The meditative healing of painting

By Michael Roberts | posted on June 28, 2020

IN A move that was supposed to encourage her children to paint, Albany choreographer and theatre performer Carmen Fasolo has found a new creative passion.

Well known locally for her work with Albany Light Opera and Theatre Company in the likes of Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, Fasolo has swapped the bright lights of the theatre for a makeshift painting studio in her Mt Melville home.

With theatre shows cancelled during COVID-19, she decided to set up a painting space in a room usually reserved for making coffee and fresh bread.
Fasolo was hoping her kids would try their hand with the paintbrush, but soon found herself using the new studio far more often.

“It was more for my girls, but I really got into and got lost in it, it’s really meditative,” she told the Weekender.

While the smell of coffee still fills the air of her studio, there’s now more than a few short macchiatos on the production line.

Fasolo has taken to abstract portrait work, and she is loving the change of pace.

“I love that you have no idea what will is going to come out on your canvas,” she said.

“For me it’s knowing when to stop which is quite hard. I think it’s not being too scared about being perfect. That’s why I really enjoy the more modern abstract style.”

Working with the paint brush has also been a healing process, according to Fasolo, who was choreographing Elton John and Tim Rice’s musical Aida for Great Southern Grammar when the show had to be dramatically cancelled because of restrictions.

“We were in production week when it got shutdown so that was pretty devastating,” she said.

“So this has been a form of healing – going into something new.”

Fans of her theatre work don’t need to be too worried though, as she plans to get back to singing and choreographing musicals once the local scene gets up and running again.

But Fasolo believes her theatre experience has helped her creative flair flourish when it comes to painting on canvas.

“Theatre taught me to be brave and just have a go,” she said.

“I’m at the beginning of my little journey.”