Abstract Painting Process Used

POST-TRAUMATIC GROWTH:  Improving one’s sense of wellbeing using art, creative writing, photography and blogging – my journey written by ©Karen Robinson.  Please click here for my latest blog news!




Please find below within the slide-show, a set of digital photo images of the steps I take from start to finish, during my painting practice.  The most difficult part of the steps is the first step – thinking about the subject matter for the painting to be.  Particularly difficult, if there is a direct emotion that has been used as a source of inspiration.  But once I commence with the sketching up of the outline, onto the canvas and start the act of painting; all other thoughts are easily pushed aside and a sense of peaceful concentration takes its place.  Art for therapy at its best I feel…

SLIDE-SHOW – Steps used to paint Painting No. 51 “Valley of a Thousand Hills”

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My source of inspiration for painting No. 51 called “Valley of a Thousand Hills” as featured in the slide-show above, came from a day out with family.  I took a range of digital photos (shown below) around an area called “Valley of a Thousand Hills” which is located within the Strath Creek Region, county Victoria (Australia).  Featured in the painting is a large English Elm Tree. Whilst driving through this area, we came across a property named “Kerrisdale Station” 852 King Parrot Road, Strath Creek. The entrance had these magnificent, large English Elms lining the driveway down through to the homestead. Their strong, dark trunks and branches held a display of beautiful lemon, yellow and pale green autumn leaves.

Large English Elm Tree - Kerrisdale Station 852 King Parrot Road, Strath Creek 2010 Photographed by Abstract Artist Karen RobinsonAnother Station in the region called “Strathglen” had Lipstick Maple Trees (shown below) which lined either side of a long road that stretched into the distant hills. These trees had a single, slender trunk with branches like arms, reaching up into the bright, blue sky. They were dressed with pretty pinks, golden yellows, amber, orange and deep auburn leaves. These trees which would have been planted by early settlers where a strange contrast within our Australian bush. But such a beautiful magical setting within the “Valley of a Thousand Hills” – Strath Creek region!

Lipstick Maple Tree - Strathglen Station, Strath Creek 2010 Photographed by Abstract Artist Karen RobinsonThe following set of digital photos feature the region called “Valley of a Thousand Hills” which is set around Strath Creek country Victoria (Australia).  A truly very beautiful area!

 

After formulating an abstract painting concept in my mind from these above digital photo images; and in conjunction with my thoughts and feelings about my family’s time in Strath Creek region,  I pencil sketched directly my story onto the canvas.  This process completely absorbs all my concentration and distracts me totally away from any personal problems of the day – hence art therapy at work…

No. 2 - Painting Process for Painting No. 51 - Title Valley of a Thousand Hills June 2010 to March 2011by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson

No. 2 – Painting Process for Painting No. 51 – Title Valley of a Thousand Hills June 2010 to March 2011by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson

I then move onto confirming all the colours I want to use within the painting.  Some colour choices are predetermined before I commence painting.  Whilst others may be determined during the painting process.  Colours used may be just as purchased or can be a colour that I have created by mixing several colours together.  During this step, I check the paint consistency; and add any necessary thinners that maybe required.  This ensures the paint is in a workable condition during its application onto the canvas.

No. 9 - Painting Process for Painting No. 51 - Title Valley of a Thousand Hills June 2010 to March 2011by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson

No. 9 – Painting Process for Painting No. 51 – Title Valley of a Thousand Hills June 2010 to March 2011by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson

Colours are applied, one by one and left to dry before proceeding with the next colour so as not to have colour paint contamination between colours.  Once all the colours have been apply to the entire painting and ensuring all colours are completely dry, the procedure is repeated twice. I found that three layers of paint gave the painting a rich look and also gives me the change to fine tune all painting strokes across the art work.  This process requires totally concentration, and devoids the mind of any thoughts other than just applying paint to the surface of the canvas.  Often I listen to music or talk-back radio in the background to help with the art therapy process.  This painting process takes me months to achieve and gives me a great sense of achievement once completed.

No.32 - Painting Process for Painting No. 51 - Title Valley of a Thousand Hills June 2010 to March 2011by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson

No.31 – Painting Process for Painting No. 51 – Title Valley of a Thousand Hills June 2010 to March 2011by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson

Upon the completion of all three layers of paint, the painting is left to fully dry.  I then apply my signature and a year date to the right hand lower corner of the painting.  A layer of spray varnish is then applied to preserve the painting’s surface.  I use gloss as a finish as I like the look!  Once thoroughly dry, details of the painting are then penciled onto the back of the painting such as above.

No.30 - Painting Process for Painting No. 51 - Title Valley of a Thousand Hills June 2010 to March 2011by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson

No.30 – Painting Process for Painting No. 51 – Title Valley of a Thousand Hills June 2010 to March 2011by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson

It is then that the abstract painting is taken out into full sun light to be photographed.  The digital photo is then added to my Abstract Painting Portfolio, along with its painting story.  Formulating the painting story comes from the point of the first initial painting inspiration.  Once the abstract painting is complete, in its entity, the story is realised in the written word as the “Painting Story”.  This particular painting my husband framed for me and is now hanging in our lounge room.  This particular painting’s story can be found below.

Painting No. 51 - Title "Valley of a Thousand Hills" by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson - 2011

Painting No. 51 – Title “Valley of a Thousand Hills” June 2010/March 2011              Acrylic on Canvas 220cms Length x 120cms Wide x 3cms Deep                                           Painting Story: It was in June 2010 that my daughter, my husband and I decided to travel up through the Strath Creek region of Victoria (Australia) for a fishing day – my husband loved fishing. This was the first time we had all gone fishing together since the death of our son Ben on 5th November, 2009. Ben, our 25-year-old son was killed instantly in a single vehicle car crash. As a family, our lives had been shattered by his loss. It was the first time, since Ben’s death that we found the courage to go off and do something like fishing. We went with mixed feelings and an emotional struggle, in getting truly interested in what we were doing. But it was easy to see that it was a day of reflection, for the three of us. It was a beautiful, fine winter day! The air was crisp and clean. The area was green and the trees were in Autumn mode. As we drove through the region, my spirits were up lifted by the beauty of the area. My daughter and husband organised themselves to fish and I went about taken photos which I liked to do. I could see by the look on my daughter’s face that she was quietly reflecting. My husband was off in another direction also deep in thought. It was clear, we were all thinking about our Ben whilst amongst Australia’s beautiful bushland. I came away that day with my spirits lifted and a step closer to being able to live without our son in our lives. The quietness and solitude of the day shared with my loved ones, amongst the stunning beauty and tranquility of the area named “Valley of a Thousand Hills” Strath Creek region (Victoria, Australia) was all we needed to feel at peace. Even if just for the day. Hence this became my inspiration for this painting called “Valley of a Thousand Hills”. Featured in the painting is a large English Elm Tree. Whilst driving through this area, we came across a property named “Kerrisdale Station” 852 King Parrot Road, Strath Creek. The entrance had these magnificent, large English Elms lining the driveway down through to the homestead. Their strong, dark trunks and branches held a display of beautiful lemon, yellow and pale green autumn leaves. Another Station in the region called “Strathglen” had Lipstick Maple Trees lined either side of a long road, stretched into the distant hills. These trees had a single, slender trunk with branches like arms reaching up into the bright, blue sky. They were dressed with pretty pinks, golden yellows, amber, orange and deep auburn leaves. These trees which would have been planted by early settlers where a strange contrast within our Australia bush. But so beautiful within this magical setting of the Strath Creek region!                                                                                                                                                Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson                                                                                                   NB: All images are protected by copyright laws!

NB:  If you wish to view paintings/stories – please go to the ‘Abstract Painting Portfolio‘ drop down tab which will give you the choice of being able to view all paintings/stories either as a “Portfolio Overview” or by each year.

 

Footnote:

The process of painting and painting story writing has offered me a way of expressing thoughts and emotions which can be difficult to say out loud.  I also came to understanding that art can be a very powerful way of communicating with others.  Therapy via art – gave me a voice…

My art therapy journey has been an important part of recent years and still will be an important part in years to come.  I am hoping that by sharing my art therapy journey, will inspire others, to take up art therapy to find their voice – in order to be able to move forward in most difficult of times.  Art Therapy 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!

 


© Karen Robinson – March 2014

POST-TRAUMATIC GROWTH:  Improving one’s sense of wellbeing using art, creative writing, photography and blogging – my journey written by ©Karen Robinson.  Please click here for my latest blog news!



					

15 thoughts on “Abstract Painting Process Used

  1. Pingback: I Do Art Discussion No. 21 – “Brick Wall” by Karen Robinson | ido art karen robinson

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  3. Pingback: I Do Art Discussion No. 19 – “Sweet Dreams” by Karen Robinson | ido art karen robinson

  4. Pingback: I Do Art Discussion No. 17 – “Life’s a Washing Machine” by Karen Robinson | ido art karen robinson

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