My favourite tree is a palm tree because I like to think of myself as a palm. Looking at a palm tree from a glance, it looks weak, it’s skinny trunked and bendy. Yet it’s that bend that allows it to withstand the strongest of storms. During great storms they may bend so far they almost touch the ground yet they don’t snap and then when the winds stop the palm bounces back up. Storms actually make the palm tree stronger, their roots grow deeper and they bounce back up stronger than before. I associate this with my mental health because although I’m going through a hard time I’m going to get through it and become stronger than before.
Steph Yianakelis is a Melbourne artist and musician who has lived experience of the mental health system. This painting is a mulberry tree and is one of my favourite trees to hang around with. Connecting with nature and being creative are important to my wellbeing so it was natural to combine the two and be a part of this project. Trees in particular are a source of grounding and comfort for me in these difficult times. They remind me that no matter what, to stand tall.
I held my picture behind a lamp and the colours all came to life. I really love this drawing it’s close to my heart. My favourite tree tells a story of a little girl who loves nature and climbing trees. She loves rainbows and playing on the swings down at the playground. The little love hearts are decorations and symbolise her passions for her garden, her home, and her pet cat. I chose to work with Faber Castell textas. I love working with colour and I hope you all enjoy what you see.
When I am surrounded by the colour green I feel a sense of calm and tranquility in this world of chaos, uncertainty and disorder. I have always cared passionately about the environment and what we’re doing to the forests and ocean, makes me very sad. Green Dream = serene = calmness of the mind.
I made it as colourful as I could. It's unusual for me, cause I usually like thin black lines on white. But it was fun. It was like the Tree of Life for me, with the river and mountains, and a bountiful fruit tree with flowers. I consider trees my friends, and you’ll often find me looking up and admiring a beautiful, big oak or plain tree. Life wouldn’t be life with our trees. Their shade in summer, their fruit of lemons in winter, perfect remedies for colds. It's like we’re in sync with what we need to thrive and survive. And home sweet home for birds! I have had schizo-affective disorder for 20 years and drawing the natural world is my idea of a good holiday, accompanied with chess and prosecco. And I’m fortunate, it is my work when designing and writing books.
I love to draw from memory and imagination. I love to study botany and ecology. I like to study where plants belong. There's a place for me somewhere. I love being in nature and find peace going for bush walks. At the moment I am working on winter flower drawings. I say that winter is a time of plenty in the bush. I love to write stories about winter.
‘I call my Angel’
When I’m tired and feeling old,
When I’m lonely and feeling cold,
When I question why I’m here,
I call my Angel, ask her to be near.
When I’m in bed, nice to feel warm,
I ask my Angel to keep me from harm,
She picks me up with her feathered hand,
Soothes me to sleep in Loving dreamland.
She picks me up and places me gently,
Into my nest, my Sacred Tree.
She vows to protect, hums very softly,
Releases and heals the burden I bear.
My favourite tree is full of greenery and life. It’s an apple tree, which gives us something sweet and beautiful. Remember, it takes rain and sunshine for trees to grow.
Red and orange symbolise sunsets. Sunsets represent peace and a brand fresh new day.
This tree represents the world trying to organise me and my mind. But my mind is natural and beautiful.
When I created this tree I thought that they don’t always look good but on the inside they are strong and beautiful. I wanted to spread a message that no matter what you look like on the outside, it’s all what happens on the inside that matters.