Archive for the ‘Art Therapy’ Category

Goodbye Cancer!
October 7, 2019

Goodbye Cancer – at least for now.

I finished a three week course of radiation therapy at the end of August followed by a month of recovery, regaining my energy levels and allowing time for a rash to disappear.

I will be taking anti cancer medication for the next 5 years and there will be monitoring by my medical oncologist and surgeon during that time.

But now I am free to focus on other aspects of life as my weeks are not dominated by medical procedures and treatments.

I can now work in my garden which disappeared under a green veil of scrambling weeds during the autumn and winter. I am surprised by what has managed to survive underneath it all.

I began this mandala collage at the beginning of the radiation treatment and completed it in the last few days.

The inspiration for the collage came during the yoga session before the radiation treatment started:

Red – the healing process

Blue – calm, stillness, keeping centred

Orange/autumn colours – the cycles of the seasons and of life

Yellow – strength, resilience, optimism

Pink – the love and support of family and friends.

The design of the collage was influenced by the small, stained glass windows found in local churches.

 

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Intuitive Collage
October 18, 2016

In late August, I attended an Intuitive Collage workshop being offered by Ann Bidstrup of Heart Art . The purpose of the workshop was to gain a greater appreciation of what is significant to us at this time through a process of inquiry leading to the creation of a series of collages. From time to time, Ann offers workshops based on art therapy practices where the process of creating takes precedence over the finished work. Another similar workshop was Inspirational Beads which I attended in 2011.

The process of creating the collages was simple, but intense. The first stage of the process was collecting images from magazines. Putting the logical part of our brains to one side, we cut out images which attracted our attention. No over thinking here, just collecting images which said ‘Pick me, pick me.’

The next stage was sorting through the images and selecting a few which had the strongest attraction. Choosing one image to work with, we began the process of internal inquiry, imagining ourselves within the image and exploring how it had meaning or significance for us. We wrote down our thoughts until we could give a name to the image which signified its connection to us at this time.

The final stage was assembling the collage using other images which complemented the theme of the dominant image. The images were glued to card 13cm x 20cm.

During the full day workshop, I created three collaged cards.

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This first card is titled ‘Phoenix’.

As my role of aunt has diminished, I am undergoing a period of transition, letting go of the old and creating new roles for myself here in Castlemaine.

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This card is ‘Joy’.

The cheeky frog represents the joyful aspects of my life at present. I chose the hot, happy colours to complement this theme.

 

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The title of the final card is ‘Survival’.

I am reminded to pay attention to those things in life which assist with my survival – which keep me functional in this world.

Redemption
June 18, 2015

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This crayon drawing is inspired by my thoughts and feelings about the executions of  Australian citizens, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in Indonesia on the 29th of April 2015.

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Collage: These are a Few of My Favourite Things
August 22, 2014

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“When the dog bites,

When the bee stings,

When I’m feeling sad,

I simply remember my favourite things and then I don’t feel so bad.”

As sung by Julie Andrews in ‘Sound of Music’

I made this collage about some of my favourite things about my home:

The strips of toilet paper wrapper – my house is light and bright, full of colour and texture,

The red tea bag wrappers – the pleasure of drinking good quality green tea. I’ve run out. I need to get some more.

The art work made by my nieces – their greeting cards give me a lot of pleasure. Gemma wrote 61 all over the turtle’s shell to mark my 61st birthday.

The pieces of knitting – knitting is calming. Balls of yarn settle on various surfaces in the living area. Most days I am extracting yarn from Katie’s mouth. Katie loves anything soft and chewy. She prefers my yarn to her yarn which lives in her own special yarn bag.

The keys – keys to my heart, keys to happiness, the keys I can never find when I need them.

The beads – the joy of my own creations which adorn my home.

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Katie who just wants to have fun.

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Arlo, The Magnificent, who doesn’t have much time for Katie.

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Belle, The Huntress, who is sitting on the kitchen bench which is forbidden. That reflective collar isn’t there for decoration. Belle is Katie’s favourite playmate.

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Charcoal Drawing: Treacherous Seas
July 19, 2014

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After another hostile encounter with my neighbour, I felt all at sea in danger of  crashing onto jagged rocks. I needed guidance to bring me safely through the ordeal.

It has been a very stressful time both physically and emotionally. I have appreciated the wisdom and support of family and friends.

The Shield
May 29, 2014

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Relations with one of my neighours continues to be difficult.

Once again I have used art to express my emotions about a recent incident.

This time I feel a strong need to defend myself and my home.

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Lino Print: Desolation
March 7, 2014

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Yesterday, Thursday, I began a series of 5 print making workshops ‘rough cuts’ at a local art supply shop in Castlemaine.

Betsy Forster, a local artist, will guide the group  through the process of making relief prints. We will be making lino and wood prints.

In the coming weeks, I will be sharing what I have made but nothing to show as yet.

I have made  lino prints in the past  and this workshop will help me  improve my technique.

For now, I have dug this lino print out of my archives and it will be interesting to see how my work develops over the next 4 weeks.

I gave the print the title  ‘Desolation’  as it illustrates my feelings about a career failure in my early twenties.

Monster Parsley
February 19, 2014

DSCN2724We don’t always get on with our neighbours.

I drew this picture after a recent skirmish with one of mine.

By making the drawing, I creatively expressed my emotions and was able to bring some humour into my experience of the situation.

The beauty of art therapy is we can freely express what we feel for a private audience – an audience of one.

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Collage: I Choose Joy
February 1, 2014

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I awake

A heavy, grey mist enveloping me.

Slowly, slowly my mother is fading away.

My father struggles with pain

He struggles to remember the events of the morning

His grandchildren are strangers to him.

My uncle rails against the bitterness of infirmity

‘Oh Death, where is thy sting?’

My cousin, her father’s full time carer,  bears it patiently.

I reflect on the line

‘Old age isn’t for wimps’

In the mean time,

I choose Joy.

I  wrote this a few weeks before my mother died on the 16th of December 2013.

My father’s health and memory have improved since he entered aged care accommodation.

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The Forest Spirit
January 18, 2014

DSCN1567This is one from the archives.

I drew this picture using oil pastels during an art therapy workshop ‘Mandala Art and Music’ in 2008.

We were asked to respond to a piece of music representing the forest.

I feel a strong connection with this drawing depicting the forest spirit, The Green Man.