Art and Creative Writing – “When It’s OK to Go Mad” by Karen Robinson

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

 

 

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. Karen standing beside her Painting No. 43 titled:  ‘Life’s A Washing Machine’ Acrylic on Canvas Feb 2010.  NB:  All images are protected by copyright laws. jpg

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Whilst watching this ingenious YouTube produced by ‘The School of Life’ in collaboration with Artrake Studio – view below, I found myself relating to its content in such a way that it almost felt like, someone had secretly documented my life and forwarded onto this organisation, to use for research to make this ‘The School of Life’ YouTube. I’m being nonsensical of course – but so much of what is portrayed I found to be true. Yes, we can find ourselves on a treadmill where life is full of things we image that we have to achieve and determined by childhood learning’s, adult desires and society perceptions.  We image expectations for ourselves and for others and it is not until something tragic happens and/or when we ‘hit rock bottom’ that we can find ourselves asking why?

 

 

ESSENTIAL NORMALITY OF A LITTLE MADNESS YOUTUBE

 

This above YouTube titled ‘The Sanity of Madness’ is produced by ‘The School of Life’ in collaboration with Artrake Studio and published on 18 January 2016.  They state that ‘there’s so much pressure on us to be always rational, calm and sensible:  it’s time also to say a word about the essential normality of a little madness’.

 

CRAZY MOMENTS IN AN ORDINARY LIFE

It is true for me that there have been times in my life were due to circumstances, I either created for myself or circumstances for which I found myself being a part of, have led me to – just not being able to function like a normal well-balanced human being. Therefore presenting occasions where pushing forward just seemed impossible. Like the examples given within this ‘The School of Life’ YouTube, I too found myself just wanting to stop, just stop and get off the treadmill and just rethink about what’s my purpose on this blue planet.

A wonderful statement I really enjoyed hearing in this ‘The School of Life’ YouTube was this: “No good life can or should go by without a few quiet open incidents of complete breakdown”.  Wow…this was so good to hear, as it can be hard to forgive oneself when you find yourself doing just that breaking down, feeling like your failing miserably at life, letting yourself down, your family down and ‘the whole world down’ well perhaps not quiet the whole world. According to this ‘The School of Life’ YouTube, a complete breakdown really needs to be accepted as normality and not as something that is seen as a form of perhaps ‘madness’. That we actually need ‘crazy moments’ to be able to work through our lives and think of these moments as just “part of ordinary life“. I do love this statement  “just part of ordinary life” and how true it is and a much kinder, productive way of accepting that we are human, fallible and vulnerable.

 

 

PAINTING NO. 43 – TITLE:  ‘LIFE’S A WASHING MACHINE’

There have been many times in my life where I have been just that, a true human being – fallible and vulnerable and at my ‘wits‘ end.  Below here is an example of one of my abstract paintings which I had painted during a time where there was much turmoil in my life.  A time were I was grieving for the loss of my son and caring for my husband during his recovery from chemotherapy treatment.

 

Painting No. 43 - Title 'Life's a Washing Machine' Feb 2010 Acrylic on Canvas 122cms Length x 122cms Wide x 3cms Deep. Abstract Artist Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws!

Painting No. 43 – Title:   ‘Life’s a Washing Machine’ Feb 2010 Acrylic on Canvas 122cms Length x 122cms Wide x 3cms Deep by Abstract Artist – Karen Robinson.  NB:  All images are protected by copyright laws!

 

  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • 122cms Length x 122cms Wide x 3cms Deep
  • Feb 2010

 

 

PAINTING STORY

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, washed out and then hang out to dry – only to start all over again the very next day! A whole mixture of life experiences tumbling into a single life which is shared with family, friends and work colleagues.  It is at times enough to drive you mad…

Karen Robinson © February 2010

 

CONCLUSION:  THE IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD MENTAL BREAKDOWN

But as it stresses within this ‘The School of Life’ YouTube, it’s important to have a ‘good mental breakdown’! A good one “is where we reconnect with the valuable truths that we have lost sight of” and where we also reconnect with “emotions and insights that ordinary life has prevented us investigating“. I feel this is just what I have been engaging in for the last 7 years. I have ‘”returned from the land of madness” and landed “in the fields of apparent sanity“; and through my painting, photo-taking, story-telling, creative writing and volunteer speaking I have been able to regain a good sense of well-being. Its enabled me to push forward and into a pathway that has led me towards a better, most positively fulfilling life…with some ‘healthy crazy moments‘…

 

Karen Robinson © January  2016

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. 22 – “Two Women Talking” by Karen Robinson

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

 

 

INTRODUCTION

It has taken some time for me to complete these two Abstract Paintings Nos. 62A and 62B titled ‘Two Women Talking’.  They were inspired by a lunch that I had with my sister earlier this year where I found myself engaging in a conversation that revealed some truths that had not been shared before.  My sister and I often these days now – catch up and have lunch and a chat.  Below is an image of both paintings, one representing my sister and one representing myself.  The gold band of colour I gave to my sister because she likes wearing gold jewellery and I gave myself the silver band of colour because I like wearing silver jewellery! Something that sisters know about each other! Other colour choices were based on our individual favourites that I could remember about each of us and/or some personality trait that I felt could be symbolized with colour.

 

No.39-45 Abstract Painting Nos. 62A & 62B Titled 'Two Women Talking' by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson Aug 2015 Images copyright protected.JPG

No.39-45 Abstract Painting Nos. 62A and 62B Titled ‘Two Women Talking’ by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson Aug 2015 Images copyright protected.JPG

 

 

PAINTING DETAILS

 

Abstract Painting No. 62A Titled 'Two Women Talking' Acrylic on Canvas 55cmsx55cmsx3cms by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson Aug 2015 Images Copyright.JPG

Abstract Painting No. 62A Titled ‘Two Women Talking’ Acrylic on Canvas 55cmsx55cmsx3cms by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson Aug 2015 Images Copyright.JPG

 

  • Painting No. 62A Titled:  ‘Two Women Talking’
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • 55cms Length x 55cms Wide x 3cms Deep
  • August 2015
  • Abstract Artist – Karen Robinson

 

Abstract Painting No. 62B Titled 'Two Women Talking' Acrylic on Canvas 55cmsx55cmsx3cms by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson Aug 2015 Images Copyright.JPG

Abstract Painting No. 62B Titled ‘Two Women Talking’ Acrylic on Canvas 55cmsx55cmsx3cms by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson Aug 2015 Images Copyright.JPG

 

  • Painting No. 62B Titled:  ‘Two Women Talking’
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • 55cms Length x 55cms Wide x 3cms Deep
  • August 2015
  • Abstract Artist – Karen Robinson

 

PAINTING STORY – ‘Two Women Talking’

Writing the painting story is always an important part of my art for therapy journey.  Here below is what I wrote about these particular paintings:-

These two paintings are about the times my sister and I set aside to talk, to catch up, to listen, to speak, to share, to reflect, to consider each other’s words that are representative of our thoughts and feelings. As sisters these conversations can be deeply personal as we often talk about matters that are troubling us as individuals. There is always a moment during our talks to share good news which ensures we leave feeling hopeful. Listening plays a major part in these catch ups and sometimes our conversations require carefully considered responses. We have not always enjoyed having this kind of relationship and there was a period of time in our lives where we hadn’t talked for many years. We shared a very troubled childhood which has left us both struggling with childhood wounds that can make dealing with day-to-day living, difficult at times. These catch ups have become an important part of our sister relationship, especially now as we grow older, where our time will pass and the memories of us as people, will be left behind with our children. I hope that my sister’s daughter and my daughter will in their lives as they grow older, take up the opportunity to enrich their lives with catch up times with each other – perhaps they will talk about us – their mothers – I hope they will think and speak kindly of us…

© Karen Robinson, October 2015

 

 

PAINTING PROCESS – From sketch to finished paintings!

My painting process starts with a conception, an inspiration as described above.  With this concept, I pencil sketch onto my canvas, the outline.  Then I paint, one colour at a time on the canvas, allowing each colour to dry throughly, before starting with another colour.  Once the entire sketch on the canvas has been painted, with a single layer of Matisse acrylic paint, I repeat the process another two times, to obtain a richness of each colour.  I also turn my painting over and put all the relevant details on the back of the canvas.  I then spray varnish it three times which gives it a nice shine.  In order to keep track of my art work, I photograph the painting/s, write the painting story, print it off and put a hard copy in my art portfolio folder and then wrote this blog.  Quiet a process!  Below is a slide-show showing some of these stages for the above featured paintings.

 

No.9-45 Abstract Painting Nos. 62A & 62B Titled 'Two Women Talking' by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson Aug 2015 Images copyright protected.JPG

No.9-45 Abstract Painting Nos. 62A and 62B Titled ‘Two Women Talking’ by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson Aug 2015 Images copyright protected.JPG

 

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TWO WOMEN TALKING – FACE TO FACE POSITIVE VIEW!

 

These two paintings can be hang either facing each other or back to back.  For me when they are facing each other it means there is a direct line of communication between the two women talking.  It means they are listening to each other, they are interacting in a positive manner.

 

TWO WOMEN TALKING – BACK TO BACK NEGATIVE VIEW!

 

When these two paintings are hang facing back to back it means whilst they may be still in each other’s company – they are not listening to each other, they are ineffectively communicating which ultimately results in a negative outcome for both women talking.

 

CONCLUSION

It has been an amazing journey using art, storytelling, and photo taking over recent years and blogging has added a new dimension to my art for therapy processes. I hope by sharing here within my weblog, will help you find your voice.  Happy painting, story-telling and photo-taking and/or just plain good living for 2015….Karen

© Karen Robinson, October 2015

 

No.21-45 Abstract Painting Nos. 62A and 62B Titled 'Two Women Talking' by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson Aug 2015 Images copyright protected.JPG

No.21-45 Abstract Painting Nos. 62A and 62B Titled ‘Two Women Talking’ by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson Aug 2015 Images copyright protected.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/Story-teller/Photo-taker

I Do Art Discussion No. 21 – “Brick Wall” by Karen Robinson

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

 

“Images of my Abstract Painting No. 60 ‘Brick Wall’ – from a raw canvas to hanging on the Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery wall at my very first solo exhibition 2015…”

 

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! The following painting was inspired by thoughts about the whole of my life after just turning 60 years old this year 2015.  It’s a milestone in my life, and a time where I have taken some time out to think about its value and purpose – and about what still need to be done! In this ‘I do art discussion blog’ I have included images and slide-shows below, showing the process of painting this painting from beginning to the end; and to the point of being placed upon the wall of the Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery at Craigieburn, Melbourne Australia for my very first solo exhibition titled ‘…When words are hard to find’.

 

PAINTING IMAGE & DETAILS – ‘Brick Wall’

Painting No. 60 – Title “Brick Wall” May 2015 – by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws (2).JPG

Painting No. 60 – Title “Brick Wall” May 2015 – by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws (2).JPG

  • Painting No. 60 Titled:  ‘Brick Wall’
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • 100cms Length x 100cms Wide x 3cms Deep
  • May 2015
  • Abstract Artist – Karen Robinson

 

PAINTING STORY – ‘Brick Wall’ Writing the painting story is always, an important part of my art for therapy journey.

We get a life to build and each brick in that wall of life represents our struggles and our successes – our human endeavours. In my wall, the black represents grief, despair and sadness, the yellow represents sunny joyous happy days, the orange/red represents anger and frustration, the pink represents passion and love, the green represents steadiness and security, the brown represents the ‘done-and-dusted’ and the forgotten, the grey represents dullness and boredom, the purple represents adventure and secrets I have shared, and the pale blue represents ‘the sky’s the limit’!

Written by Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist 2015 – ‘Copyright’ Protected

 

PAINTING PROCESS

My painting process starts with a conception as described above.  With this concept, I pencil sketch onto my canvas, the outline.  Then I paint, one colour at a time on the canvas, allowing each colour to dry throughly, before starting with another colour.  Once the entire sketch on the canvas has been painted, with a single layer of Matisse acrylic paint, I then fix blue tape on the outer edging of each shape.  I then proceed to paint the boxed in taped shape, allow it to dry throughly and then remove the blue tape.  This helps give the edging of each shape a sharper appearance.  This process, I repeat another two times, to obtain a richness of each colour. After allowing the painting to throughly dry, I then sign and date the painting on the bottom righthand corner.  I also turn my painting over and put all the relevant details on the back of the canvas.  I then spray varnish it three times which gives it a nice shine.  In order to keep track of my work – I photograph the painting; write the painting story; print it off and put a hard copy in my art portfolio folder; and then write the blog.  Quiet a process!

 

  • First stage of process for Painting No. 60 – “Brick Wall”:  Painting each shape with its designated colour

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  • Second stage of process for Painting No. 60 – “Brick Wall”:  Blocking in the colour gold around each shape
  • Third stage of process for Painting No. 60 – “Brick Wall”:  Blue tapping each shape in readiness for the second coverage of paint

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  • Fourth stage of process for Painting No. 60 – “Brick Wall”:  Applying the second coverage of paint within the blue tapped area – repeat process

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GEE LEE-WIK DOLEEN GALLERY SOLO EXHIBITION 2015

In May/June 2015, I had been given the opportunity to exhibit this painting, along with 15 other of my paintings at my very first solo exhibition called ‘…When words are hard to find!” at Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery – Hume Global Learning Centre, Craigieburn in Melbourne, Australia.

 

No. 63 - 'When words are hard to find' Solo Exhibition of Karen Robinson 6.5.15 Gallery ready for Opening night at Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery for Exhibition.JPG

No. 63 – ‘When words are hard to find’ Solo Exhibition of Karen Robinson 6.5.15 Gallery ready for Opening night at Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery for Exhibition.JPG

 

CONCLUSION

Since 2008, I have been using art therapy along with creative writing processes as a means of improving my sense of wellbeing.  Whilst I paint for myself – it is wonderful to share with others my art for therapy journey by taking up small opportunities to exhibit.  It has given me the opportunity to talk directly with viewers about their thoughts, impressions of my work.  It has also allowed me to understand more fully how art is a powerful way of being able to communicate with others.  It can get people to stop, think and question, it can give them something to mull over long after they have viewed the art work its self.   For detailed accounts of some of my other paintings please click here

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/Story-teller/Photo-taker

I Do Art Discussion No. 20 – “Green Peace and Human Nature” by Karen Robinson

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

 

Synergy Gallery Exhibition 2009 Painting Nos. 26A and 26B Title 'Green Peace and Human Nature' Sept-Oct 2008 151cms Length x 61cms Wide x 3cms Deep by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson Images protected copyright .JPG

Synergy Gallery Exhibition 2009 Painting Nos. 26A and 26B Title ‘Green Peace and Human Nature’ Sept-Oct 2008 151cms Length x 61cms Wide x 3cms Deep by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson Images protected copyright .JPG

 

INTRODUCTION

This pair of abstract paintings Nos. 26A and 26B – titled ‘Green Peace and Human Nature’ as shown above and below, is part of my abstract painting portfolio.  I had completed them in the year that I had decided to take some time out from work, for the first time in my life to recharge my batteries, so to speak!  During this period of time, the plan was to work out what I wanted to do with myself, being that the children were all grown up now and living their lives independently of their parents, as adult children should do.  It was truly a luxury for sure, to take time out, but a very necessary one for me, as I had been suffering a lot of anxiety and panic attacks during the course of my work. So to rebuild myself and regain a sense of quiet control of my life, I took up my childhood love of painting and creative writing.

 

PAINTING DETAILS – ‘Green Peace and Human Nature’

 

  • Painting Nos. 26 A&B Titled:  ‘Green Peace & Human Nature’
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • 151cms Length x 61cms Wide x 3cms Deep (Each Painting)
  • Sept/Oct 2008
  • Abstract Artist – Karen Robinson

 

PAINTING STORY – ‘Green Peace & Human Nature’

Writing the painting story is always, an important part of my art for therapy journey.

This two-part painting is about the impact we have on our earth. How the health of our planet is all in our control. How the choices we make on marking its surfaces; and using its resources holds an incredible responsibility. How there is many parts of our planet suffering from our human intervention. And how there are other parts which are sustaining great beauty. My mother said to me once ‘Life is like a path of snow, be careful how you tread it, for every mark will show’. My painting shows our human marks and the question …… are our marks benefiting our earth or making it sick. Hope is expressed in these paintings via the use of bright colours which is representative of our youth of the future!  Hopefully our youth of the future will find better ways to preserve our planet…so that it will sustain us for many more future generations of people, plants and animals…

Written by Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist 2014

 

PAINTING PROCESS

My painting process starts with a conception as described above.  With this concept, I pencil sketch onto my canvas, the outline.  Then I paint, one colour at a time on the canvas, allowing each colour to dry throughly, before starting with another colour.  Once the entire sketch on the canvas has been painted, with a single layer of Matisse acrylic paint, I repeat the process another two times, to obtain a richness of each colour.

 

 

After allowing the painting to throughly dry, I then sign and date the painting on the bottom righthand corner.  I also turn my painting over and put all the relevant details on the back of the canvas.  I then spray varnish it three times which gives it a nice shine.  In order to keep track of my work – I photograph the painting; write the painting story; print it off and put a hard copy in my art portfolio folder; and then write the blog.  Quiet a process!

This particular painting was the very first painting where I started using Matisse  Structure ‘Metallic Copper and Metallic Silver’ colours.  They are not easy to work with and I found it hard to get an even coating, but in the end, I just accepted the look I had achieved. I also found these colours hard to photograph.  Whilst they look lovely in reality, in the photos they lack the luster and the colours look dull and flat.  I do love of the look of them with the naked eye though!

 

 

 

SYNERGY GALLERY EXHIBITION 2009

In June 2009, I had to opportunity to exhibit this pair of paintings in an Exhibition called “Ways Out – Journeys through Recovery” at Synergy Gallery, 253 High Street, Northcote.  The exhibition was part of Northcote’s Visual Arts Festival 2009.  It was my very first experience in exhibiting, and a great opportunity to be part of a community event.  It gave me the chance to meet other artists where we were able to exchange ideas and chat about our own art work experiences.  We also had the chance to interact with the general public during the exhibition opening night which turned out to be a very enriching experience!

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

Since 2008, I have been using art therapy along with creative writing processes as a means of improving my sense of wellbeing.  Whilst I paint for myself – it is wonderful to share with others my art for therapy journey by taking up small opportunities to exhibit.  It has given me the opportunity to talk directly with viewers about their thoughts, impressions of my work.  It has also allowed me to understand more fully how art is a powerful way of being able to communicate with others.  It can get people to stop, think and question, it can give them something to mull over long after they have viewed the art work its self.   For detailed accounts of some of my other paintings please click here

 

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/Story-teller/Photo-taker

I Do Art Discussion No. 19 – “Sweet Dreams” by Karen Robinson

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

 

 

INTRODUCTION

This abstract painting No. 61 titled ‘Sweet Dreams’ as shown below is part of my abstract painting portfolioI mostly paint for myself and give little thought to pleasing others when it comes to colour, form and subject matter during the creation of my paintings.  It is a deeply personal process I use to manage my anxiety and depression.  This form of art therapy along with creative writing processes, such as the painting story formation, really does help me maintain a good sense wellbeing.

 

PAINTING DETAILS

 

  • Painting No. 61 Titled:  ‘Sweet Dreams’
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • 100cms Length x 100cms Wide x 3cms Deep
  • February 2015
  • Abstract Artist – Karen Robinson

 

PAINTING STORY – ‘Sweet Dreams’

Writing the painting story is always, an important part of my art for therapy journey.

This painting was inspired by a conversation that I had with my sister.  She was talking about an ambition, a goal, a dream she wanted to achieve in her life.  It got me thinking about the dreams I have had and wanted to come true in my life.  How some of my dreams/desires have eventuated and how others have gone ‘belly up” hence one of the fish, in the painting is featured in such a way ‘belly up’, just above my signature!  We all need dreams that we work towards achieving.  Dreams where anything seems possible.  My sister’s dream was cemented in an image of a sea merchant and fish, and the love of the ocean.  I took that thought, that image and created my own dream like image – being a Frenchman, perhaps a simple fisherman with a red beret and stripped T-shirt, handkerchief tied around his neck, dark mediterranean skin, swirly whiskers, and deep blue eyes.  My fisherman is enjoying the warm seas where delightful, colourful fish reside and frolic playfully with each other.  They have ruby-red lips, golden faces and colourful jewel like scales. They are almost flirting with the fisherman in my painting.  At the top of the painting – is a hot summer sun, reaching out over mother earth and a deep blue sky reaching back into the heavens.  Throughout the painting are silver frosted waves that gentle move across the pretty blue waters – magically twinkling.  I called this painting ‘sweet dreams’ as it reminded me of the times I would say to my children when they were very little, just after they were tucked into their beds at night and just after giving them a kiss on the forehead – ‘sweet dreams’…

Written by Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist 2014

 

 

PAINTING PROCESS – FROM THE SKETCH TO A FINISHED PAINTING SLIDE-SHOW

My painting process starts with a conception as described above.  With this concept, I pencil sketch onto my canvas, the outline.  Then I paint, one colour at a time on the canvas, allowing each colour to dry throughly, before starting with another colour.  Once the entire sketch on the canvas has been painted, with a single layer of Matisse acrylic paint, I repeat the process another two times, to obtain a richness of each colour.  For this particular painting, once all the layers of acrylic paint had been applied and were dry, I decided to use a ‘dry medium’ called ‘mica flakes‘ on part of the waving – it may look like silver or grey in the photo but in real life it glitters/sparkles – makes the painting ‘dream like’.  After applying the ‘mica flakes’ I allowed it to dry throughly and then signed and dated the painting.  I also turned my painting over and put all the relevant details on the back of the canvas.  I then spray varnished it three times which gave it a nice shine.  In order to keep track of my work, I photographed the painting, wrote the painting story, printed it off and put a hard copy in my art portfolio folder and then wrote this blog.  Quiet a process!  Below is a slide-show showing some of these stages for this painting.

 

No. 15 - Stages of Painting Process with Karen Robinson - Abstract Artist -Painting no. 61 Title 'Sweet Dreams' Feb 2015 - Acrylic on Canvas NB All images are copyright protected.JPG

No. 15 – Stages of Painting Process with Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist -Painting no. 61 Title ‘Sweet Dreams’ Feb 2015 – Acrylic on Canvas NB All images are copyright protected.JPG

 

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CONCLUSION

It has been an amazing journey using art, storytelling, and photo taking over recent years and blogging has added a new dimension to my art for therapy processes. I hope by sharing here within my weblog, will help you find your voice.  Happy painting, story-telling and photo-taking and/or just plain good living for 2015….Karen

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/Story-teller/Photo-taker

I Do Art Discussion No. 18 – “A State of Mind” by Karen Robinson

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

 

INTRODUCTION

This abstract painting No. 58 titled ‘A State of Mind’ below  was the last of what I like to call, one of my major art works 2014.  It is an expression of feelings and emotions and its painting story can be found below.  I have also included within this ‘I Do Art Discussion No. 18’ – two short YouTube videos about two of my painting practices.  The first is about the use and application of builders tape which I have called blue tape; and the second video in about, the application of a coat of Matisse acrylic paint, to the canvas within the sectioned of areas of the painting.

Writing the painting story is always an important part of my art for therapy journey and this painting’s story can also be found below along with the painting’s details.

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

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

PAINTING DETAILS

  • Painting No. 58 Titled:  ‘A State of Mind’
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • 100cms Length x 100cms Wide x 3cms Deep
  • December 2014
  • Abstract Artist – Karen Robinson

PAINTING STORY – ‘A State of Mind’

This painting was inspired by a sketch I did during an art therapy group session August 2014. During the session our art therapy facilitator asked us to sketch within 5 minutes about ‘how we feel right now’. My life, my state of mind right at that moment was best described as being more ‘cup half full’ as opposed to being half empty during earlier years.

The bright yellow colour is representative of sunny feelings; the blue and green colours representing cooler feelings and emotions; the orange and red being representative of rage and/or being upset; and lastly the black is representative of the loss of my son and the sorrowful feelings I have which will never go away.

During my art therapy session, I explained that my sketch and now in this painting, once turned upside-down, is representative of some days where it is not all sunny, they can be dark and looming such as the early years after the loss of my son; but these kind of days were few and far between now, as it had been nearly five years on since the loss of my son Ben in 2009, being that it was August 2014 at the time the sketch was done. Within the painting its self, I created scaffolding type lines in black which signifies how my daily life, months, and years can be complicated by depression and anxiety. But I am in a much better place now than I have been…my wellbeing has improved greatly with the use of art and creative writing therapy.

Written by Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist 2014

 

My Movie by Karen Robinson Abstract Painting No. 58 ‘A State of Mind’ Dec 2014 – “Talk on applying blue tape to the canvas to get straight edging…”

Blue Tape Preparation and Painted Black Section of Painting Executed - Abstract Painting No. 58 'A State of Mind' Acrylic on Canvas Dec 2014 by Karen Robinson .JPG

Blue Tape Preparation and Painted Black Section of Painting Executed – Abstract Painting No. 58 ‘A State of Mind’ Acrylic on Canvas Dec 2014 by Karen Robinson .JPG

My Movie by Karen Robinson Abstract Painting No. 58 ‘A State of Mind’ Dec 2014 – “Talk on applying the acrylic paint once the blue tape has been applied…

 

CONCLUSION

It has been an amazing journey using art, storytelling, and photo taking over the last year 2014 and I hope by sharing here within my weblog, will help you find your voice.  Happy painting, writing and photo taking and/or just plain good living for 2015….Karen

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. 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

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….

 

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. 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