Friendship and the Mysteries.

Bright yellow.

My heart feels joyful.
Citrine, amethyst, rose quartz.
Rocks from Sedona. Given by a friend.
Optimism and clarity. Protection and wisdom.
Love and compassion. Friendship and the mysteries.

I often use bits and pieces that I gather from the local bushland in my assemblages and flatlays. Some of which are not considered to be typically ‘beautiful’ but it’s all in the ‘seeing.’

It took me a long time to understand that we all see what we think is the same thing, person, object or situation quite differently: In a way that’s unique to our being, background and environment.

How do we find ways to express what is unique in our seeing and understanding ~And also be able to extend our thinking and perception to encompass that of others, to find coherence.

‘Friendship and the Mysteries.’

Employing much the same methods as my assemblages with natural materials and water/ice. Now using only a simple piece of coloured paper for the background and a crystal obélisque.

A few years ago, I made a sculpture with 4 pillars that were all three-sided. It was installed high on a cliff overlooking the ocean at Bondi, South of Sydney.

From that work came the idea of making pillars that were four-sided and instead of being vertical, would gently narrow with their height. It was only later that I realized the shape of ‘my idea’ was actually that of an obélisque.

It’s been at the back of my mind for some time now, to make obélisques in a similar way to the original 4 pillars. So including this little crystal obélisque in my arrangements has been quite a significant beginning again for me .

Materials: Crystal obélisque, citrine, amethyst, rose quartz and Sedona rock pieces. With seeds, dried hydrangeas and rose petals on yellow paper.


Stage 1.

There is nearly always some sort of structure in the background of my ephemeral art, that becomes hidden or merges with added layers.

The small yellow crystals seen here were quite hidden by the final stage. I tend towards liking the simplicity of these early stages.

Materials: Crystal obélisque surrounded by 6 pieces of citrine with 6 seeds on yellow paper.


Stage 2.

Addition of four larger crystals and Sedona rocks that a friend had given me.

Materials: Crystal obélisque surrounded by 6 pieces of citrine and 6 seeds on yellow paper. With citrine, amethyst, rose quartz and Sedona rock pieces placed in the corners.


Stage 3.

Much of my work is about building up layers, so that the background is only partially or no longer visible.

A loosly structured circle of dried hydrangea petals. Carefully placed

Materials: Crystal obélisque surrounded by 6 pieces of citrine and 6 seeds on yellow paper. With citrine, amethyst, rose quartz, Sedona rock pieces in the corners and dried hydrangeas randomly placed.


Stage 4: Final Stage of ‘Friendship and the Mysteries.’

A sprinkling of some dried rose petal gave an ‘enchanted randomness.’

My arrangements generally start to become overdone towards the end. I do like to push them till they begin to fall apart. However  at this stage I already knew it was time and no more was needed.

Materials: Crystal obélisque, citrine, amethyst, rose quartz and Sedona rock pieces. With seeds, dried hydrangeas and rose petals on yellow paper.


About my work.

Relatively small assemblages or arrangements are constructed from flowers, weeds and plants, combined with other natural materials that I find in the local bushland or surrounding urban streets.

If you have any questions about this work or would like to leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you.

This article was originally posted at my Steemit website and titled: Friendship and the Mysteries.

All photographs: ©Alison Lee Cousland.


Silvery light. Ripples. Seagulls.

Silvery light. Ripples.
Sine waves. Fast moving clouds.
Reflected. Waxing Moon rising. Still lagoon.
Sky blue water. Silvery shallows. Seagulls form inverted V . ~Ally.

Six seagulls.


Edge of the Lagoon.
SONY Mark2 A7: ISO 250: 35 mm: f/13: 1/100 sec

Seagull duck-diving. Surfacing. Perfect ripples.

I was watching one lone seagull. Observing what was happening to the surrounding water every time he/she dived down and then came back up again. The still water would ripple as he/she dived, so I waited till he/she came up again and photographed the seagull + ripples.


Perfect Ripple.
SONY Mark2 A7: ISO 250: 35 mm: f/13: 1/100 sec.

The other side of the lagoon.

The ocean.
Seagulls braced against the wind.
Perfect clouds. Rolling surf. Waves crashing over Long Reef.
Thousands of Footprints. Ghosts of just another day at the beach.

Ghosts of Today.
SONY Mark2 A7: ISO 250: 35 mm: f/13: 1/100 sec.

Gulls in a row.

Two seagulls directly in front of me.
A third seagull gliding towards them.
Waiting. Breathing. Waiting. Breathing.
Three seagulls directly in front of me. NOW.

Three seagulls. ~Ally
SONY Mark2 A7: ISO 250: 35 mm: f/13: 1/100 sec.
The Long Reef Headland was declared an aquatic reserve in 1980 to protect marine invertebrates found on the rock platforms and subtidal marine plants and animals.
The Lagoon is a wildlife refuge that spread over 77 hectares of important land and water habitat for native animals, including local and migratory birds.

Magic at play.

The blue of the water was absolutely magical. Silvery as the late afternoon light shone down upon it. And then every so often the seagulls swam into synchronized positions. Was it my imagination or was magic at play here?

I feel ever SO grateful to be an artist sometimes. To see and then share the beauty in so many ‘little things’ like this that can then be expressed through my photography.

I find that the more I can simply be there in the moment, wherever I happen to be, the more I will see in the way of subtle tones, patterns and formations. And the more I feel this ‘seeing’ the higher my spirit, and the more open to wonder I become.

Every day gives us a new opportunity to experience so many magical moments. And with a little help from my ‘Creative Muse’ I love to photograph new spaces that also give the ‘Creative Muse’ a renewed ‘breath of fresh air.’

Magical Moments(1)

This article was originally posted at my Steemit website and titled: Magical Moments.

All photographs: ©Alison Lee Cousland.

Source: Long Reef Reserve.




Tangerine Roses.

With a heart radiating compassion and warmth.
Embracing the tangerine of this earthly life.
Basking in the sunshine of friendships.
Creative in everything you do.
Ever direct and honest.
A dancer BE.

Sometimes before beginning a new work, I will hold an impression of a person in my mind, feel my connection with them and dedicate the work to them.

I gather about me any natural elements: Usually flowers, berries, leaves and seeds of the prevailing season, as well as other stones, gems, crystals or ornaments that in some way relate to my feelings for this person.


Someone fills the cup in front of us. We taste only sacredness. ~Rumi.
Photograph: ©Alison Lee Cousland.

Tangerine Roses.

This piece was created with a particular friend in mind, an earth sign. So already I was thinking: Earthy tones of soft tangerine and creamy off-whites with muted forest greens: Small pure white stones, slightly larger white crystal stones with larger river rocks.

Orange is such a beautiful warm and stimulating colour. A combination of red and yellow, it has the vital energy of red with the sunniness of yellow. An excellent colour for creativity, enticing us to find the time, space and freedom to explore our inner world.

My friend who has an excellent eye for beauty had given me the intricately carved pot as a birthday present and it seemed only ‘natural’ that it be the starting point and central feature of the work.

About my work.

Relatively small assemblages or arrangements are built from flowers, weeds and plants combined with other natural materials that I find in the local bushland or surrounding urban streets.

During the creation of these pieces ~ The process is incredibly magical. Thoughts of anything else are silenced.

Sometimes hundreds of photographs are taken at the different stages of any arrangement. Sometimes a song or quote or other ideas/thoughts/words come to me, as I look at the resulting images. Giving form to new expressions ~ Short ‘poems’ to accompany the images.

I really enjoy receiving comments and questions about my work. Especially from people who may see and add another dimension from their own reality. So if you have another layer to add ~ Please do.

This article was originally posted at my Steemit website and titled: Tuesday Orange.

All photographs: ©Alison Lee Cousland.

The Golden Dragonfly. Dream of the Rainbow Winged Dragonfly.

When the moon comes up to the shine of a face:
The birds are fast asleep.
The dragonfly frees herself of ages past:
Her rainbow wings to keep.
~Adapted from Loreena McKennitt.

Time to see the sunlight dancing as one with the shadows. ~Rumi.
Photograph: ©Alison Lee Cousland.

This is my third article about the ‘Golden dragonfly’ that I photographed a few mornings a week over a period of four months.

Capturing the Golden Dragonflies.

The only way to capture these Golden dragonflies was to BE. BE with my breath, BE with the sensation of mud squelching through my toes, BE with the gentle breezes of dawn, BE with the morning light, BE with the chill and warmth in the air, BE with the sound of rippling water and the songs of birds. BE with the stillness that allowed me to connect to the Golden dragonfly.


Only from the heart can you touch the sky. ~Rumi.
Photograph: ©Alison Lee Cousland.


A few years back I had many dreams and experiences with owls. Owls just appeared from everywhere: In my dreams, in the surrounding streets, a print in a naturopath’s reception area, and then in my own backyard.

After an exceptionally vivid dream of an owl with rainbow coloured wings, I began to incorporate ‘the owl’ into collage work I was doing at the time and embraced the owl as my totem creature.

The appearance of dragonflies.

Dragonflies started appearing in a similar way at a very significant time for me: After not doing any art work for 5 years, I was accepted by Sculpture by the Sea (An international sculpture event held at Bondi, Sydney) to create and install an environmental sculpture. Much more about that particular installation in another article.

The first dragonfly I was attracted to was while walking around the local lake. A golden flash amongst the reeds, that I help my eye upon as I walked towards it. As I came close, the golden glint from the wings took on more of a milky translucent appearance.

I didn’t have my camera with me that morning but the next day at the lake at dawn, I most certainly did.

Dragonflies also seemed to appear wherever I went: The local creek was alive with Blue tailed dragonflies. The storm water drain area in my own backyard (being reclaimed as a mini ‘rainforest’ area) attracted tiny Red tailed dragonflies and then one day a Golden dragon delighted me with her presence there as well. And then the dream.


Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. ~Rumi.
Photograph: ©Alison Lee Cousland.

My dream of the Rainbow Winged Dragonfly.

I had gone to bed asking for direction in my art work. Just before waking that morning I dreamed that I was awakening.

And as I was rolling back my bedcover I saw underneath it ~ Viewed from the bottom, a dragonfly, caught under the cover and bound by a very fine spider’s web.

I reached down to the slightly crumpled dragonfly ~ Hoping she was still alive and would survive. On my open hand, I watched her free herself of the webs. She became GOLDEN ~ Beautifully glittering and GOLD.

I took the Golden dragonfly over to my window and released her. As she flew away the sunlight cast rainbows on her wings. The most beautiful creature I have ever seen ~ A golden dragonfly, with rainbow coloured wings, morphing to be both dragonfly and butterfly.

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If you find me not within you, you will never find me. ~Rumi.
Photograph: ©Alison Lee Cousland.

Freedom to experience newness.

I believe that every aspect of a dream reflects something within us. My immediate interpretation was that my spirit recognized that it has been bound and held back, to the point of depletion ~ But knows now that it CAN be freed and released from the dust of time. Free to be a creature of rainbow light. And with that freedom, a deepening appreciation of grace and beauty will enrich my being: The beauty of Universal Light is there to be felt by all ~ But the heart needs to be opened to receive.

I glean that (for me anyway) the dragonfly is strongly associated with awakening. And ever since I’ve been sharing these dragonfly images, so many people tell me they’re also seeing so many more dragonflies all around them too.

I envisage my new journey:

I’m assured that it’s time now to dust off any old remaining cobwebs from the past. To see again, as if for the first time the beauty of light and colour, within and without: That has always been there. And as this conversance settles, gain unlimited freedom.

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For I have been with you, from the beginning of me. ~Rumi.
Photograph: ©Alison Lee Cousland.

Receiving the ‘Energy of the Golden Dragonfly.’

The dragonfly is generally seen as the ‘Light bearer’ and a symbol of change. So that when we feel her essence touching our Soul ~ Maybe that’s when her power to bring about change will be possible.

Simply looking at these images of dragonflies, I hope may help release your own ability to visualize and then inflame the energy of your own ‘dragonfly.’

This article was originally posted at my Steemit website and titled: The Golden Dragonfly.

All photographs: ©Alison Lee Cousland.

Previous articles about the Golden Dragonfly.

1. The Golden Dragonfly.
2. The Golden Dragonfly: What did she say?