Hello 2017! Update & FMC Arts in Health

Hi everyone!

I am amazed that we are well into March of 2017 already… This year is going by so fast for me, which is interesting because it has certainly not felt as busy as 2016!

I am dropping in to update you on where  myself and the blog are at, as well as giving you a heads up about an awesome opportunity to explore arts in health in action.

I returned to full time work this year, having decided to not continue with my art psychotherapy studies at this time. After 1 year of full time study in the field, I felt I had learned as much as I could under the guidance of the training college. I may return to complete it in the future, but will do so at a University rather than persist with the private education sector. (In Australia most Universities are public.)

Consequently, this year I am focusing upon my own art making and looking for new opportunities to apply my skills as a Psychologist, which is complimentary to but broader than ‘art therapy’ on its own. Art as and in therapy is a philosophy and approach to psychotherapy just like other well known modalities more commonly practiced by Psychologists today, such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) or Mindfulness.

I will continue to update this site periodically but updates will be less frequent as these will come from events that I attend or am aware of as relates to arts in health. If anyone has any particular topics, events or ideas they would like me to cover, please let me know (email is best: heartinsightart@gmail.com).

Once a site is up devoted to my own personal art making, I will also let you know here so that you can visit and give me some feedback on my work! 🙂


Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) is in the southern suburbs of Adelaide and has enjoyed a long running arts-in-health program. To celebrate 20 years of the program, a series of low cost (free to FMC staff and patients) lectures and events is coming up:

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Source: Flinders Medical Centre

You can download the full program and register to attend sessions here. 🙂


I hope you are all doing great and have been having a great year so far. 🙂 I look forward to updating you on my progress with my own art making over the coming months. I have decided to keep this and my new site separate as they reflect different areas of interest, different parts of myself.

If any of you are currently studying, where are you training and how is it going for you? I hope the journey is rewarding!



A sensory feast – LUSH Adelaide’s grand re-opening

A little note: We are fast forwarding a bit here, as this post may help you with your Christmas shopping! 🙂 I have been slow in updating the site the past couple of weeks as I have been diagnosed with tennis elbow in both arms. 😦 I will be OK but have been told it will take up to 6 weeks for me to recover; I need to avoid computer and smartphone use as much as possible during that time (all the typing and contorting of my hands and arms that is involved!).

Any LUSHies (LUSH fans) reading???

Source: LUSH

LUSH is a long-standing bath and body product brand. They were established in the UK in 1995 and pride themselves on producing high quality products that are not tested on animals. They also ethically source their ingredients.

Source: LUSH

I have been a LUSHie for many years (my favourite product is their The Comforter bubble bar – you can enjoy up to 4 luxurious baths out of one Bar if you slice it up and store in a snaplock bag!) and was super excited to be able to check out the refurbished Adelaide store.

This photo and all uncaptioned (i.e. uncredited) ones were taken by me 🙂

To say it is bigger and better is an understatement. It is completely different to the original store, with more product to explore and try, and even a consultation area. With plenty of space to browse, and multiple levels, you can now take your time shopping, and find what you are looking for more easily.

Mmm I love their rose stuff the most!

What does all this have to do with art therapy?

Art therapy involves the creative use of a variety of materials, including but not limited to traditional arts media, to help engage a client’s senses to stimulate the unconscious to uncover insights about their presenting difficulties. By gaining new insight, new opportunities and strategies for change can then be developed. Use of (traditional and novel) arts media also offer an opportunity to engage in mindful awareness and reconnect to our body and sense of self.

Bath and body items such as those at LUSH stimulate a multitude of senses. Automatically we may think of fragrance – smell, but there is also the visual element when considering the way bath bombs dissolve and dissipate their varied colours across the water.

I made this one on the night with the help of the LUSH team… it smells amazing! It is part of the Xmas range, ask for the Shoot for the Stars bath bomb!


Using a bath bomb next time you take a bath is a perfect opportunity to practice some mindfulness skills. (Mindfulness is about being fully present and aware in the current moment. You can read more about it here.)


Hold the bath bomb in your hand. Notice its texture, colours, and smell. How could you describe it? What is its shape like? How about its weight? Take a moment to take it all in. As you start running the water, notice the sound of the water as it flows into the bath tub, and then watch the journey the bath bomb takes as it lands in the water and begins to dissolve. What patterns do you notice in the water? Has the fragrance changed in any way? Have the colours changed in any way? How do the colours interact?

Shoot for the Stars in action 🙂

Taking the time to tune in and notice each the elements involved in preparing your bath with a LUSH bath bomb can provide you with some valuable mindful time, quiet time for your mind and spirit.


LUSH’s Xmas range

The re-opening was just in time for the release of LUSH’s annual Christmas range. They have delivered the goods again and I have been lucky to try some of this year’s range.

Special mention to Rose Jam, which is a delectable limited edition shower gel released for this time of year:

Here tis, sitting with its equally yummy neighbour the comforter shower gel! 😛

I stock up on this shower gel each year; a 500ml bottle will last me a couple of months, as a little squeezed onto a shower puff goes a long way. The fragrance is soothing and rosy without being old fashioned.

I look forward to trying out this little fella on Xmas Eve:


((((HEADS UP!!! If you are in Australia, LUSH is currently running a 12 days of Christmas giveaway on their Facebook page.))))


Have you ever tried LUSH products? Which is your favourite?

If you celebrate Christmas, how are you going with your preparations? 


Disclosure: I was invited to this event as a local blogger and received complementary LUSH items during my visit. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my visit or blog post. All views and opinions expressed in this blog post are genuine and my own.

June + July = Wedding + AVCon!

Hi everyone,

How are you going? I cannot believe how quickly 2016 has passed!

Time for some recapping, re June and July…

In June, I got married! 😀

Hubby and I had a bit of an alternative theme going on – no “white dress” for me!


Mega thanks to our photographer, Phong @ unscripted.com.au

We surprised extended family and friends by inviting them to our “engagement party”, and announcing at the party that we had already married the fortnight prior.

I think that celebrations of any kind are a great opportunity to apply your creativity. We customised our battle jackets (denim vests) and decorated them ourselves, and I made my bouquet. I also made the table decorations for our party:


I am fortunate to have a colleague who is a talented cake decorator; his creativity really shone through! 🙂

Thank you also to Andrew at Adelaide Cake & Cheesecake Company – facebook.com/Adelaidecakecompany


In July I volunteered for AVCon, Adelaide’s Anime and Videogames Convention. I have been attending the convention for some years but had not volunteered for a long time. It was a lot of fun to help out and meet new people, as well as explore Artist Alley and catch up on some new anime. Here are some of the artworks submitted for judging this year as well as only a small selection of the board games available for free-play within the venue (I love board games!). 🙂





One of my volunteer shifts was in the ReachOut Room. This room is a chill out space sponsored by youth mental health organisation ReachOut (you can read more about them here, and check out their free apps too!)… Guess who is reading about WorryTime?! 😛


The ReachOut room was also staffed by the founders of a new not for profit mental health organisation known as CheckPoint. CheckPoint are unique in that they are delivering psychoeducational programs and support services to “gamers” (aka those who play video or computer games). You can read more about them here.

I hope to get an opportunity to volunteer with CheckPoint again as they target a broader age group than ReachOut, and focus on a niche area that has previously been neglected.


So, as you can see, a lot what happening mid-year!

Now, onwards to recapping August through September… 🙂

May 2016 – Youth Mental Health Forum & Turbo Brown

Hi everyone! I hope that if you live in Australia, as I do, that you have not been affected too badly by the significant storms we had late last month. These resulted in loss of power at my home for almost 24 hours (I was luckier than many!), and loss of internet for much longer. (Australia’s telecommunications infrastructure is old fashioned and in my suburb the copper wiring can get water damage during times of heavy rain. Until the wiring gets a chance to dry out, the internet is kaput.)


I thought that the best way to catch up on my blogging was to recap the previous months, exhibitions and workshops I attended, some of what I have been up to in class, etc, etc. So we are going to start with May and work on from there. My plan (technology, health and weather permitting! :P) is to publish at least one post a week till I am all caught up, and then we can resume my ideal programming which is posting once a week-fortnight. 🙂

In May I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend a Youth Mental Health Forum here in Adelaide. The event was presented by Northern Health Network, Headspace, and the Primary Health Networks (phn), and held at Tandanya. Tandanya is formally known as the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, and is home to a number of indigenous arts exhibitions as well as the performing arts. You can read more about Tandanya here, it is well worth a visit if you are ever in town.

 The Forum was a great opportunity to hear about the current state of youth mental health services in Adelaide as well as emerging research findings about a number of youth relevant topics: application of Positive Psychology approaches in schools, the impact of social media and video game usage in youth, and so on.

One of the speakers was Tandanya’s own has arts education officer, who provides outreach and leads activities for indigenous youth. I was not aware that Tandanya provided such a service until the day! Her presentation, “Working and engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people” was engaging and provided real world examples of how engagement in the arts can have positive personal, group, and community impacts.

Youth Mental Health Forum Tandanya 2016

Examples of the results of the community art projects she has facilitated, from her presentation, are below:

Youth Mental Health Forum Tandanya 2016

(Excuse the image quality in this case, I was seated waaaaay up the back! :))

Youth Mental Health Forum Tandanya 2016

Youth Mental Health Forum Tandanya 2016

Youth Mental Health Forum Tandanya 2016

Following the Forum, I discovered an artist new to me. Tandanya hosts exhibitions year round, and during the Forum they featured the work of Turbo Brown. Turbo grew up in North Western Victoria and is from the Latje Latje community. He later had the opportunity to study visual arts at RMIT, Melbourne, and is now a full time artist.

 Youth Mental Health Forum Tandanya 2016

Some examples of his work from the exhibition program, as photos-in-gallery were not permitted:

Youth Mental Health Forum Tandanya 2016

 Youth Mental Health Forum Tandanya 2016

Youth Mental Health Forum Tandanya 2016

You can read more about Turbo and view more of his work here.


Again, as said in an earlier post, I apologise for the time it has taken for me to get posts published. Nevertheless, I hope that you are continuing to enjoy the blog! Please remember that you can follow me on instagram (@heartinsightart) for more frequent updates, including my work in class and attempts at some Inktober scribbles! 🙂

Best wishes to all of you! 🙂

Still here, still pushing on :)

Hello everyone, and welcome to new followers and readers! 🙂

Where has the time gone this year?

My coursework has become really intense; we are at the pointy end where a lot of practical, group, and hands on work is required. I am learning a lot but have had very little free time. Some days I feel like I am trying to scale a steep cliff with my fingernails, but then I reach a ledge where I can take a few breaths and  start to glimpse a view of the good things to come… Then it’s more cliffhanging… Until February 2017 at least, when our Clinic Week intensive is complete.

I miss blogging regularly, and I miss being able to read others’ blogs regularly. I have been trying to keep my instagram updated (@heartinsightart) but that too has been lagging. I apologise for this and hope you will understand the lack of regular posts.

Good news – I have got a lot of material on file that I had planned to share earlier. So please stay tuned for a series of posts, titled by month, to catch you up on what I’ve been doing. These should start appearing later this month, prior to me moving house. (Yup the fun doesn’t stop around here! ;))

I hope you are all well. I include a drawing I created in class back in late June, representing some of the feelings I was going through at that time.


PS. Today marks 1 year of heART: insight through ART! 🙂 Interesting coincidence.

burning buildings, heart insight art, heART

magic object: skateboard magic

Hello! 🙂

It pays to subscribe to the Art Gallery of SA’s email list… Through it I found out about a deck painting workshop hosted by local artist Joshua Searson, as part of the Magic Object: Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art exhibition. I have a small (and growing!) collection of (skateboard) deck art, and thought why not add to it by creating something myself?

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I roped in my fiancé – who typically prefers music making to art making 😉 – and off we went. We did not have a set plan for what we would create on our decks, though I had hoped we would come out with something we can display in our future home.

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After some thought, he suggested that we create an image across two decks, so that our individual decks formed one image. I thought this was a clever idea.

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Fiancé hard at work!
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Hiiiii! It’s me. 🙂

It was interesting to see how the imagery on the decks developed. Spontaneous ideas, “oops” moments and discussion led to a unique end result. It was the first joint art making activity I have engaged in with my fiancé and a bit of a magic moment for me (haha I couldn’t resist an opportunity for a lame joke! ;)).

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The artworks of each participant were varied and truly showed that one is only limited by imagination when decorating a deck! I think that everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable time.

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The workshop was a positive art making experience, a unique opportunity to learn about and from a local artist, and excellent value for money. I strongly recommend you check out any future workshops the Art Gallery of SA runs – I know I will be! 🙂

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You can also find out more about our workshop host, Joshua, and his art here.

What do you think of our decks?
Have you tried creating deck art, or own some deck art?
What do you think of this trend?


leaf mandala

Hi everyone! Apologies for the delay in writing. I have lots of ideas but not as much free time as I would like to sit down to write and photograph. I would rather blog less often and create interesting, quality posts for you guys than publish a half-hearted post every couple of days, so my ideas for new posts will eventually appear! 🙂

I recently led my classmates through an activity which we all enjoyed doing. So I thought I would share it with you here! 🙂 You can complete this task alone or alongside others. The inspiration for this activity is from the blog  Creativity in Therapy, and the nature and meditative and mindful aspects of it really appeal to me.

You will need paper (I used A3, but A4 is fine too), a leaf (or leaves, it’s up to you really), a pencil or marker to draw the circle for the mandala as well as trace around the leaf, and art materials of your choice to colour the mandala in later.

Here’s mine from start to finish:

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I know it seems a bit messy – I had to fold it up and place inside one of my books to bring home from class.

Give it a go – it is a great way to spend an hour! 🙂

If you try it, please show me a photo of what you have created in the comments below. 🙂

busy busy bee

Hi everyone,

Well, school is back in session! It is challenging, there is a lot covered in each class, but I am really enjoying my studies. This year I am juggling 1.5 days/week of face to face classes with 4 days/week work… I am not sure how successful I will be in maintaining the balance but I am determined to give it my best shot!

(I am studying a Graduate Diploma of Arts Psychotherapy.)

Today I have been working on an assigned essay about “why” humans engage in art making, and have completed a list of the materials I will need to get started on a journal project. The results of the project will be shared with my class in a group exhibition format.

As you have probably gathered from all this, the pressure is ON! 😛

I have not been doing any unassigned art projects this week, but here are a few snaps of some of my stuff from class so far… Remember the purpose of Arts Therapy is not to create “great art” but rather to use the art to help you work through an internal and psychological process.

art therapy

art therapy

art therapy

art therapy

A classmate has suggested some drawing apps for use on my Samsung tablet, and I think I will try doing my next image in the RAWWWK! series with that. It will be a first for me!


On Sunday I attended a blogger networking event hosted by Bloggers United AU. It took place at the beautiful Seawall Apartments and I had a great time! 🙂 If you follow me on instagram you would’ve seen this shot of me – too bad I wasn’t looking at the right camera! 😛


Thank you to the Bloggers United AU national and SA team for delivering an awesome event, and to all of the brands and speakers who participated. 🙂 From time to time you will see products from the day on my Instagram, as I gradually go through them and test those which are relevant to me and to you, my readers!

I hope you all have a great week ahead, and if you are in Adelaide, please consider checking out some of the many wonderful arts festivals and exhibitions that we have going on at the moment, including:

Locals don’t call this time of year “Mad March” for nothing! 😉

I want to devote an upcoming blog post to a Fringe exhibition that I am keen to see… Here’s hoping that my plan to schedule in a visit works!


How has your week been?
Have you attended the Biennial, Fringe, or other festival events yet? 


I love music. I’m sure most people do!

I like most genres. Everything has its place, but I enjoy LOUD and live music a lot. 🙂

This has prompted me to get scribbling on a new series of sorts – RAWWWK! (I like naming things, don’t I?)

First up, my rendition of Alissa White-Gluz…

alissa white-gluz

I used this picture as a reference:

Alissa White-Gluz
Source: http://www.blackrose-photos.de

Some of the steps in the process… So much work and rework. I found this both challenging and rewarding to work through, as I could see what needed changing at each step and the image (in my amateur opinion!) improved at each step.

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If you aren’t  familiar with Alissa, you can read more about her and her current band Arch Enemy here.

Who or what is your drawing, painting or otherwise creating inspo right now?

knowing when to stop

Hi everyone,

I hope you have had a great weekend, and a fun Valentine’s Day if you celebrate it! 🙂

I used the occasion as a prompt for two drawings, one based on a mandala the other a critter from my imagination. The second is called “Love Bites!”

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valentines day mandala

love bites valentines day

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When creating both of these images there were pivotal points. Points in which I could stop and consider the drawing finished, or I could keep going. Something I’ve found when drawing is that it is important to know when to stop. “Less is more” is certainly true when it comes to drawing, in my humble opinion!

Drawing these was fun and relaxing.

Have you been drawing or otherwise creating lately? Feel free to share a link to your work! 🙂