Amber Denton is a multimodal artist whose work includes painting, photography, and textiles. She has been engaging in the creative process for as long as she can remember and has used it as a place to process her journey since her early teenage years. She looks forward to helping others along their healing journey with the assistance of art. Amber received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in photography from Arkansas State University in 2014.
Amber is in her third and final year of graduate school at Lewis & Clark and will graduate with a Master’s in Art Therapy in June 2024.
When I began this semester, I knew that I wanted to work with the El Duende process, because it has been a helpful process for me in personal work as it allows space for deep reflection and unearthing the unknown. I am never sure where this process takes me, as I like to follow its lead, which I find to be a playful and joyous experience. As I progressed through the semester, I began to paint about the challenges I faced at my internship. As I focused on challenges that I felt drawn to explore deeper, a theme surfaced, so I followed it, which was the theme of discovering pieces of my art therapist identity. This piece became very powerful for me and proved essential in my growth as a clinician. At the end of this painting process, there were nine versions of this painting. Each version is documented in a book I created to walk viewers through my painting process. I encourage you to take a look at the book accompanying my painting to get a closer, more intimate look at my creative process.
“Smokey The Cat”
As I moved through this semester, I found that I needed some extra support as I was moving through changes in my personal life and within my professional development. As I explored ways to support myself best, I found that playfulness and gentleness were two essential aspects. I discovered that playfulness and gentleness are both ways in which I could offer support independently to myself, but also, when receiving support from others, gentleness was vital. So, about halfway through the semester, I decided to make a stuffed animal that represents someone special to me who passed away a few years ago and was a source of unconditional support for me. I am new to the sewing process, so this allowed me to tap into my playful and curious side. I also used the softest gray fur I could find to represent the gentle support I need as I move through challenging times in my life.