Thursday, March 2, 2017

Sherry Canino: Art Therapy with StencilGirl Stencils

Good Morning friends! Sherry Canino here, and it’s an honor to be here with all of you today.
I have a huge passion for creating and sharing that with others so when I love something I just want to shout it from the rooftop (or at least from a tall stable ladder maybe) and more recently with Stencil Crush Tuesday.

But today I was asked to share the “other side” of Sherry Canino. So many of you may be asking what is that side, oh no do we want to see it heehee – well the other side of me resides in helping others. When I started my “art business” I really wanted to teach art journal classes, not just any art journal classes but ones that had meaning and depth to them not just techniques but honestly didn’t know how I would make this happen. Well I am a firm believer that if you put into the Universe what you want that it will in some way manifest its way to you if you are open to receiving it. So a little over a year ago I was approached about facilitating the art therapy group for the Intensive out Patient program at Ophelia’s place at Café 407. I honestly couldn’t believe it; it was exactly what I had been hoping for as my true passion lies with helping others. Ophelia’s Place has Out Patient Treatment services for those who have eating disorders. Not to get too personal but I have been through traumas and abuse since childhood, and I have always used my art as an escape and a way to cope. Of course back then I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing, but today I see it’s part of what saved me, so I guess that it’s only natural that I am now using my art to help others cope and deal with traumas and abuse. One of the things I have implemented is giving all clients their own art journals. We work in these pretty regularly. I will share with you one simple project that we have done in our art journals:  Art Journal your worries – create a page using stencils, drawing and collage of something that has been on your mind that you are worrying about. This simple technique allows you to get out things inside that are concerning you, that also may be difficult to talk about. It also helps to get things out of your mind and on paper to help resolve a conflict or ease your mind of this tension sometimes creating art about something you are worried about is better than talking about it.

Here are photos of pages created during our sessions by one of the clients. We used StencilGirl stencils by Jessica Sporn. Stencils help put clients who feel that they can’t do art at ease and feel less inhibited about working in their art journals.
We don’t always focus on working on things in the past; we try to stay very mindful about the present and work on things such as positive affirmation cards, and things like keeping a Joy Journal.
Here are some “Joy” journals that I created for the group – I call them a joy journal as I like everyone to have a special place that at the end of the day they can write down all the joys, positive things or happy things that occurred that day. This gives a place to refer back and read when dark days or depression takes hold and we can’t remember the good.
In addition to the IOP Art Therapy group, I also facilitate the Open to the public – drop in – Support group held at Café 407 in Liverpool, NY Weekly on Thursday’s 5:45pm – 6:45pm – this is called our Moving Forward group, and this group allows those who have graduated from IOP to still have some support as well as anyone on any level who needs support. This group is less “project” focused but we do have art in there as well. I provide art supplies and have found that having these allows those who come to feel a little more at ease as they have something to focus on while talking  and eases the tension of feeling like everyone is just looking at you. I have tried this group without and with the art supplies and have found that having art supplies really allow people to open up. The ones who come in and say I’m just here to “listen” end up talking the most. Being able to be a support and resource as well as using my art to help others is truly where my heart is. I am certainly blessed to be able to give back to my community and others. Life is about supporting each other, lifting each other up, being there for one another, sharing the pain that you have been through to help others and reaching out when someone is in need and I’m blessed to have my art to do this.

Lastly I'm sharing a few little “extras” that I have done for Ophelia’s Place.
I often make inspirational or positive affirmation tags or cards and I leave them in the waiting area of Ophelia’s Place so that anyone who needs one can take it. I am a firm believer that sometimes it’s the little things that makes a difference in someone day.
At holiday time Ophelia’s Place had a tree in the Café area and I created these tags so that all those who came in could write their hopes and dreams or something inspirational on the back of them and then hang it on the tree. I love finding little ways to make others feel part of the community.
These are some Gelli prints I made using StencilGirl Stencils and I am working on turning them into
“Joy” journals that I will hand out at the support group. 
And here is one that is complete:
Some stencils I find super inspirational and excellent for using if you are healing
or working though anything in your life are:

Thank you so very much StencilGirl and all of you out there for allowing me to share the “other side” of me. 
Much Love and Peace always! 
Xxoo - Sherry
Sherry Canino
Canino's Artistic Café


  1. I think this is your best side :) You are an amazing artist and now we see you have an amazing heart too!

    1. Awww Tina that is so sweet of you to say ❤❤❤

  2. I believe that when God gives a gift, it's meant to be used in ongoing gift-giving; and that when the gifted one -- that would be you, Sherry! -- goes on giving, the gift is multiplied and re-multiplied endlessly. The art therapy you provide is going to give dividends that you will never even know about, here on this earth. The people you help will help others. Love is a chain reaction. You could have chosen to be bitter, but instead, you chose not only to become better, but also to make the whole world better. My hat is off to you, lady!

    1. Awww thank you so very much Cecilia that means so very much ❤❤❤

  3. Love your mission. I know art has saved me as well.

    1. Thank you so much Vivian and hugs to you friend ❤❤❤

  4. wow!!!!! incredible...You have a BIG HEART!!! xx all so beautiful and uplifting!

  5. Wauw, I LOVE the tags you make with the affirmations and positieve quotes. I can imagine people being so very happy with them. Thanxx for the inspiration I am going to make some for myself ! 💕💕

    1. Aww thank you so very much Jeannette for your sweet comment. ❤❤❤


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