Rob’s Story

Rob's first inner portrait in 1996.
Rob’s first inner portrait in 1996.


Over the span of ten eventful years Rob had ten Inner Portraits done by Antoinette. Each portrait is different, each revealing potential and giving meaning to his journey.

Rob’s sister introduced him to Antoinette in 1996. From the beginning Rob’s Inner Portraits have included water and often images of birds. When you look at the other Inner Portraits on the website you’ll notice this imagery is not in every portrait. They have found unique expression in Rob’s portraits. During the years of these portraits one of Rob’s parents passed, his marriage ended in divorce and he sought meaning.

Rob's 1997 portrait
Rob’s 1997 portrait

In Rob’s first portrait, a figure in the garb of a frontier man, an explorer, is treading through shallow water with a large bird shadowing his back, so close its beak rests upon Rob’s head-a guardian, a protector.

Rob’s second inner portrait in 1997 demonstrated a closer connection to the image of water, appearing to examine or assay the water like a miner would pan for gold. In the center of the pan is a reflection of the world around him or perhaps the larger world. He is grounded by his hair that becomes part of a large, mature tree. Antoinette interprets water as “spirit and the action of spirit within us– cleansing, energizing.” The water that flows also resembles the lovely blue wings of a bird in flight.

A winged guardian, an avian spirit. birds and wings appear as a prominent symbol in all of Rob’s portraits. Birds have long been associated as messengers of Spirit and the harbingers of peace. In the three portraits above, Rob is caressed in caring arched wings. In each portrait the message of Spirit is reinforced with the presence of water. The portrait on the right reveals a strong message of peace: Rob is dressed in white, symbolizing “an opportunity for personal creativity;” he is barefoot, unarmed, facing another man who holds a sword. The stances and expressions emanate a feeling that these are men who are making peace under the guidance of the broad wings of Spirit.

Rob - 2003
Rob – 2003
Rob’s journey takes him into deep water in this 2003 portrait (left) where under the guidance of a gentle, nurturing being he is encouraged to look—look into the water for clarity and meaning. The laurel wreath is a reward for Rob looking deeper into the Spirit within.

Rob -  2004
Rob – 2004
In 2004 (right), the bird takes on a new shape and position in his portrait. Rob’s earlier portraits showed “birds” as the guardian, often taking on winged shapes in the background. This portrait includes a vibrant Phoenix, noted as a symbol of regeneration and rebirth. There is a shift in this portrait—the bird becomes the guide, actively carrying Rob to his destination. Rob soars with ease above a primitive orange dirt road, symbolizing his connection to Earth. Another bird sits in Rob’s hand showing that Spirit is within his reach and its position close to his heart and throat reveal how he has brought the spiritual close to him.

Rob - 2005
Rob – 2005
On the right is Rob’s most recent Inner Portrait. There is a shift in how the information is presented and there is a shift in what is revealed in this portrait. While Rob’s earlier portraits looked for connection to Spirit, this one now contains imagery of his connection to Earth and his grounding on the Earth. The color orange which appeared as a road in his previous portrait is now ablaze in the sky surrounding Rob’s head indicating worldly thoughts.

A hat in his hand, too small to wear– it’s as if his thoughts of himself are too small. The water of Spirit that flowed freely in other Inner Portraits has now taken form, almost appearing as crystal pillars or icy mountains in the background. Rob walks down a green graduated road or steps—earthy greens, the green of “new birth,” and the darker green of “essential healing, the touch of love.”

Rob wears a blanket draped over his left side, perhaps a colorful serape protecting the side of his body where his heart resides, and connecting him with his heritage, his ancestry, as he begins a new journey.

Challenge: Applying the Spirit to the everyday world.