In this week’s blog post, I am going to discuss what I am planning for my Major Digital Project. I am planning to choose ‘option B’ and learn to paint using a product called, “Unicorn Spit” paint. I am a Registered Nurse (R.N.) and an educator, as faculty in the Practical Nursing Program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. I am choosing this option for two reasons, one is professional and the other is personal. Professionally, as a nurse educator, it is my responsibility to explore various aspects of nursing such as different therapies that patients might experience in the hospital or community. Patient care with art therapy has been proven to improve mental health, shorten hospital stays, and even lessen the patient’s need for pain medication (Arts in Health Care: A New Paradigm for Holistic Nursing Practice, Lane, 2006). The other aspect of learning is finding ways to share my learning, which I will be doing using various methods such as blogging, creating videos and sharing pictures.
The idea of learning to use the painting product called, ‘Unicorn Spit’ (US) intrigues me because its creator, Michelle Gordon, invented it in 2006, for patients in a nursing home to use during art therapy; see her facebook post for more information.
The US product is versatile because of its safe, non-toxic application, and could be used by patients who are of all ages from children to the elderly. The products’ appeal is furthered by the fact that it can be used as a stain, or paint, applied to various mediums such as wood, cloth, or even pre-painted, un-sanded items.
Personally, I have always leaned towards art through methods such as painting or sketching and have many sketchbooks from my youth, however my life has never provided enough time to pursue such hobbies in adulthood. This class offers the perfect opportunity for me to try something new, such as painting. It seems that this paint product is used mainly to refinish furniture pieces, but also used a lot to create art on canvas. I would like to experiment with both styles.
I have signed up for a face-to-face art class at the Centennial market with a local artist, to learn an acrylic pouring technique called, ‘tree ring pour’ on canvas, which, in my research, can also be re-created with US products. Once I take the class, I will try to re-create the art at home, using the US product.
The US product has a large following and has many facebook groups, webpages (US and Canada), pinterest pages, twitter Instagram accounts as well as many instructional tutorial blog pages and countless instructional videos on Youtube, which will guide my learning. Unicorn Spit paint is sold at Home Depot for 12.97 per bottle, or I could order it through the USCanada webpage (14 bottles for $174.99), or Amazon.ca (prices about the same as home depot, but more variety); so there is easy access to this product.
As a culmination of my learning, I plan to refinish a dresser at home using the US paint product . It really appeals to me to make something old, new again, to re-purpose something that someone might consider ‘junk’.
Research has shown that both educators and nurses struggle to maintain a positive work-life balance. In an article called Burnout or Balance. What will you choose, Peter DeWitt describes four balance quadrants to fulfill a positive work life balance, including personal, positional, professional and passion balance (2018).
- Personal balance is everything that makes you who you are (which hat are you wearing right now?)
- Positional balance is our day jobs – what you do to earn an income.
- Professional balance is how you continue to learn in your role as an educator, that will impact the students you teach.
- Passion is how you can thrive – do what ignites a spark and is something you will love to do. DeWitt states, Our passions are the compass we need to keep our quadrants in balance, and to continue to find joy in this journey called life”.
Learning to paint with Unicorn Spit will simultaneously offer me an educational opportunity to learn a new skill, develop a new hobby and provide stress relief, learn an art therapy application for healthcare, and finally an opportunity to expand my technological skills through learning various ways to share my learning as I go. I will end this blog post with a picture of how I will most likely end up, as I really like to ‘get into my work’, and usually am the one who will be covered head to toe after any painting project in the house! Also, if you click on the picture, there is also a link to an informative website which discusses 11 art therapy benefits, for further information.