About

My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and story telling…by Karen Robinson.  Please click here for my latest blog news!

 

At the beginning of 2007, I decided to return to a childhood love of painting, photo art making and story telling/creative writing.  This decision came about when I really needed to devote myself to an activity that could help me de-stress, relax and wind down from many years of stressfulness during my career and the demands of daily family life.  I was just going to take some time out for 12 months and then go back to work.  Little did I know at that time, that painting, digital photo art making and story telling/creative writing, would end up being a form of therapy. That it would help me work through a quagmire of grief and despair.

 

Karen Robinson - Abstract Artist in Home Studio 2014 painting - No. 58 Title 'A State of Mind' Dec 2014 NB All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist in Home Studio 2014 painting – No. 58 Title ‘A State of Mind’ Dec 2014 NB All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

 

November 2008, my husband was diagnosed with Lymphoma and I became his carer during the twelve month period of his chemotherapy and recovery process.  On the 5th November 2009, just twelve months on, our 25-year-old son was killed in a single vehicle car crash.  I poured all my effects into painting and digital photo art making (found in Portfolio tabs).  When I look back over my paintings and re-read the accompanying stories, I realise now, that I was using painting to work through a torrid of emotions.  Art therapy saved me… As you go through each of my paintings you will see an accompanying story which helps illuminate each painting’s source of inspiration.  This process of painting and writing the corresponding story became a very powerful tool to express emotions and feelings that were too hard to say out loud.

 

 

Details in relation to the Video – Transport Accident Commission (TAC) CLIENT VIDEO:  Featuring Karen Robinson talking about using ‘art for therapy’ for TAC’s 2011 ‘Picture This’ Exhibition.  It is “now in its fifth year and provides people who have been affected by road trauma to use artistic expression, whether it is drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, photography or textiles, to share their experiences.  The exhibitions showcase artwork by people who have either taken up art since being involved in a  transport accident, or who were artists before their accident“. TAC (2013). Client art exhibition – Picture This 2013. Retrieved from http://www.tac.vic.gov.au/claims/client-zone/client-art-exhibition.

 

I am hoping that by sharing my art therapy journey and my creative writing efforts, will inspire others, to take up art therapy and creative writing to find their voice – in order to be able to move forward in most difficult of times.  Art and story telling/creative writing has brought me now to a much better place, where I find myself being able to seek joy in each day.  As an ongoing process, I will be blogging about my art therapy journey “moving forward” and expand on how others have used/are using art therapy to assist physical and emotional well-being.  I hope you will join me!

 

Special Note: Transport Accident Commission Victoria made a short video of myself on the opening night of my 2015 solo exhibition. I talk about how my art has been a form of therapy over the last five years, since the death of my son, who had been killed in road trauma 5th November 2009. A very big thank you to TAC’s CEO – Janet Dore for seeing the value in spending the time and money in capturing this very special moment, in my life. Link: http://www.tac.vic.gov.au

 

July, 2014 I had the good fortune to have had the opportunity to be interviewed by Casey Webb – Jung Katz – Blog for Artists.  It was a wonderful way of being able to share with others my ‘art for therapy’ story – please click here to read “Artist Interview: Karen Robinson – Abstract Painter”.

 

Karen Robinson at her Solo Exhibition titled ...When words are hard to find - 6th May 2015 at Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery - Craigieburn. Photo graphed by Angie Basdekis for Hume Leader Newspaper getimage.aspx.jpg

Karen Robinson at her Solo Exhibition titled …When words are hard to find – 6th May 2015 at Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery – Craigieburn. Photo graphed by Angie Basdekis for Hume Leader Newspaper getimage.aspx.jpg

 

NB:  Please find within the below slide-show some of my abstract painting favourites!  You can find a complete overview of my paintings and their stories by clicking on the drop down tab called  “Abstract Painting Portfolio”.  I hope that when you go through my gallery, you can take the time to also read some of my painting stories.  For me the painting story is just as important as the painting its self.  The act of painting and painting story writing has become an important part of my art therapy journey.

 

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My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and story telling…by Karen Robinson.  Please click here for my latest blog news!

Comments are very welcome and I will respond in kind – much appreciation … Karen …

 

72 thoughts on “About

    • Thank you for your comment and you are right about creativity being very therapeutic. It’s just so good for the soul. I can really relate to what you stated about “bust through your hands” – it can take you by surprise! The more I learn about what others are doing creatively, the greater my understanding about how important it can serve our wellbeing and when shared can be life changing….Karen Robinson

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  1. I love your work and truly believe in the healing power of creating art. My son was very sick a year ago and there were times we did not think he would pull through. I can’t imagine what you went through after losing your son. I am so grateful that art can help with the healing process and so glad I decided to play in the paint again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for such a lovely response and I am hoping the your son is well again. What you say about “play in the paint again” sounds like you have found art as something that brings you joy – and art for therapy has brought me to a point where I too look for joy in everyday…warm regards…Karen

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  2. I just watched the video Karen and wanted to let you know how very commendable I think your project is, and in particular your encouragement and support for others.

    With gratitude and respect, Hariod Brawn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for taking the time to view and really appreciate your feedback. My ‘art for therapy’ journey has made it easier to share with others, in the hope that by sharing, others can be spared some of the grief and trauma our family has experienced from the loss of our beloved son. And/or by sharing will help others understand better, how art can be an amazing healing tool. It has been nearly five years since my son’s death and we are at a better place in our lives now – with thanks. I seek to find joy in every day and reading your generous comments has brought me joy into this day…thank you Hariod.

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      • I wish you and your family well Karen. Keep creating; it’s a wonderful gift to others and a powerful benefaction in memory of your son.

        Once again, with gratitude and respect, Hariod.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Karen,
    Very moved by your blog and courage. It will take me awhile to go through it and as you know, I am in the middle of my own adventure of how to start a business of my own and it is overwhelming in terms of time, decisions, etc. Am honored that you would notice my art and comment on it when I am just beginning. Thank you. What a lovely way to fill the space of your beautiful child — and share that with others. Love your video. I took your link to my facebook page so that others can see it as well. My facebook page is: artdog artwork. Warmest regards, Christina

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Christina,
      Thank you for taking the time to write these very thoughtful words. I wish you all the very best in your new business adventure. It is good to know that people are watching the video, it helps explain better my blogging. Sorry, but I tried to find your facebook page, but had no luck, can you send a link for it? Much appreciation and with thanks….Karen

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      • Morning Karen. You appeared on my FB, so imagine you found it at the bottom of the blog. Must figure out how to put it at the top. ha. Indeed, your video is excellent. Untll later, best, Christina

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes…Christina…and thanks for the reply…I too would like to put facebook at the top, so when you find out how to do it…please share…warm regards…Karen PS: Keep me abreast on how you go with your business adventure!

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  4. Karen – you are such an inspiration in raising awareness to the affects of road trauma and the ripple effect. Your art is stunning, the colors and shapes just reach out and talk to you in a way that is so touching. Love your work – thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gillian, it is so good to hear a voice that I know in person. We share and understand the impact of road trauma. The impact it can have on loved ones, family, friends and the wider community. I so much appreciated your comments and your support over the years that we have been involved with Road Trauma Support Services Victoria…thank you…Karen

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  5. I really like what you talk about yourself and your art therapy! I was thrilled. I also have relaxed doing drawings and paintings. And coincidentally: I also liked to paint as a child and teenager. I’m sorry for your son. Thanks for sharing your ideas! And also your art! I loved his paintings !!!! Tânia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Tania for such a lovely and encouraging response to my weblog. And yes…like you I find art for therapy can be a very relaxing past time. The paintings I did about my son was a time of great grief and dispair. I used painting as a way to express these emotions – they became a life line for me. But life is good now and hence my great desire to share with others my journey….warm regards from Karen

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  6. I really like Road To A New Life, what an expressive painting. I wholeheartedly believe in the benefits of art as therapy and it would be great if it would become more commonplace as a method of helping people cope and develop in times or stress / crisis / trauma / mental ill-health. Enjoyed your blog, keep it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Rhian – very much appreciate your comment. Just today at my art therapy group we were discussing the benefits of art therapy in assisting in helping people with their well-being. Our art therapist was talking about how Australia is behind other countries around the world, in the acceptance of it being another way of addressing life challenging events…warm regards…Karen Robinson

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  7. Hi Karen, This was the very first blog that brought me chills. Thank you for sharing your story through the art of words and through art itself! I look forward to following your journey and digging deeper into your posts. All the best to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Karen, so sorry to hear about your son, how terrible. hoping your husband is doing well.
    I have to tell you I also had a terrible time in 2010 I one day was doing my art and all of a sudden I couldn’t breathe. fortunately my son was home and called the ambulance i ended up almost a month on life support for all that time. I had last rights 3 times anyhow I made it. now if I didn’t have my art to help me thru all the healing process I am sure I would have went crazy.
    My middle daughter was diagnosed last October with breast cancer and of course we all just could not believe it…well for the last year of her chemo surgery and radiation again I just dove into my art again. two weeks ago we found out she is in remission…first I thank God and then I thank him for the gift he has given me……yes art is a healer. and I am so happy to hear and to see your beautiful art.
    Thank you Karen for visiting my blog and I wrote this real quick so for give my mistakes
    And God Bless you…
    your art is very unique and will be back when I have time
    Sherri
    I

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sherri….thank you for taking time out of your day to write to me. It is interesting to read about how art for you, just as it was and is for me, is a way of being able to move forward in our daily lives. I am so pleased to hear that your daughter is now in remission and that you are out of hospital and back with your family , it must be such a relief for you all. I wish you and your family the very best … sincerely Karen

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  9. She had gone with her two cousins to a Christian outreach event fourteen hours away, from Edmonton, on the prairies through the Rocky Mountains to Chilliwack, British Columbia. Eager to return home the trio began their drive after a shared meal and prayer. Into the night, the driver fell asleep and Marilyn who, in a seatbelt, was buckled in, was killed as the car left the road and rolled over and over down a mountainside. Her two cousins were alive; she wasn’t. I don’t recall how I heard the news. Likely, it was parent-to-parent news and my mother would have told me. Only a week before we had been talking through next steps for school and college – being together, driving through Edmonton city streets in the wee hours, strong and full of Life.

    Her funeral was closed casket and while her parents had viewed her body at the funeral home, for all of us who knew Marilyn, her taking leave of us was to be found in each last interaction we had had with her – dialogue about each our next steps. Marilyn’s exit, amplified by her closed casket is something surreal, even today, something I’ve worked to make sense of through journaling (I would recommend Ira Progoff’s journaling method ‘At a Journal Workshop’). Now, thirty-five years later, as a teacher, Life lost still hits me hard when students in their first year beyond high school lose their Lives traveling home on Alberta’s northern roads.

    A fellow-teacher is a medic on our fire department; he sometimes has to deal with transporting an accident victim through two or three hours of travel. The hardest part for him and the other support services volunteers is when the victim is alive when they begin the journey and passes on before arrival at the hospital; a big heart and strength of character are needed, here.

    Thank you, Karen for reaching out to those of us who are second victims to traffic-related deaths.

    Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lumens…thank you for telling me your road trauma story. Road trauma in Australia is the leading killer of young people like my son Ben. Each month as a volunteer speaker, I tell my family’s road trauma story to repeat road traffic offenders, in the hope that by hearing about my son, will inspire them to rethink about their risky driver behaviour. The ripple effect of road trauma as you spoke about is immense, reaching from the inner cycle of immediate family, friends and right out into the community. Many police officers and other emergency services volunteer speakers tell their road trauma stories as well at these Road Trauma Awareness Seminars where I speak each month. Those within the ripple effect are as you say are second victims… Sincerely Karen Robinson

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  10. Dear Karen, Please accept a close embrace filled with love … Just saw the video and felt my heart open up with compassion and care. ‘Devastating’ I felt was a word that had to be picked to explain the turmoil of emotions that I can only try to comprehend. What a wonderfully beautiful and healing way to reach out to the world and touch others by transforming your own profound pain into something as lovely as you’re doing. Many thanks to you, for it will show one way of healing to many others. The banner ‘Everybody hurts when you speed’ also caught my attention in your video. So so true. Speeding not just on the road but through life needs to be reflected upon I feel. There are so many ways we speed through our days and yes everybody hurts whether we realize or not. Thanks for a moment of reflection!

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    • You have touched my heart by taking the time out to view this very personal video I had the opportunity to be a part of at a time when my heart was broken and full of despair. Thank you so much for your words and wisdom…it is so much appreciated…warm regards Karen

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for taking the time out to write these words and they are greatly appreciated and are spiritually uplifting… Wishing you and your family a very Happy Christmas and my the New Year bring you much joy…warm regards Karen

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    • Hi Tim

      It is very kind of you to ask me, about how an amateur photographer can help others through art therapy. Photography is certainly art, as you and I both would understand and appreciate. It can be a wonderful form of therapy to increase a person sense of wellbeing. I believe the first stage is sharing, which is what you are doing already. The second stage would be to also include a short-story/words/comments about each photo. It helps to engage the viewer more fully and gets them to understand your work better. Share your thought processes; it could include why you wanted to photograph a particular subject matter, how did it make you feel and perhaps some of your techniques you use when taking photographs.

      For me, it can be just about your journey and does not have to do with anything other than that, in my opinion. Share what you know about how this hobby helps you from day to day and perhaps how it contributes to your wellbeing, if you find this to be true. Honesty in sharing is the best, but there may be some things that are just too personal to share, and that’s OK not to share in that case. Only share as much as you are comfortable sharing. People like to hear how others go about using arts for therapy and I am sure they will enjoy and appreciate what you have to day.

      Just a thought – you could start up an amateur photography group, where the group participants could talk about the therapeutic benefits of amateur photography and the group could blog about their discussions and show off their photos.
      If you think I can help in any other way, don’t hesitate to ask, if I can I will…
      Sincerely Karen

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  11. Hello Karen :) Thank you so much for sharing your journey with the world. Your courage is very inspiring, and your work is quite wonderful! Art is an amazing tool for healing and story telling, and I am finding it useful for this too. I am off to have a look around your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Clara,

      Thank you for your very kind words, really appreciated and for also taking the time out to look around my weblog. It is always great to hear about how others have found that art can be a vehicle for improving our wellbeing.

      Warm regards Karen

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  12. Hi Karen,
    Thank you for dropping by on my blog and following it.We share a love of art and therapeutic aspects of it and we are both Melbournites. Fantastic. I too came to art via grief.. for me the loss of health, job, identity. I’m really happy that you’ve found your passion and are sharing your insights with the world. Look forward to reading more

    Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you … art can be a way of reaching into our souls, it can be as an artist or even as a viewer of art … this I have come to understand over the years. Much appreciate your comment and taking the time out to view my weblog…warm regards Karen

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Karen, thanks for following my artblog, I really appreciate it. I’m glad you found your way through the hard times by using art, it really is a wonderful way to release your emotions!
    Looking forward to have a closer look at your blog,
    -all the best N. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Norunn, Thank you for your thoughts and supportive comments. You are right, art is a wonderful way to release emotions and I continue to gain benefits from my art practice everyday. I am hoping that by sharing what I have come to known and understand, will help others to take up art for therapy or just for fun…warm regards Karen

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