I Do Art Discussion No. 15 – “Road to a New Life…”

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INTRODUCTION

My ‘art as therapy’ journey has allowed me to explore ways of being able to endear feelings, thoughts and emotions about family members dearest to me into my abstract paintings.  During 2010, I had painted a series of paintings which were done with my darling dear daughter in mind.  In the year before, 2009 Nov 5 her brother, my son had been killed in a single vehicle car crash.  Much of my paintings over this period of time had been about the loss of my son, about my grief and despair.  It was hard to think about anything else at that time in our family lives.

During 2009/2010 my daughter and her then partner, now husband were building their new home; building a new life for themselves to share together.  I decided to do a series of paintings for my daughter; below is the first in this series.  I needed to paint with joy in my heart instead of grief and despair.  Painting for my daughter was a joyful experience and helped me to look forward into the future.  Another example how ‘art as therapy’ helped me in my journey.

 

PAINTINGS No. 47A & 47B – Title “Road to a New Life” Acrylic on Canvas  April/June 2010  90cms Length x 50cms Wide x 3cms Deep each

 

PAINTING STORY

This painting represents the new estate where my daughter and her now husband were building their new home, which has since been completed. The linings on the painting are the estate roads, leading up and into where they live.  Like a lot of new estates to begin with, there is not much to see except new roads and bare plots of land awaiting home constructions. Their new home was very symbolic of new beginnings together as a couple.  They had worked very had at their work and careers; worked hard at saving money and worked through very difficult times during the process of building their home.  Our daughter during these times had to deal with the knowledge her father had cancer and would need to have chemotherapy and thankfully now, in 2014 – is in full remission.  She also had to deal with the sudden and tragic death of her brother.  During this period of time she had also been training and studying. It is a real credit to her that she was able to find the strength and courage to keep herself on track over the these very difficult years.  We are now in 2014 and both my daughter and her husband have done well for themselves – I am so proud and pleased for them…

 

ABOUT THE COLOURS

The Matisse Paint colours I chose to use for this painting, were heavily influenced by what I understand to be some of my daughter’s most favourite colours.  The earthy colours are a direct link to the colour of bare, just freshly turned dark rick soil, being the plots of land awaiting housing construction.  The grey representing newly made roads leading into the new estate.  The blue is one of my daughter’s favourites and it also is representative of the expansive beautiful, big blue sky that can be seen within the region where the estate is being established – just outside of Melbourne, Victoria – Australia.  The fine bands of silver and gold running across the paintings are representative of the wealth of goodness I find in my daughter…in her soul and heart.

 

CONCLUSION

Painting for my daughter at this particular period of time in my life 2010 was an important moment.  I was looking to find hope and a way to find joy again in life.  My daughter became this beacon of light and as it should be…thank you my darling, dear daughter….

 

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My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and storytellingby Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist/Blogger/Writer/Photo-taker

I Do Art Discussion No. 14 – “Arctic Pole Flatlining”

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INTRODUCTION

 

National Geographic. (n.d.) Polar Bear on Ice. [Photo I.D. 28044.jpg]. Retrieved October 19, 2014.png

Education National Geographic. (n.d.) Polar Bear on Ice. [Photo I.D. 28044.jpg]. Retrieved October 19, 2014 from education.nationalgeographic.com.png

 

My ‘art as therapy’ journey, has had me paint, about world-wide issues for which I am greatly concerned about.  Global warming is one of these matters; it can cause the rising of seas, change rainfall patterns, increase likelihood of extreme weather events, lead to the melting of glaciers, contribute to the widespread vanishing of animal populations due to loss of habitat, assist in the spread of disease such as malaria to new, now warmer regions, lead to the bleaching of Coral Reefs due to warming seas and acidification due to carbonic acid formation and loss of Plankton also due to warmer seas (NMSEA.ORG. n.d.).  In action or not enough action will devastate our planet.

The health of polar bears is an indication to the health of their environment (National Geographic. n.d)  According to some researchers, the melting of Arctic ice is ‘stranding and starving polar bears’ which will therefore threaten their future existance (National Geographic. n.d). It was after watching a documentary about the loss of Arctic Polar bear habitat due to the melting of ice at the North Pole, that I really felt compelled to do the following painting.

 

PAINTING No. 29 – Title “Arctic Pole Flatlining” Acrylic on Canvas Oct/Nov 08     1.2cms Length x 84cms Wide x 3cms Deep

 

PAINTING STORY

This painting represents the drastic changes to glaciers, an ominous sign of global warming. The Arctic’s ice shelves are melting away and causing rises in sea levels which in turn is changing the home environment of its Arctic animals.

The first upper section of the above painting represents glaciers in their full form and the in between section of the painting represents the gradual melting of them. In the lower section of the painting, the glaciers are melting down; they are flatlining! This ‘flatlining’ as I decided to call it, is a terminology that means ‘to die or be so near death that the display of one’s vital signs on medical monitoring equipment shows a flat line rather than peaks and troughs – to remain at a continuous low level’. The title that I assigned to this painting, seemed most appropriate to me, when taking into account the impact global warming is having and will continue to have, on our planet for generations to come…

 

ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE

In these two documentaries following, Sir David Attenborough highlights the truth about climate change.  I have so must respect for him in the way he has, over so many years, brought to us in our homes via many documentaries, a deeper insight into the importance of valuing our planet and all its inhabitants.

THE TRUTH ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE – David Attenborough (BBC – Part 1)

THE TRUTH ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE – David Attenborough (BBC – Part 1)

 

Greenpeace International Cartoon titled 'Save the Arctic' Image ID: 10898088_10152757856183300_4632952528617693216_n Reference: https://www.facebook.com/greenpeace.international?fref=nf

Greenpeace International Cartoon titled ‘Save the Arctic’ Image ID: 10898088_10152757856183300_4632952528617693216_n. Retrieved 5th May 2015 Link:  https://www.facebook.com/greenpeace.international?fref=nf

 

CONCLUSION

It is interesting to view the world through the eyes of Sir David Attenborough and how over many years he has witness alarming global changes to our planet, just as I have in my own home land of Australia.  His artful documentary productions showcase the wonders of our ‘blue planet’ and just how important it is that we all take care of it for now and for future generations to come after us. It’s our greatest responsiblity…

 

EcoWatch. (2014). Celebrating small blueplanet.Retreived from Ecowatch.com.jpg

EcoWatch. (2014). Celebrating small blueplanet.Retreived from Ecowatch.com.jpg

 

 

NB:  To view my Abstract Painting Gallery, please click here. Whilst you are here – please check out my home page! 

My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and storytellingby Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist/Blogger/Writer/Photo-taker

I Do Art Discussion No. 13 – “A Celebration of Womanhood”

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0-Process used Painting No. 57 Titled 'A Celebration of Womanhood' 8 Colour Personal Mix of Matisse Acrylic Paint Photographed by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 2014.JPG

0-Process used Painting No. 57 Titled ‘A Celebration of Womanhood’ 8 Colour Personal Mix of Matisse Acrylic Paint Photographed by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 2014.JPG

 

INTRODUCTION

My art for therapy journey has been about being able to find meaning and purpose in my daily life. Much of my earlier art work has been about very personal feelings, emotions and thoughts.  It has also been about loss and grief. But slowly and surely, art has brought me to a place where I look for joy in each and every day!

 

PAINTING STORY

The painting featured below, which I titled ‘A Celebration of Womanhood’ has a story that will show how art also needs to be about finding your sense of humour, to have a laugh about yourself, a bit of a giggle – it can put a smile on your face and a skip in your step.  I really wasn’t sure if I was going to share this painting story but after originally promising myself, when I first started painting that I would always be open and honest about my art for therapy journey, I realised there should be no exceptions to that promise to myself. So I am hoping that by sharing what this following painting was inspired by, will give you a bit of a giggle too!

 

Painting No. 56 – Title "A Celebration of Womanhood" Aug 2014 – by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

Painting No. 56 – Title “A Celebration of Womanhood” Aug 2014 – by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

 

During a recent visit to The Royal Women’s Hospital with the Women’s Health Clinic for a Urogynaecology consultation, I experienced a pelvic floor examination. Now, to my shame, it had been many years since I had such an examination. It is not exactly what every women looks forward to having done. It can be embarrassing but I thought to myself, well I am too old now to be embarrassed and followed through with what was required of me during my examination. All was good until I saw the look on the women’s face, the face of the consultant. Well I was all ‘au naturale’ and perhaps this was just too much of a shock for her or perhaps when you get on in old age, ones private parts are just not that attractive anymore! After asking me a range of standard Urogynaecology consultant type questions, I felt in some regards relieved and in other regards, mildly disturbed.

It brought to my mind, thoughts about what women have to go through, just by being a woman. First we grow breasts and get periods, we learn about sex, then it is the incredible experience of pregnancy and the birth of children, then it is menopause and then it’s a – Urogynaecology consultation! Our poor bodies do have to go through many changes throughout our lives…

 

15-Process used Painting No. 57 Titled 'A Celebration of Womanhood' Painting drying on stand - more coats to do Photographed by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 2014..JPG

15-Process used Painting No. 57 Titled ‘A Celebration of Womanhood’ Painting drying on stand – more coats to do Photographed by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 2014..JPG

 

This must have been playing on my mind because on my return home that day, I decided to start another painting. I got the new white canvas out and began to draw directly onto the canvas as per usual for me. During this creative process, the lines and swirls began to form an image to me – it looked like a vagina. I thought yes – it is a vagina! I decided that I wanted to paint with all new Matisse acrylic paint colours, bright, happy, joyful and beautiful colours; colours that would celebrate women’s womanhood – this strange and interesting journey we embark on throughout the course of our lives…

 

STEP BY STEP SLIDE SHOW – Painting No. 57 Titled ‘A Celebration of Womanhood’

 

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CONCLUSION

This painting now hangs proudly on my living room wall…art for therapy at its best I feel…

Whilst you are here – please check out my home page!  My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and storytellingby Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist/Blogger/Writer/Photo-taker

I Do Art Discussion No. 12 – “Of Golden Sands, Sun and Sea”

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No. 4 - Broadbeach, Gold Coast, Queensland - Australia Photographed by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 2011.JPG

No. 4 – Broadbeach, Gold Coast, Queensland – Australia Photographed by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 2011.JPG

 

INTRODUCTION

I started painting again as an adult, at the beginning of 2008.  It was a way of dealing with deeply personal feelings, emotions and thoughts.  In November 2008 my husband was diagnosed with Lymphoma and endured chemotherapy for a period of three months.  He is now thankfully in full remission.  In November 2009, our son was killed in a single vehicle car crash just before his 26th birthday.  To say the least, this period of time in our family’s lives, was a most challenging time.  My husband and I lost a son and my daughter lost her only brother – it was tragic.  I fell into a deep depression and experienced post-traumatic stress and feelings of utter despair for a number of years onwards.

 

No. 17 - Broadbeach, Gold Coast, Queensland - Australia Photographed by Husband of Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 2014.JPG

No. 17 – Broadbeach, Gold Coast, Queensland – Australia Photographed by Husband of Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 2014.JPG

 

My art practices became a major component of my life during those years.  I found that I was using art as therapy.  It was not something that I had consciously looked to do, and it had only been during this year 2014  that I had come to understand this fully.  My full appreciation for what art can offer someone like me, has been realized during my commencement of this weblog.  It gave me a chance to review the last seven years of my life and the role that art as therapy has played within those years.

 

 

PAINTING STORY

Over recent years, I have slowly  found ways of finding joy in everyday life and my painting below was inspired by one of those joyous occasions…

Painting No. 57 – Titled “Of Golden Sands, Sun and Sea” Sept 2014, acrylic on canvas, 97 cms length x 102 cms wide x 3cms deep and as featured below was inspired by a visit to my sister’s Broadbeach home with my husband in early 2014.  Broadbeach is just south of Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.  Broadbeach has beautiful surf beaches that stretch for miles in either direction of the shore line.  It faces onto the great Pacific Ocean and has a big blue sky that saws up into the heavens and beyond.  It has a subtropical climate and most of the year it favours warm temperatures and experiences a summer wet season.  All this makes it a major holiday destination.

 

 

It was a real privilege to be able to spend days enjoying its golden sands, sun and sea.  My Sister was a great host and ensured we enjoyed our stay.  I have very fond memories of my time there with my husband and my sister.  The painting is dedicated to that memory.  In the top left and right corner you can see a representation of the sun; below is the Pacific Ocean and then its golden sands. The frangipani, the palm and other flowers and subtropical plants shown in the painting can be found in her garden.  Staying with my sister brought back some fond memories, I have as a child, growing up in Northern Queensland and the wonderful childhood adventures we had as small children in the sun, sand and sea…

 

 

USING PHOTOGRAPHY AS A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION

I don’t call myself a photographer as such but a phototaker.  My whole life I have always been interested in taken photos. Back when I was a young women, owning a camera was a luxury and having photos printed was very expensive.  In today’s world taking photos has never been easier and very affordable.  I often take photos and use them as a source of inspiration for my art work.  The following photos were the sources of inspiration for the above Painting No. 57 – Titled “Of Golden Sands, Sun & Sea” Sept 2014.

 

 

CONCLUSION

Photo taking and abstract painting serves me well as a tool to express myself artistically…art for therapy at its best I feel…

 

Whilst you are here – please check out my home page!  My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and storytellingby Karen Robinson