Art and Creative Writing: “What Australia Day is to me…” by Karen Robinson

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INTRODUCTION

Australia Day for me, is about taking some time out to look at, how fortunate we are to be able to live in a free and multi cultural society and democratic country, such as Australia. It’s a time to reflect on those that have offered us inspiration; reflect on those that go quietly about doing good for others with little recognition; and to take part in the pleasures of spending time with family and friends.

Abstract Painting No. 58 - 'Brighton Bathing Boxes' Acylic on Canvas - 105cms Length x 60cms Wide x 3cms Deep by Abstract Painting Karen Robinson Jan 2015.JPG

Abstract Painting No. 59 – ‘Brighton Bathing Boxes’ Acrylic on Canvas – 105cms Length x 60cms Wide x 3cms Deep by Abstract Painting Karen Robinson Jan 2015.JPG

 

AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS

It is also a time in the year, where Australia recognises the inspirational actions of fellow Australians with the nomination of:-  an Australian of the Year; a Senior Australian of the Year; a Young Australian of the Year; and an Australia’s Local Hero.  This process of highlighting the good in humanity serves as reminder to what we as a nation need to strive for, each and every year.  We need to never stop working towards a better us…

 

No. 3 Brighton Bathing Boxes - Melbourne - Australia Day Weekend 2015 Photographed by Karen Robinson.JPG

No. 3 Brighton Bathing Boxes – Melbourne – Australia Day Weekend 2015 Photographed by Karen Robinson.JPG

 

AUSTRALIA DAY:  UNSUNG HEROES OF OUR NATION

And it’s a time to not forget the many Australians that each year, give of their time and energy to others in the way of volunteering.  In Australia, approximately 5.2 million volunteers contribute to the wider community, totally approximately 713 million hours of unpaid work, every year! (Macklin. J. 2008).   In the year 2012, I was very fortunate to be asked to take part in a Herald Sun Newspaper feature article and group photo called “Australia Day: Unsung heroes of our nation“.  It was about a group of 12 people of all ages and walks of life, just ordinary Australians who volunteer their time in order to give back to their communities.

Joyce McDonald, 81 of Myrtleford;  John Neamontis, 76 of Malvern; Austin Omann, 11 of Mornington; Cheryl O’Hanlon, 59 of Elsternwick, Primrose Holland, 21 of Williamstown, Rebecca James, 13 of Lalor; Teng Bath, 28 of Fitzroy; Brad Crewe, 34 of Melbourne; John Johnson, 66 of East Keilor; Nicola Vaughan, 35 of Williamstown; Megan Wolsky, 17 of Berwick; and there was myself Karen Robinson, back then I was 56 of Attwood.

Herald Sun. (2012, January 26). Australia Day: Unsung heroes of our nation. [Photo ID: 836463-unsung-heroes.jpg]. Retrieved 26th January, 2015 from http://www.news.com.au/national/unsung-heroes-of-our-nation/story-e6frfkp9-1226253830705 NB: Karen Robinson middle row, on right in red shirt.

Herald Sun. (2012, January 26). Australia Day: Unsung heroes of our nation. [Photo ID: 836463-unsung-heroes.jpg]. Retrieved 26th January, 2015 from http://www.news.com.au/national/unsung-heroes-of-our-nation/story-e6frfkp9-1226253830705 NB: Karen Robinson middle row, on right in red shirt.

 

BRIGHTON BATHING BOXES AT DENDY STREET BEACH – A Favourite Australia Day destination for the customary Aussie BBQ Lunch!

I particularly love the above photo which was taken in front of an iconic Brighton Bathing Box at Dendy Street Beach which is approximately 13 km south of the city of Melbourne.  The first of these bathing boxes was built in1862 and today there are approximately 80 bathing box’s lining the shore line.   It’s locality is a favourite with tourists; and particularly on Australia Day, tourists, families and friends get together for the customary Aussie BBQ lunch.

 

PHOTO TAKING OF THE ICONIC BRIGHTON BATHING BOXES

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Photo taking is one of my art for therapy activities and with my husband, we drove to Dendy Street Beach this 2015 Australia Day weekend and took a series of photos of the iconic Brighton Bathing Boxes and its surrounding area.  As an abstract artist and photo-taker, I was particularly interested in the amazing colours of the bathing boxes themselves and how the owners of them had used their artistic imagination to give each one an individual personally!

 

 Melbourne – Awarded ‘The most liveable city in the world’

 

ABSTRACT PAINTING OF THE ICONIC BRIGHTON BATHING BOXES

On my return home, I decided to do an abstract painting that reflected the sun, sea, sand and the amazing colourful Brighton Bathing Boxes.

 

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CONCLUSION

Happy Australia Day….Australia!

 

Ref Link:  Macklin. J. 2008.  https://www.dss.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/05_2012/volunteering_in_australia.pdf

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

I Do Art Discussion No. 17 – “Life’s a Washing Machine” by Karen Robinson

Whilst you are here – please check out my home page!

 

INTRODUCTION

Sometimes, I find painting to be just a way to vent pent-up feelings and emotions.  It can be a way of putting the days/months/years frustrations onto a canvas via paint; and it can be a way to just unburden one’s daily struggles and frustrations.  Once it is done, I can stand back and say, well it’s all there, on the canvas, and I don’t need to carry around that particular burden anymore in my mind, heart and soul.  Adding to that process is the writing of the painting’s story. By this I mean, the act of verbalizing its meaning, which then allows me to be able to examine exactly what’s been going on within myself.  This whole reflective mechamism is and continues to be, a very therapeutic process that effectively increases my sense of well-being.

NB:  Better Health Channel summarize the meaning of well-being as:  “Well-being is not just the absence of disease or illness.  It is a complex combination of a person’s physical, mental, emotional and social health factors.  Well-being is linked to how you feel about yourself and your life” (Better Health Channel 2015).

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PAINTING STORY

The inspiration for this particular ‘I Do Art Discussion Blog’ Painting as featured below, came from a time in my life, where it felt like I was on a treadmill and I couldn’t get off. The pressures of work and family life seemed never-ending and no matter what, it had to be endured to ensure we had a roof over our heads, cloths on our backs and food in our bellies. It did not help that I personally struggled with anxiety and depression. The following is the painting story that I wrote for this particular Painting No. 43 titled “Life’s a Washing Machine”:-

“This painting was inspired by how life at times feels like loads of washing tumbling around in a washing machine. Getting pulled this way and that way. Contorted, reshaped, dirtied up and washed out, hang out to dry only to start all over again each day! A whole mixture of life experiences tumbling into a single life which is shared with family, friends and work colleagues…..”

Written by Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist 2010

 

Painting No. 43 - Title "Life's a Washing Machine' by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson - 2010 All images are protected by copyright laws!

Painting No. 43 – Title “Life’s a Washing Machine” Feb 2010
– by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson All images are protected by copyright laws!

 

PAINTING DETAILS

Painting No. 43 – Title “Life’s a Washing Machine” Acrylic on Canvas February 2010 – 122cms Length x 122cms Wide x 3cm Deep by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson

 

PAINTING FORMATION

The painting formation is made up of contoured bracing that have a circular movement.  It is like when you view cloths being washed in a washing machine that has a glass door that you can see the washing through.  You can see the objects being sloshed and tossed around in the water and suds action.

 

CONCLUSION

Art Therapy has been an incredible tool to help me as a painter/person.  It can be at times like looking into a mirror and seeing my thoughts, feelings and emotions at work.  It offers me an opportunity to revise and reinvent a better me. By sharing my story I hope to inspire others to take up art for therapy…


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. 16 – “Piece of Mind” by Karen Robinson

Whilst you are here – please check out my home page!

 

INTRODUCTION

Since the commencement of my weblog April 2014, I have been periodically blogging about certain art works within my art portfolio.  Since 2008, the act of painting has proved to be a very important process I have used for myself, as a form of therapy whilst caring for my husband during 2008/2009 when he was receiving and recovering from chemotherapy; and during my grieving process for the loss of my son in 2009.  Five years plus onwards, painting, along with my creative writing endeavours, continues to be an important part of my well-being. For me as the painter, the painting story is just as important as the art work itself, as it helps the viewer of my art work be able to make an informed connection.  And through this connection, I also hope it will help give the viewer something meaningful to think about – long after viewing the art work its self…

 

 

PAINTING DETAILS:  Painting No. 3 – Title “Piece of Mind” Acrylic on Canvas Feb 08  – 60cms Length x 50cms Wide x 1cm Deep by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson

 

PAINTING PROCESS

At the commencement of my painting journey in 2008,  I had purchased some very cheap canvases from the local market along with some inexpensive paints and brushes.  I was still learning about the whole process of painting and it was not until a very kind person in an art gallery I was visiting once, opposite the market, had told me that I really should invest in good canvases, paints and brushes.  It was after receiving this advice that I promptly went about researching and purchasing quality archival art products.

This painting above which I called  “Piece of Mind” was the third painting I had ever done as an adult. It is small in size, but over time I progressed to larger size canvases as my confidence and experience increased.  During the painting of this painting, I found that in order to gain a good coverage of paint, I had to paint each section 3 to 4 times.  This was due to the poor quality paint and canvas I was using at the time and it was the only way I could get the colours to pop.  I then finished off the painting with a layer of clear vanish to help the colours standout even more as well as helping to protect the canvas overall.

 

PAINTING STORY

The inspiration for this painting came from a moment I was looking back over my life and thinking about Belgravia where I held my last place of full-time employment.  Unbeknown to me it became the last time I embarked on work that I considered part of my career path.  I remember about how difficult it was and how much work related stress I had endured.  The demands of being a wife and being up two children also weighted heavily on my mind.  There were times I felt I was not making the grade in either arena. The demands of the position whilst very challenging and at times with the travel exciting, became a place where I felt like I was drowning and the only way out was to resign.  It took me over 3 months to make that final decision to take that dramatic step and hand in my resignation.  I have not regretted my decision to date and as it turned out it has been the best decision I could have made.  12 months on I was to face the biggest challenges in my life being my husband’s diagnoses of cancer 2008 and the death of my son in 2009.  It took all my strength as a human being to weather those times and art and creative writing became my way of staying sane.  Below is what I had originally written about the above painting, back in 2008:

“A jigsaw of a mind in thought! During my time at Belgravia, much was going on in my mind. Many tasks to complete, many goals to achieve, many new experiences to survive, enjoy and stress over. Many budgets to
reach, many meetings to attend, many flights to catch, many miles to travel. A very exciting and stressful but personally rewarding time in my life.”

NB:  Belgravia was my last place of full-time employment and unbeknown to me it became the last time I embarked on work that I considered part of my career path.

 

CONCLUSION

The painting features lots of pieces which was indicative of how I felt when working at Belgravia.  There was just so many demands of myself; demands from upper management but also demands I had placed upon myself within my family life.  The title of the painting is a play on words.  Rather than calling it  a ‘peace of mind’ which work was not, I called it ‘piece of mind’.  I found myself during this period of my life desperately looking for ‘peace of mind’ which, at last I have finally found.  This ‘peace of mind’ so to speak, is being sustained through my art and creative writing processes.

 

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

Very Inspiring Blogger Award Nominee – Shout Outs – “Keeping the Blogosphere a beautiful place…”

Whilst you are here – please check out my home page!

 

 

INTRODUCTION

It is just so good when others doing the same thing, recognise and appreciate your efforts.  So this above award nomination is about just that – the recognition from other bloggers whom value and appreciate the blogging efforts of others within the blogosphere. So a very, very big thank you to reneweddesign “On the Rocks” for the nomination – it is greatly appreciated and valued as a sign that I must be doing something right!

 

SHARING THE COMPLIMENT

To help share this compliment throughout the blogosphere,  the rules for the award are:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog
  • Display the award on your post
  • List award rules so your nominee’s will know what to do
  • State 7 things about yourself
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award
  • Contact your nominees to let them know you have nominated them and provide a link to your post
  • Proudly display the award logo (or buttons) on your blog, whether in your side bar, ABOUT page or a special page for award’s

 

7 THINGS ABOUT ME

It is also requested that 7 things are written about the reciprocant of the award and here are mine:

  1. I started my weblog in April 2014.
  2. It’s about my art and creative writing journey with the hope that by sharing will inspire others to take up art and creative writing as a form of therapy to improve one’s wellbeing.
  3. I turn 60 years old this coming April 2015 and this must mean I am now going to be in my ‘infancy of old age’!
  4. Family is very important to me, especially after losing my son in a single vehicle crash in 2009.
  5. I am very passionate about my blogging and really enjoy the process of putting together a new blog each week.
  6. I live in Melbourne, Australia which is considered as one of the most livable cities in the world and I feel very fortunate to be able to live here.
  7. I try to find joy in each and every day – no matter how small a joy it might be!

 

BLOGOSPHERE NOMINEES

In order to return the compliment, we are required to nominated 15 other bloggers for this award. There have been many bloggers whom I feel deserve this acknowledement but I decided to nominate those who had taken the time out to make a comment on my home page and share their throughts with me. These bloggers nominated below, have in some way, been an inspiration to me within the blogosphere and I thank them sincerely.   My nominees are:

  1.  “On the Rocks” –  http://reneweddesign.wordpress.com/
  2.  “Art Brazil_Tania” – http://taniabrazil.com/
  3. “Jung Katz” – http://jungkatz.com/
  4. “Hariod Brawn Contenedness” – http://contentedness.net/
  5. “Artdog” –  https://artdogartwork.wordpress.com/
  6. “In Art Therapy” –  https://inarttherapy.wordpress.com/
  7. “4utu” –  http://4utu.wordpress.com/
  8. “Amiasleep” –  https://amiasleep.wordpress.com/
  9. “Clear Blue Sky” –  https://faqeehaaleem.wordpress.com/
  10. “Beverly Dyer” –  http://artprescription.com/
  11. “Gena Semenov” –  https://genasemenov.wordpress.com/
  12. “Pluan Designs” – http://pluandesigns.com/
  13. “Searchingtosee” – http://searchingtosee.com/
  14. “Artinstructor” –  https://artinstructor.wordpress.com/
  15. “My Creative Ways” –  https://mycreativewayz.wordpress.com/

 

CONCLUSION

Thank you once again to reneweddesign “On the Rocks” for thinking of me and hopefully by doing the same for others whom have in some way improved my blogging experience will also enjoy the compliment and help keep the “blogosphere a beautiful place”…

 

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