Backing Your Own Backyard

People ask us all the time how we travel so much. Want to know our secret? Most of our travels and outdoor adventures aren’t far. In fact, many of them are in our own backyard or within a 2-3 hour radius from our home. Sure, we love to travel to far off places and try to do that as often as we can, but we also know that we can see some pretty awesome places nearby too.

We may not be readily able to to travel outside Victoria but we can explore our own backyard. The Goldfields Guide is a rich mine of information for anyone wanting to get out and about. Why not rug up, lace up your boots, pack a bag with your journal supplies, a thermos and something to eat and head out to explore our fascinating backyard.

More Resources

8 Tips for Finding Adventure in Our Backyard

Why Every Aussie Should Explore Their Own Backyard 

 

 

 

 

Travel Inside Artwork

Before lockdown I used to take my writing groups to the Castlemaine Art Gallery and encouraged them to sit with art work and imagine themselves entering the scene that the artist had created or talk to the character whose portrait had been painted. At a time when so many places are closed or restricting entrance there are an abundance of virtual galleries that we can visit. 

Transpose yourself inside Paul Joseph Constantin Gabriël ‘s “In the month of July” painting! Visit Netherlands windmills farms in 1889.

Lean on These Resources

What is originality? It is a fallacy to think you have to come up with totally original ideas. Take the time to contemplate and consider which creative giants have influenced you. Who have you leaned on? 

These resources are ideal for journal keepers, looking for extra ideas.

How often, for example, do we ask ourselves what makes us happy and what we really want from life. In ‘A Life of One’s Own’ Marion Milner set herself to grapple with this. It is written in the spirit of a detective story searching out clues. As readers we get caught up in the chase and find ourself looking for our own clues.

‘The New Diary’ by Tristine Rainer provides a very modern concept of journal keeping and is as much for someone who has kept a journal as it is for someone who is just beginning. It does not tell us the right way to keep a journal but, rather, offers numerous possibilities.

Exercise: Recalling a Special Childhood Place – from ‘House – Exploring the Deeper Meaning of Home’

Starting a Journal

Students often think of journals, sketchbooks or visual diaries as a chore, but they can be an exciting space where they can synthesize and express experiences of both the external world and their own internal worlds of imaginings, feelings, dreams and ideas.

In this time of lockdowns, journals can be an even more useful tool.

This week’s resources will help you inspire students to let go of pre-conceptions, be experimental and find the joy in starting an artist journal.

Source: Latrobe Art Institute  Education Matters Edition #7
Link to Education Matters sent by Carol, one of our journal group.
You will find more 2020 resources here 

Tell Their Story

Paper dolls are figures cut out of paper or thin card, with separate clothes, also made of paper, that are usually held onto the dolls by paper folding tabs. They may be a figure of a person, animal or inanimate object. Paper dolls have been inexpensive children’s toys for almost two hundred years. Today, many artists are turning paper dolls into an art form.

Paper dolls have been used for advertising, appeared in magazines and newspapers, and covered a variety of subjects and time periods. Over the years, they have been used to reinforce cultural beliefs regarding the appearance of ideal women.

Today, they have become highly sought-after collectibles, especially as vintage paper dolls become rarer due to the limited lifespan of paper objects. Paper dolls are still being created today.
Source: Wikipedia

Perhaps as a part of a mixed media project you could make dresses for paper doll figures using things like water colours and silk flowers. Then you can create a world for your characters to live in and fill a journal telling their story.

As Good a Time as Any to Make a Start

Today is a good day to do what we have been talking about doing – to begin creating our new journal.

The Muddle-headed Wombat – Ruth Park

After a frost it is a bright and sunny day today! What to do? Alas! It is another Covid day and we are all supposed to be staying at home. At least in the Muddle Headed Wombat’s world the rain that saw them pull out their paints and pencils was eventually going to stop.

This Covid business is lingering on and on, with no end in sight.

It is the perfect time to get out the paints and pencils and make a start on that journal we all promised to start.

I draw a card from the Australian Animal Wisdom Cards and the Fairy Penguin reminds me that whatever is going on, we are here to work at living, not, as so many would have me believe, here to be serious and living just to work.

If you are reading this, do that thing you have been talking about doing right now! Let yourself play! Start the journal by creating a notebook to put your first ideas in! Go on! Just do it!

Timed Journal Writing

Founded in 1914, Daiyo is a 4th generation family business of candlemakers who are based in Shiga prefecture, Japan. There are 2 types of fires, says the company: Hinoe and Hinoto. Hinoe, the elder brother fire, and Hinoto, the younger brother fire, live without hierarchy but in a Yin-Yang relationship. The elder brother fire is like the flame of a burning sun. It is wild and must be handled with care. The younger brother fire is much smaller and can be handled with our hands. Fire has been with mankind for longer than history and have offered comfort in many shapes and forms.

“To light a candle is to share the stories in our lives and to establish new relationships.” – DAIYO

These fun tiny candles are handmade from natural rice wax. Because they’re virtually free of contaminants, the candles burn for 15 minutes with almost no smoke or drippage. Unlike typical candles that are made from hydrocarbons (or fossil fuels), these are environmentally friendly and perfect for indoor use.

The cat & mouse packaging design pays homage to the history of candle-makers in Japan, who have always made candles from vegetable wax. The natural wax attracts mice so candle-makers always had a cat around; a pet that was also a guardian.

Use a tiny candle it for your daily meditation, as a timer for taking breaks, a timer to write an intensive journal entry or simply to relax.

Establishing Creative Habits

Renowned choreographer, Twyla Tharp endorses the importance of establishing creative habits. Bancroft Manor is a virtual workspace for artists and writers alike. It offers a safe haven where creativity flourishes. An extension of the Soul Food Cafe Bancroft Manor provides a base for creative people seeking a rich assortment of reminders, routines, visual activities and writing prompts.

The Manor provides a space for people to ritually come to, a place where they can make it their daily practice to work on artistic projects.

At the end of each session of a Lived Experience, Memoir Writing course I do set homework and have the expectation that participants will come ready to share a piece at the next session. At a recent session where we undertook a memory building exercise that can be done repeatedly, I asked participants to set aside 20 minutes each day for the following week and come ready to share what they had achieved as they established a solid habit.