Media 2017: “Abnormal Psychology Book Cover Artwork”

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Karen Robinson at Home Art Studio holding book titled 'Abnormal Psychology' featuring on the front cover her original painting titled 'For Ones' Well-being' March 2017 www.idoartkarenrobinson.com NB: All images are copyright protected

Karen Robinson at Home Art Studio holding book titled ‘Abnormal Psychology’ featuring on the front cover her original painting titled ‘For Ones’ Well-being’ March 2017 http://www.idoartkarenrobinson.com NB: All images are copyright protected

 

 

INTRODUCTION

During mid 2016 I received an email from Gail Buschman, Senior Graphic Designer of Sage Publishing, an international academic publisher based in Thousand Oaks, California.  They were interested in using one of my images ‘Abstract Painting No. 64 – Titled ‘For One’s Well-being on the cover of a forthcoming textbook; and the Second Edition of William J Ray’s ‘Abnormal Psychology‘ – Pennsylvania State University.  They asked if I would be interested in licensing it to them for book publishing, specifically for print and electronic book cover and website landing page header, circulation 20,000, geography – world rights, duration 7 year license/usage from publication date, exposure 1 language, inclusive of a credit line on the back cover.  After some discussions with family and friends, and after becoming a member with Copyright Agency/Viscopy – I agreed.

 

 

THE BOOK

 

Abnormal Psychology written by William J Ray - Second Edition www.idoartkarenrobinson.com

‘Abnormal Psychology’  written by William J Ray – Second Edition http://www.idoartkarenrobinson.com

 

In Abnormal Psychology: Perspectives on Human Behavior and Experience Second Edition, William J. Ray brings together current perspectives concerning the manner in which the human mind, behavior, and experience can be understood. In addition to the traditional psychological literature, this book draws from work in the cognitive and affective neurosciences, epidemiology, ethology, and genetics. Ray’s focus is on a unification and integration of the biopsychosocial understandings of human behavior within a broader consideration of human culture and language as it applies to abnormal psychology (Amazon 2017)”

 

 

 

THE PAINTING

 

No. 29 of 29 Painting No. 64 Titled 'For One's Well-being' Painting Practice by Abstract Painter Karen Robinson Feb 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

Abstract Painting No. 64 Titled ‘For One’s Well-being’ Painting by Abstract Painter Karen Robinson Feb 2016 http://www.idoartkarenrobinson.com NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

 

 

THE PAINTING’S STORY – “FOR ONE’S WELL-BEING”

 

“This painting titled “For One’s Well-being” has been inspired by the groups of people I have brought into my life through activities such as Art Therapy and Creative Writing provided by Mind Australia; and also my volunteering and paid work that I do with Road Trauma Support Services Victoria.

For the sake of my own well-being, I have found over a course of time, that being part of community groups such as these organisations, has truly helped me gain a better sense of well-being. Within the comfort and security of such organisations, I have witnessed how people have been empowered to voice their feelings, share, reveal, support, encourage each other during times of great difficulty alongside of professional support systems. I have also witnessed how when participants choose to come and join such organisations, they grow strong and more-able to deal with day-to-day difficulties; and I am one of those people.

My painting reflects an image of myself in the foreground, with my support networks in the background. They come from all walks of life; they are family, friends, work mates and community group members whom have been an integral part of my life over recent years, and all have contributed to my ability to reach a healthy mindset. Hence varying colours of difference; and colours with commonality. I couldn’t have got to this place where I am now without their support and this painting is a tribute to them all.”

© Karen Robinson, February 2016

 

CONCLUSION

It was pleasing to have this particular artwork of mine used in such a way.  Hopefully this usage will also convey the painting’s story and help contribute to the knowledge base of students and teachers using ‘Abnormal Psychology’ as a learning tool…

 

 

 

© Karen Robinson – March 2017

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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!

2016 Abstract Paintings/Stories

Source: 2016 Abstract Paintings/Stories 

Please click on the link above to read about this painting titled ‘For One’s Well-being’ which was inspired by groups of people I have brought into my life through activities such as Art Therapy and Creative Writing provided by Mind Australia; and also via my volunteering and paid work that I do with Road Trauma Support Services Victoria.

Written by Karen Robinson Feb 2016

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

I Do Art Discussion No. 22 – “Two Women Talking” by Karen Robinson

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INTRODUCTION

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

 

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

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

 

 

PAINTING DETAILS

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

PAINTING STORY – ‘Two Women Talking’

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

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

© Karen Robinson, October 2015

 

 

PAINTING PROCESS – From sketch to finished paintings!

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

 

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

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

 

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TWO WOMEN TALKING – FACE TO FACE POSITIVE VIEW!

 

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

 

TWO WOMEN TALKING – BACK TO BACK NEGATIVE VIEW!

 

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

 

CONCLUSION

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

© Karen Robinson, October 2015

 

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

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

 

NB:  To view my Abstract Painting Gallery, please click here. Whilst you are here – please check out my home page! 

My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and storytellingby Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist/Blogger/Story-teller/Photo-taker

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

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INTRODUCTION

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

 

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

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

 

STEP THREE AT THE SESSION AND AT MY HOME STUDIO

 

  • Little Bright Blue Love Heart Sequins

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

  • String Of Words Around The Large Pink Heart

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

  • Signed, Photographed And Varnish

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

 

  • Finished Art Work – yet to be titled!

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

 

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

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

 

CONCLUSION

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

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

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

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

© Karen Robinson, September 2015

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

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

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

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

 

INTRODUCTION

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

 

STEP TWO PART 1 – AT THE SESSION

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

STEP TWO PART 2 – IN MY HOME STUDIO

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

 

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

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

 

CONCLUSION

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

INTRODUCTION

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

 

RECEIVING MY PIECE OF CANVAS

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

 

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

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

 

ABOUT ‘USING ART FOR THERAPY’ VIDEO

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

CONCLUSION

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

INTRODUCTION

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

 

MY FANTASY, MYSTICAL CREATURE OF SELF

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

 

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

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

 

HOME/SHELTER FOR MY FANTASY, MYSTICAL CREATURE OF SELF

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

CONCLUSION

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

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

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

 

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

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

Creative Writing Group Session – August 2015 “My Bed! and Laughing at Mother!” by Karen Robinson

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

 

No. 2 of 6 Creative Writing 'My Bed' Ink on A4 Paper - August 2015 by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

No. 2 of 6 Creative Writing ‘My Bed’ Ink on A4 Paper – August 2015 by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws.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.  Our sessions not only give us an opportunity to engage in creative writing exercises, but also give us the opportunity to listen to others whilst they share their precious words.

 

THIS CREATIVE WRITING SESSION’S TASKS

We engaged in a series of creative writing tasks during this session but I have chosen just the two to share within this weblog and are here below:-

 

MY CREATIVE WRITING No. 1 – The Creative Writing Facilitator asked us to write a piece within a five-minute sprint.  It was to help push the editor brain into the background, in other words to write without the self editor getting in the way of the writing.  I did this below but afterwards, I couldn’t help myself going over my writing piece and just add one or two words and fix some wording that didn’t sound right once I read it out aloud to myself.  Very little was changed!  I have to confess that I didn’t stop at five minutes as I felt the need to continue to the point where my writing piece felt finished, that it had come to a natural end for me.  The choices of subject matter were (1) beds or (2) a favourite movie and I chose beds. 

Title:  “My Bed”

My bed is my haven and a place where I can rest my now aching body and rejuvenate my sole! My husband and I just recently purchased two new beds. Mine is soft and roomy and makes me feel safe and at ease with the world. I feel so fortunate that I can go to bed knowing that I am safe, and that in the morning after lying in my bed, will be the birth of a new day. A new day that presents new challenges, new experiences and a day closer to my eventual end, the end of my natural life. In knowing this, I say to myself I’d better make sure, I make the best of each and every day!
From my bed I can see out my window, out into the outside world where trees rustle in the breeze, where the local native birds hop from branch to branch and drink at the newly placed bird bath. I see them having a wash, fluffing out their feathers to dry and then flying off into the bush searching for food and shelter. I sometimes hear the neighbour start-up his Ute very early in the morning and head off to work. He appears to be a good man, a good provider for his family and a neighbour that causes no issues.
Other times I just lay in bed with the radio on and with my eyes closed, just listening to the BBC news of the world in the wee hours of the morning and around 6am the ABC news of the day. Sometimes the news is dark and leaves me thinking that the world is not a very nice place to live in – as there seems to be so much evil in the world and at other times, I hear programs that lift my spirits and gives me hope for future generations.
When the morning sun rises, it tells me it’s time for me to rise as well. I turn out of my soft bed, fold the top sheet with its accompanying comfy wool blanket up to the top of the bed, and then pull the Doona up over all of this, to complete the make. This act is like a closure of the night, and the signal that the day is now ahead. It feels like a subliminal message being whispered to me saying – “it’s a new day Karen…now go do your best!”

 

© Karen Robinson, 1st August 2015

 

 

MY CREATIVE WRITING No. 2 – The Creative Writing Facilitator asked us to create a cluster of words around the given word ‘humour’.  We were told that by creating a cluster of words it can help generate ideas and insights quickly and easily, break through internal barriers, help get our writing thoughts unstuck, and can assist in communicating and understanding others. Upon the sheet of A4 paper given to each of us to use, we went about brain storming for other words that came to mind when we thought about ‘humour’.  Once we had completed our individual mind maps, we were asked to share it with the person sitting next to us and then to write a story about just one of the words on our mind map and I chose ‘false teeth’.  It was one of the words that had conjured up in my mind, a very funny incident with my mother when I was just a teenager.  I should say it seemed at the time very funny to me as a teenager but perhaps it was not so funny for my poor mother!

Title:  “Laughing at Mother”

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 communicate 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 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 where my mother seemed defeated and in some way sorrowful but my teenage humour just enjoyed the event too much. One for daughter and nil for mother – a teenager’s view of humour!”

 

© Karen Robinson, 1st August 2015

 

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 are unlike my other painting method which is planned and takes many, many hours to complete.  I enjoy both methods!

 

No. 6 of 6 Creative Writing 'My Bed' Ink on A4 Paper - August 2015 by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

No. 6 of 6 Creative Writing ‘My Bed’ Ink on A4 Paper – August 2015 by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

 

CONCLUSION

Once again, after our creative writing session, we headed off to the local restaurant to share a meal together and engage in good conversation – such a wonderful privilege. Thank you for joining me on this Creative Writing Group Session Journey!  Please click here to view previous Creative Writing Group Sessions.

 

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 – July 2015 “Betty Boots and Where there is a will there is a solution…” by Karen Robinson

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

 

No. 1 of 6 Creative Writing Group Session 'Where there is a will...there is a solution!' by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.8.15 NB All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

No. 1 of 6 Creative Writing Group Session ‘Where there is a will…there is a solution!’ Ink on Paper by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.8.15 NB All images are protected by copyright laws.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.  Our sessions not only give us an opportunity to engage in creative writing exercises, but also give us the opportunity to listen to others whilst they share their precious words.

 

THIS CREATIVE WRITING SESSION’S TASKS

We engaged in a series of creative writing tasks during this session but I have chosen just the two to share within this weblog and are here below:-

 

MY CREATIVE WRITING – The Creative Writing Facilitator asked us to finish this statement “Where there is a will ….” and write about it!

Title:  “Where there is a will…there is a solution!”

One of the things I have learned in my life, now being a stretch of 60 years, is that having determination, a desire to resolve, to look for a solution – requires ‘will’. I have lived through many experiences where, all I had in my ‘tool box of life skills’ was ‘will’! When one has ‘will’ – it gives us the driving force to maintain the power to keep forging forward, even when things seem almost impossible.

As a teenager, I joined the workforce with little to no education, just a strong desire to somehow succeed in life. With my ‘will’ to succeed at life, I ventured into tackling numerous and varying jobs with the hope that I would gain some form of expertise, that could lead to bigger and better opportunities. I managed to extract skills from each undertaking that allowed me to find solutions to firstly fulfil my basic needs such as:  a roof over my head, cloths on my back and food in my belly.  And secondly, to help me fulfil my creative needs which have led me to be able to maintain a good sense of wellbeing.

So, for me, this statement ‘where there is a will … there are solutionsrings true!

© Karen Robinson, 1st August 2015

 

 

 

MY CREATIVE WRITING – The Creative Writing Facilitator asked us to write a paragraph with at least 10 words that began with the letter ‘B’!

No. 1 of 4 Creative Writing Group Session 'Betty Boots' Ink on Paper by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.8.15 NB All images are protected by copyright laws .JPG

No. 1 of 4 Creative Writing Group Session ‘Betty Boots’ Ink on Paper by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.8.15 NB All images are protected by copyright laws .JPG

Title:  “Betty Boots”

Betty Boots lived just down the road from my home. She always wore something blue and walked her brown bulldog called Buffy nearly every day. Betty had a bright smile and a big hello when she greeted you on the street, so the week I didn’t see her was strange. I decided to knock on Betty’s front door, just to make sure Betty was alright. Answering the door was this big broad shoulder young man with a mighty large broad brim hat. For just a moment I was taken aback by his burly appearance but then I found my voice and asked him if Betty was at home. He said his name was Benny and that he was Betty’s brother and was staying at his sister’s home, looking after her dog Buffy until she returned home from Boston where their parents lived. By then Buffy was at the door, wagging his tail and seeking a pat! Benny said that she was expected back tomorrow and said I should come and join them for brunch on her return as she would have lots of news to share. I accepted this warm invitation, patted Buffy and left no longer concerned. I said to myself on my way back home that tomorrow morning I must go and buy from the local bakery, a big boson bun for the brunch with Betty and her brother Benny, and a doggy biscuit for Buffy…”

© Karen Robinson, 1st August 2015

 

 

 

CREATIVE WRITING INSPIRING ART!

After each creative writing session, I personally wanted 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 are unlike my other painting method which is planned and takes many, many hours to complete.  I enjoy both methods!

 

CONCLUSION

Once again, after our creative writing session, we headed off to the local restaurant to share a meal together and engage in good conversation – such a wonderful privilege. Thank you for joining me on this Creative Writing Group Session Journey!  Please click here to view previous Creative Writing Group Sessions.

 

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