Art and Creative Writing Group Therapy – Early 2016 “Altered Book Project” by Karen Robinson

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No.75 'Altered Book' by Karen Robinson created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 - Facilitated by Art Therapist Vicky Nickolls NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

No.75 Karen Robinson (me) holding my ‘Altered Book’ created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 with Mind Australia – Facilitated by Art Therapist Vicky Nicholls NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Earlier this year, I participated once again in art therapy and creative writing therapy sessions with Mind Australia as a participant.  Our art therapist facilitator – Vicky Nicholls had us work on a project which required us to create our own special ‘altered book’.  During the process of creating my ‘altered book’, I decided to add pockets that would hold a small selection of my creative writing pieces, that I particularly liked and also that held special meaning for me.  These creative writing pieces I had written throughout 2015 and early 2016 during my creative writing sessions, and sometimes as part of homework we were given by our Creative Writing Facilitator – Judy Bird.  These particular pieces I have included within this blog and can be found towards the end of this page.

 

No.77 ' Step 8 - Group photo taken at our Art Therapy Session - last day! - Altered Book' by Karen Robinson created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

No.77 ‘ Step 8 – Group photo taken at our Art Therapy Session – last day!  We stand holding our precious ‘Altered Books’ created during our Art Therapy Sessions 2016.   NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

MY ALTERED BOOK!

This is my ‘altered book’ as seen here below, which I had created during my art therapy sessions with Mind Australia 2016.  I discovered during my research on ‘altered books’ that they are a form of mixed media artwork, where a book is changed from its original state – to an altered state.  This can entail cuts, tears, burns, folds, paints, adds to, collages, rebinds, gold-leafs, created pop-ups, rubber-stamps, drills, bolts, and/or be ribbons.  It can have pockets and niches added to hold tags, rocks, ephemera, or other three-dimensional objects.  I decided to create a ‘altered book’ that was made up of materials that I had used on a painting titled Heart of Treasured Memories that I had painted during Art Therapy 2015 sessions.  I wanted to achieve a marriage between these two items – as they signified to me the end of one journey and a commencement of another!

 

No. 15 Completed 'Altered Book' by Karen Robinson created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright

No. 15 Completed ‘Altered Book’ by Karen Robinson created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright

 

PROCESS USED TO CREATE MY ‘ALTERED BOOK’

I stripped back the book’s first layer of paper on each page and cover.  Then I painted it with a creamy iridescent paint and then painted the book’s spine and page edges – in gold paint.  Then I added decorated ribbons at one end of the book’s spine which I had added little wooden flowers and butterflies too, also I glued onto these items, sequins that I had left over from my Heart of Treasured Memories painting. During one of the art therapy session, I found a set of patterned decorative paper sheets which I further decorated with the wooden flowers, butterflies and sequins.  I then folded these paper sheets in half and inserted then into the back of the book’s spine.  When the book was closed and the book’s spine was fanned outwards, these folded paper sheets offered another visual dimension to the ‘altered book’.  I then created ink drawings onto sheets of luminous creamy coloured paper that I had especially purchased for its paper weight, colour and look; and made little insert folders out of them that once glued into the ‘altered book’ itself, held my especially chosen creative writing pieces.  I then purchased a cardboard box that was big enough to hold my ‘altered book’ creation in, as I wanted something that would safely store the art work itself.  Like my ‘altered book’ I also altered the cardboard box and used a similar process and materials for its re-creation.

 

PERSONAL REFLECTION

It occurred to me after completing my ‘altered book’ during a time of reflection, that the whole procedure of creating a personal ‘altered book’ through re-invention, or it could also be said, transforming it into something that represented a piece of ourselves to share with others and/or keep as a private thought book to mull over when needed – was a very therapeutic process. It proved to be a deeply personal endeavour; a quite and studious creative journey that helped us work towards a better sense of well-being. It wasn’t until I had finished my ‘altered book’ and read through my selection of creative writing pieces, that it became apparent to me that this whole process of creating a ‘altered book’ was a way of re-assessing ones self; and helped me understand just how much I had gained from having been part of these wonderful art therapy and creative writing therapy sessions since 2014 to now being early 2016.  It showed me just how far I had travelled within my own personal post-traumatic growth journey.

 

 

 

MY ALTERED BOOK CREATIVE PROCESS SLIDESHOW

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ALTERED BOOK PROJECT PROCESS – STEP BY STEP!

  • Step No. 1 – “Stripping back the original book”
No. 4 - Stage No. 1 - The stripping back of the original book to make way to make the 'Altered Book' by Karen Robinson created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

No. 4 – Stage One – The stripping back of the original book to make way to make the ‘Altered Book’ by Karen Robinson created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

  • Step No. 2 – “Painting the whole stripped back book cover and pages”
No. 7 Stage two - Painting whole of the stripped back book with Matisse Pearlized Structure Paint - 'Altered Book' by Karen Robinson created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

No. 7 Stage two – Painting whole of the stripped back book with Matisse Pearl like Structure Paint – ‘Altered Book’ by Karen Robinson created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

  • Step No. 3 – “Decorating the outside cover of the altered book”
No. 18 Step Three - Decorating the outside cover with personally chosen materials - 'Altered Book' by Karen Robinson created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

No. 18 Step Three – Decorating the outside cover with personally chosen materials – ‘Altered Book’ by Karen Robinson created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

  • Step No. 4 – “Decorative paper panel spinal book inserts”
No. 25 Step Four - Decorated paper panel spinal inserts - 'Altered Book' by Karen Robinson created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

No. 25 Step Four – Decorated paper panel spinal inserts – ‘Altered Book’ by Karen Robinson created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

  • Step No. 5 – “Ink painted pocket inserts to hold the short creative writing stories”
No. 36 Step 5 - Hand ink painted pocket inserts to hold my short creative writing stories 'Altered Book' by Karen Robinson created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

No. 36 Step 5 – Hand ink painted pocket inserts to hold my short creative writing stories ‘Altered Book’ by Karen Robinson created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

  • Step No. 6 – “Altered book keepsake box”
No. 43 Step Six - The painting and decorating of a keepsake box for the book - 'Altered Book' by Karen Robinson created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

No. 43 Step Six – The painting and decorating of a keepsake box for the book – ‘Altered Book’ by Karen Robinson created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

  • Step No. 7 – “Completed altered book and keepsake altered book box”
No.51 Step 7 - Completed Altered Book and Keepsake Box for book - 'Altered Book' by Karen Robinson created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

No.51 Step 7 – Completed Altered Book and Keepsake Box for book – ‘Altered Book’ by Karen Robinson created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

MY ALERTED BOOK CREATIVE WRITING STORIES

No.65 Creative Writing Stories inserted into ink painted insert pockets of the 'Altered Book' by Karen Robinson created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright

No.65 Creative Writing Stories inserted into ink painted insert pockets of the ‘Altered Book’ by Karen Robinson created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright

  • Title:  “Destination – Old Age…”

My life has not been boring that is for certain!  At times it has been a sweet and delicate pathway where my soul has strive to ascend to a place of beauty and peace.  And at other times, my life has been painfully difficult.  But now, I am at a mature age, where my youthful adventurers are in the past and I feel like the moon that is quietly shining within the lives of those nearest and dearest to me, hoping that my presence brings beauty – a presence that causes no harm.  I do seek to gain knowledge of the outer world – the good, the bad, the ugly, to delve into the mysteries of others, to seek out the natural beauty of the human soul and treasure the best of us.  Old age has made me become a very practical person and it has also allowed me to arrive at a place where I find myself enjoying this part of my life.  It’s a time where I can also be strong and direct, where I can now share a lifetime of memories, in the hope that some good can be achieved. I am a sentimental deep thinker and determine to leave behind me, memories worthy of retelling to future generations.

Written by © Karen Robinson – April 2016

 

  • Title:  “Taking a Look Back…”

It takes me back – so far into the past as I look at the nicely framed photo of my two children when they were very little.  Ben would have been about five years old, I would say, and Kelly would have been 14 months younger, making her four years old.  They were both dressed in clothes that I had skilfully made for them.  Ben in a grey corduroy, long sleeve jacket with three bright gold buttons at its front, and matching knee-length shorts and a white shirt with a bright aqua blue tie.  Kelly dressed in a lollie pink corduroy long sleeve jacket, with three gold buttons at its front, and a matching three-quarter length skirt and a white shirt with a frilled edged collar and satin ribbon tie around the shirt collar.  Both children wore long white knee-high socks and brand new shoes.  Ben’s were polished leather and Kelly’s were patent leather.  Both had freshly scrubbed faces and sweet-smelling clean hair.  Ben’s hair was cut and groomed according to young boys of the day and Kelly’s hair had a mind of its own, as always – blond and curly!  They are holding hands which would have been under my instructions for sure, knowing I would have wanted a wonderful brother/sister photo of the two of them for memory’s sake.  I can see by looking at this photo that the sun was in Ben’s eyes so his face is slightly titled to the side, with his eyes squinting and a look I grew to see over many years and Kelly’s expression reflects a warm shyness.  They were dressed to attend a wedding with both Mark their father and myself – their mother. 

It was a country wedding of the daughter of a man I used to work for – Alf John was his name.  Alf John owned a substantial company in South Melbourne and an important mentor for me.  This now reminds me that Alf John was the man who had lent Mark and I the deposit for our very first home in Essendon, Melbourne.  He demanded that we paid back the money with no interest and we dutifully do so with much gratitude for having given us both the opportunity to buy a home.  The house was a very old Californian bungalow styled home, needed everything done to it which we did get to do over time.  We spent our first 13 years of family life in this home.

I so much love this photo of the both of my children.  It brings back memories of a very good time in our family’s life.  Whilst bringing up a young family wasn’t always easy, it was one of the most important roles I have had in my life.  I didn’t always do the best job of being a mother, but I always loved both my children with every bit of my heart and soul and still do today.  Kelly has grown into just an amazing young woman, a fine human being and my son sadly…well Ben is not with us in this world but is always in my heart…my beautiful boy Ben.

Written by ©Karen Robinson – March 2016

 

  • Title:  “When I was 10…”

When I was 10 – life was difficult, but let me think more about my childhood adventures instead.  I was the oldest of three children. I had a younger sister by 3 years and a young brother by 4 years. It was my job, most days, to look after us all, whilst mum worked and dad … well he would work sometimes, and mostly drink other times, and sometimes – both at the same time, but enough about dad.

The three of us children, would take ourselves off into the tropical rain forests and along the Bay’s esplanade for walkabouts.  These times became the sum of our childhood adventures!  We would swim in the crystal clear creeks that were refreshed daily by out bursts of torrential rain. When the creeks were still and quite, we would study the clear water and search for small fishes, tadpoles and look for tiny specks of sparkling gold dust at the bottom of creek beds. We would stalk blue mountain butterflies, as they fed on showy tropical flowers, within the neighbourhoods’ green lush gardens.

Sometimes, we would look for mango trees to climb and retrieve Mangos to help satisfy our hunger and other times, we would search for the freshest coconuts that lay at random beneath the numerous coconut palm trees within the region.  It would take us hours and hours to remove the outer hard dark-brown hairy husk casing of a coconut, but all seemed to be worth the effort, once we had reached its inner sanctum of creamy white coconut flesh and opaque coconut water.

We would walk along the Bay’s esplanade and collect the sour-sweet fruit pods that had fallen from the shore line Tamarind trees, onto the ground – then sit on the wall, looking out over the bay, whilst we suck on the sour-sweet fruit seeds.  At low tide, we would venture out onto the Bay’s shore edge, which did not consist of sands, but of a mud flat. Each step we would take – would have our feet and legs sinking into squishy, soft and sometimes smelly mud. Many small soldier crabs lived on these mudflats, and would run for cover, upon the sight of us three small children.

There were other times, where we would take retreat from the burning hot sun, under the shade of Frangipani trees where we cooled down and rested our tired little legs.  We would collect the fallen perfumed scented Frangipani flowers that lay beneath these trees and string them together and hang them around our necks or my sister and I would place them in our long hair. 

Stray dogs always seemed to become our friends and we would often have to tell them, to go back home and stop following us – perhaps they too were looking for adventures. We were always on the hunt for fresh water to drink and over time we grew to know where every fresh water tap was within our walkabout region, where every fruit tree was with available fruits to pick as needed, whether on public land or in private gardens, to us there was no difference, all land was our playground, awaiting for our arrival to explore.

These days would end in the inevitable journey back home, where our tired bodies found baths to wash away a day’s play; and with sleep ahead to prepare us for the next day’s walkabout adventures. This is how it should have been, but many times, the thought of returning home was full of trepidation, as we would never know, in what condition, we would find our father. Would he be there, better if he was not! If he was there, would he be drunk and angry; fearsome and scary? Would we be able to avoid – his tirade of imposing drunken rampage?…

As I said at the beginning of this little story, our lives as children was difficult but I do remember my childhood walkabout adventures with my younger sister and brother with much fondness. I know that these times for sure, were the birthplace of my love and respect for nature …”

Written by ©Karen Robinson – June 2015

 

  • Title:  “Laughing At Mother – A Teenager’s View Of Humour!

I remember a particular time as a teenager when my mother was having a very serious argument with me. We were screaming at each other – it was full on verbal abuse towards one another at its worst. I cannot remember the details of this tirade of back and forth abusive communication we were engaging in, but I can remember what brought it to an end. My mother was screaming furiously when all of a sudden her top false teeth came flying out of her mouth! At first we were both astonished and wondered what had just happened. Then when I realised that my mother’s false teeth had flown out of her mouth whilst she had been berating me – I just burst out laughing as it was the funniest thing I had ever seen. As a teenager this was a wonderful end to what had been a very serious encounter with my mother. My mother did not see the funny side of this event and collected her false teeth from where they had landed, but for me, as a teenager, this too just seemed to be even funnier. It was one of the very rare times when my mother seemed defeated and in some way sorrowful but my teenage sense of humour just enjoyed the event too much. One for daughter and nil for mother – a teenager’s view!

Written by © Karen Robinson – August 2015

 

  • Title:  “My Very First Memory Of Art…”

Art was a part of my childhood life and it was my father whom painted in oils.  There were numerous paintings throughout our home of a nude woman whom I came to learn many years on – was my mother.  These art works were never on walls, as we as a family moved many, many times up and down the eastern coast of Australia.  My father used to also have a subscription to an art magazine which I enjoyed going through and examining all the difference paintings and creative works; I remember being fascinated by these art journals. There were times my mother would round us three children up and with my father, we would visit art galleries, usually not the large imposing national and state galleries but the smaller and intimate ones featuring ambitious and creative artists, hoping to make a name for themselves, hoping to pay the rent for the next month – I would think.  Art represented in our lives, in my life as a child, the struggles of my father, his alcoholism, his frightening inner tumultuous self that in turn was used as a weapon upon his family.  I remember a night, in a fierce rage, my father smashed all of his paintings – I don’t remember him returning back to painting after that episode.  As a child, I enjoyed art and was always doodling great patterns in class and drawing whenever I had a chance.  I didn’t take up art in my early adulthood but I have now found myself returning back to a joy I had experienced as a small child, art for therapy I feel…

Written by ©Karen Robinson _ August 2015

 

  • Title:  “Not A Game But A Real Necessity…”

Solitaire – it’s a card game you play alone!  It’s when you have decided to be alone, the sometimes most enjoyable times when being alone can be just blissful.  When there is no need to satisfy someone else’s needs or wants.  When there is a silence that brings a sense of peacefulness within… and the chatter in the brain winds down to a quiet hum.  It can be a time to recharge the inner child so that the adult can function properly instead of being an out of control beast.  Yes, Solitaire…not a game but a real necessity!  And when this Solitaire, this game of being alone comes to an end, it presents a time to reunite with daily life – refreshed, renewed and enabling oneself to throw one’s arms around life once again… with gusto!

Written by © Karen Robinson – October 2015

 

  • Title:  “Beautiful Other…”

You are long and sleek and there’s a fine wick running through your centre, holding together a delicate array of very fine feathers.  You stare back at me, in a sophisticated way, dressed in blacks, dark midnight navies and soft sky blue colours.  At your very tip, there is a white colour which looks like you have stopped short of being finished.  I image you, in your wing, in flight, soaring up into fluffy white clouds and then gliding down, down, down towards the open field looking for pray.

I now image you heading back towards your shelter, as the dark thunderous clouds trample across the sky, in readiness to open up and let free winter rains from its pregnant clouds.  It’s now midnight, and I know the darkness has caused you to rest in one of your caves of choice.  Where you are safe and secure, where you rest your tired and weary wings and dream of the next day’s flying adventures.

Night has past and the sun is now raising and there is a column of sunlight reaching into your cave and alerting your awareness that it’s time to awake.  You open and stretch out your wings with a vigor that signals that you are strong and ready for what is ahead in your day.  A gentle breeze enters the cave, and you give flight and drift towards the cave opening and out into a chilly but beautiful dawn.

In your sight there comes another, just like you and you head towards this beautiful other with a sense of anticipation, a sense that this is the one. With little acknowledgment you fly off together out into the breathtakingly blue skies and up, up, up towards the heavens…

Written by © Karen Robinson – October 2015

 

  • Title:  “Listening To His Voice…”

As I listened to my husband’s voice over the telephone, I could sense how he was feeling.  The ability to do this comes from being married to this man for over 35 years, which has given me a knowing that can only be achieved by sharing one’s life with another, in an intimate and personal way.

There is a sign of tiredness, a slow tempo in his voice that tells me, things are not good with his brother.  I listen with care, waiting for the right moment to ask “and how is he” and my husband’s response is “not good”.  “He got back his blood results today and it is not hopeful” he adds.  My husband’s voice then trails off into a silence.  It means that the chemotherapy tablets his brother was taking as a last resort, in an attempt to live – are now not working.  This means that his brother, partner and doctors will need to look, to see if there is anything else his brother can take instead, that may extend his time – here in our world.  Without hearing my husband say anything else, I know it means there will be little else that can be done.  The cancer is at a point, where it will slowly grasp the last bit of life from his brother’s body and soul.

We tried to finish up our telephone call on a cheery note.  My husband’s voice still sounding sorrowful and sad as he proceeded to tell me that – they’re off now to see his brother’s neighbours, so that they could share the lady-finger bananas that he and his brother had just the day before, cut down from the banana tree that stand tall within his brother’s beautiful tropical garden paradise.  I let him go back to being with his brother, back to sharing precious moments, back to creating memories that will survive past his brother’s living presence and that would be stored away in my husband’s memory of his brother, to be hopefully shared with future generations of family to come.

I hang up the phone and are now left with the thoughts about my own journey that I had during my husband’s cancer fight.  My mind meanders through memories of how hard it was during my husband’s time of chemotherapy, during his recovery – painful and distressing.  I am so thankful that he survived, that he is still here with me now – my dear sweet husband.

Written by © Karen Robinson – April 2016

 

  • Title:  “Crying Roses…”

It’s raining and the roses look like they are crying,

Perhaps they know we are here amongst the ones, who were once dying,

Both my husband and I stop and sit in silence,

Thinking about our loss and leaning on one another with great reliance,

It’s been 6 years now since the passing of our son,

We often think why, why did he have to be the one,

It’s now time to stand and walk a little amongst the rain drenched roses,

And I seek my dear husband’s guide to do some poses,

For each year we make this pilgrimage to remember,

And always on the 5th of November,

A coffee and cake we share,

Where conversation is mostly spare,

Then it’s back home and a chat with our daughter,

The one we now look towards, in our family, to be the mortar…

How precious she is to us,

And our endless love will always be a must…

Written by © Karen Robinson – November 2015

 

  • Title:  “Something I Am Proud About…”

Proud – meaning ‘feeling pleased and satisfied about having done something or about owning something’!

I think one of the things in my life, that I have personally done, which makes me feel that I should be very proud of, is my volunteering with Road Trauma Support Services Victoria.  Being a RTSSV volunteer speaker has helped give meaning and purpose in my life after the death of my 25-year-old son Ben, who was killed in a single vehicle car crash in 2009.  Telling my family’s road trauma story to Road Trauma Awareness Seminar participants, helps to give these young and not so young people an opportunity to rethink their risky driver behaviour.  It is remarkable, the impact this has on participants.  And as a volunteer speaker, you know that what you have told them is going to save lives, help reduce serious injury and lessen the ripple effect of road trauma on family, friends and the wider community.  It’s something I don’t do for me, but I have definitely benefited from, in ways I wouldn’t have anticipated when I first started volunteer speaking back in March 2011.  It’s important, it has helped me reconnect with the wider world, it has added value to my daily life and it has made me a better person.  It is also an act of courage, it is humbling, it is sometimes very sad and sometimes difficult, but most of all, it’s the most, worthy task that I do right now in my life.

Written by ©Karen Robinson – November 2015

 

CONCLUSION

Looking back from where I began in 2014 to now, I am so grateful for all that I have been able to learn about myself and learn about how to take care of me, so in turn I can take care of those whom are nearest and dearest to me…

My Art Therapy and Creative Writing Therapy Sessions have now come to an end with Mind Australia.  I have been so fortunate to have had this opportunity to be part of these two therapy groups and have been able to meet an amazing group of people whom I have grown to admire and respect. But is time for me now to leave the security of this group to take on new adventures. Thank you Gillian Scaduto for extending to me the invitation to do art therapy and creative writing with Mind Australia and thank you to our two facilitators Vicky Nicholls and Judy Bird whom have been just so supportive within their facilitation roles. I will not forget my time with you all…

 

Karen Robinson (me) & Judy Bird - Mind Australia Creative Writing Facilitator during Creative Writing Session Northcote Townhall 2015 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

Karen Robinson (me) & Judy Bird – Mind Australia Creative Writing Facilitator during Creative Writing Session Northcote Townhall 2015 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

No.76 'Altered Book' by Karen Robinson created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

No.76 Karen Robinson (me) as a participant and Gillian Scaduto as Mind Australia Art Therapy & Creative Writing co-facilitator featuring our ‘Altered Books’ which we had created during Art Therapy Sessions 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

© Karen Robinson – May 2016

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

Group Exhibition – Titled “Teavotion” – Written by Karen Robinson

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

 

 

No. 42 of 101 'Teavotion' Group Exhibition of 100's of Teacosies at Bundoor Homestead Arts Centre March 2016 photographed by Karen Robinson

No. 42 of 101 images:  Karen Robinson viewing 100’s of Teacosies at Bundoora Homestead Arts Centre’s  ‘Teavotion Exhibition’ March 2016.  It was a celebration of ‘the tea cosy as a domestic icon and raises funds in support of Australian Red Cross.  The teacosies were donated for sale with all proceeds going to the charity’.  An extraordinary exhibition by amazing and talented crafters/artists/makers! Ref:  Bundoora Homestead Art Centre.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Art Therapy can present its self in many different ways, thus I am always interested in any form of art that offers the maker and viewer a therapeutic experience.  The act of knitting and crocheting is one of those crafting skills that can be very therapeutic.

So just the other day, when my dear neighbour asked if I would like to attend an exhibition with her, where she had donated a tea cosy (tea pot warmer) she had made with her knitting and crocheting group called the ‘Poppy Ladies’ – I said yes!  Too my surprise, the exhibition was very interesting, exceeded my expectations and I had a lovely time with my neighbour and the other members of the ‘Poppy Ladies’ group from the Epping RSL Club.  These wonderful volunteer knitters/crocheters, get together during each month to enjoy a free morning tea, while they knit/crochet and chat.  All the items they produce go to various charity groups throughout the year.  This particular group is supported by volunteer art therapists from the Australian National Veterans Arts Museum ANVAM with Tanja Johnston as head of the Arts Program.  Tanja explained to me that ANVAM’s arts programs ‘are open to all ages and skill levels and participants do not require any prior knowledge or skills’.  The programs ‘focus on the creative process and journey, to assist with the development of a sense of hope, purpose and pride’ in association with ‘the mastering of arts based skills’ (ANVAM 2016).

 

 

 

Featured above is my dear neighbour standing beside the tea cosy she had made and donated to ‘teavotion’ exhibition.  I just love the array of blood red roses adorning the top and the soft colours within the knitted cosy itself.

 

 

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

The exhibition was titled ‘Teavotion‘ and runs from 26 February to 3 April.  It presents ‘hundreds of teacosies alongside of a selection of photographic portraits by artist Mark Crocker.  Teavotion celebrates the tea cosy as a domestic icon and raises funds in support of Australian Red Cross.’  The teacosies were donated for sale by crafters and makers with all the proceeds going to charity.  The exhibition its self was held within the magnificent Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, Bundoora – Victoria (Bundoora Homestead Art Centre 2016).

 

 

 

 

Here below two tea cosies – One being a koala bear and the other a nurse both feature the red cross emblem

 

 

TEAVOTION EXHIBITION STATEMENT

Here below is what was posted on one of the walls of the exhibition as a statement about ‘Teavotion’:

Artists and crafters from across Australia display their creativity, passion, and imagination in this unique exhibition of over 380 tea cosies.  Teavotion celebrates the tea cosy as a domestic icon and raises funds in support of Australian Red Cross.  All of the handmade tea cosies have been donated for sale at the exhibition, with all proceeds going to the charity.

The creative responses to the humble teapot are many and varied.  From cuddly animals to abstract compositions, you will no doubt find cosies that are unusual and captivating.

Marg Lane and Maranne Noonan, who coordinated this exhibition, have done a marvelous job and Darebin City Council thanks them for their tremendous efforts.

This is the seventh time Bundoora Homestead has hosted the tea cosy exhibition.  Over the last few months the gallery has offered a free space for creative types to come together and knit and crochet towards their unique vision  In many ways this project is just as much about the joy of making and sharing together as it is to celebrate the creativity of others.

Teavotion also presents a series of photographs relating to tea cosies by Queensland based photographer Mark Crocker and from Thursday to Saturday throughout the exhibition artist in residence Phil Ferguson will be busy making new craft-based works.  Drop by and say hi!

 

 

 

No. 96 of 101 'Teavotion' Group Exhibition of 100's of Teacosies at Bundoora Homestead Arts Centre March 2016 photographed by Karen Robinson

No. 96 of 101 images:  Karen Robinson, that’s me standing by an amazing chair covered in tea cosies made by makers/crafters of the ‘Teavotion’ Group Exhibition featuring 100’s of Teacosies at Bundoora Homestead Arts Centre March 2016.  A striking work of art!  It was very tempting to sit on the chair to just see how comfortable it would be but alas the ‘DO NOT SIT’ sign was perfect to prevent any sitting actions…

 

 

THE TEA COSY STORY

The tea cosy story began in Britain in the 1660s when tea was introduced to Britain and its first documented use was in 1867. The tea cosy’s primary function was to keep the tea-pot warm by surrounding the teapot with an insulating cloth, so that affluent upper class women during their afternoon tea could chatter away, network, gossip without their tea getting cold.  Tea cosies were also a way for these same ladies to show off their needlework skills such as needlepoint, crewel, embroidery, ribbon work and were made from wool, cloth, lace and with some being crocheted or knitted.  The tea cosy became part of middle class households in the late Victorian era when tea became more affordable. Tea cosies began as tea-pot warmers, but over time, became themselves, an important historical story telling item about family history and culture through creative and unique designs, patterns and colours, and varying styles and materials.

 

 

MY MEMORIES OF THE TEA COSY AND TEA MAKING

My memories of making a cuppa for my mother still resonates strongly in my childhood memories.  Making a pot of tea, placing a tea cosy over it was a simple but important way to take a break in the day, to sit and just talk with my mother.  And there were the biscuits to accompany the cuppa as well which was just a wonderful treat.  These days it’s about coffee much more than tea but the process of taking time to choose a coffee and put a moment aside, to take time out of one’s daily life and have a cuppa, a chat, stills serves as an important ritual. I remember more about the act of tea making than the tea cosy but it was part of my early Australian family story.

 

 

EXTRAORDINARY TEA COSY DISPLAY

The creating and making of tea cosies, using unique designs and patterns, using multitudes of colour palates, extraordinary varieties of materials, masterfully executed by skillful hands – still lives on today.  I was able to witness some of these tea cosies works of art at this worthy ‘Teavotion’ exhibition and I was just so impressed with how imaginative these wonderful crafts people are and below are some photos of their tea cosy art works.

 

 

slide show of some of the tea cosies I viewed and photographed with my mobile phone camera at the ‘teavotion’ exhibition with the Epping poppy ladies

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

MY FAVOURITE TEA COSIES VIEWED ON THE DAY

 

 

CONCLUSION

The ‘Teavotion‘ Exhibition was an amazing way of viewing works of art done by community members for a good cause.  And this creative activity offers so much to many, being the makers of the humble tea cosies and those whom just came to view the art work itself.  It clearly reinforced, my strong belief that by helping people through the engagement of art, is a wonderful therapeutic process.  It does help, to improve people’s sense of worth, helps improve people’s well-being and assists with giving people meaning and purpose within their daily life. A great example of ‘Art for Therapy‘…

 

 

No. 33 of 101 'Teavotion' Group Exhibition of 100's of Teacosies at Bundoora Homestead Arts Centre March 2016 photographed by Karen Robinson

No. 33 of 101 ‘Teavotion’ Group Exhibition of 100’s of Teacosies at Bundoora Homestead Arts Centre March 2016 photographed by Karen Robinson

 

 

Copyright © Karen Robinson, March 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

Group Exhibition – Titled “Reflections: Exploring Our Identities” – Karen Robinson Abstract Artist

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

 

 

Photo featuring Karen Robinson - one of the carer group participants standing by her art work titled 'Heart of Treasured Memories'. Acrylic, Ink, Embroidered Flowers & Butterflies and Heart Sequins on Canvas. Event with the MIND Australia Organisation - Carer Group Exhibition, Northcote Townhall, Melbourne Australia 18th November 2015 NB: All images are protected by copyright laws!

Photo featuring Karen Robinson – one of the carer group participants standing by her art work titled ‘Heart of Treasured Memories’.  Acrylic, Ink, Embroidered Flowers & Butterflies and Heart Sequins on Canvas. Event with the MIND Australia Organisation – Carer Group Exhibition, Northcote Townhall, Melbourne Australia 18th November 2015 NB: All images are protected by copyright laws!

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Art exhibitions have taught me, that art can be a very powerful way to engage with others; a way to captivate an audience’s attention and convey a story about my inner most personal thoughts and emotions.  For myself especially – exhibiting my paintings has been about being able to communicate a soulful message, to highlight important issues; and to give the viewer something to mull over, well after viewing the art work itself.  Hence exhibiting paintings from my Abstract Art Portfolio, has been an important part of my art for therapy journey.

 

 

MY 2015 ART THERAPY & CREATIVE WRITING JOURNEY WITH MIND

Another important part of my art for therapy journey has been about taking part, in art therapy and creative writing sessions, with the MIND Australia Organisation throughout 2015.  These weekly art therapy and creative writing sessions, had enable us to have a space especially for oneself, and away from the daily grind of carer duties and responsibilities. During our sessions, with some amazing people whom were/are carers of loved ones experiencing mental health issues, we were able to bare our souls in a safe and secure environment, with the support of our peers and support from experienced facilitators.  At times, we found ourselves confronting and exploring dark thoughts, traumatic past experiences and/or distressing emotions/situations of the day, which became evident via our art therapy and creative writing sharing processes.  Sure – not every week was a joy, the carer role for some was heart wrenching and at times soul-destroying, but improvements could be seen in our abilities to bounce back, better than earlier on, in that same year. Throughout the 2015’s participation and especially towards the end of that year, I found myself, mentally and emotionally in a far better place – my sense of well-being had truly improved.  I witnessed this also, with others whom I had shared this journey; you could recognise the improvements in their voices, by the smiles on their faces, within their greetings with one another, and in their general composure from week to week.  Towards the end of the year,  I really got a sense that this process was most worthy and important – it makes people better able to deal with ones daily doings.

 

 

Featuring Karen Robinson during a MIND art therapy session writing her painting story titled 'Heart of Treasured Memories' for the 'Reflections Carer Group Exhibition' 2015

Featuring Karen Robinson during a MIND art therapy session writing her painting story titled ‘Heart of Treasured Memories’ for the ‘Reflections Carer Group Exhibition’ 2015  NB:  All images are protected by copyright laws!

 

 

GROUP PROJECT – ‘EXPLORING OUR IDENTITIES’ 

As time past – within the year of 2015, it was decided we would embark on a single painting project each.   We each painted a painting, that reflected our carer roles and how that played out within our lives; and how that made us view ourselves as people.  I asked, if I could take some photographs in each session of my progress which prompted the MIND Facilitator to ask me to take photographs of all the participants at each session, and with their consent, and I did do just that!  NB:  Due to privacy concerns, only photographs of myself as a participant are shown within this weblog page – I hope you will understand.

 

 

 

 

CARER GROUP EXHIBITION:  ‘REFLECTIONS’

As time progressed further, a decision was made that we would take up an opportunity to exhibit our works of art and our creative writing stories.  MIND Australia graciously agreed to having such an event titled ‘Reflections – Exploring Our Identities’ which took place at the Northcote Townhall, Northcote, Melbourne, Australia.  It was a one day event where family, friends and MIND Australia members of staff attended, along side of the exhibiting participants and our MIND Australia Facilitator Gillian Scaduto, Art Therapist Facilitator Vicky Nickolls and Creative Writing Facilitator Judy Bird.

 

 

 

 

 

MY PAINTING THAT I EXHIBITED TITLED: ‘HEART OF TREASURED MEMORIES’

Each of us as participants exhibited our painting along with its painting story at the ‘Reflections’ Carer Group Exhibition 2015.  Following below is the painting I exhibited along with its painting story:

 

Painting No. 63 - Title "Heart of Treasured Memories" Oct/Nov/Dec 2015 - by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson All images are protected by copyright laws!

Painting No. 63 – Title “Heart of Treasured Memories” Oct/Nov/Dec 2015 – by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson All images are protected by copyright laws!

 

 

  • Acrylic/Ink/Sequins/Embroidered Flowers & Butterflies on Canvas
  • 2015
  • 79cms Length x 74cms Wide x 0cms Deep NB: Not framed just bare edged canvas backed onto strip of timber for hanging

 

‘HEART OF TREASURED MEMORIES’ PAINTING STORY

 

My art therapy artwork was inspired by words I had spoken some years ago during an interview with TAC about my use of art as therapy in dealing with grief and despair which I had been experiencing since the loss of my son Ben, in a single vehicle car crash on 5 November 2009. These words that I had said were “I need to hold the best of Ben in my heart”. So it was these words that inspired me to firstly create a large pink heart that heart would not just hold the memories of my son Ben, but it should also hold the best of memories of those dearest to me being my husband, my daughter and my sister as well. I surrounded my heart of memories in a beautiful warm tangerine colour. At the top of the canvas are small blackish shadows which are representative of dark clouds and the tiny blue heart sequins are tears of love which have fallen from the clouds. I placed a bright blue line above the heart which is like a catchment of these tears, but still there are some that fall upon the heart of memories. On the base of the canvas, I placed a dark green line being a place of growth, a pretty flower garden of joy and peace featuring delightful green butterflies of hope, floating up in and around my heart of memories. Within my heart of treasured memories are beautiful flowers and sparkling green glittered stems. Surrounding my heart, I have written words about my loved ones and I wrote them especially small so that the viewer of my artwork would need to come up close to read my precious words and these are those words: “Try to build in my heart the best of those I love, my darling dear husband whom I treasure, who has been so good to me throughout all the years of our marriage; my sweet, loving, caring daughter who is strong and gentle to her parents at the same time, my sister whom I have shared many troubles with – we are still talking; and my son gone but never forgotten – we miss you forever”.

© Karen Robinson, December 2015

 

 

REFLECTIONS BOOKLET & PHOTO-STORY MOVIE

Over the course of 2015’s art therapy and creative writing sessions, where I had been asked to take photographs of us as participants, I was able to ‘photo-story’ document our journey.  Some of these photos were used by MIND Australia to produce a booklet for our Carer Group Exhibition ‘Reflections – Exploring Our Identities’ 2015.  It was after reviewing all the photos for this project, that I became inspired to see if I could make a ‘Photo-Story Movie’ which I did do – see below especially edited version.  Prior to showing the movie at the Exhibition Opening Event, participants had the opportunity of viewing it beforehand, to ensure that they would be happy with it being publicly shown at the exhibition.  The response both from the participants and from all at the opening event was very moving – they all got it!  It was a photo-story of the lives of these people whom had shared deeply personal stories, over the year, including me and we could all appreciate that we had come a long way in our journeys.  It was there to be seen in the ‘Photo-Story Movie’ (Full Version) – a precious memento, a gift to them from me.  I found it to be a very touching and humbling experience.  It was an outcome I would have never expected, but so grateful for having had, and thanks to these people for sharing their precious stories via their paintings and creative writing.  Due to respecting the privacy of each participant, the following ‘Photo-Story Movie’ below is an edited version, and only features myself and my photo-story journey.  MIND Australia has asked if they could use the full version, which I have enthusiastically approved of and handed across recently for their use. They have indicated that it should be available on their website sometime during 2016.

 

 

NB:  Please click on link to view the ‘Reflections Exhibition’ booklet PDF – FINAL Mind_Reflections_ExhibitionBooklet_final

 

MY CREATIVE WRITING PIECES INCLUDED IN THE BOOKLET AND EXHIBITED

There were three creative writing pieces that were accepted to be exhibited that I had written during my creative writing sessions. These were included in the MIND Australia ‘Reflections Exhibition – Exploring Our Identities’ booklet as well. These creative writing pieces I especially chose to exhibit, because of the feelings and emotions they had evoked when I wrote them, and they are as following:

 

No. 1 – Title: “The Happy Box”

 

My greatest life-long challenge has been to become an expert at being a fully-functional human being. I have learned to treasure the smallest of delights and recall them in my melancholy moments; to use them to uplift my spirits, when day-to-day life has failed to do so. To help me gain this sense of expertise in being a fully-functional human being, I just recently developed a system for myself, and I called it the ‘happy box’! I ask myself each day, is what I am going to be doing this day, going to tick the ‘happy box’? And if the answer is yes, then it is included within my daily doings, and if the answer is no, I take the time out to ask myself, why do it at all in that case? My mental well-being has greatly benefited from this approach – this fully-functional human being challenge – feeling good about life. Thank you ‘happy box’…”
© Karen Robinson,2015

 

 

No. 2 – Title: “How Precious Time Is…”

 

Just sit here while I walk across here to get your script.” My husband dutifully sat, looking pale, weak and sickly. I was afraid he would not live through those terrible chemotherapy treatments. This experience that I shared with him has left me understanding how precious our time together has been, and is still today!”
© Karen Robinson, 2015

 

 

No. 3 – Title: “Support”

 

Support me please! I need your support, don’t turn away and leave me standing here alone and destitute, I need you. I know, I know, I am a pain and I know I ask for too much, but don’t leave me – I will not make it without you – come back – don’t go. It’s OK, I can be strong, I will be strong, I will support me, I can do it – yes I have done it – thank self…”
© Karen Robinson, 2015

 

 

Creative Writing Pieces written by the group 2015 and displayed at the 'Reflections Carer Group Exhibition - Exploring Our Identities' at Northcote Townhall, Melbourne, Australia 18.11. 2015 Copyright protected.jpg

Creative Writing Pieces written by the group 2015 and displayed at the ‘Reflections Carer Group Exhibition – Exploring Our Identities’ at Northcote Townhall, Melbourne, Australia 18.11. 2015 NB:  All images are protected by copyright laws!JPEG

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

The process of painting, painting story writing, creative writing and photo-taking has offered me a way of expressing thoughts and emotions which can be difficult to say out loud. I also came to understanding that painting and creative writing can be a very powerful way of communicating with others. Therapy via these processes have given me a voice and my art and creative writing therapy journey has become an important part of my life in recent years and still will be an important part of my life in years to come.

I am hoping that by sharing my art and creative writing therapy journey, will inspire others, to take up art and creative writing therapy to find their voice – in order to be able to move forward in most difficult of times. These therapies have brought me now to a much better place where I find myself being able to seek joy in every day. As an ongoing process, I will be blogging about my art and creative writing 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, October 2015

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

Art Therapy Group Session Seven – September 2015 “Third Step of Group Project” by Karen Robinson

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

 

 

INTRODUCTION

This month being our seventh group art therapy session and our third group project session, we continued to work dutifully on our individual works.  Once completed, all participants artworks will be grouped together.  This unity of artwork will then become a representation of ‘what it is like to be a carer of a love one who has been somehow impacted by mental health issues’ and ‘how being a carer for said has impacted on our lives and the lives of others within our families’.  NB:  To view details regarding previous stages – please click here.

 

No. 9 of 17 Art Therapy Sessions 14th & 17th Sept 2015 Karen Robinson-Abstract Artist working on own individual art work-all images copyright protected.JPG

No. 9 of 17 Art Therapy Sessions 14th & 17th Sept 2015 Karen Robinson-Abstract Artist working on own individual art work.  All images copyright protected.JPG

 

STEP THREE AT THE SESSION AND AT MY HOME STUDIO

 

  • Little Bright Blue Love Heart Sequins

During this session, I decided to add little bright blue love heart sequins to the top of my painting. These love hearts are representative of all the tears that I have shed over the loss of my son, tears of love.

No. 12 of 17 Art Therapy Sessions 14th & 17th Sept 2015 Karen Robinson-Abstract Artist working on own individual art work-all images copyright protected.JPG

No. 12 of 17 Art Therapy Sessions 14th & 17th Sept 2015 Karen Robinson-Abstract Artist working on own individual art work.  NB:  All images copyright protected.JPG

I used a wooden stick with craft glue at the end of it and ran the tiny love heart sequins across it to catch just enough glue that would ensure the sequins would adhere to the canvas.  The craft glue dries clear so it didn’t matter much if a little ran over a bit at the sides onto the canvas itself.

No. 4 of 17 Art Therapy Sessions 14th & 17th Sept 2015 Karen Robinson-Abstract Artist working on own individual art work-all images copyright protected.JPG

No. 4 of 17 Art Therapy Sessions 14th & 17th Sept 2015 Karen Robinson-Abstract Artist working on own individual art work.  All images copyright protected.JPG

 

  • String Of Words Around The Large Pink Heart

On my return home to my studio with my art work, I decided to write a string of words around the outside of the large pink heart in black felt pen. As the words are very personal, I wanted the viewer to become very personal with the artwork its self, so I deliberately wrote the words very small so that the viewer of the artwork would need to go up to it very closely to read the words.  These are the words:  “Try to build in my heart the best of those I love, my darling dear husband whom I treasure, who has been so good to me throughout all the years of our marriage; my sweet, loving, caring daughter who is strong and gentle to her parents at the same time, my sister whom I have shared many troubles with – we are still talking; and my son gone but never forgotten – we miss you forever”.

No. 15 of 17 Art Therapy Sessions 14th & 17th Sept 2015 Karen Robinson-Abstract Artist working on own individual art work-all images copyright protected.JPG

No. 15 of 17 Art Therapy Sessions 14th & 17th Sept 2015 Karen Robinson-Abstract Artist working on own individual art work-all images copyright protected.JPG

 

  • A Symphony of Joyful Artist Endeavour – Butterflies, Flowers and Glitter!

After the above process was completed and had throughly dried, I decided I want to add small green and pink flower shaped sequins, small green satin butterflies, orange with yellow on top beaded satin flowers and green glitter to the stems of the flowers.  It became a symphony of joyful artist endeavour which I really enjoyed doing.

 

  • Signed, Photographed And Varnish

Once I felt I had added enough of the flower sequins, satin butterflies and flowers, I signed and photographed the artwork.  I will now give it a coat of varnish to help preserve it.  Once dry it will be ready to take back to our next session where we are going to be discussing how we will bring all the participants artworks together to exhibit – details will follow once finalised.

 

  • Finished Art Work – yet to be titled!

Whilst the painting is now finished and awaits the last part of our art therapy group project to be completed – we will soon have the creative writing facilitator come into our session and help us write a story about our paintings.

 

No. 17 of 17 Art Therapy Sessions 14th & 17th Sept 2015 Karen Robinson-Abstract Artist working on own individual art work-all images copyright protected.JPG

No. 17 of 17 Art Therapy Sessions 14th & 17th Sept 2015 Karen Robinson-Abstract Artist working on own individual art work-all images copyright protected.JPG

 

CONCLUSION

At the completion of our art therapy sessions we pack up and head across to the local restaurant for a bite to eat and a friendly chat. It’s a great way to finish up on a positive note and it always works for me…

No. 2 of 17 Art Therapy Sessions 14th & 17th Sept 2015 Karen Robinson-Abstract Artist working on own individual art work-all images copyright protected.JPG

No. 2 of 17 Art Therapy Sessions 14th & 17th Sept 2015 Karen Robinson-Abstract Artist working on own individual art work-all images copyright protected.JPG

NB:  For the purposes of this weblog series “Art Therapy Group Sessions 2015“, I will not be mentioning any names or personal details of participants or even the name of the organisation that runs the sessions.  Individuals have the right to privacy, so it will only be about my own experience – and broad statements about each particular session.  I hope you will understand.

© Karen Robinson, September 2015

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

Art Therapy Group Session Six – August 2015 “Second Step of Group Project” by Karen Robinson

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

 

2 of 11 Art Therapy Session 31.8.2015 Karen Robinson - Abstract Artist painting on square canvas with acrylic paint being second stage in painting production for group project NB: All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

2 of 11 Art Therapy Session 31.8.2015 Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist painting on square canvas with acrylic paint being second stage in painting production for group project NB: All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

 

INTRODUCTION

Today was our sixth group art therapy session and our second session working on our individual works, which once completed, will be grouped together to form one single group work of art.  NB:  To view details regarding the first stage please click here.

 

STEP TWO PART 1 – AT THE SESSION

During this session, I decided to add a blue line across the top and a green line at the bottom of my canvas.  I then mixed a lime green paint colour and using a finely pointed paint brush, marked the inside of the heart shape, with stem like markings.  Around the top where I had the blue line, I decided to mute the blue line by tapping over and around it with my black paint covered fingers on the canvas.  At the base of the canvas, using a small finely pointed paint brush,  I used dark green and lime green paint to make fine swirling lines and repeated the process with the colour orange/yellow around the base and along each side of the canvas.  The finished effect can be see in the image below.

 

3 of 11 Art Therapy Session 31.8.2015 Karen Robinson - Abstract Artist painting on square canvas with acrylic paint being second stage in painting production for group project NB: All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

3 of 11 Art Therapy Session 31.8.2015 Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist painting on square canvas with acrylic paint being second stage in painting production for group project NB: All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

 

THE COMPLETION OF THE SECOND STAGE OF OUR ART THERAPY GROUP PROJECT

After we had all completed this second stage of our individual pieces of art work, we all shared a little about our art work and only as much as we wanted to share.  Some of us talked about the meaning of it, others talked about what they intended to do moving forward over the weeks to come.  We were then given the option to either take our art work home with us to work on further or leave them at the venue to dry.  I chose to take mine home to work on and to give me the opportunity to plan what I wanted to do further, during the coming weeks of our art therapy sessions.

At the completion of the art therapy session we packed up and headed across to the local restaurant for a bite to eat and a friendly chat. It’s a great way to finish up on a positive note and it always works for me…

 

STEP TWO PART 2 – IN MY HOME STUDIO

The next day, I decided to work on my art work further.  Firstly with an ink pen, I outlined the green stems within the heart, and then draw in flowerets at the end of each stem line.  Once this was dry, I then coloured in the flowerets with, watered down yellow ink which nicely dispersed within the flowerets shaping.  In a couple of spots, I draw in mini flower bugs and small hearts.  I decided to ink blotch the top end of the canvas further, to make a stronger statement.  Once all this was dry, I pencilled in a boxing shape around the outer edging of the canvas, then use masking tape along the pencilled line and then painted it in gold, to frame the whole art work. The finished effect can be see in the single image below with close-ups in the follow set of images.  I am now leaving this art work to sit until our next art therapy session where I will then work on it further.

 

4 of 11 Art Therapy Session 31.8.2015 Karen Robinson - Abstract Artist painting on square canvas with acrylic paint being second stage in painting production for group project NB: All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

4 of 11 Art Therapy Session 31.8.2015 Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist painting on square canvas with acrylic paint being second stage in painting production for group project NB: All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

 

CONCLUSION

It amazes me every time, just how much value there is being a participant within this art therapy group.  The art therapy facilitator involves the participants in all fazes of the decision-making process, so we are still deciding on how we will bring all the art work pieces together to represent the finished art work as one piece.  I will blog each week with up dates to show how it evolves – art therapy at it best I feel…

NB:  For the purposes of this weblog series “Art Therapy Group Sessions 2015“, I will not be mentioning any names or personal details of participants or even the name of the organisation that runs the sessions.  Individuals have the right to privacy, so it will only be about my own experience – and broad statements about each particular session.  I hope you will understand.

 

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

Art Therapy Group Session Five – August 2015 “Commencement of Group Project” by Karen Robinson

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

 

3 of 3 Art Therapy Session 24.8.2015 Karen Robinson - Abstract Artist painting on square canvas with acrylic paint being first stage in painting production for group project NB Images are protected by copyright..JPG

3 of 3 Art Therapy Session 24.8.2015 Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist painting on square canvas with acrylic paint being first stage in painting production for group project NB Images are protected by copyright..JPG

 

INTRODUCTION

Today was our fifth group art therapy session and consisted of the commencement of a group project which took up the whole of this particular session’s given time span.  The art therapy facilitator firstly layed out onto the carpet a very large stretch of canvas where upon members of the group measured out equal sections which were then cut into separate pieces.  A single piece of canvas was handed to each participant to work on in any fashion they wished.  The ultimate goal was to have each participate complete a work of art that was representative of their carer experience.  At the end of this artistic endeavour which is to take a number of weeks to achieve, we would then somehow bring all the individual artworks together as one sole piece of group artistic masterpiece!

 

RECEIVING MY PIECE OF CANVAS

In previous weeks, the art therapy facilitator had us engage in artistic activities that were to help us reach this point in being able to produce this particular work of art.  So I had been thinking about working with paint on canvas, lace and crystals – that was about as much as I had been able to envisage.  Once I had the canvas in front of me, it became clearer to me, where I should start.  Just recently I had re looked at a video that TAC had made of me in 2011, about the loss of my son Ben to road trauma and about my art for therapy journey.  I was listening to myself speak, I re-heard my words ‘try to build in my memory, the best of Ben, to carry him in my heart‘ – it then came to me what I was going to produce for this project, I would start with a large heart and that heart would dominate the canvas. I firstly draw a large heart onto a sheet of paper, folded it in half and cut around one side of the heart to ensure each side of the heart was the same in shape.  I then placed this cut out heart onto the canvas and traced around the outer edging with a lead pencil.  I mixed up a beautiful colour pink to fill the heart with and then mixed up a beautiful colour tangerine to surround the heart.

 

1 of 3 Art Therapy Session 24.8.2015 Karen Robinson - Abstract Artist painting on square canvas with acrylic paint being first stage in painting production for group project NB Images are protected by copyright.JPG

1 of 3 Art Therapy Session 24.8.2015 Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist painting on square canvas with acrylic paint being first stage in painting production for group project NB Images are protected by copyright.JPG

 

ABOUT ‘USING ART FOR THERAPY’ VIDEO

This video was produced by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) as a CLIENT VIDEO featuring myself Karen Robinson talking about using ‘art for therapy’ for TAC’s 2011 ‘Picture This’ Exhibition.  It was “ in its fifth year and provided people who had been affected by road trauma to use artistic expression, whether it was drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, photography or textiles, to share their experiences.  The exhibitions showcased artwork by people who had either taken up art since being involved in a  transport accident, or who were artists before their accident“. TAC (2013). Client art exhibition – Picture This 2013.

 

 

THE COMPLETION OF THE FIRST STAGE OF OUR ART THERAPY GROUP PROJECT

After we had all completed the very first stage of our individual pieces of art work, we all shared a little about our art work and only as much as we wanted to share.  Some of us talked about the meaning of it, others talked about what they intended to do moving forward over the weeks to come.  We then placed our precious art works in places around the venue in order that they could dry completely before working on then further, at next week’s art therapy session.

 

2 of 3 Art Therapy Session 24.8.2015 Karen Robinson - Abstract Artist painting on square canvas with acrylic paint being first stage in painting production for group project NB Images are protected by copyright..JPG

2 of 3 Art Therapy Session 24.8.2015 Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist painting on square canvas with acrylic paint being first stage in painting production for group project NB Images are protected by copyright..JPG

 

CONCLUSION

It amazes me every time, just how much value there is being a participant within this art therapy group.  The art therapy facilitator involves the participants in all fazes of the decision-making process, so we are still deciding on how we will bring all the art work pieces together to represent the finished art work as one piece.  I will blog each week with up dates to show how it evolves – art therapy at it best I feel…

At the completion of the art therapy session we packed up and headed across to the local restaurant for a bite to eat and a friendly chat. It’s a great way to finish up on a positive note and it always works for me…

 

NB:  For the purposes of this weblog series “Art Therapy Group Sessions 2015“, I will not be mentioning any names or personal details of participants or even the name of the organisation that runs the sessions.  Individuals have the right to privacy, so it will only be about my own experience – and broad statements about each particular session.  I hope you will understand.

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

Art Therapy Group Session Four – August 2015 “Fantasy, Mystical Creature of Self…” by Karen Robinson

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

 

No. 11 of 13 Art Therapy Session 'Fantasy, mystical creature of self with shelter that provides for all its needs - by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist NB All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG.JPG

No. 11 of 13 Art Therapy Session ‘Fantasy, mystical creature of self with shelter that provides for all its needs – by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist NB All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

 

INTRODUCTION

Today was our fourth group art therapy session and consisted of just one creative exercise which took up most of the session’s given time span.  The art therapy facilitator instructions were to make a fantasy, mystical creature of our selves out of polymer clay.  It was not to have any human likeness.  Once we had achieved this, we were then to make a home/shelter for our creature that would include all the creature comforts we thought we needed to live.  We were provided with varying materials to use to make the home/shelter consisting of – different sized boxes, printed paper, felt, wool, glitter, magazines, pens, pencils, felts, paints ect. Whilst at first this task seamed like child’s play it quickly became apparent that participants were endeavouring to go about producing creations that significantly interpreted the project brief given.

 

MY FANTASY, MYSTICAL CREATURE OF SELF

For myself, I decided to firstly use a brown colour for the torso of my creature.  It then gained orange feet, a white face, red nose, black eyes and brows and three colourful feathers set at the back of its head.  During my story telling to the group, I said that my creature was colourful because of my love of colour and my creature also had the ability to chance colour to reflect its environment as needed.

 

No. 12 of 13 Art Therapy Session 'Fantasy, mystical creature of self with shelter that provides for all its needs - by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist NB All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG.JPG

No. 12 of 13 Art Therapy Session ‘Fantasy, mystical creature of self with shelter that provides for all its needs – by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist NB All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

 

HOME/SHELTER FOR MY FANTASY, MYSTICAL CREATURE OF SELF

My creatures home/shelter started with a small box which had an open lip and when put on its side led to look like a balcony or like an entrance into my home.  Within my home I included small fluffy balls which represented food.  Then I made a bed out of fine wool that I glued to a circular rug like shape.  The back of my home inside the box, I lined with dark rock patterned paper, and the sides and balcony/drive with a rock patterned paper to represent the Australian outback.  At the sides of the entrance of my creatures home, I cut out small trees and glued them onto the box which represented my love of nature.  At the end of the balcony/drive, I placed a dark blue felt lagoon shaped object with sparkles to represent fresh, clean water.

 

No. 1 of 13 Art Therapy Session 'Fantasy, mystical creature of self with shelter that provides for all its needs - by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist NB All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

No. 1 of 13 Art Therapy Session ‘Fantasy, mystical creature of self with shelter that provides for all its needs – by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist NB All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

 

At the back outside of my home/shelter, I used paper that had blue sky and clouds and then I glued a fluffy, yellow ball of wool which represented the sun.  At the back outside of my home/shelter I glued a picture of a cactus with glitter.  At the very top, I glued a picture of a bull’s silhouette against a raging sunset  I also included other creatures which were representation of family and friends.  In summary I ensured my fantasy, mystical creature of my self had a home/shelter that provided me with:- shelter, food, a warm bed, a home that I felt good and safe in and then I surrounded myself with family and friends.  I said to the group when we were sharing our story about our creations, that for me, my fantasy, mystical creature of my self and the home/shelter was a representation of what is important to me – it is what I have built-in my real life for myself and my family.  That I was the sum of all those who are in my life and without them I would be alone and life would seem meaningless…

 

 

CONCLUSION

Once we had completed our mini projects we then shared our story about our creatures and their homes/shelter.  It was just so interesting and revealing what was shared during this part of the session.  Whilst an activity like this can be seen as child’s play, it is very apparent when participants share their stories, including myself, that much more is going on in our minds.  What could be seen and heard is how differently we all had interpreted the brief and how powerful the stories were that we had shared!

What also becomes evident during these sessions it that at times carers feel unheard, unseen and their needs, desires are put on hold whilst they endeavour to care for their loved ones in their day-to-day lives. But having a place where they can have time for themselves such as attending an art therapy session, gives them a place where it’s just for them and where they do not have to share their time with another – for just a little while at least…

At the completion of the art therapy session we packed up and headed across to the local restaurant for a bite to eat and a friendly chat. It’s a great way to finish up on a positive note and it always works for me…

 

NB:  For the purposes of this weblog series “Art Therapy Group Sessions 2015“, I will not be mentioning any names or personal details of participants or even the name of the organisation that runs the sessions.  Individuals have the right to privacy, so it will only be about my own experience – and broad statements about each particular session.  I hope you will understand.

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

Art Therapy Group Session Three – July 2015 “What is important!…Mandala” by Karen Robinson

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

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Today was our third group art therapy session and consisted of a number of individual exercises.  Here within this weblog, I have included just the one!  For our first art for therapy exercise, we were asked to create a circular mandala that would be made up of a number of sections.

 

About Mandalas

Mandala means ‘circle’ in the Sanskrit language and is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the Universe.  The basic form of most mandalas is a square with four gates containing a circle with a center point.  It can be used as a psychological and educational approach to human development and offers a conceptual model for understanding how we can heal, develop, and transform consciousness (Mandala Symbolism).

Please find below here an amazing time-lapse YouTube about –

“the making of a Mandala by the Tibetan Monks who painstakingly spend five days to design and place tiny grains of sand to create a beautiful work of temporary art.  On day 6 they scoop up the sand and place it in a body of water, releasing the energy of the project back into the community” (The Crow Collection of Asian Art Jan 20, 2010)

 

EXERCISE 1 – “What is important!…Mandala” 

Each section of the mandala we were to make in this art therapy session was to represent something that was important to us as individuals on this particular day.  We were given a sheet of paper and a large bowl which was used to create the outer rim of the circle.  Materials supplied consisted of magazines that we could cut out selected images and paste onto the mandala, felt pens for easy drawing application, oil pastels, crayons and ink pens.

 

 

I decided to work with some images from the magazines, and with ink pens and felt pens for quick, easy application.  We had approximately 20 minutes to achieve but by the time we actually got started and completed the exercise, it was more like 40 minutes all up.  After completing the task each of us in turn explained what our mandala was all about.  Above is an image of my whole mandala and below – images of each section with an explanation of its meaning for me.

 

 

Mandala Section 1 – ‘Mother Nature’ Important to me!  My husband has create around our home a beautiful garden.  Now 15 years on in its development, we have large mature trees and brushes that attract the local native birds.  Be in winter, spring, summer or autumn – our garden offers a slice of nature just outside our back and front door – good for the soul!

 

 

Mandala Section 2 – ‘Coffee’ Important to me!  When my husband and I were at the peak of our grieving process from the loss of our son, we would take ourselves out and find a quiet place to have a cup of coffee.  It was a time where we found it hard to get out and mix with others. This coffee outing treat, helped us both feel that we were not alone, that we were still connected to the rest of the world.  At times we would just sit, sip our coffee, read the paper, or just quietly take in what was happening around us.  So having a cup of coffee out at a cafe’ was important to us and still is these years – it’s a small treat for us both.

 

 

Mandala Section 3 – ‘Art for Therapy’ Important to me!  The engagement of art for therapy in the way of abstract painting, creative writing and blogging is very important to me.  It helps me everyday maintain a good sense of wellbeing.

 

 

Mandala Section 4 – ‘Good Health’ Important to me!  During the period of time when I was my husband’s carer, as he recovered from chemotherapy, and during the period of time where my husband and I were deeply grieving for the loss of our son, my personal physical and mental health declined to a point where if was beginning to shorten my life span drastically.  My mental health has improved and my physical strength has returned. I am now eating better, walking each day and sleeping soundly.  Good health has become a top priority for me to ensure I can live a long and productive life.

 

 

Mandala Section 5 – ‘People in my life’ Important to me!  More than ever before, the people in my life are essential to my existence as a mother, wife, friend, colleague, art therapy group participant, creative writing group participant and as a volunteer worker. All these people who I come in contact with, week in and week out, help to ensure I have meaning and purpose in my everyday.

 

 

Mandala Section 6 – ‘Equilibrium’ Important to me!  Everyday I look for equilibrium in my life.  A balance between all of the other elements that may up my day.  When things look like they are getting out of balance, I take a deep breath and reassess and look for the things that tick the happy box!

 

CONCLUSION

We completed a couple more exercises and then packed up at the completion of the art therapy session.   We headed across to the local restaurant for a bite to eat and a friendly chat. It’s a great way to finish up on a positive note and it always works for me…

 

NB:  For the purposes of this weblog series “Art Therapy Group Sessions 2015“, I will not be mentioning any names or personal details of participants or even the name of the organisation that runs the sessions.  Individuals have the right to privacy, so it will only be about my own experience – and broad statements about each particular session.  I hope you will understand.

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

Art Therapy Group Session Two – July 2015 “Starry Night…” by Karen Robinson

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

 

INTRODUCTION

Today was our second group art therapy session and consisted of four individual exercises.  Here within this weblog, I have included two – one I have named “Starry Night” and the other “Brave”.

 

EXERCISE 1 – “Starry Night” 

 

Dutch post-impressionist Vincent van Gogh's 'Starry Night' Painting 1889 - Oil on Canvas. It depicts the view from the east-facing window of his asylum room at Saint-Remy-de-Provence, just before sunrise, with the addition of an idealized village. It is regarded as amoung Van Gogh's finest works (Wikipedia 2015)

Dutch post-impressionist Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ Painting 1889 – Oil on Canvas. It depicts the view from the east-facing window of his asylum room at Saint-Remy-de-Provence, just before sunrise, with the addition of an idealized village. It is regarded as among Van Gogh’s finest works (Wikipedia 2015)

 

For our first art for therapy exercise for this session, we were given a small rectangle piece of paper, featuring a copy of a small portion of the Dutch artist – Vincent van Gogh’s famous painting titled ‘Starry Night’ 1889.  With our individual particular image portion of his painting, we were asked to do our interpretation of it, within a 20 minute period of time.  There were no restrictions, except for the time frame! At the end of our personal creative efforts of producing our own ‘Starry Night’, we were asked to place them on the wall in the sequence that would represent, the original painting (original painting image shown above).  I had the section of painting that consisted of the chapel in the background surrounded with small homes in the foreground.  It was interesting to see how each of us had interrupted the instructions and how each participant had created their own personal work of art.  Most participants indicated that the exercise was a very relaxing experience and for me a good way to start the art therapy session for the day.  Below please find my efforts…

 

No. 1 of 3 Art Therapy Session 2 July 2015 'Starry Night' Pastels on Paper by Karen Robinson - Abstract Artist NB All images are copyright protected.JPG

No. 1 of 3 Art Therapy Session 2 July 2015 ‘Starry Night’ Oil Pastels on Paper by Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist NB All images are copyright protected.JPG

 

On my return home, I couldn’t help but do some research on the life and works of Vincent van Gogh and enjoyed watching the following tv documentary published 26th January 2015.

 

 

I also found this interesting YouTube where modern-day technology meets 1889 Vincent van Gogh and shows another approach to artistic application.

 

 

This video below was forwarded onto me by a of my followers and offers  –

The unexpected math behind Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” – Natalya St. Clair Physicist Werner Heisenberg said, “When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first.” As difficult as turbulence is to understand mathematically, we can use art to depict the way it looks. Natalya St. Clair illustrates how Van Gogh captured this deep mystery of movement, fluid and light in his work.  Lesson by Natalya St. Clair, animation by Avi Ofer

 

 

EXERCISE 2 – “Brave”

Our second art therapy exercise for the session involved creating an art work that reflected what others say is a good quality within ourselves.  I have to confess that I found it difficult to come up with what others say, perhaps it’s because I don’t listen for these comments, don’t seek them out but I was able to record what is said to me when I do my volunteer speaking to repeat road traffic offenders at Road Trauma Awareness Seminars (RTAS) when I tell my family road trauma story.  Often these RTAS participants come to me after the end of the seminars and tell me how brave I am to do what I do which is what many other volunteers do as well with Road Trauma Support Services Victoria.

Karen Robinson - RTAS Volunteer Speaker Presenting her family's road trauma story at Werribee RTAS July 2015 Photo No. 2.JPG

Karen Robinson – RTAS Volunteer Speaker Presenting her family’s road trauma story at Werribee RTAS July 2015 Photo No. 2.JPG

I stated to the art therapist facilitator that I don’t feel brave and I noted for myself this to be an interesting statement.  It was something that others had discovered as well, that we don’t often see what others see in ourselves.  That the person we show on the outside can be in conflict with what is going on within ourselves – this was an interesting reflection and shows how art for therapy can raise questions that are worthy of examination.  Some of us reflected on our thoughts during the group art therapy session and others, for sure will be reflecting further at a time which allows for some soul-searching.

 

No. 3 of 3 Art Therapy Session 2 July 2015 'Starry Night' Pastels on Paper by Karen Robinson - Abstract Artist NB All images are copyright protected.JPG

No. 3 of 3 Art Therapy Session 2 July 2015 ‘Starry Night’ Pastels on Paper by Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist NB All images are copyright protected.JPG

 

CONCLUSION

We completed a couple more exercises and then packed up at the completion of the art therapy session.   We headed across to the local restaurant for a bite to eat and a friendly chat. It’s a great way to finish up on a positive note and it always works for me…

 

NB:  For the purposes of this weblog series “Art Therapy Group Sessions 2015“, I will not be mentioning any names or personal details of participants or even the name of the organisation that runs the sessions.  Individuals have the right to privacy, so it will only be about my own experience – and broad statements about each particular session.  I hope you will understand.

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

Art Therapy Group Session One – July 2015 – “A Warm Up…” by Karen Robinson

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

 

 

INTRODUCTION

July has arrived and the recommencement of our Art Therapy Group has got started!  There were the same familiar friendly faces along with an addition of two new members.  We have been fortunate to have the same art therapy facilitator and the organisation’s co-facilitator as in previous art therapy sessions.  Being our first session, we were advised by the art therapy facilitator that this session will be a warm up to get us all back into the art for therapy process.

 

EXERCISE 1 – “Landscape Colour Opposites” 

No. 1 of 3 Art Therapy Session One - July 2015 'Landscape Colour Opposites' by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson.JPG

No. 1 of 3 Art Therapy Session One – July 2015 ‘Landscape Colour Opposites’ by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson.JPG

 

For our first art therapy exercise, we were asked to choose a piece of paper from a selection – being small, medium and large which ever we felt comfortable with in size and I choose the large.  Then we were to do a landscape image with a difference.  We were to have colours within the landscape that were a contrast to what we would normally expect them to be – for example the sun could be normally yellow, so a contrast could be green.  There were a choice of mediums to work with such as pencils, pastels and crayons, I choose the pastels.  Some of the participants expressed that this exercise was difficult to some degree being that doing the opposite to the norm was a challenge and others, like myself found it fun, a good challenge and especially for myself, a relaxing experience.

 

EXERCISE 2 – “Self Portrait”

No. 2 of 3 Art Therapy Session One - July 2015 'Self Portrait' by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson.JPG

No. 2 of 3 Art Therapy Session One – July 2015 ‘Self Portrait’ by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson.JPG

 

Our second art therapy exercise for the art therapy session involved doing a self-portrait.  I had done a self-portrait in a previous art therapy session and could remember it as being very challenging at the time and thus lead me to be a little apprehensive about committing to producing another.  I decided to follow the same method as done previously and asked the co-facilitator if she could outline the shadow of my image onto the paper.  I then outlined this shadow in black pastel.  I found I wanted to soften the black lining and commenced etching short strokes across this lining.  Liking this look, I decided to complete the whole image in the same fashion.

At the completion of our self portraits, we were asked to hang them on the wall, in one line, side by side to view.  We then sat back and viewed from a distance.  It was amazing how different each of our portraits were and how we had interpreted the art therapist’s instructions.  The art therapist facilitator stated that it was not unusual during this exercise for participants to do a ‘young self’ image and for me, I had done an image that really portrayed my current self.  This I did find challenging and found myself becoming upset without really understanding why – the challenges of art for therapy I feel, the close examination of ones inner most personal thoughts and emotions, not always clearly definable!

 

EXERCISE 3 –  “Zentangle Art”

No. 3 of 3 Art Therapy Session One - July 2015 'Zentangle Collation in Ink' by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson.JPG

No. 3 of 3 Art Therapy Session One – July 2015 ‘Zentangle Collation in Ink’ by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson.JPG

 

To finish up for the art therapy session we were ask to do a Zentangle small artwork.  This was meant to be a relaxing process but unfortunately for me, it wasn’t.  I had started off this art therapy session enjoying the process, but after the self-portrait exercise, I found myself a little disturbed.  Other participants did find this exercise a good way to finish up the session.

 

CONCLUSION

After packing up at the completion of the art therapy session, we headed across to the local restaurant for a bite to eat and a friendly chat. It’s a great way to finish up on a positive note and it always works for me…

 

NB:  For the purposes of this weblog series “Art Therapy Group Sessions 2015“, I will not be mentioning any names or personal details of participants or even the name of the organisation that runs the sessions.  Individuals have the right to privacy, so it will only be about my own experience – and broad statements about each particular session.  I hope you will understand.

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