2008 was the start of my art therapy journey. I hadn’t picked up a paint brush since being a child. At first I found the idea of painting daunting and my very first attempt was very much just about getting paint onto a canvas to see how it felt! I started off with very inexpensive acrylic paint and canvases and worked from within the home garage. During this year a graduated to better quality acrylic paints, canvases and brushes. I gradually began to develop a style and technique for myself. I found my voice.
2009, I was enjoying the process of using larger canvases and learning to appreciate how better acrylic paints and canvases can truly improve the look and experience of painting. My appreciation for being able to do story telling via painting was realised. I decide to take up space within my home to paint as the garage was proving to be too dusty, cold and cut off from the home. The dining room table became my place of work. After a period of time it became clear that I really needed a designated place of work, so my dear husband set up a studio for me at the front of our home. It had good natural lighting and plenty of space for storage. A place where I could leave my work and come back to it at any stage.
2010, I was consumed with grief and despair at the loss of my son Ben who had been killed in a single vehicle crash 9th November 2009. Painting became an important part of my daily routine. It gave me a way of being able to express emotions and thoughts, that of which I found too hard to say out loud. Paintings for my daughter gave me an opportunity to paint and story tell about something positive in my life. Something hope full…
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.
2012, I was deep in studying at Kangan Institute Broadmeadows, an “Advanced Diploma of Justice”. Painting had to be put on hold but I did do this piece for TAC’s Picture This Exhibition 2012.
2013, I was in the last semester of studying at Kangan Institute Broadmeadows – “Advanced Diploma of Justice” and only had time to do two works within that year. One being No. 54 for TAC’s Picture This Exhibition 2013 and the other a self-portrait no. 55. Mid 2013 I had completed all my studies successfully. I look forward to returning more fully to my art therapy journey…but with more joy in my heart!
2014, I began developing this weblog which took a lot of time and energy to do but it has been a labour of love! I also began paid and volunteer work. My volunteer work is as a Road Trauma Awareness Volunteer Speaker where I, like many other volunteers of this organisation, tell their families road trauma stories to repeat road traffic offenders at seminars so that they may rethink their risky driver behaviour. It is one of the most worthy tasks that I do…
It has also been a year for being involved in an art therapy group and a creative writing group which has proven to be very rewarding and has very much improved my sense of wellbeing. Between blogging, getting involved in these additional activities, working and family life it has been difficult to do as much painting as I would have liked. The below paintings are what I like to call my major paintings for the year. I did do much smaller art works during my art therapy and creative writing sessions which are not shown here but can be viewed by clicking on the links above.
2015, a year where solo painting endeavours waned!
2016, another year where solo painting endeavours diminished!
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…
My art therapy journey has been an important part of recent years and still will be an important part in years to come. I am hoping that by sharing my art therapy journey, will inspire others, to take up art therapy to find their voice – in order to be able to move forward in most difficult of times. Art Therapy has brought me now to a much better place where I find myself being able to seek joy in each day. As an ongoing process, I will be blogging about my art therapy journey “moving forward” and expand on how others have used/are using art therapy to assist physical and emotional well-being . I hope you will join me!
© Karen Robinson – Edited January 2019