Creative Writing Group Session – 2 of 5 September 2016 by Karen Robinson

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1 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session Two - I'm ready to start with my creative writing session with Mind Australia and facilitated by Judy Bird. Photographed by Karen Robinson

1 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session Two – I’m ready to start the creative writing session made available by Mind Australia, facilitated by Judy Bird. Photographed by Karen Robinson

 

INTRODUCTION

This was our second September Creative Writing Group Session – made available by Mind Australia, and facilitated by Judy Bird, for carers of loved ones experiencing mental health issues. It was evident from the group’s noisy, happy chatter that all participants were keen to be there!

 

CREATIVE WRITING PIECE NO. 1

During this week’s creative writing session we were asked if we would like to share our homework from the previous week. We had each been given a postcard which featured an oil pastel painting by Tyler Arnold of High Street, Northcote – March 2016, and an image of the postcard is featured below. The instruction from the facilitator was to write for 5 minutes about the postcard picture which is exactly what I did.  A number of participants read out their stories and it was amazing to hear the different takes on what they had gained from viewing the postcard itself.  Most of the participants had turned the postcard over prior to writing, which showed details of the painting’s location – I had not done this!  At the end of my story you will note I say that “maybe one day I will visit this destination” only to realise, in this session, I have already been there!

 

Title:  Postcard Story

When I look at my postcard, I cannot help but think of some exciting, historical travel destination to come – where the unknown is to be found and enjoyed. Where new sights and sounds can be gobbled up into one’s memory banks and accessed in times when life appears dreary and dull.  I also like the wonderful, chunky, oil painting technique shown, reminding me of Old Masters and their amazing abilities in time long gone, leaving me to wonder “what was it like, then”. I also like the period-style homes that are featured in the postcard, double storey, squished side by side and with doorways positioned right on the street pathway.  Cars are tightly parked along the gutter, barely allowing a breath of space between each of them.  There’s a pizza sign on one of these buildings giving the locals a place to get a quick and easy meal perhaps to be consumed after a busy day at work.  A sign indicates it’s a 40-kilometre speed zone within this street, slow enough for pedestrians to dash across the road and cars to slow down to avoid mishaps.  Each side of the image are lush trees showing off full green foliage, hinting that it must be full summer.  The windows of the buildings peer directly over the busy suburban street, allowing their residents to see all the action happening in the outside world as they tend to their homely activities.  As I stated before – perhaps one day I will visit a destination like the one on my postcard and stop to gobble up all the sights and sounds to recall on my dreary and dull days.

© Karen Robinson – September 2016

 

4 of 4 Post Card of 'High Street, Northcote in March 2016' Oil Pastels by Artist Tyler Arnold' used as a source of creative writing inspiration during Creative Writing Session One

4 of 4 Post Card of ‘High Street, Northcote in March 2016′ Oil Pastels by Artist Tyler Arnold’ used as a source of inspiration for our Creative Writing homework giving at session one – September 2016.

 

CREATIVE WRITING PIECE NO. 2

Another creative writing task we were given was to find something that we thought no one else had noticed.  One morning before this session I was sitting quietly, working at my computer, when I decided to write for the task, as I had found quiet and peace whilst no one was noticing, just before dawn.

 

Home

­
It is quiet and peaceful
at this very moment.
There are no ‘world worries’ in my space.


I hear birds awakening
 to the beginning
 of a new and promising day.


Inside here in my home
it is safe and warm,
and outside, surrounding my home,
is a garden paradise
grown and crafted
by the loving hands of a man
I cherish.


Here, I know, is a place
 for me
to run and hide -
to shelter from the outside world’s daily challenges;


a place where I can be myself –
unafraid, comforted.

The family dog sits beside me,
endearingly,
as always.


Together we wait for the morning-sun
to show its friendly face


and when my husband arises,
from his night’s sleep,
it is then we will take coffee
 and talk
in the security of each other’s company.


It is quiet and peaceful here –
this blessed place
I call home.


– Ο –

Prose Poem © Karen Robinson - September 2016

5 of 5 Creative Writing September 2016 Session Two - Home Garden used as a source of creative writing inspiration. Photographed by Karen Robinson

5 of 5 Creative Writing September 2016 Session Two – Home Garden used as a source of creative writing inspiration. Photographed by Karen Robinson

 

CREATIVE WRITING PIECE NO. 3

At the commencement of this creative writing session Judy placed a box in the centre of the table – please find below a photo of the box.  We were then instructed to write about “what would be in the box if it was for us”.  It was an interesting request; there was no peering inside it to see if there was anything to be revealed.   We just had to imagine what was inside, and this is what I wrote:

 

Box!




I’m thinking all good
 has to be inside this box 
meant for me!  

There are stars floating across its surface 
and colours of the rainbow are fully displayed 
against a deep black background.

In my box --

perhaps hope, 
happiness, 
and joy
 will disperse 
as the lid is lifted;  

perhaps wonderful memories
 of the past
 will float out into my presence
 to be shared and enjoyed;  

perhaps promises of good times ahead
 will ascend
 into my hands
 as promissory notes
 that can be taken up at times
 when I am feeling sad;  

perhaps the sweet scent of Spring
 will drift into my soul
 and I will find myself
 taking a deep breath of rejuvenation;  

perhaps loud trumpets
 will bugle a merry tune
 and put me in fine spirits;  

perhaps fairy floss
 will spring from its centre, 
pink, sweet, 
and sticky to the fingers;  

perhaps a flutter of chirping noisy miners
 will escape, 
heading towards the highest trees
 in the garden outside;  

or perhaps
 there is just a whole lot of nothing!


 So, for me,
 I will not be taking the lid off this box
 as I already know 
what it is full of, 
and that is
 my imagination.


– ο  Prose Poem © Karen Robinson - September 2016

 

2 of 4 Creative Writing September 2016 Session Two - Mystery Box placed onto table and to be used as a source of creative writing inspiration. Photographed by Karen Robinson

2 of 4 Creative Writing September 2016 Session Two – Mystery Box placed onto table and to be used as a source of creative writing inspiration. Photographed by Karen Robinson

 

CONCLUSION

It is always a pleasure to be participating in these Creative Writing Group Sessions.  Catching up with participants that have become friends is wonderful, and meeting new like-minded people a real privilege!  A big thank you to our Creative Writing Facilitator, Judy Bird, for making these sessions such an enjoyable time. So good for one’s well-being…

 


© Karen Robinson – September 2016

POST-TRAUMATIC GROWTH:  Using Art & Creative Writing as Therapy – My Journey by Karen Robinson.  Please click here for my latest blog news!

							

Creative Writing Group Session – 1 of 5 September 2016 by Karen Robinson

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1 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session One - Photograph by Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws

1 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session One – I’m ready to start with my creative writing session with Mind Australia and facilitated by Judy Bird.  Photographed by Karen Robinson. NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

INTRODUCTION

Once again Creative Writing Group Sessions for carers of loved ones experiencing mental health issues has been made available by Mind Australia and facilitated by Judy Bird.  Participants consisted of some familiar faces of people whom I had got to know during previous sessions, and others who were new to the group.  During this creative writing session, our facilitator gave us a number of creative writing tasks to carry out.  They were mainly designed to get us all re-acquainted, and to assist us in getting our creative writing brains into action!  Below I have included here, two of my writing pieces I under took during this first session.

 

CREATIVE WRITING PIECE NO. 1

We were asked to find something in the garden that no one else had noticed, and then write a piece about it. I found a wonderfully coloured umbrella!  In the photo image below of the umbrella you will notice that the sun is shining on its surface, but at the time of originally finding it, the sky was overcast, hence no sun on its surface at the time of writing this piece below!

 

Title:  Rainbow Umbrella

It’s waiting in the garden bed, waiting for its friends, the wind, rain and sun, to arrive.  It’s patient and mindful of its importance but does not demand attention from all who pass by.  Today it’s open and full of all the colours of a rainbow!  It’s waiting, waiting for you to pick it up and use it for protection from its friends, the wind, the rain and the sun.  Its name is ‘umbrella’ but its friends call it rainbow and its users call it a necessity.  Today umbrella is feeling a little neglected as there is no wind, rain or sun, and so there is no need for it.  So umbrella will just stay in the garden, resting and looking gorgeous, hoping that its friends will arrive so that it will be taken up and enjoyed!

© Karen Robinson – September 2016

 

3 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session One - Rainbow Umbrella Story Photograph by Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws

3 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session One – Rainbow Umbrella Story Photograph by Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

 

CREATIVE WRITING PIECE NO. 2

We were asked to choose a card from a selection of cards on the creative writing-table, and then write about ‘what it brought to mind’.  The card I chose (as shown below) featured icing flowers and satin ribbons on top of a wedding cake.  It immediately reminded me of my days as a Bridal Designer – Haute Couturier and therefore became my source of inspiration for my creative writing piece ‘The Wedding Event’ found here below.

 

Title:  The Wedding Event

Over many years in my earlier life, I have been directly and indirectly involved in other people’s wedding day plans.  My part was in the making of their very special bridal gowns and sometimes the bridesmaids’ and mother of the brides’ outfits as well.  It was my job to design and make a bridal gown that a bride imagined would turn her from an ordinary everyday person into a princess for at least one day.  From my experience this is a flawed thought.  When I would first meet with a bride-to-be they were just like you and me, but over the course of time, in the planning of their wedding, something would change!  Invariably it was more like the bride-to-be became a she-devil, possessed by rage and self-interest that came dressed in white, and not the princess of fairy tales at all.  What happened to that lovely girl I met months ago, I would find myself asking?  Many times I have mopped tears away from the faces of distressed brides-to-be on their wedding day where professionally applied makeup was in danger of being ruined.  Many times I have tried to stop bridesmaids from planning the murder (not literally) of the bride-be-to!  Many times I have had to take out bridesmaids’ dresses and take in brides’ gowns, even after bridesmaids and brides-to-be have sworn they will not be losing or putting on weight.  There have also been the saddest of times, when tears have been shed due to unforeseen deaths in families but the wedding had to go on; and other times when just after the wedding day itself, the bride and groom have decided that their short-lived marriage is not working.   It is then that there is the realisation that all of the effort put towards bringing together families, the prince and princess, has dissolved into a bad experience, needing to be forgotten.  So unfortunately I have become very cynical about weddings and cannot help but feel that they should be the simplest celebration possible where the emphasis is on the union of two people who love each other and want to share this with family and friends.  Forget the rest – this is all that matters – and hopefully they will then share a lifetime of memories made of all that’s good that life has to offer.

© Karen Robinson – September 2016

 

2 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session One - The Wedding Event -Photograph by Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws

2 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session One – Card used as source of inspiration for the creative writing piece titled:  ‘The Wedding Event’.  Written and photographed by Karen Robinson. NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

CONCLUSION

It was a pleasure to be back within this Creative Writing Group.  Catching up with participants that had become friends was wonderful, and meeting new like-minded people a real privilege!  And a big thank you to our Creative Writing Facilitator, Judy Bird, for making the session such an enjoyable time. So good for one’s well-being…

 


© Karen Robinson – September 2016

POST-TRAUMATIC GROWTH:  Using Art & Creative Writing as Therapy – My Journey by Karen Robinson.  Please click here for my latest blog news!

 

Creative Writing: “Our Dog Jessie” Poem by Karen Robinson

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1 of 2 Jessie is patient and deligent with such a longing to see his master's return at the end of a day - dear old dog by Karen Robinson .jpg

1 of 2 Jessie is patient and diligent with such a longing to see his master’s return at the end of a day – dear old dog – Golden Cocker Spaniel – written and Photographed by Karen Robinson  NB:  All images are protected by copyright laws .jpg

 

INTRODUCTION

The process of trying to keep up with my creative writing is a challenge for me.  Life just demands at times, my attention elsewhere, but I feel so rewarded when I do take the time to reflect and write…

 

POEM INSPIRATION

So at a moment when my thoughts were still, I glanced across from where I was working, and looked towards our old dog Jessie.  He was sitting at the window looking longingly out and up towards the garden path. It was that time of the day when he would wait for his master to come home and today was no exception for Jessie! Oh to have the unconditional love of a dog…it’s such a beautiful love.  With those thoughts in mind, I wrote this poem for Jessie our old dog.

 



Title:  "Our Dog Jessie" Poem
 

His golden hair glimmers in the warm, afternoon winter-sun,

He is waiting, waiting, waiting for his very special one.


There seems to be no end to his vigilant gaze

as he watches for his master to grace the stony path maze.


For Jessie is truly a well-loved family member of ours,

He has given us so much love in both good and bad hours.


If only his master knew how adoringly his dog waits,

For the return of his master’s presence, - our dog’s best of mates.

 

Poem © Karen Robinson, July 2016

 

 

2 of 2 Jessie is patient and deligent with such a longing to see his master's return at the end of a day - dear old dog by Karen Robinson

2 of 2 Jessie is patient and diligent with such a longing to see his master’s return at the end of a day – dear old dog – Golden Cocker Spaniel – written and photographed by Karen Robinson jpg.  NB  All images are protected by copyright laws

 

CONCLUSION

Jessie is a good, loyal friend and family member.  He always greets us on our return home with a warm and friendly greeting and a wag of his tail – we are so lucky to have him…

 

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

Creative Writing – July 2016 “World Horrors” Poem by Karen Robinson

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People gather in front of a memorial on the Promenade des Anglais, where the truck crashed into the crowd during the Bastille Day celebrations. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/EPA

People gather in front of a memorial on the Promenade des Anglais, where the truck crashed into the crowd during the Bastille Day celebrations. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/EPA

 

INTRODUCTION

I wrote the following poem as a personal response to the dreadful news of the truck attacker in France, whom had killed over 80 people and seriously injured many others, nearly 24 hours after a Bastille Day celebration.  This continual onslaught against innocent men, women and children going about their daily lives – is just devastating.  To all those whom have lost loved ones, my deepest condolences; and to all those experiencing serious injury, may you have a speedy recovery. And to those whom experienced this horror directly, may you find peace as time marches on.

 

MY POEM TITLED “WORLD HORRORS”




It's so dreadfully hard not to be torn down by the daily news.

Reading, listening, seeing the world horrors just gives me the blues.

 

What happened to my understanding of it being a safe 
and wonderful place?

Did it get jarred away by us -- us being the human race?

 

I fear for what my children's children will have to contend with,

as they hear of this once beautiful planet. Was it all just a myth?

 

But I bring myself back to the now and I say,

that I only have the power of me and then I pray

 

not to the gods of man who need belief to exist,

not to the night heavens that continue to persist,

 

but to future generations of us humans at play,

that somehow they will do much better -- better than we have today.


Poem © Karen Robinson, July 2016

 

 

THE “ART OF PEACE” PAINTING – ACRYLIC PAINT ON H.W. PAPER 2014

 

Image No. 1 - Art & Creative Writing 'The Art of Peace' by Karen Robinson - Abstract Artist 20-12-2014 Acrylic Paint on HW Paper NB All images are subject to copyright laws.JPG

Image No. 1 – Art & Creative Writing ‘The Art of Peace’ by Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist 20-12-2014 Acrylic Paint on H.W. Paper.  By clicking on the image above, it will lead you to a blog I wrote about my own country’s terrifying and violent siege at the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place – Australia.  The above image I created in response to that event and is a representation of our world floating in a sea of darkness.  Written by Karen Robinson NB:  All images are protected by copyright laws.

.

CONCLUSION

It’s hard to write here a concluding sentence except just to say that we must have the hope that the human race will find its way…

 

Written by ©Karen Robinson – July 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

Book Review by Karen Robinson – “Upside – The New Science of Post-Traumatic Growth” Author Jim Rendon

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Karen Robinson reading Jim Rendon's book titled 'Upside' The New Science of Post-Traumatic Growth NB All images are protected by copyright laws

Karen Robinson reading Jim Rendon’s book titled ‘Upside’ The New Science of Post-Traumatic Growth – reading via Kindle. NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

INTRODUCTION

What drew me towards reading this book titled ‘Upside‘ written by Jim Rendon was the book’s tag line – ‘The New Science of Post-Traumatic Growth‘.  Over recent years, I have come to formally understand, that my art and creative writing processes, have been – my own personal post-traumatic growth journey.  Reading Jim Rendon’s book, has further assisted me in gaining insightful knowledge about the subject matter. It also, had me appreciating, just how much post-traumatic growth I myself have encountered, after experiencing a series of life changing devastating traumatic events. That post-traumatic growth can be like, a rebirth of oneself, a rebuilding of everything previously known and understood; and that it can lead to positive outcomes, that one would have never anticipated; that life can once more – become meaningful, purposeful and fulfilling.  But it takes work, and the process of post-traumatic growth can be different from one individual to another.  What works for some, may not work for others and in Jim Rendon’s book – his interviews/stories about individuals from all walks of life and traumatic experiences, shows this to be true.

 

NB:  Recently I spoke at Mind Australia’s 2016 Conference in Melbourne, Australia about my Post-Traumatic Growth, about how art and creative writing had improved my life after experiencing a series of family crises and about what I had learned about the catalyst for my positive change.  Please find here a link for the webpage about ARTIST TALK NO. 2 – ‘OUR VOICE, OUR CHOICE’ 2016that refers to this presentation of mine.

 

 

UPSIDE – THE NEW SCIENCE OF POST-TRAUMATIC GROWTH

Jim Rendon has written his book in sections, number one being titled ‘Why Terrible Experiences Can Also Be Good For You‘, number two being titled ‘The Essential Tools for Growth‘ and the third titled ‘Cultivating Growth‘.  The following Amazon overview of his book covers it well and I felt I couldn’t have covered it better:-

 

'Upside' - The New Science of Post-Traumatic Growth written by Jim Rendon

‘Upside’ – The New Science of Post-Traumatic Growth written by Jim Rendon

 

In the tradition of Po Bronson and Paul Tough, journalist Jim Rendon delivers a deeply reported look at the life-changing implications of post-traumatic growth—an emerging field of psychological research that shows how the suffering caused by traumatic events can be harnessed as a force for self-improvement and success rather than destruction.

PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is at the center of national conversation and a widely recognized psychological condition. But an equally valid, though lesser known outcome of trauma is post-traumatic growth. While many survivors suffer long-term emotional damage, over the last several decades psychologists have discovered that with the right circumstances and proper support, survivors can actually emerge from their trauma stronger, more focused, and with a new and clear vision for the future. In fact, as many as two-thirds of trauma survivors report positive changes—far more than suffer from PTSD.

But how can terrible events lead to remarkable and dramatic breakthroughs? Upside seeks to answer this question by taking a deep-dive look at this burgeoning new field of study. Comprised of interviews with leading researchers and dozens of trauma survivors, Rendon paints a vivid and comprehensive portrait of this groundbreaking field. With accessible language, prescriptive takeaways, and specific tools to promote positive responses to trauma, this book is perfect for anyone interested in the ways that traumatic events shape people. It is particularly useful for trauma survivors or their loved ones seeking a more hopeful and positive future. (Amazon 2016).”

 

LEONARD LOPATE SHOW’S INTERVIEW WITH JIM RENDON ABOUT HIS BOOK

Below is a link to ‘Leonard Lopate Show‘ interview with Jim Rendon, spamming just 20 minutes.  It helps give a quick overview of what Jim Rendon’s book is all about and worth a listen.

“The Silver Lining of Trauma” Radio interview with Jim Rendon

 

 

MY BOOK REVIEW OF ‘UPSIDE’ & PERSONAL INSIGHTS

Jim Rendon’s Book ‘Upside’ was a good read. There was so much I could personally resonate with and improved my understanding about post-traumatic growth exponentially which in turn, has improved my understanding of my own experience with post-traumatic growth.  Jim’s extensive research into the science of post-traumatic growth and his in-depth interviews/stories about people whom have experienced post-traumatic growth – proved to validate his work even more.

 

CONCLUSION

Jim Rendon’s book is an important read for those whom are interested in ‘post-traumatic growth’ and how in can be an incredible means to helping people rebuild and reshape their lives which have been somehow traumatically impacted by a life changing event.

 

Written by © Karen Robinson, July 2016

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

Creative Writing – June 2016 “I Am Listening…” Poem by Karen Robinson

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Volunteer Speaking at a Road Trauma Awareness Seminar Melbourne Australia with RTSSV - Karen Robinson June 2016

Karen Robinson (me) Volunteer Speaking at a Road Trauma Awareness Seminar Melbourne Australia with Road Trauma Support Services Victoria – Karen Robinson June 2016

 

INTRODUCTION

Last night – Tuesday 14th June, 2016 at RTSSV’sRoad Trauma Awareness Seminar (RTAS) in Werribee as a RTAS Volunteer Speaker, I told my family’s, being husband’s and my daughter’s road trauma story about my son Ben – killed in a single vehicle car crash on the 5th November, 2009. Like many other RTAS volunteer speakers each month across the state of Victoria – Australia for Road Trauma Support Services Victoria (RTSSV), we share with repeat road traffic offenders our road trauma stories, in the hope that repeat road traffic offenders gain a greater understanding about how risky driver behaviour is deadly. That it only takes one careless action as a driver to cause death and serious injury which in turn can leave behind, a devastating ripple effect.

Talking to and with these RTAS participants about their risky driver behaviour, once again reaffirmed the importance of the volunteer work that we do. Sure, it’s not easy and sure why do it all – might be your question. But when I hear, like many other volunteers hear, what participants say at the end of the Road Trauma Awareness Seminars: about what they have learned in regard to road safety and road trauma; about what they had never understood beforehand about the ripple effect impact of road trauma on family, friends, workmates and the wider community; and about how hearing our personal road trauma stories, has got them re-thinking about their own risky driver behaviour – it becomes apparent that it is a very worthwhile task and for me is the hardest thing I do.

 

POEM INSPIRATION

I found myself wanting to write, needing to write and I wrote this short poem about my feelings relating to this week’s Road Trauma Awareness Seminar Volunteer speaking experience.  This is what I wrote…

 

Title:  “I Am Listening…” Prose Poem

 



Here I am, again, listening to their reasons why

and as I hear, I cannot help but sigh!

 


They talk about the daily risks they take

and my calm facial expression is all a fake

 


for I know if they continue on in this vein,

their lives will not be blessed by the ordained.

 


Their loved ones will end up mourning their loss

for their risk-taking comes at a massive cost.

 


The tears, heartache and emptiness of soul

will leave their loved ones with this only role.

 


And as for me, I am already there -

left without my son and left with great despair.



Prose Poem ©Karen Robinson, June 2016

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

Writing this poem helped me process my feelings and thoughts about what I heard, saw and experienced during my RTAS volunteer speaking this week.  At this particular RTA Seminar there was another whom had experienced the loss of a loved one through road trauma and he hadn’t spoken about his loss for over 20 years…  It was very sad and demonstrated just how important it is to reach out and share our feelings, thoughts and emotions in order to maintain a healthy sense of well-being.  My creative writing and art practice gives me a way to maintain my well-being and has become an important way for me to continue on moving forward with my post-traumatic growth journey.

 

Written by © Karen Robinson – June 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

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

Creative Writing – “Thinking of Mother” written by Karen Robinson

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

 

2 of 2 Creative Writing by Karen Robinson Titled 'Thinking of Mother' NB All images are protected by copyright laws

2 of 2 Creative Writing by Karen Robinson Titled ‘Thinking of Mother’.  This is a photo of my mother when she was a very young woman and the baby is me – Karen Robinson.  NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Whilst my creative writing group has been disbanded for now, I am still keeping up with my creative writing efforts – my creative writing facilitator would be pleased!  Upon thinking about what mother’s day is all about, about how I am as a mother myself and about how my mother was as a mother for me, I wrote this creative writing piece title “Thinking Of Mother”.

 

MY CREATIVE WRITING PIECE

 

Title:  “Thinking Of Mother”

It’s hard to think about my mother in a totally positive way, when on Mothers’ Day this is exactly what a child is meant to do!  My sister, brother and I grew up in a sadly dysfunctional family.  But for the purposes of thinking about the fact that it is mothers’ day, I really want to just consider some of the best of my mother, and it will be hard to do this without looking at some of the worst of my childhood life.

Mother was born in a rural country town NSW Australia, one of three girls.  My understanding of my mother’s life is regretfully poorly formulated.  We were estranged for many years during my adult life; during a time when I had started my own family and became a mother myself.  We only got to reunite for a 6-month period before she died of cancer on March 2, 1998. It was a dreadfully sad and painful time, with much left unsaid; and a parting of ways through her death that left many of my childhood questions unanswered.

During my mother’s childhood, I believe my mother was raised by nuns, as her own mother died when she was a very small child and her father was a soldier in World War II.  This meant there was no one willing and/or able to care for my mother and her two older sisters, hence being raised by nuns.  This upbringing left wounds that never seemed to heal and I remember my mother saying to me on different occasions during my childhood, that at times the nuns were cruel, that she had never learned how to be a mother, that she had to teach herself.  On reflection, this seemed to be some sort of excuse my mother would utter, when she felt she had got the act of mothering all wrong.  In her defense, I always remember her as being a very hard worker and she ended up being the main ‘bread winner’ for our family for most of our childhood.  Our father, the man she married and stayed married to for all of our childhood lives, and literally for ‘better or worse’ was a man who was deeply troubled.  He developed into an alcoholic, very early in their marriage and became a brutal man to both my mother and to each of us as children, with my brother experiencing the worst of what he had to offer.  I remember many times being terrified during my father’s drunken outbursts and furious rage.

But back to the memory of my mother, she was a beautiful, attractive woman and I remember her mostly – as a kind person.  During my very early childhood, mum would make our clothes and I remember wearing very pretty dresses on special occasions with pride, she was very creative and most resourceful.  On one occasion, I remember she had made my sister and I a new dress each out of the old curtains that had once hang from the lounge room window.  I also remember her being a very good cook, although I don’t believe she started off being able to cook, this skill was developed out of necessity and it ended up being one of her professions during her later working years.  Life was not easy for my mother for sure, as it was a time in history, during the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s when family domestic violence was considered a family matter, and a wife in those days, was required to ‘put up and shut up’ about any such matters.  A time, when if a woman went to the police seeking protection from their brutal husband, they would be turned away being told that it was a family matter and go and sort it out with your husband – the very person serving out the domestic violence.  It was also a time where there was little to no support for a woman with small children and particularly if they decided to leave their husband.  My mother did leave my father on one occasion.  She packed up the little Volkswagen car one afternoon with as much worldly possessions as she could, along with us three small children and off we went.  On that particular night, I remember as a small child and the eldest of the three of us – we stopped and stayed in a rental caravan which leaked as it rained on that night. For dinner we had bread and jam and I remember thinking at the time that things must be really bad if that’s all we got for tea.  Mum was sad and desperate and brave. As I said before, it was a time in history when it was a very socially unacceptable thing to do – leave your husband, it was considered almost shameful, no matter what was happening in the home.

As time went on during this part of our lives, it became too difficult for my mother on her own rearing us three small children, trying to put a roof over our heads, cloths on our backs, food in our bellies, send us to school, keep us healthy and paid all the bills.   And then the breaking point came, I remember, my mother read out a letter from my father to me, perhaps not the whole letter, I cannot remember, but a letter that begged us to all return with many promises to change his ways and so it was – we set back to my father after he had tracked her down and persuaded my mother to return.  Sadly – this was a dreadful mistake, but I try to remind myself, that she was a woman on her own, with three small children, no family support, no government support, low wages – it must have been very hard for her; it was for us three small children as I remember it.  Perhaps, if it was in today’s time, where women can gain some sort of support, things may have hopefully been different, she could have made better choices for herself, for her children.  This I have told myself throughout my adulthood life, so as to help me understand why my mother went back knowing that he, my father was an alcoholic brutal man.

So when thinking of mother on Mothers’ day, I can’t help thinking about what it means to be a mother.  It’s a hard job, and there is plenty of room for mistakes – poor judgements but there is also an opportunity to take these things learned and try to make good with the next generation of children; to hopefully be a better mother than one’s own.  To raise children that will love and remember us as mothers in a kindly way, to remember the best of us….

 

© Karen Robinson, May 2016

1 of 2 Creative Writing by Karen Robinson Titled 'Thinking of Mother' NB All images are protected by copyright laws

1 of 2 Creative Writing by Karen Robinson Titled ‘Thinking of Mother’.  This was my mother in her forties I believe.  A photo taken when she was on a holiday overseas and after separating from her husband, my father.  She looks happy in this photo. NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

CONCLUSION

This Mothers’ Day for me, was spent with my dear sweet daughter, my husband, my daughter’s husband and his parents and his brother.  We had a lovely lunch and time together.  My daughter gave me a Mothers’ Day card with words she had particularly written herself and was keen to make sure I knew that as she knows that words are important to me.  This is what she wrote:

Thanks for everything you are…

Thanks for everything you do…

Thanks for always being there…

Love always and forever…

Thank you beautiful daughter for your loving words!  It was also a little difficult on this day and any given Mothers’ Day since 2009 – because my son, my daughter’s brother – is not with us anymore, so Mothers’ Day can be happy and sad, both at the same time.

 

Written by © 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

Creative Writing – “When A Good Laugh Is Important!” written by Karen Robinson

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

 

Karen Robinson at Creative Writing Therapy with Mind Australia - Northcote Town Hall October 2015 NB: All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

Karen Robinson at Creative Writing Therapy with Mind Australia – Northcote Town Hall October 2015 NB: All images are protected by copyright laws!. JPG

 

INTRODUCTION

Our creative writing sessions have now come to an end.  This week we said our farewells to each other with the hope that in the future sometime, we may catch-up informally to talk about what’s been happening in our lives.  It’s somewhat sad but a necessary important part of our creative writing therapy.  Now is the time we take what we have learned about ourselves through our creative writing efforts, and put this new knowledge to good use.  Whether it be the practice of continued creative writing efforts and/or embarking on another kind of creative therapy, we know we are now in a better place than when we first started, and now better skilled to deal with what’s ahead.

 

WHEN A GOOD LAUGH IS IMPORTANT!

It was important during our very last creative writing session that we attempt to engage in a sense of cheeriness.  Our creative writing facilitator had us write a piece that was to be about something that was our favourite thing about ourselves.  We had 10 minutes to write the piece and at the end of that 10 minutes we were then invited to share what we had written – if we wished.  What I love about these kind of creative writing exercises is this, you never know what is going to pop into your head and be translated into the written word.  I am also amazed and intrigued by what others write and share as well, how their stories vary and how imaginative they can be.  Sometimes, the group’s stories can be sad, sometimes our stories can be revealing and insightful, and at other times they can have us laughing unexpectedly – which is always welcomed!

I wrote a creative writing piece on this last day that did just that, had everyone laughing with delight and I must admit it gave me a great sense of pleasure knowing that I was able to achieve this, on this our very last day of creative writing with this extraordinary group of people.  Below is my creative writing piece that was based around the creative writing facilitator’s request “about something that was a favourite thing about ourselves” and I hope you find it humorous as well – remembering that a good laugh about one’s self can be important!  It is titled ‘Favourite Thing About Self’.

 

No. 1 – MY CREATIVE WRITING PIECE

 

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.  It was created by outlining the silhouette on my face and then using pastel and charcoal to create this image on paper.  It was done during the art therapy session itself. JPG



Title:  "Favourite Thing About Self"
  

My grey hair colour is perhaps my most favourite ‘self’ thing!

It’s the only thing that’s gotten better

as I have gotten older.




The nice perky boobs have diminished

and given way

to the over-ripe melons

that sag and sag.




My once-lovely flat belly

is now a memory overwritten

by a lumpy, bumpy hill

that does not flatten out when I lay down.

It just sits there reminding me

of my middle-aged spread.




My once-muscular legs

that used to attract all sorts of admiration

from both males and females,

a noticeable gift from my mother’s DNA,

are now always hidden away, under long pants, in shame.




My skin that used to be aglow

with good health

and good looks

has slipped away

secretly, quietly

– never to be found again.




And so it goes,

as it must --

all that was favourite

has been taken by that thief,

old age,

and I am now left with one thing in exchange for my youth --

my grey hair,

a favourite ‘self’ thing!




Oops, I forgot.

I do like my brain.

It’s been working, not better

but differently,

and I can see that it is going to help me

in my ripe, old age.




Good bye, good looks

and thank you, brain.




Prose Poem © Karen Robinson, April 2016

 

 

WHAT ADVICE I WOULD GIVE SOMEONE IN A SITUATION LIKE MYSELF

Before we were to finished up this particular session, our creative writing facilitator asked us to write one more creative writing piece.  This piece was to be about “what advice we would give someone in a situation like ourselves”.  In contrast to my writing piece above, this was a serious and thoughtful piece.

 

No. 2 – MY CREATIVE WRITING PIECE

 


Advice I would give someone in a situation like mine…

Keep looking forward 
when looking back is too hard to bear 
and look back 
when you are stronger.
 
Whilst the pain will still be there, 
it will have hopefully morphed 
into a bearable medium to work with
as time marches on and on.

Take a moment in each day
to look for something
that will bring you
 some kind of joy,
 
whether it be joy 
for just a moment
or joy
for a greater period of time.
 
In time, you will begin 
to reward yourself 
by looking for more and more 
joy in the everyday.

And after some considerable time
some of your days will be full of joy, 
and the sadness
will only come
when you invite it in.

Prose Poem © Karen Robinson - April 2016

 

 

CONCLUSION

Thank you to Judy Bird our creative writing facilitator, Gillian Scaduto our Mind Australia co-facilitator and our wonderful group members – I will never forget our time shared…

 

Art Therapy Session No. 2-'Silhouette Portrait' by Karen Robinson Materials-acrylic paint on butcher paper August 7, 2014 photograph taken by Karen Robinson Images Copyright .JPG

Art Therapy Session No. 2-‘Silhouette Portrait’ by Karen Robinson Materials-acrylic paint on butcher paper August 7, 2014 photograph taken by Karen Robinson Images Copyright .JPG

.

Written by © Karen Robinson, April 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

Book Review by Karen Robinson – “Wired to Create” Authors Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregorie

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4 of 4 Book Review by Karen Robinson - 'Wired to Create' Authors Scott Barry Kaufman & Carolyn Gregoire NB All images are protected by copyright laws

4 of 4 Book Review by Karen Robinson – ‘Wired to Create’ Authors Scott Barry Kaufman & Carolyn Gregoire.  Karen Robinson – being me spending time reading.  NB:  All images are protected by copyright laws

 

 

INTRODUCTION

I have to confess, I am not and have not ever been a big reader.  During my turbulent childhood, reading was just not at the top of the list of important things to worry about.  Throughout my adulthood, it has proven to be a great failing of mine, and I wish I had learned the love of reading books in my earlier life.  So what I am hoping to do here within my blog is to take up reading books in relation to art therapy and creative writing therapy and sharing my thoughts about such books.

 

WIRED TO CREATE

After searching the internet, I came across this book titled Wired to Create.  The title captured my imagination firstly, and then it was its – book review and the qualitative authors, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire that final sold me on purchasing the book to read.

Scott Barry Kaufman, PhD “is scientific director of the Imagination Institute in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, where he investigates the measurement and development of intelligence, imagination, and creativity” (S.B. Kaufman/C. Gregoire 2015).  Carolyn Gregoire “is a senior writer at the Huffington Post, where she reports on psychology, mental health, and TEDx and the Harvard Public Health Forum, and has appeared on MSNBC, the Today show, the History Channel, and Huffpost Live” (S.B. Kaufman/C.Gregoire 2015). 

 

BOOK TRAILER VIDEO OF SCOTT BARRY KAUFMAN

 

 

MY BOOK REVIEW OF ‘WIRED TO CREATE’ & PERSONAL INSIGHTS

The Wired to Create book explores the many faces of creativity through the habits and motivations of highly creative people; and what they do differently within areas of:  imaginative play, passion, daydreaming, solitude, intuition, openness to experience, mindfulness, sensitivity, turning adversity into advantage, and thinking differently (S.B. Kaufman/C. Gregoire 2015).

At first I found Wired to Create a little hard to get into but within a number of pages turned, I was hooked.  It was an easy read and I felt myself being able to really grasp what was written.  There was much I personally could relate to, along with being able to experience science based new information about a subject matter that’s important to me.

 

 

Some of the notable things that I learned whilst reading this book, has been that creative people whom enjoy the process of their creativity, and feel a sense of control over it, show greater creativity, than those whom concentrate just on what the end result will accomplish (S.B. Kaufman/C. Gregoire 2015).  This statement rings true for myself, as the process of painting, creative writing, photo-taking is very much part of my therapeutic journey overall, and the outcome just seems to be a place where I just stop and pause, in readiness to embark on the next project.  Reaching the end of a project is satisfying, but the process in getting there is far more significant and self-fulfilling. Part of this process demonstrates a state of mind describe as ‘flow’ which allows the creative person to be completely absorbed; to be deeply concentrating on the task at hand and in turn, there’s a sensation of time being lost (S.B. Kaufman/C. Gregoire 2015).  This flow state of mind has played a very important part during my own art as therapy journey along side of my story telling for each painting I have painted.

NB:  Click here to view an Interesting Ted Talk by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness

The subject matter about post-traumatic growth was of great interest to me whilst reading this book. Wired to Create authors stated that “post-traumatic growth often leads people to see new possibilities in their lives, and one of those new possibility ties – may be an artistic hobby or an entirely new career that allows them to express their creativity” (S.B. Kaufman/C. Gregoire 2015). I found this to be true myself as I had taken up art and creative writing at times in my life where I most needed a way of coping with a series of major life crisis’ and traumatic events. Creativity formed an essential part of my post-traumatic growth. It lead me to experiencing a better sense of well-being and improved my life in ways I couldn’t have foreseen.

NB: Click here to read about a blog I wrote about attending a Regional Arts Workshop where the subject was around ‘post-traumatic growth’

 

CONCLUSION

Highly recommend Wired to Create as a read for those interested in what creativity is and how the creative mind works/evolves and how important that we be supportive of those that choose to be creative.  That unlocking our creative self, is not just a benefit to ourselves as creators, it also benefits those whom are viewers/users of such creativity.  It also benefits humanity at large and the Wired to Create authors help to substantiate that proposition within their book.

 

Written by © Karen Robinson, April 2016

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

Creative Writing – “My Love/Hate Relationship – A Human Condition!” written by Karen Robinson

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3 of 4 - Creative Writing Story Titled 'My Love-Hate Relationship - A Human Condition!' written by Karen Robinson March 2016 NB Protected by Copyright Laws

3 of 4 – Creative Writing Story Titled ‘My Love-Hate Relationship – A Human Condition!’ written by Karen Robinson March 2016. Image of my computer keyboard with a show of chocolate Easter Eggs Photo graphed by me – NB Protected by Copyright Laws

 

INTRODUCTION

At my last creative writing session, our facilitator set us up with tasks to achieve at home, during the Easter break and up until our next creative writing group session.  We were to write each day, a 5 to 10 minute writing piece about anything. I was pleasantly surprised and rewarded for my efforts; it was a revealing and enjoyable experience and one that proved to be very therapeutic.

 

MY CREATIVE WRITING PIECE

This particular creative writing piece below was inspired by my experience with getting my computer up and running again after crashing a number of times and not being able to successfully fix it myself.  It turned into a rant and it felt so good to get all my frustration and words of pent-up anger out into a written piece.  I actually really enjoyed the process and here is what I wrote

 

Title:  “My Love/Hate Relationship – A Human Condition!”

Part One:

If my computer was a person, I would have killed it by now – and had no regrets.  The amount of time and energy, I have expended on it, to fix several problems over the last few weeks, has been ridiculous.  Hate comes to mind as well – right at this moment, I hate my computer with a passion!  So when it decides to have a mind of its own, I tell it and tell it, that I will love and respect it, and I am grateful for all the times it has been faithfully assisting me in achieving my goals.  I constantly give it credit for doing a marvellous job, but at times, this flattery, does not seem to persuade him to realize, that when it decides to go off the rails, it just causes me all sorts of grief.  This love/hate relationship can’t be good for me for sure!  But I keep persisting, in the hope, that if I can pretend to be kind and thoughtful that perhaps, just perhaps – he will be cooperative and just work without a problem.  Perhaps chocolates are the answer, I’m desperate – hey computer what about chocolate, do you like chocolate? I think I have gone mad!!!

 

1 of 4 - Creative Writing Story Titled 'My Love-Hate Relationship - A Human Condition!' written by Karen Robinson March 2016 NB Protected by Copyright Laws

1 of 4 – Creative Writing Story Titled ‘My Love-Hate Relationship – A Human Condition!’ written by Karen Robinson March 2016 NB Protected by Copyright Laws

 

Part Two:

The chocolates didn’t work!  My computer is still not working to its best capacity – actually what I really want to say, is that its performance is shit, and I am sick of it, at the very least!  My love/hate relationship with it is stronger than ever and much more hate than love.  I proceeded to contact the Microsoft Technical fairies on Remote Assist for the fourth time and praying that if they wave their magic wand again, that all would be good once more, but alas – I discovered that this was not going to be the case and my computer still remained defiant.  It’s on the blink again!

Like I wrote before, if my computer was a person I am sure I would have killed it by now, no jokes that is how frustrated I am with him and yes, it has to be a him!  Or should I write hymn, a prayer would do nicely right now, perhaps that could influence my computer to get back to working like a responsible, good computer.  It has tested my patients to no end and I find myself sitting here observing the actions of the Microsoft Technical fairy, skilfully working his magic to rectify what seems to be an unfathomable problem.  There has been a number of Windows 10 operating systems installs and re-installs, along with a number of Windows Office 365 installs and re-installs; and my communications with the Microsoft Technical fairies via my mobile phone and via Remote Assist on the computer – has been very cordial which I have appreciated.  I myself have been very restrained, trying desperately to be extra, extra nice in the hope that my attitude towards the Microsoft Technical fairies will result in a perfectly behaved computer but no, no such luck – time to tear my out my hair or go hung myself, or slit my writs…no all too dramatic I know and extra silly – back to chocolates then perhaps?

 

Part Three:

While I am waiting, waiting for the Microsoft Technical fairies to wave their magic wand and fix my computer, I am forced to write this writing piece, this arduous rant with a pen and paper. I mean a pen and paper, how antiquated is that – just unforgivable computer!  So hopefully when this time draining fiasco is over, I will be back to my old self enjoying my computer privileges.  But the first thing I am going to do when all is working well with him, him being the computer, I think I will just resort to shutting down my computer – yes shutting it down!  I will be plainly ignoring it for a while, as a form of punishment for all the stress it has made me endure.  I know, I know – there are much more important things in the world to be moaning about, to be appreciative of – please forgive this rant. Back to chocolates, it’s Easter…yum chocolate Easter eggs!

 

4 of 4 - Creative Writing Story Titled 'My Love-Hate Relationship - A Human Condition!' written by Karen Robinson March 2016 NB Protected by Copyright Laws

4 of 4 – Creative Writing Story Titled ‘My Love-Hate Relationship – A Human Condition!’ written by Karen Robinson March 2016 NB Protected by Copyright Laws

 

Part Four:

My computer is now working beautifully and all is, as it should be.   And yes, I love my computer once again – well until the next time it decides to be a pain in the ass!

The End!

© Karen Robinson, March 2016

 

CONCLUSION

Writing and sharing our stories within these creative writing sessions – gives us all an opportunity to reveal to ourselves and to others – if we wish, matters that may be unresolved, things we seek to bring into our lives and/or just the pure joy of being able to articulate words without judgement.  And perhaps just for our own personal need to say out loud in a safe and secure environment amongst like-minded people.

For me, this particular writing piece was all about releasing pent-up frustration and dismay.  The creative writing task gave me a way of dispensing of that energy, that frustration in a positive manner rather than taking it out on the Microsoft Technical fairies, or my dear husband, or my poor old dog called Jessie.  By the end of the above writing piece, I was all good to go – no more angst about my computer … creative writing as therapy at its best I feel.

Written by © 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

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

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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

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

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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

Creative Writing/Photo-Taking – December 2015 “Santa’s Pooped!” Short Poem by Karen Robinson

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1 of 3 Photo-taking & Story-telling, Creative Writing by Karen Robinson Titled 'Santa's Pooped!' Just south of Bendigo Dec 2015 NB All images are protected by copyright laws.jpg

1 of 3 Photo-taking & Story-telling, Creative Writing by Karen Robinson Titled ‘Santa’s Pooped!’ Just south of Bendigo Dec 2015 NB All images are protected by copyright laws.jpg

 

 

INTRODUCTION 

Photo-taking and story-telling/creative writing has been what I have done most of my life. It has given me an opportunity to examine, mull over, study and/or appreciate special moments and sometimes the bazaar things that I have found visually interesting.  On my return car journey home from just outside of Bendigo back to Melbourne with my husband, I spotted a Santa in the middle of ‘no where’!  It had been stuffed with hay and placed on a golden coloured bale of stacked hay.  I had my husband stop the car and I took photos of Santa and wrote the following words and a very short poem.

 

POEM INSPIRATION

Santa’s Pooped!
I found Santa! He’s resting on a slumped hay bale in the middle of a grass paddock, just off a straight stretch of road leading away from Bendigo and back towards Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Don’t think he’s getting much shade under these ghostly gums. So stop looking… Santa will return next year busting with Christmas cheer but for now he’s snoozing under the scorching hot Australian summer sun.

 

Karen Robinson © December 2015

 

3of 3 Photo-taking & Story-telling, Creative Writing by Karen Robinson Titled 'Santa's Pooped!' Just south of Bendigo Dec 2015 NB All images are protected by copyright laws.jpg

3 of 3 Photo-taking & Story-telling, Creative Writing by Karen Robinson Titled ‘Santa’s Pooped!’ Just south of Bendigo Dec 2015 NB All images are protected by copyright laws.jpg

 

 

Title:  “Santa’s Pooped!” Poem

 



Santa, all dressed in red

and a little under fed,

looking very much like he is dead,

but no -- he's just resting his weary head.

‘Peace, at last,’ he said!

 

Poem ©Karen Robinson - December 2015

 

 

2 of 3 Photo-taking & Story-telling, Creative Writing by Karen Robinson Titled 'Santa's Pooped!' Just south of Bendigo Dec 2015 NB All images are protected by copyright laws.jpg

2 of 3 Photo-taking & Story-telling, Creative Writing by Karen Robinson Titled ‘Santa’s Pooped!’ Just south of Bendigo Dec 2015 NB All images are protected by copyright laws.jpg

 

 

CONCLUSION

Happy New Year…

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

Creative Writing – December 2015 “Merry Christmas it well be!” by Karen Robinson

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

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Creative writing and simple ink drawings have become a part of my art for therapy process.  I have found that these activities, practiced regularly, help to ensure I maintain a good sense of wellbeing.

 

MY CREATIVE WRITING PIECE

Being near Christmas Day, a day where through my entire life has been marked as a special day, I decided to write a piece for said.  As a child, there were many years where we had little to no money to spare but there was always something special for each of us in the way of a gift on Christmas day.  My creative writing piece below is a summing up of what Christmas has become for me now that I am in my early 60’s.

Title:  ‘Merry Christmas it well be!’

“I cannot help but become a little sentimental around Christmas time. It’s a time I think about my family, about how it was when I was a child, how it was when my son was alive and how it is now. I went shopping the other day with my dear, sweet daughter where we purchased Christmas gifts for her father, her husband, for me and I for her. It didn’t seem necessary to think of purchasing gifts for any others, other than a gift I had already purchased for her elderly grandmother. Kris Kringle is a ‘no goer’ this year, just because it seemed unimportant to buy small, inexpensive gifts that wouldn’t be best suited for the receiver and therefore put aside and never used. I guess we are lucky; no… I know we are fortunate, compared to many others, out in the wider world, who barely can feed themselves, or put a roof over their heads, or have any decent clothes to wear, let alone be able to educate themselves, or their children, or even be able to gain good health-assistance, or find gainful, meaningful employment. So it doesn’t seem right to do anything else other than count our blessings. So Christmas time for me is a time to share with loved ones, and to come together for just a short while and reconnect as families. To remember those who are no longer with us, in a way that respects our memory of them. To be grateful for being able to just do that – in a safe and secure environment, where Christmas lunch is plentiful and where within our homes, our country, there resides a degree of certainty about tomorrow.

To all….a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and sincerely wishing you all the very best…wherever you are!”

Karen Robinson © October 2015

 

CREATIVE WRITING INSPIRING ART!

These particular paintings/art works are produced in a quick and spontaneous manner and is unlike my other painting method – which is planned and takes many, many hours to complete.  I enjoy both methods!

 

 

CONCLUSION

Once again to all….a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and sincerely wishing you all the very best…wherever you are!”

 

© Karen Robinson, December 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

My Volunteering

Source: My Volunteering

Abstract Painting No. 45E Titled 'Reaching Out To Sons' Acrylic on Canvas 91cms Length x 91cms Wide x 3cms Deep by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist - 2011 NB All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

Abstract Painting No. 45E Titled ‘Reaching Out To Sons’ Acrylic on Canvas 91cms Length x 91cms Wide x 3cms Deep by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist – 2011.  Inspired by telling my family’s road trauma story at Road Trauma awareness Seminars most months since March 2011 about my son Ben who was killed in a single vehicle car crash on 5th November 2009 – in the hope that RTAS participants, repeat road traffic offenders will rethink about their risky driver behaviour and in turn save lives, reduce serious injury and lessen the ripple effect of road trauma.  Painting story/meaning can be found within this weblog page for ‘My Volunteering’.  NB:  All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

 

This is a new weblog page I have added which is about my volunteering with Road Trauma Support Services Victoria (RTSSV).  I have been doing this most worthy task since the beginning of 2011 – in memory of my son who was killed in a single vehicle car crash, at the age of 25 on the 5th November 2009…Please click here to view…Karen Robinson

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

 

Creative Writing – November 2015 “Paris…” Poem by Karen Robinson

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

 

1 of 8 Creative Writing - Poem Titled 'Paris' and Schminchke & Liquitex Ink on Cotton A3 297x420mm 300GSM by Karen Robinson 17-11-2015 Copyright Protected.JPG

1 of 8 Creative Writing – Poem Titled ‘Paris’ and Schminchke & Liquitex Ink on Cotton A3 297x420mm 300GSM by Karen Robinson 17-11-2015 Copyright Protected.JPG

 

INTRODUCTION

The Paris multiple attacks where more than 120 people were killed and more than 350 people were injured with about 100 of those seriously – via a series of coordinated terrorist attacks, was shocking news.   The tragic loss of loved ones, family, friends and workmates must be unbearable for those directly impacted and for the people of France this needless atrocity must be impossible to fathom.

 

POEM INSPIRATION

The amazing resilience of the France people had inspired me to write this very short and simple poem.  I have also accompanied it with an ink painting I have created which represents the French flag colours and I have used the now iconic symbol being ‘Peace for Paris’ which has spread around the world.  I humbly and respectfully share my words here below.

 

Title:  “Paris…” Acrostic Poem

 



Peace we need to seek and search for in our every day,

Alliance with those that treasure humanity,

Resisting the temptation to run and hide,

Illuminating the courage of those who bravely step forward,

Silencing those who seek to crush...

 

Acrostic Poem ©Karen Robinson, November 2015

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

Peace for Paris – peace for the world…we must try…

 

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

Creative Writing – October 2015 “Crying Roses…” Poem by Karen Robinson

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No. 5 of 5 Creative Writing - Poem Titled 'Crying Roses' written and photographed by Karen Robinson 5th November 2015.JPG

No. 5 of 5 Creative Writing – Photo taken by Karen Robinson at Fawkner Memorial Park, Melbourne, Australia on the 5th November 2015. The rain drenched roses featured in the photo were used as a source of inspiration for a Poem Titled ‘Crying Roses…’ written by Karen Robinson to mark the 6th anniversary of her son’s death who was killed in a single vehicle car crash on the 5th November 2009.JPG

 

INTRODUCTION

It’s that time of the year again, a time that marks another year where my husband and I especially on this day, the 5th November 2015, take a drive to Fawkner Memorial Park to pay our respects to the memory of our son.  Over the last five years, each of these days have been strangely beautiful amongst the extraordinary array of fully bloomed roses.  Each year signifies, that our choice of Memorial Park to place our son’s ashes was the right choice, as it serves as our quiet place to think of Ben and how much we miss him so.  To ponder about, what it would have been like, if he was still here with us today!

 

NoNo. 1 of 5 Creative Writing - Mark & Karen's son's plaque which sits proudly over the cavity that holds his ashes at Fawkner Memorial Park, Melbourne, Australia on 5th November 2015 used as inspiration to write a Poem Titled 'Crying Roses' to mark the 6th anniversay of his death. Photographed by Karen Robinson - Ben's mum 5.11.15.JPG

No. 1 of 5 Creative Writing – Mark & Karen’s son’s plaque which sits proudly over the cavity that holds his ashes at Fawkner Memorial Park, Melbourne, Australia on 5th November 2015 used as inspiration to write a Poem Titled ‘Crying Roses’ to mark the 6th anniversary of his death. Photographed by Karen Robinson – Ben’s mum 5.11.15.JPG

 

POEM INSPIRATION

Upon our arrival at Fawkner Memorial Park, and as I was alighting from the car and walking across towards Ben’s Plaque and then through the wonderful array of fully bloomed roses, I was taken aback by the rain drenched roses.  I had never seen roses so full of water and one rose in particular looked like there were tears falling from its heart!  The rain drops appeared to me like it was crying…

 

No. 2 of 5 Creative Writing - Poem Titled 'Crying Roses' written and photographed by Karen Robinson 5th November 2015.JPG

No. 2 of 5 Creative Writing – Poem Titled ‘Crying Roses’ written and photographed by Karen Robinson 5th November 2015.JPG

 

I found myself saying out loud to my husband “Look, the roses look like they are crying…”.  It felt profound to make such a statement and perhaps it was just a reflection of how I felt in my own heart right at that particular moment.  On my return, I wrote the below poem to mark the 6th anniversary of my boy’s death.

 

Title:  “Crying Roses…” Poem

 


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 guidance 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 both of us

and our endless love for her will always be a must.

 

Poem © Karen Robinson - November 2015

 

PHOTO-TAKING IMPORTANT

Photo-taking has been what I have done most of my life, the recording of special family moments!  And I have always taken photos on these days.  I learned that taking photos is just so important, they serve the memory well when loved ones have passed, when the memory begins to fail and for further generations to ponder over and wonder…

 

 

CONCLUSION

It’s another day now and the sun has come out and dried up all the rain … time to go out and play, rejoice and enjoy the one and only life we get to live…

 

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

Creative Writing Group Session – October 2015 “Beautiful Other…” by Karen Robinson

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

 

 

INTRODUCTION

My Creative Writing Group Sessions always leave me feeling like I have taken a little journey, into a new world of endless possibilities, a world where it can be of utter truths or pure fantasies.  At other times these sessions take me back in time challenging forgotten memories.  These creative writing sessions not only give me an opportunity to engage in creative writing exercises, they also give me the opportunity – to listen to others whilst they share their precious words.

 

CREATIVE WRITING SOURCE OF INSPIRATION

 

No. 1 of 2 Creative Writing Group - Artwork Titled 'Beautiful Other' Feather resting on - Schmincke Ink on A4 Paper by Karen Robinson - Abstract Artist NB All images are copyright protected Oct 2015.JPG

No. 1 of 2 Creative Writing Group – Artwork Titled ‘Beautiful Other’ Feather resting on – Schmincke Ink on A4 Paper by Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist NB All images are copyright protected Oct 2015.JPG

 

During this creative writing session, the creative writing facilitator asked us to choose from a bag of an assortment of bird feathers – just one single feather that resonated with ourselves.  I chose the feather featured in the photograph above.  We were then asked to write a short story about our feather, anything that came to mind. The below is what a wrote and I titled it ‘Beautiful Other’.

 

MY CREATIVE WRITING PIECE

 

 — Beautiful Other —


You are long and sleek and there’s a fine vane 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 imagine you, in the wing, in flight, soaring up into fluffy, white clouds and then gliding down, down, down towards an open field looking for prey.

I now imagine you heading back towards your shelter, as dark, thunderous clouds trample across the sky ready to open up and let free winter rains from 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 rising. There is a column of sunlight reaching into your cave and alerting you that it’s time to wake.  You open and stretch out your wings with a vigour that signals that you are strong and ready for what is ahead in your day.  A gentle breeze enters the cave, and you take flight and glide 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…

 

Prose © Karen Robinson - October 2015

 

I found it hard at first to get into writing about my feather story but all of a sudden my story took shape in my imagination, took flight you could say!  It was a very enjoyable task and I loved being able to just write what ever came to mind, to write about something joyful and beautiful.  Left me feeling good…

 

CREATIVE WRITING INSPIRING ART!

After each creative writing session, I personally like to use my creative writing stories to inspire an art work.  These artworks are not ‘masterpieces’ but are an important part of a therapeutic process that I enjoy; and helps complete my art for therapy journey after each creative writing group session.  These particular paintings/art works are produced in a quick and spontaneous manner and is unlike my other painting method – which is planned and takes many, many hours to complete.  I enjoy both methods!

No. 2 of 9 Creative Writing Group - Artwork Titled 'Beautiful Other' Schmincke Ink on A4 Paper by Karen Robinson - Abstract Artist NB All images are copyright protected Oct 2015.JPG

No. 2 of 9 Creative Writing Group – Artwork Titled ‘Beautiful Other’ Schmincke Ink on A4 Paper by Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist NB All images are copyright protected Oct 2015.JPG

 

CONCLUSION

Writing and sharing our stories within these creative writing sessions – gives us all an opportunity to reveal to ourselves and to others – if we wish, matters that may be unresolved, things we seek to bring into our lives and/or just the pure joy of being able to articulate words without judgement.  And/or perhaps just for our own personal need to say out loud in a safe and secure environment amongst like-minded people.  Creative writing therapy at its best I feel…

© Karen Robinson, October 2015

 

NB:  For the purposes of this weblog series “Creative Writing Group”, 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

Creative Writing Group Session – October 2015 “Support Me!” by Karen Robinson

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

 

No. 4-5 Creative Writing Group - Artwork Titled 'Support Me' Schmincke Ink-A4 Paper by Karen Robinson Oct 2015 NB All Images copyright protected.JPG

No. 4-5 Creative Writing Group – Artwork Titled ‘Support Me’ Schmincke Ink-A4 Paper by Karen Robinson Oct 2015 NB All Images copyright protected.JPG

 

INTRODUCTION

My Creative Writing Group Sessions always leave me feeling like I have taken a little journey into a new world of endless possibilities, a world where it can be of utter truths or pure fantasies.  At other times these sessions take me back in time challenging forgotten memories.  These creative writing sessions not only give us an opportunity to engage in creative writing exercises, they also give us the opportunity – to listen to others whilst they share their precious words.

 

CREATIVE WRITING SOURCE OF INSPIRATION

During this creative writing session, our usual creative writing facilitator was unwell and we had the organisation’s facilitator as a stand in for our usual facilitator on this day.  We were asked to write a number of pieces and there were two that stood out for me.  This following is my second writing piece. We were asked to pick a number between one and twenty, I chose number one.  The facilitator then gave me the corresponding word for number one.  This process followed through with each participant with us all having a different single word.  Our instructions was to write a very quick paragraph about the word we had each been given. My word was ‘Support’ and my creative writing piece is here below:-

 

MY CREATIVE WRITING PIECE

 

Title:  “Support” Prose Poem

 



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...




Prose Poem © Karen Robinson - October 2015
No. 2-5 Creative Writing Group - Artwork Titled 'Support Me' Schmincke Ink-A4 Paper by Karen Robinson Oct 2015 NB All Images copyright protected.JPG

No. 2-5 Creative Writing Group – Artwork Titled ‘Support Me’ Schmincke Ink-A4 Paper by Karen Robinson Oct 2015 NB All Images copyright protected.JPG

 

I don’t know where these words of mine came from, I just wrote what came into my head and allowed for the words to fall upon the page.  We all had a chance to read out our paragraph and during the reading of my own – I was shocked at hearing my own voice reading my words.  After thinking about it, I realized that it reflected my art for therapy and creative writing journey, that I had reached a place where I was truly OK.

 

CREATIVE WRITING INSPIRING ART!

After each creative writing session, I personally like to use my creative writing stories to inspire an art work.  These artworks are not ‘masterpieces’ but are an important part of a therapeutic process that I enjoy; and helps complete my art for therapy journey after each creative writing group session.  These particular paintings/art works are produced in a quick and spontaneous manner and is unlike my other painting method – which is planned and takes many, many hours to complete.  I enjoy both methods!

 

 

CONCLUSION

Writing and sharing our stories within these creative writing sessions – gives us all an opportunity to reveal to ourselves and to others – if we wish, matters that may be unresolved, things we seek to bring into our lives and/or just the pure joy of being able to articulate words without judgement.  And/or perhaps just for our own personal need to say out loud in a safe and secure environment amongst like-minded people.  Creative writing therapy at its best I feel…

© Karen Robinson, October 2015

 

NB:  For the purposes of this weblog series “Creative Writing Group”, 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