Featured image above available as ecard or fine art print.
SEE DEBORAH’S ART GALLERIES HERE

Welcome!

This is the home for three interwoven websites. Together they provide a rich array of resources growing out of the core experience of Touch Drawing. The sidebar on the right gives you access to each of the three sites. Be sure to read about WHAT’S NEW and read below to learn about:

The Process of Touch Drawing
• Deborah Koff-Chapin’s Art
SoulCards

“On my last day in art school in 1974, I had a creative awakening. In a moment of playful exploration, I moved my fingertips on a paper towel that was intended to wipe an inked plate. Lifting the towel, I saw childlike scrawls had appeared on the underside from the pressure of my fingertips. I laughed ecstatically with this discovery! I had received a precious gift; a direct mode of expression that fulfilled my longing for a more natural way to draw. I sensed it would also help others open to their creative source. With this realization came a sense of responsibility. Somehow, I would share this process with the world.”

—Deborah Koff-Chapin
 

The Process of Touch Drawing

See Touch Drawing in a Minute Video
Learn about the simple yet profound process of Touch Drawing. Read stories of how people are using it in a vast range of settings. We provide all the educational media & art materials to start on your own. See my schedule of workshops and learn how you can facilitate Touch Drawing. The Annual Touch Drawing Gathering  is the deepest offering of the year. Our Online Community connects people who share a passion for healing arts and creative expression.

Deborah Koff-Chapin’s Art

See a vast array of images in the Galleries. View series that reflect transformative processes, and drawings inspired by leading authors and wisdom keepers of our time. Images are available as fine art prints , ecards, and original art. Consider the possibility of an Inner Portrait created for you, in person or via Skype. Read articles and interviews to get a sense of the context in which my work developed. Other creative mediums such as music, video and photographs are coming soon. This is going to be a place for me to have some fun!

SoulCards

Out of thousands of images, I selected 120 for intimate use as SoulCards 1 & 2. All SoulCards are also available as  Fine Art Prints & EcardsRead stories of the many ways people use SoulCards, and purchase your own decks.

Stay in Touch

Check  What’s New to see our current activities. Sign the Mailing List to receive inspirational images, stories of how Touch Drawing and SoulCards are being used, and to be notified if I am holding a workshop in your region. You can also join our Online Community. I welcome the gifts you bring to this emergent field. Feel free to contact me.

With Blessings,

Deborah Koff-Chapin
Founding director,
The Center for Touch Drawing
Deb2013  
     
     

Touch Drawing Stories

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Core Course in Art & Healing Certificate Program

Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota, FL by Kathleen Horne Artvisioninc@aol.com In 2004, Victoria Domenichello-Anderson and myself approached Ringling School of Art and Design, with the idea of creating an Art and Healing Certificate Program. Nancee Clark, Director of Continuing Studies and Special Programs, quickly embraced the idea, and we offered our first course, Introduction to Art and Healing in the fall of 2004. The class filled, and was a huge success. We introduced Touch Drawing to our students, and the magic of this pr

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Touch Drawing During Treatment for Leukemia and AIDS

The Power of Touch Drawing to Heal

by Julie Rathbun and Sean Mcgee Note from Deborah: Julie has been using Touch Drawing in her process of healing from Leukemia. She has gone on to share the Touch Drawing one-on-one with others. In this offering, Sean shares his experience of being introduced to touch Drawing by Julie. He is now planning to bring Touch Drawing to an Aids art group he is part of, as well as to an Assisted Living Facility for people who are elderly or mentally/physically disabled. This heartful sharing from person to person is a beautiful examp

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Touch Drawing in the Dominican Republic

Aleah Chapin with Deborah Koff-Chapin  http://www.sisterislandproject.org/ This summer, my daughter Aleah took a journey to the Dominican Republic to volunteer for Sister Island Project. An artist in her own right, it was requested that she bring art materials to share with the children in the village. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to pack up some Touch Drawing materials along with the usual crayons and craypas. When Aleah returned and told me about her experience, I sensed that she felt the magic of introducing Touch Drawing - the joy that lig

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Touch Drawing for Persons with a Life-Challenging Disease

by Ruth Vanden Bosch, M.A., R.N., L.P.C. I have worked with Exceptional Cancer Patients (ECaP), a group founded by Bernie Siegel, MD, for several years. It is a specialized form of individual and group therapy based on “carefrontation,” a loving, safe, therapeutic confrontation that facilitates personal change and healing. Dr. Siegel taught me that what people say is often a cover-up, because we are all trained in language and use it, consciously or not, to conceal things that disturb us. When we communicate in visual images, we tell the truth, because we can'

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Inner Portrait for Healing from Cancer

by Deborah Koff-Chapin When a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer, my way to support her during surgery was to draw. During her recovery the walls of her room were covered with the images. “The drawings were an inner mirror that helped me stay in touch with my interior process when I had no energy or strength to do so on my own. In our medical system, there is such an overwhelmingly huge emphasis on outer process - test results, statistics, treatment options – it was exhausting. I felt traumatized with no resources for the inner work t

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Touch Drawing with Mentally Disabled People in Arica, Chile

by Tosha Tobias with Photographs by Kenny Tosha Tobias has been opening the way for Touch Drawing in Chile for a number years. Along with her working partner, Ximena, she has recently introduced Touch Drawing to teachers, children in a nursery school and mentally disabled adults in an institutional setting. She has exhibited her own Touch Drawings in Santiago, and has plans for an exhibition of Touch Drawings by children with cancer in the future.   We were invited to teach in Umpade, an institution where they receive people of low income, of differe

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In-Depth Touch Drawing with Children

by Katrina Plato In July I taught a one week, half days Touch Drawing class for children ages 7 to 12 at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. Nine children attended the class. None of the children knew one another, but by the end of the week strong bonds had formed. This was one of the most enjoyable and exciting classes I have taught. The outline of the day consisted of gathering to draw for an hour and a half, breaking for a half hour to play and eat snacks, returning to title drawings and choosing favorites to share with the group. The last h

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A Lifetime of Creating Continues Despite Parkinsons via Touch Drawing

by 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

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Touch Drawing with Pregnant Women

by Ivy Shawl-Song I am a Certified Childbirth Educator and Rehabilitation Practitioner. I am currently completing my requirements for Midwifery registration in Alberta, Canada through the Midwives College of Utah's BScM program. I have been facilitating childbirth classes for 3 years, and incorporate Touch Drawing within the class to help pregnant women deal with any fears, anxieties or apprehensions surrounding the upcoming labor and birth. I start with a Talking Circle, and the pregnant women talk about any fears or apprehensions they may have sur

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Touch Drawing with Traumatized Children in Gaza

by Mohammad Mukhamair Last fall Mukti Khanna invited me to introduce Touch Drawing to two Palestinian therapists from Gaza who were in Olympia, WA for a trauma treatment training program. It was very moving to connect with them, and we sent them home with a suitcase full of Touch Drawing supplies. One of the therapists, Mohammad, and I have maintained an active correspondence since then, as much as can be expected from someone in a war zone. Sometimes he hears a blast out the window while he is writing. Sometimes roads are blocked off and he can't get

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Touch Drawing at Hospital Stroke Retreat

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 to provide a fun filled

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Finding Beauty Within Grief

by Kathleen Horne Artvisioninc@aol.com I arrived at the Touch Drawing Gathering, not really thinking that one of the themes I would be encountering would be grief over my mother's passing, eight months earlier. However, as always, when we make space for a deepening and open into the threads that are active in our psyches, what needs to come forth, will. I could feel, as my TD process deepened, the hovering around of grief. Suddenly, as I put my hands on the paper and began to draw, it was as though I were stroking her face, as she lay in the hospital

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Touch Drawing with Therapists in Puerto Rico

Attendants Commentaries: "Only God or the Higher power knows how much I needed to reaffirm many things that I'm coping and working with,  physically, spiritually and collectively. Thank you." "Very good, we need more practice and technique management." "A wonderful experience ! A journey inward in a new medium for me! I loved the workshop – hope you will give many more. I plan to continue drawing regularly and will use it in my work . Thank you for all your giving." "The workshop was tremendous, I really feel like an 'awakening'." "I have to pay attention to myself

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Hold Me

A Hospice Worker Processes her Experience Through Touch Drawing by Shemaya Nancy Blauer As a hospice volunteer I often sat bedside and entered into an intimacy and being that words could not begin to describe. Each person’s journey was unique, and my task was to enter their world and be a companion, allowing each moment to unfold into the next. This particular evening I was asked to go to a patient’s room, as she was requesting to be held. Although I had connected with her on previous visits, I knew that I needed to walk into her

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TD as a Communication Tool

Touch Drawing as a communication tool when few means of communication are left by Madelyn Pitts A dear friend of mine has been dealing with encephalosis; an organic disease of the brain. The doctors think that a virus attacked her cerebral tissues and is destroying it. The process is irreversible and untreatable. Being able to share Touch Drawing with PJ was a way for me to communicate how much I love her. Touch Drawing gave PJ a way to communicate to the outer world through connecting with a part of herself that is be

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Transforming Negative Mental Images after 9-11 Through Touch Drawing

by David Baum, Ph.D. Done during a five day Touch Drawing Class as part of the Doctor of Ministry program at Mathew Fox's University of Creation Spirituality in Oakland, California. David's words: Of all the painful images of 9-11, I was most profoundly affected by seeing people jumping to their deaths. I inwardly shuddered afterwards for weeks, imagining the unimaginable, the choosing of death by burning or jumping. For weeks afterwards this thought evoked deep sobbing. It was pain I could not move beyond. Four months later in Touch Drawing, I found t

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We Wear Each Others Colors

SoulCards & Touch Drawing & A Family in Transition By Stacy Robinson My daughter purchased SoulCards for me as a gift a couple of years ago because she knew that Deborah's images were very much the feelings that I wanted to evoke from my own art, IF I could ever start painting again. The cards sat on a shelf for a long time, untouched. Upon receiving word that my mother's breast cancer had spread to the brain and bones, I ran to the closet and instinctively grabbed the cards as I raced to the airport. I was raised in a conservative Southern Ba

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Touch Drawing in New York City after 9-11

I want to share some images and writing from one of my Touch Drawing workshops at the Open Center in NY. These workshops were offered free of charge to anyone who wanted to come. Several of the attendees had been eyewitnesses to the Trade Center collapse. When we gathered for the closing circle, I had the sense that we had done a collective Touch Drawing session. See below some of their images and words. Find out more about the Heart of America Bus Tour, the context in which these workshops were held. See Deborah's Touch Drawings of New York City Firemen, cr

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Touch Drawing and Pain Management

Touch Drawing and Pain Management: A Beautiful Meeting of Ideas Rebecca A. Leonard, MA, MFT As an Expressive Arts Therapist and a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I have been using different forms of expressive art therapy in my job at a hospital in San Francisco for nearly five years now. It is only recently, after my attendance at the Touch Drawing Gathering last summer, that I have had the tools and the training to bring Touch Drawing into the hospital as a form of therapy for those recovering from illness, as well as introduce this process i

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Painting a Sense of Self Control

The Sarasota Herald Tribune recently published an article featuring Charles Jursa, a participant in the Touch Drawing classes for Parkinsonians at Health South Rehabilitation Hospital of Sarasota, Florida. The article was written on the occasion of an exhibition of Charles Jursa’s Touch Drawings at the Expressive Arts Florida gallery. It is this moving story of how one man has found hope and inspiration through Touch Drawing. Read the article here. Charles Jursa of Sarasota, who suffers from Parkinson's, says touch drawing, a form of expressive arts therapy, makes h

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Touch Drawing with Parkinsonians and Their Caregivers

By Susan Jackewicz in collaboration with Victoria Domenichello-Anderson VICTORIA_ANDERSON6@msn.com Along with Kathleen Horne, Victoria started the Art and Healing Certificate program at the Ringling School of Art This pilot program evolved from a group of Parkinsonians called The Hodgepodge Painters, founded by caregiver Susan Jackewicz for her mother who has lived with the disease for 12 years. The members gathered weekly for painting sessions on canvas board using tempera paints, brushes, sponges, and sometimes, fingers. After some

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Touch Drawing: The Art of Grief 

Interfaith Minister Uses Touch Drawing in Grief-Work Author: Rev. Donna Belt It’s been five weeks now since I sat with my mother as she died, and in many small ways, I have become a stranger to myself. Sometimes I hear the foot-stamping anger of a petulant little girl crying through my mouth and I’m as startled as my family. This is strange and unfamiliar territory as feelings bubble to the surface, often asserting themselves from years past. Elizabeth Lesser (co-founder of the Omega Institute) speaks of the “… ‘ego death

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Inner Portrait for Death Support

by Deborah Koff-Chapin A beloved friend had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. She used it as a catalyst for her awakening. After three years, she slipped into a coma. Remaining in her home, she was cared for by beloved friends through the process of dieing. One afternoon, I set up my materials and drew in the sacred presence of her being. I cannot know if this communion with her spirit was helpful to her soul as she prepared to die, but I hope it was. Her husband shared that “The resonant and sensitive presence bubbling through the drawings added a

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