2011 Abstract Paintings/Stories

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




 

Karen Robinson - Abstract Artist with Hubby standing along side of Painting No. 45D Titled 'Rest in Peace Ben' at TAC's 'Picture This' Exhibition 2011 at Geelong Gallery NB All images are protected by copyright.JPG

Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist with Hubby standing along side of Painting No. 45D Titled ‘Rest in Peace Ben’ at TAC’s ‘Picture This’ Exhibition 2011 at Geelong Gallery NB All images are protected by copyright.JPG

 

About Abstract Painting Portfolio 2011 – Paintings Nos. 45D, 45E, 51, 52, 53:-

2011, I painted another two paintings that were part of a series of paintings about my family’s road trauma story, along with a major work – painting no. 51 “Valley of a Thousand Hills”.  And also a joyful painting for my daughter painting no. 52 “I’m Busy”.  Each painting required of me, a great deal of concentration and helped keep my mind occupied with the act of painting.   Mid 2011, I started studying at Kangan Institute Broadmeadows an “Advanced Diploma of Justice” and my energies were directed more towards studying and attending classes.  Painting had taken a back seat for a while.

 

Painting No. 45D - Title "Rest in Peace Ben" by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson - 2011

Painting No. 45D – Title “Rest in Peace Ben” Jan/June 2011
Acrylic on Canvas
91cms Length x 91cms Wide x 3cms Deep
Painting Story: It was not until earlier in 2010, that we were able to place Ben’s ashes and plaque at Fawkner Memorial Park (Victoria, Australia). At the time, the roses were not in bloom, the grounds were dry and colourless and the day was cloudy and grey. It was a very sad day for us as parents and for Ben’s sister and her partner (now husband).
Later that same year, we returned on the 5th November 2010, the first anniversary of Ben’s death. On this day of sad memories of Ben and our hearts full of grief, we found ourselves visiting a strangely beautiful place. The sky was bright blue; the colourful roses were in full bloom! The old elms trees were still partially bare but just starting to bud again. And all the shrubbery and grass was green again after the winter rains. We placed fresh flowers, in the small vase, set on Ben’s plaque and sat on the small seat overlooking the beautiful garden. We were one year on… It made it no easier to bare, the loss of our son, but we gained a small comfort, that he was at peace in a beautiful place, that we had done everything possible to pay respect to his memory. Ben will be in our hearts and minds forever…
In this painting, I have tried to capture this spirit of our day, Ben’s first anniversary. I needed to remember Ben, at peace in a beautiful place…for my sake…as his mum…I couldn’t paint another painting full of pain. I wanted to be able to look at this painting and think of the beautiful day, we spent remembering him, remembering our son and the 25 years that Ben was in our lives…
Ben was killed in a single vehicle crash, just outside of Bendigo (Victoria, Australia) on the 5th November, 2009, at the age of 25 – In memory of Ben…
Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson
NB: All images are protected by copyright laws!

Painting No. 45E - Title "Reaching out to Sons" by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson - 2011

Painting No. 45E – Title “Reaching out to Sons” Jan/June 2011
Acrylic on Canvas
91ms Length x 91cms Wide x 3cms Deep
Painting Story: It was in January 2011, I found out about Road Trauma Support Services “Guest Speaker Volunteering” opportunities. Since then, I have been telling “My Family’s Road Trauma Story” (the loss of Ben, my son, killed in a single vehicle crash 5th November 2009) at Road Trauma Awareness Seminars. At these seminars there are approximately 15 young drivers (mostly young men) whom have been sent to the Road Trauma Awareness Seminars (RTAS) by the Magistrates Courts or by solicitors, pre-court attendance. The RTAS is run by a Road Trauma Support Services Victoria (RTSSV) Educator, over a 2 1/2 hour period, in which time a guest speaker from SES’s (State Emergency Services) will present a story and then a guest speaker (such as myself) will present a personal road trauma story. At the beginning of the Road Trauma Awareness Seminar, the young men are full of bravado, confident and bullet proof! They really do not want to be there, but in order for them to be able to get back or maintain their driver’s licence or meet with the Magistrates requirements, or even try to avoid a jail sentence, they have to be seen to participate. During the 2 1/2 hours, we see how these young “high at risk” drivers (some repeat road traffic offenders – just like my our son) attitudes shift. After they hear a personal road trauma story and realize that they are just like Ben as a driver! Leaves them with plenty to think about, how they can change their driver behaviour, so they don’t end up like my son Ben…his family’s road trauma story…
This painting has been inspired by these “Road Trauma Awareness Seminars” and the young men and women whom attend them. There are 15 black circles, each being a young driver and within the circle of colours, is one other, which is my son Ben. The black circles (young drivers) sit around a set of tables, all looking towards the presenters. The SES presenter is in the high left hand side of this painting, with the RTSSV Educator, down at the front next to SES presenter. And there is me, Ben’s mum, telling my family’s road trauma story. I painted myself in grey, because it is very hard to tell my story, each and every time. I have my arms in pearl white and reaching out to these sons, sons just like my son Ben. The circle of colour placed up on the top right corner of the painting, is part of my presentation and is the ripple effect of Ben’s death. Ben being the centre with the ripples coming out, like when you drop a pebble into a pond and the water ripples out! Within this ripple effect are Ben’s dad, mum (me), his sister and her partner (now husband), his girlfriend, grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins, best of mates, his work mates, previous work mates, old school friends and people I have come to understand have also been affected by road trauma; the Fosterville Gold Mine work-mate  whom found Ben dead at the scene of the crash; the Victorian police officer who came to our door in Melbourne (Australia) and told us Ben had been killed, the Victorian (Australia) police officers who attended Ben’s crash, the SES people who removed from the scene of the crash, the ambulance driver who took Ben to the Coroners, the Coroner and many more within our communities.
The colours, in the painting are about how these young drivers (mainly young men – just like my son) come into the room full of life and hope. We share a solemn message about the outcomes of road trauma – death, serious injury and possible jail sentences. But the team of “Road Trauma Awareness” are reaching out, to try to get these young drivers, repeat road traffic offenders to change their driver behaviour, in the hope that they don’t end up like Ben – my son…
I tell my family’s “Road Trauma Story” in the hope that these young men and women, young drivers live a long, happy and safe life with their family and friends…
Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson
NB: All images are protected by copyright laws!

Karen Robinson - Abstract Artist with Hubby standing along side of Painting No. 45E Titled 'Reaching Out to Sons' TAC's 'Picture This' Exhibition 2011 at Geelong Gallery NB All images are protected by copyright..JPG

Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist with Hubby standing along side of Painting No. 45E Titled ‘Reaching Out to Sons’ TAC’s ‘Picture This’ Exhibition 2011 at Geelong Gallery NB All images are protected by copyright..JPG

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

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

Karen Robinson - Abstract Artist thanking all at the opening night of her Solo Exhibition night at Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery -Craigieburn, Melb. Australia featuring Painting No. 51 'Valley of a Thousand Hills' NB: All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist thanking all at the opening night of her Solo Exhibition night at Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery – Craigieburn, Melbourne. Australia featuring Painting No. 51 ‘Valley of a Thousand Hills’ NB: All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

Painting No. 52 - Title "I'm Busy" by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson - 2011

Painting No. 52 – Title “I’m Busy” 2011
Acrylic on Canvas
81cms Length x 137cms Wide x 3cms Deep
Painting Story: This painting was inspired by a desire to use particular colours that are favourites of my daughter and favourites of my own. I wanted to include straight panel of ruler type lines piecing through a sea of busyness. Piecing through swirling shaped objects busily working their way through a quagmire of over/under shapes. I wanted to create a sense of movement on the canvas so that when the viewer looked at the painting, their eye would be drawn into different facets and make them more curious to explore more.
Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson
NB: All images are protected by copyright laws!

Painting No. 53 - Title "In Memory of Parents Lost to Cancer" by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson - 2011

Painting No. 53 – Title “In Memory of Parents Lost to Cancer” March 2011
Acrylic on Canvas
81cms Length x 71cms Wide x 3cms Deep
Painting Story: My father at the age of 53 died of throat cancer and my mother at the age of 64 died of melanoma cancer. Today on TV, I just heard the amazing news that there is now hope for melanoma cancer suffers and this is truly great. An amazing advancement in cancer research and development. This has been the inspiration of my painting. The deep pink represents my mother as she was a loving and hard-working woman whom tried so hard to bring up three children. The black represents my father whom unfortunately lived most of his adult life an alcoholic. The circles represent the four children of my parents. The yellow circle is their first child who died within her first year of life. The blue circle is my younger brother, the purple circle is my younger sister and the red circle is me, the oldest child of our family. In memory of my parents, I paint this painting to help raise funds for Cancer Research & Development – Relay for Life Cancer Fundraiser – Casino Royale 2011. Hoping that one day, all cancers will be curable.
Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson
NB: All images are protected by copyright laws!

 

CONCLUSION

The process of painting, painting story writing and digital photo painting has offered me a way of expressing thoughts and emotions which can be difficult to say out loud.  I also came to understanding that art can be a very powerful way of communicating with others.  Therapy via art gave me a voice and my art therapy journey has become an important part of recent years and still will be an important part of my life in years to come.  I am hoping that by sharing my art therapy journey, will inspire others, to take up art therapy to find their voice – in order to be able to move forward in most difficult of times.  Art Therapy has brought me now to a much better place where I find myself being able to seek joy in each day.  As an ongoing process, I will be blogging about my art therapy journey “moving forward” and expand on how others have used/are using art therapy to assist physical and emotional well-being.  I hope you will join me!

 


© Karen Robinson – March 2014

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



					

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