Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy


Expressive Therapies

First Advisor

Shaun McNiff

Second Advisor

Denise Malis

Third Advisor

Pat B. Allen


The one-canvas method is a practice of ongoing art making on one surface for a sustained period of time. Expanding on a pilot study, this inquiry followed an art-based research design guided by three questions: 1) Are there art therapy qualities that are unique to the one-canvas assemblage painting process? 2) What are the therapeutic qualities of interim periods during one-canvas work? 3) Can digital media that is used to document one-canvas processes further appreciation and understanding of therapeutic arts modalities? Five adult participants including myself, used the method over three sessions. Individual summary videos that integrated three modes of digital media documentation were shared as the basis for review at a fourth session. Four primary outcomes emerged: Engaging with the one-canvas method (1) provided opportunities to experience a continuous process of change and transformation; (2) generated an enhanced sense of an integral dynamic between new creations and the loss of previous ones; (3) the time between sessions was significant; and, 4) digital media made notable contributions.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.



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