitled The Flame of Incarnation. I have been studying deeply with David for the past few years, so it is an honor to have my image associated with his wisdom. Find out more about his work and the book at the Lorian Association Website.

In a previous issue of this newsletter, I announced the publication of the book Women of Wisdom; Empowering the Dreams and Spirit of Women. Thirty of my images are woven throughout the book. The author recently organized a collective promotion that shot the book to #17 of ALL BOOKS sold on Amazon.com on June 23, and to the #1 position in several genres. You still have a chance to receive the gifts offered by 60 women in support of the book if you order it now. Click here for more information.

SoulCard Stories

SoulCards as a Shamanic Healing Tool

Susan Beamish
Algonquin Energy Medicine & Healing
Bernard Bear Clan, Tent Shaker Tradition

I have recently started using SoulCards in my shamanic healing work with clients and find them to be a very useful medicine tool. The beautiful multi-layered images Deborah has created are rich with meaning and evoke deep emotions. They assist clients in giving expression to the wounds that need healing. I also use them to help clients see how their perceptual states can drastically shift during the course of a healing session.

At the start of a healing session the client talks about the issue they’d like to heal as a way to connect to their core feelings related to this issue. At this point, I ask the client to choose a SoulCard and to talk about what the card means to them in relation to how they are feeling in the moment. Since they have just connected deeply to their pain, the interpretation of the card is often one that reflects a wounded mind state.

After the healing session is complete, I ask the client to look at the card once again. Their interpretation has often been dramatically transformed from when they first saw the card at the beginning of the session.

An example of this perceptual shifting is well illustrated in the following story. A client came to me and wanted to heal her feelings of rage around how her mother abused and mistreated her as a child. Her worst fear was that she may reenact this behavior with her daughters. We decided to do a power retrieval journey to heal this wound. Before embarking on the journey, she chose the SoulCard shown here (woman/tree). She described the card as being a pregnant woman trapped underground. This woman would give birth to a child who, like herself, would suffer from being abused. The wounded legacy of the family tree would be carried on for all time with no hope of change. They were all doomed.

After completing the power retrieval ceremony, the client looked at the same SoulCard again. She described the image as being a pregnant woman who was giving birth to a child where she would be nurtured and loved. A whole new generation of people would emerge out of this loving, nurturing woman. The client was so surprised and delighted by her new perception, one that brought her a sense of relief and hope.

Using the SoulCards in this way helps demonstrate to clients how their perceptual states can shift from a wounded mind set to a healed state within an hour's time. It clearly shows that their wound has transmuted and that healing has occurred on many levels.

Susan is currently a senior student at the 8th Fire School of Algonquin Shamanism in Toronto, Canada. She has been a partner in a graphic design business for 30 years. As an artist and feminist activist, she organized “Don’t Remain Silent”, a group art exhibition of over 60 Canadian women artists responding to the Montreal Massacre. She has also developed ethics education related to the psychotherapy relationship and co-authored the handbook, ‘Client Rights in Psychotherapy and Counselling’. Susan can be contacted at her member page. You can also join her in conversation in the online community group on Shamanism.

Touch Drawing Stories

Touch Drawing at Saint John's Hospital
Stroke Retreat & Refresh Weekend

Facilitated by Janet Nix October 10-12, 2008
Written by Debbie Woodford, RN, BS,
Director of Outcomes Management, Saint John’s Hospital

Touch Drawing is a way for stroke survivors, their care-givers and anyone with or without limited mobility to create, express and feel.

A group of passionate health care professionals at Saint John’s Hospital began planning the first Stroke Retreat in early 2008. (www.st-johns.org) We partnered with Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp Group pic 3to provide a fun filled weekend of retreat with stroke survivors, caregivers and family members. It included education, socialization, relaxation and support for all in the beautiful setting of the Chiara Center, one of the healing ministries of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis. It offers hospitality to those seeking peace; provides an environment, experience and resources for contemplative living and promotes the Franciscan values of peace, reconciliation and justice.

As soon as the planning of our retreat began, we knew the Holy Spirit was involved. At the proposal meeting with camp staff, administration and interested staff at Saint John’s Hospital, Janet Nix excitedly approached us with the idea of Touch Drawing as one of the activities of the weekend.

Through this direct drawing process even someone with limited mobility, such as a stroke survivor, becomes a unique creative artist. The hands become extensions of the soul, moving freely in response to the sensations of the moment. Touch drawing unleashes creative, psychological and spiritual healing. 

Janet led the group of stroke survivors, caregivers and volunteer staff from Saint John’s Hospital. As she explained the process of Touch Drawing, there was confusion and possibly boredom on the faces in the group. However once the process began, each person regardless of their mobility was drawn into the creative activity doing one drawing after another. Some were laughing and chatting. Others were quiet and introspective as they created from within. Many stayed for the second session. Everyone wanted to be sure they retrieved their creations when they dried. Their drawings were a reminder of this special weekend where they were ‘normal’, loved and cared for by those at the retreat and by the Holy Spirit. Marylee Nunley, Director of Stroke Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp is so impressed with the activity and its effect on stroke survivors that she plans to have Touch Drawing at their 2009 camps. (See www.strokecamp.org) If you would like to engage in discussion on this topic, you can join our online community and then join Touch Drawing & SoulCards in the Hospital Setting.

A Lifetime of Creating

Irv Knowlen

On February 20th, 2009 Victoria Anderson and the Expressive Arts Gallery of Sarasota had a special opening of art that I've done since being diagnosed with Parkinson's seven years ago. It was based on the premise that the need to create should and can continue throughout ones lifetime, even when one has Parkinson's; thus the title An Art Continuum. It started on one wall and continued on to the next showing the progression of changes in style, techniques and mediums including the use of the computer as the disease progressed. It ended with the my Touch Drawings, along with a statement I made concerning my present exposure to the art of Touch Drawing and how it fits into my desire to continue to create.

I find in Touch Drawing an intuitive spontaneous way to release the images that dwell somewhere inside of me. They seem to flow through my finger tips and onto the paper, giving me information and feedback that I need to be alert to and respond to. It’s a visual dance I do between me and the paper that I find extremely pleasurable, tactile and addictive. It's like going to church and singing right out loud. It gives me one more tool in fighting this thing called Parkinson’s.

You can see many more Touch Drawings that Irv has created and other artwork from his exhibition, on his member page in the Online Community. You can also join the TDParkinsonians group.

The Center for Touch Drawing • P O Box 1089 • Langley, Washington 98260 • (360) 221-5745 • center@touchdrawing.com