Pictures and Words: A Six-Week Workshop


Powerful writing captures images by transporting the reader into a scene or experience, while gripping illustrations convey thousands of words. Join us and create your own words and pictures.


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This six-week workshop explores the intersection of imagery through verbal and visual expression by placing visual thinking at its core. Exploration of visual journals, illustrated texts, narrated photo- and video-documentaries, and blogs and the artists/authors who created them will serve as a springboard for students’ own creative writings, such as fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry coupled with the use of graphic expression such as drawing, painting, sculpture, photography or video. Students will deepen their ability to engage in multiple modes of expression by utilizing images to inform their writing as well as words to inform their art.

Each week, a brief lecture will be presented followed by time to write and create art. Students will have the opportunity to share their work and receive feedback from their like-minded cohorts.

Teaching Methods:

Didactic, Experiential, and InteractiveScreen Shot 2015-09-28 at 5.11.51 PM


Participants will be able to:

1.     Name at least three key concepts of thinking that relate to a perceptual experience.

2.     Utilize meta-cognition in order to explore and articulate personal thought process and increased awareness of self and surroundings.

3.     Create at least 3 visual and written works that address personal, familial, communal, and cultural themes.

CEs are not offered for this program.

Suggested Reading Materials:

Arnheim, R. (2004). Visual thinking. University of California Press.

Borges, J. L.  The book of imaginary beings.

Johnston, C. (2011). Artist’s Journal workshop: Creating your life in words and pictures. North Light Books.

Werner, A. (1965). Artists who write. Art Journal, 24, 4, 342-347. College Art Association.

Praeterita: Artist Phillip Hartigan talks about art, interviews other artists and more.

Some of the artists/writers that we will explore include: Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 4.58.21 PMWilliam Blake, e.e. cummings, Salvador Dali, Leonardo Da Vinci, Franz Kafka, Frida Kahlo, Beatrix Potter, J. R. R. Tolkien


Michelle L. Dean, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, CGP is an art psychotherapist who co-founded of The Center for Psyche & the Arts, LLC ( with two locations in the Philadelphia area. In addition to her clinical practice, she is an author, supervisor, educator, and consultant. ShIMG_6876e has been an Adjunct Professor at Arcadia University since 1997 and has several publications to her credit, including the children’s book, Taking Weight Issues to School and the professional text Using Art Media in Psychotherapy: Bringing the power of creativity to practice. Her work has been recognized through many distinguished awards, including the prestigious Honorary Life Member Award from Delaware Valley Art Therapy Association and the American Art Therapy Association’s Pearlie Roberson Award.