Creative Writing 2018: “Thought for the Day!” Written by Karen Robinson

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“When there’s nothing to complain about…don’t!”

 

16 of 17 Class 11 'Produce Paintings' CAE Class - Certificate 111 in Visual Arts - Photograph & Painting by Karen Robinson Oct 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright

16 of 17 Class 11 ‘Produce Paintings’ CAE Class – Certificate 111 in Visual Arts – Photograph & Painting by Karen Robinson Oct 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright

 

Happy thoughts all!

© Karen Robinson – September 2018

 

Please click here to visit my ‘About Me’ page

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

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

Art as Therapy

My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and story telling…by Karen Robinson.  Please click here for my latest blog news!

My art therapy journey has been a solo experience up until mid 2014, meaning without any outside influences or company. It has been a very personal endeavour and one that at first was just for me. Over recent years though, I began to share some of my art work through group exhibitions which has been enlightening and revealing. It was through these exhibitions that I learned about the power of art as a form of self-expression; a way to empower a person with a visual voice, when words are too had to find…

Now that I have had the opportunity to complete numerous art therapy sessions in 2014 and now this lot in 2015, I have found it has shown me, that we all need to find ways of being able to express our thoughts, feelings and emotions in a safe and secure environment. Art therapy sessions can be, in my opinion, a wonderful way for people to be able to do just that – feel free to explore what makes them tick! To get us thinking about what is truly going on in our lives that may be holding us back from enjoying life to the full. Art for therapy at its best I feel….

Please click the link Art as Therapy to read about my research, understanding and YouTubes on this subject.

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

My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and story telling…by Karen Robinson.  Please click here for my latest blog news!

© Karen Robinson, September 2015

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

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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

Creative Writing Group Session – July 2015 “Things I dislike…” by Karen Robinson

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

No. 3 of 4 Creative Writing Group - Artwork Titled 'Things I Dislike' Schmincke Ink on A4 Paper by Karen Robinson - Abstract Artist NB All images are copyright protected 29.07.2015 .JPG

No. 3 of 4 Creative Writing Group – Artwork Titled ‘Things I Dislike’ Schmincke Ink on A4 Paper by Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist NB All images are copyright protected 29.07.2015 .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 TASK

We engaged in a series of creative writing tasks during this session but I have chosen just the one to share here.  The creative writing facilitator asked us to write about “what are some of the things we really dislike in life“.  It was to be in the form of a rant!  A rant being a tirade writing piece that is like a ‘shout at length’ in an angry, impassioned way. This rant needed to be completed within a 5 minute period of time, without hesitancy, with energy and without holding back.  At the completion of the time frame we were encouraged to count the number of words written and compare this number with the number of words written in a previous rant we wrote earlier in the session.  It was interesting to note that most of us had increased our word count as we progressed from one rant to the next.  It was as though we were loosening up our creative brains, telling our creative brain not to hold back and to not senor ourselves, in other words, give ourselves permission to write freely.

 

MY CREATIVE WRITING RANT!

Title:  “…Things I dislike…”

“I dislike being called ‘love’ or ‘sweetie’ or ‘dearie’ or ‘darling’! I find these titles, these pet names, these excuses for not remembering a person’s name demeaning, annoying.  I feel like saying to the person “don’t you remember my name or if you don’t remember my name, I would rather be called nothing at all instead of ‘love’ or ‘sweetie’ or ‘dearie’ or ‘darling'”.

It’s difficult to know where this dislike comes from within me? Perhaps it is because as I was growing up and as a young woman, my name represented my entire identity and sometimes it was all I owned.

I know when a relative of mine calls me darling, I feel myself wincing. I get this almost impulsive feeling of  wanting to snap back with a very sarcastic ‘darrrlllliiiinnnggg how are you!!!”. But instead what I do in reality is just continue on with polite conversation, ignoring the fact that this relative for over 30 years now has called me ‘darling’ despite the fact that I call them by their given name and not ‘love’ or ‘sweetie’ or ‘dearie’ or ‘darling’!

 Word Count 184

© Karen Robinson, 29th July 2015

 

RANT WRITING REFLECTION!

The creative writing facilitator asked us to then consider how we felt after writing our rant.  I felt better – it actually rationalised my thoughts in regards to this thing I dislike. That there was not much logic in having those feelings towards the thing I disliked, that really I could just ignore the dislike and put in a box called ‘not worth worrying about’!

 

CREATIVE WRITING INSPIRING ART!

 

No. 1 of 1 Creative Writing Group - Artwork Titled 'Things I Dislike' Schmincke Ink on A4 Paper by Karen Robinson - Abstract Artist 29.07.2015 NB All images and stories are copyright protected .JPG

No. 1 of 4 Creative Writing Group – Artwork Titled ‘Things I Dislike’ Schmincke Ink on A4 Paper by Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist 29.07.2015 NB All images and stories are copyright protected .JPG

 Art Work Story – She is saying “Darrrlllliiiinnnggg how are you!!!”

 

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!

 

No. 4 of 4 Creative Writing Group - Artwork Titled 'Things I Dislike' Schmincke Ink on A4 Paper by Karen Robinson - Abstract Artist NB All images are copyright protected 29.07.2015.JPG

No. 4 of 4 Creative Writing Group – Artwork Titled ‘Things I Dislike’ Schmincke Ink on A4 Paper by Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist NB All images are copyright protected 29.07.2015.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 – June 2015 “When I was 10…” by Karen Robinson

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

 

View 1 of 7 Abstract Figurative Painting Titled 'When I was 10...' Acrylic Paint on Canvas 60cms x 60cms by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson inspired Creating Writing Session June 2015 .JPG

View 1 of 7 Abstract Figurative Painting Titled ‘When I was 10…’ Acrylic Paint on Canvas 60cms x 60cms by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson inspired by a Creating Writing Session June 2015 Features myself, my sister and my brother on walkabout in Cairns rainforests and along the edge of the mud flats of Cairns’ Esplanade – Australia in 1965 during childhood adventures .JPG

 

INTRODUCTION

My Creative Writing Group Sessions always leave me feeling, with a sense of having 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 TASK

During this particular creative writing session June, 2015 we participated in a creating a writing piece, that was generated by a string of words, offered by the creative writing facilitator. The subject matter for this creative writing piece was this ‘…When I was 10…’ and that was it.  We could interpret this string of words in any way we wished.  I decided to interpret the string of words literally, so I wrote about ‘…When I was 10…” and this writing piece can be found below:

 

CREATIVE WRITING PIECE

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 younger 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 outbursts of torrential rain. When the creeks were still and quiet, we would study the clear water and search for small fish, 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 neighbourhood’s 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. It would take us hours and hours to remove the outer hard dark-brown hairy husk of the 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, while we sucked 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 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 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, his imposing drunken rampage?

 

As I said at the beginning of this little story, our lives as children were 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.”

 

© Karen Robinson, 10th June 2015

*Special thank you to my Creative Writing Facilitator for checking over my creative writing piece above and updating the punctuation, correcting a tiny spelling error and a grammatical error and applying the correct form of copyright so that it looks quite professional. My Creative Writing Facilitator had not changed any of my words, but had removed 2 superfluous ones that detracted from the meaning.  Thank you so much J.B…

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 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!

When photographing my art work, I like to photograph sections of it, as a way of capturing smaller painting stories within the whole painting itself.  Below you can find three figures which represent us as children, myself being the largest – as the oldest child with my younger sister and younger brother.  In the whole painting image, I have little specks of blue which mimics the Blue Mountain butterflies we used to try to catch.  The figurative tree on the right, is a mango tree with ripe mangoes hanging from its branches and at the base of the painting is the silvery grey mud.

 

 

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 – June 2015 “I am womankind…” by Karen Robinson

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

 

1 of 8 Art Work inspired by Creative Writing Titled 'I am womankind' by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

1 of 8 Art Work inspired by Creative Writing Titled ‘I am womankind’ by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson June 2015 – Acrylic Paint on Canvas NB All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

 

INTRODUCTION

My attendance at this year’s 2015 Creative Writing Group Sessions has been a little spasmodic.  There have been other responsibilities fighting for my attention, hence blogs for said have been – here and there.  But I have found when I do attend, it is a very enjoyable experience and has been helping me engage my creative writing persona.

 

IMAGE EXPLORATIONS EXERCISE – Used for Creative Writing

During this particular creative writing session June, 2015 we participated in a creating a writing piece, that was generated by a string of words, offered by the creative writing facilitator, which were drip feed to us, during the writing of the piece.  During that period of time, we were to write about our thoughts; build a story about the string of words; and allow our imagination explore the images generated by the words spoken. The subject matter for this ‘image exploration creative writing’ piece was about a cave.  We were to imagine this cave; imagine suddenly hearing a sound within the cave; imagine something else was there, in the cave and from these prompts develop a creative writing piece.  My cave became a safe place during my image exploration creative writing exercise and can be found below.

 

6 of 8 Art Work inspired by Creative Writing Titled 'I am womankind' by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

6 of 8 Art Work inspired by Creative Writing Titled ‘I am womankind’ by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson June 2015 – Acrylic Paint on Canvas NB All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

 

IMAGE EXPLORATION CREATIVE WRITING PIECE

Title:  “I am womankind…”

“I am ‘womankind’ at its beginning. My cave is my home, my shelter. Just at this moment, it is night, and we have a roaring fire ablaze which is giving off a gentle heat. Over the fire, is today’s catch of mammoth, sizzling away and smelling almost ready to eat! Suddenly, there is a sound coming from the entrance to our cave. We all become alert!  The children head towards the back of the cave and the men move forward towards the sound, with their clubs in hand. Slowly, a figure moves closer towards us, in a way that makes us feel un-threatened by its presence. As our eyes focus on the dark image, we realise it is just the camp’s dog, returning from its nights wondering.

The group reassemble around the fire and take part in the eating of today’s catch. All is safe again – it is only us within the cave, our safe place with family – no need to be afraid. Sleep begins to ascend upon the younger children, whilst the adults talk about their hunting and gathering of food adventures.

I pick up a piece of warm charcoal and begin to etch on the cave wall, figures of past families, as I feel their spiritual presence amongst us in our night. In my ‘cave woman’ mind, I am thinking about future generations of my people, coming back to our cave, and remembering our group, seeing our charcoal drawings of our lives, knowing that we existed, knowing that we are part of them and they are part of us…..”

Written by Karen Robinson – 6/6/15 ‘Copyright’ Protected

After we had completed this creative writing piece, we were asked to form groups of 2 or 3 and share our creative writing piece.  It was interesting listening to each other’s work and hearing how others had interpreted the image exploration exercise.  Some creative writing pieces were profound and deeply personal, with others being adventurous, intriguing, insightful and revealing.  

 

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.

 

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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

I Do Art Discussion No. 21 – “Brick Wall” by Karen Robinson

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

 

“Images of my Abstract Painting No. 60 ‘Brick Wall’ – from a raw canvas to hanging on the Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery wall at my very first solo exhibition 2015…”

 

INTRODUCTION

My art for therapy journey – has been about, being able to find meaning and purpose in my daily life. Much of my earlier art work, has been about very personal feelings, emotions and thoughts.  It has also been about – loss and grief. But slowly and surely, art has brought me to a place, where I look for joy, in each and every day! The following painting was inspired by thoughts about the whole of my life after just turning 60 years old this year 2015.  It’s a milestone in my life, and a time where I have taken some time out to think about its value and purpose – and about what still need to be done! In this ‘I do art discussion blog’ I have included images and slide-shows below, showing the process of painting this painting from beginning to the end; and to the point of being placed upon the wall of the Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery at Craigieburn, Melbourne Australia for my very first solo exhibition titled ‘…When words are hard to find’.

 

PAINTING IMAGE & DETAILS – ‘Brick Wall’

Painting No. 60 – Title “Brick Wall” May 2015 – by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws (2).JPG

Painting No. 60 – Title “Brick Wall” May 2015 – by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws (2).JPG

  • Painting No. 60 Titled:  ‘Brick Wall’
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • 100cms Length x 100cms Wide x 3cms Deep
  • May 2015
  • Abstract Artist – Karen Robinson

 

PAINTING STORY – ‘Brick Wall’ Writing the painting story is always, an important part of my art for therapy journey.

We get a life to build and each brick in that wall of life represents our struggles and our successes – our human endeavours. In my wall, the black represents grief, despair and sadness, the yellow represents sunny joyous happy days, the orange/red represents anger and frustration, the pink represents passion and love, the green represents steadiness and security, the brown represents the ‘done-and-dusted’ and the forgotten, the grey represents dullness and boredom, the purple represents adventure and secrets I have shared, and the pale blue represents ‘the sky’s the limit’!

Written by Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist 2015 – ‘Copyright’ Protected

 

PAINTING PROCESS

My painting process starts with a conception 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 then fix blue tape on the outer edging of each shape.  I then proceed to paint the boxed in taped shape, allow it to dry throughly and then remove the blue tape.  This helps give the edging of each shape a sharper appearance.  This process, I repeat another two times, to obtain a richness of each colour. After allowing the painting to throughly dry, I then sign and date the painting on the bottom righthand corner.  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 work – I photograph the painting; write the painting story; print it off and put a hard copy in my art portfolio folder; and then write the blog.  Quiet a process!

 

  • First stage of process for Painting No. 60 – “Brick Wall”:  Painting each shape with its designated colour

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  • Second stage of process for Painting No. 60 – “Brick Wall”:  Blocking in the colour gold around each shape
  • Third stage of process for Painting No. 60 – “Brick Wall”:  Blue tapping each shape in readiness for the second coverage of paint

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  • Fourth stage of process for Painting No. 60 – “Brick Wall”:  Applying the second coverage of paint within the blue tapped area – repeat process

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GEE LEE-WIK DOLEEN GALLERY SOLO EXHIBITION 2015

In May/June 2015, I had been given the opportunity to exhibit this painting, along with 15 other of my paintings at my very first solo exhibition called ‘…When words are hard to find!” at Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery – Hume Global Learning Centre, Craigieburn in Melbourne, Australia.

 

No. 63 - 'When words are hard to find' Solo Exhibition of Karen Robinson 6.5.15 Gallery ready for Opening night at Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery for Exhibition.JPG

No. 63 – ‘When words are hard to find’ Solo Exhibition of Karen Robinson 6.5.15 Gallery ready for Opening night at Gee Lee-Wik Doleen Gallery for Exhibition.JPG

 

CONCLUSION

Since 2008, I have been using art therapy along with creative writing processes as a means of improving my sense of wellbeing.  Whilst I paint for myself – it is wonderful to share with others my art for therapy journey by taking up small opportunities to exhibit.  It has given me the opportunity to talk directly with viewers about their thoughts, impressions of my work.  It has also allowed me to understand more fully how art is a powerful way of being able to communicate with others.  It can get people to stop, think and question, it can give them something to mull over long after they have viewed the art work its self.   For detailed accounts of some of my other paintings please click here

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 5 – last for 2015 – “Winding Up…” by Karen Robinson

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

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

As an art therapy group, we have now come to the end of this lot of art therapy sessions.  Some of the participants were sad to finish up, some were looking forward to their next opportunity to participant in another art therapy group and some participants unfortunately were unable to attend this last session, due to carer commitments. But for me, I have now reached a point where I am ready to move on from participating in group art therapy sessions.  It has been an interesting and sometimes challenging undertaking being part of an art therapy group; but one that I have gained so much from and I am most grateful for having had the opportunity to have participated within.  It has improved my sense of wellbeing for sure and allowed me to connect with an amazing group of people, who have shown me kindness, respect and given me an insight into how resilient they are in the course of living their daily lives, as carers, for loved ones with mental health issues.

 

EXERCISE 1 –  “Zentangle Art”

 

No. 1 Art Therapy Group Session 5- Exercise 'Zentangle Art Marking' Art Work created by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson March 2015 NB All images are subject to copyright laws .JPG

No. 1 Art Therapy Group Session 5- Exercise ‘Zentangle Art Marking’ Art Work created by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson March 2015 NB All images are subject to copyright laws .JPG

 

During this last art therapy session, we engaged in just two exercises which took up most of the time allowed. The art therapist facilitator had us create repetitive patterns on a sheet of paper.  We were able to use any medium we wished to create our patterns.  Some participants used crayons, paints, colour pencils and I decided to use just grey lead pencil.  I use a lot of colour paint in my own arts practice, so it was a joy for me, to use just one simple medium on paper – for a change.

It was a very relaxing exercise for me.  I discovered myself just simply enjoying the process of creating.  I found a sense of calmness working its way through my mind and body as I worked on my repetitive pattern.  This activity “Zentangle Art Making” just empty my mind of all negative thoughts and emotions and I found myself just enjoying the moment…just being!

 

EXERCISE 2 – “Group Booklet Making”

 

No. 10 Art Therapy Group Session 5- Exercise 'Group Booklet Making' Art Work created by all participants. This is a view of the 'Group Booklet' unfolded. Each image was made by a participant with the thought of the owner in mind. In this case the booklet has been made for me and each section is each person's individual contribution to my booklet. March 2015 NB All images are subject to copyright.JPG

No. 10 Art Therapy Group Session 5- Exercise ‘Group Booklet Making’ Art Work created by all participants. This is a view of the ‘Group Booklet’ unfolded. Each image was made by a participant with the thought of the owner in mind. In this case the booklet has been made for me and each section is each person’s individual contribution to my booklet. March 2015 NB All images are subject to copyright.JPG

 

Our second and now last art therapy exercise consisted of making a “group booklet” – one for each of us to take away as a memento. The art therapist facilitator gave us each a sheet of paper that had been pre-folded so that it made a little booklet.  Our instruction was to make an image on the front cover of the booklet that would be representative of ourselves and/or words/message about the art therapy sessions.  We were to write our name on the front cover and therefore making it our own personal booklet.  Once done, we were then instructed to hand over our own booklet to the person beside us, where that person would then on the following page draw/write an image for the person whom the booklet belong to. So at the end of this whole process we had our own booklet with an image/message from each of the participants.

Each page tackled – was done within a very small window of time, so for some, it was a challenge to think of ideas/images for each individual participant.  Some used coloured pencils, some used crayons and some decided to use ‘collage’ instead.  I decided to do a very quick, miniature portraiture of each participant with wording in a balloon.  At the end of this process, we got to see, what each of us had created and some of the wonderful notations that had been stated within these little booklets of friendship.  Please find below, my booklet, commencing with the cover page which I had created and followed by the pages created by each participants during this exercise.

 

 

CONCLUSION

Now that I have had the opportunity to complete two lots of art therapy sessions, one being in 2014 and now this lot in 2015, I have found it has shown me, that we all need to find ways of being able to express our thoughts, feelings and emotions in a safe and secure environment.  Art therapy sessions can be, in my opinion, a wonderful way for people to be able to do just that – feel free to explore what makes them tick!  To get us thinking about what is truly going on in our lives that may be holding us back from enjoying life to the full.  After doing now – 2 lots of art therapy sessions, I feel I have come to a point, where I don’t feel the need to continue with this form of group art therapy.  Well…not for now at least anyway. This statement is said with the intent on being a very positive outcome for me – it’s just time to move forward … art therapy at its best I feel…

 

NB:  For the purposes of this weblog series “Art Therapy Group 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

I Do Art Discussion No. 20 – “Green Peace and Human Nature” by Karen Robinson

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

 

Synergy Gallery Exhibition 2009 Painting Nos. 26A and 26B Title 'Green Peace and Human Nature' Sept-Oct 2008 151cms Length x 61cms Wide x 3cms Deep by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson Images protected copyright .JPG

Synergy Gallery Exhibition 2009 Painting Nos. 26A and 26B Title ‘Green Peace and Human Nature’ Sept-Oct 2008 151cms Length x 61cms Wide x 3cms Deep by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson Images protected copyright .JPG

 

INTRODUCTION

This pair of abstract paintings Nos. 26A and 26B – titled ‘Green Peace and Human Nature’ as shown above and below, is part of my abstract painting portfolio.  I had completed them in the year that I had decided to take some time out from work, for the first time in my life to recharge my batteries, so to speak!  During this period of time, the plan was to work out what I wanted to do with myself, being that the children were all grown up now and living their lives independently of their parents, as adult children should do.  It was truly a luxury for sure, to take time out, but a very necessary one for me, as I had been suffering a lot of anxiety and panic attacks during the course of my work. So to rebuild myself and regain a sense of quiet control of my life, I took up my childhood love of painting and creative writing.

 

PAINTING DETAILS – ‘Green Peace and Human Nature’

 

  • Painting Nos. 26 A&B Titled:  ‘Green Peace & Human Nature’
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • 151cms Length x 61cms Wide x 3cms Deep (Each Painting)
  • Sept/Oct 2008
  • Abstract Artist – Karen Robinson

 

PAINTING STORY – ‘Green Peace & Human Nature’

Writing the painting story is always, an important part of my art for therapy journey.

This two-part painting is about the impact we have on our earth. How the health of our planet is all in our control. How the choices we make on marking its surfaces; and using its resources holds an incredible responsibility. How there is many parts of our planet suffering from our human intervention. And how there are other parts which are sustaining great beauty. My mother said to me once ‘Life is like a path of snow, be careful how you tread it, for every mark will show’. My painting shows our human marks and the question …… are our marks benefiting our earth or making it sick. Hope is expressed in these paintings via the use of bright colours which is representative of our youth of the future!  Hopefully our youth of the future will find better ways to preserve our planet…so that it will sustain us for many more future generations of people, plants and animals…

Written by Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist 2014

 

PAINTING PROCESS

My painting process starts with a conception 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.

 

 

After allowing the painting to throughly dry, I then sign and date the painting on the bottom righthand corner.  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 work – I photograph the painting; write the painting story; print it off and put a hard copy in my art portfolio folder; and then write the blog.  Quiet a process!

This particular painting was the very first painting where I started using Matisse  Structure ‘Metallic Copper and Metallic Silver’ colours.  They are not easy to work with and I found it hard to get an even coating, but in the end, I just accepted the look I had achieved. I also found these colours hard to photograph.  Whilst they look lovely in reality, in the photos they lack the luster and the colours look dull and flat.  I do love of the look of them with the naked eye though!

 

 

 

SYNERGY GALLERY EXHIBITION 2009

In June 2009, I had to opportunity to exhibit this pair of paintings in an Exhibition called “Ways Out – Journeys through Recovery” at Synergy Gallery, 253 High Street, Northcote.  The exhibition was part of Northcote’s Visual Arts Festival 2009.  It was my very first experience in exhibiting, and a great opportunity to be part of a community event.  It gave me the chance to meet other artists where we were able to exchange ideas and chat about our own art work experiences.  We also had the chance to interact with the general public during the exhibition opening night which turned out to be a very enriching experience!

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

Since 2008, I have been using art therapy along with creative writing processes as a means of improving my sense of wellbeing.  Whilst I paint for myself – it is wonderful to share with others my art for therapy journey by taking up small opportunities to exhibit.  It has given me the opportunity to talk directly with viewers about their thoughts, impressions of my work.  It has also allowed me to understand more fully how art is a powerful way of being able to communicate with others.  It can get people to stop, think and question, it can give them something to mull over long after they have viewed the art work its self.   For detailed accounts of some of my other paintings please click here

 

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 2, 3 and 4 for 2015 – “It get’s you thinking…” by Karen Robinson

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

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Art Therapy Group Sessions 1, 2, 3 and 4 – 2015 have been just as interesting and revealing as demonstrated in the first lot of group sessions I participated in during 2014. Being my second round of art therapy, I have been finding the sessions more enjoyable and less confronting. But I have noticed that for some other participants, being their first experience with art therapy, are at times finding the art therapy sessions emotionally challenging.

 

ART THERAPY SESSION NO. 2

Exercise 1 – “Yellow & Black Cut Up Painting on A4 Paper”

For one of the art therapy exercises, we were asked to think about a problem we currently have in our lives.  Once we had formulated this within our minds, we were then instructed to paint/draw it onto a sheet of paper. What came to mind for me, was a difficult relationship that exists between a family member and their young grown-up child and how this relationship has caused grief and despair for both parties over a long period of time. So I painted one black rectangle with a yellow circle in it and another rectangle in yellow with a black circle in it. This for me, was representative of how both parties had the same DNA, yet a huge chasm sadly exists between them.

Once we had completed our drawing/painting, we were then instructed to tear and/or cut up the drawing/painting itself. This was a significant process and very symbolic.  By tearing/cutting up our drawing/painting, we were effectively breaking up our problem into smaller, more manageable pieces to deal with.  It also appeared to look different, hence giving me the opportunity to look at my own problem in a different way. An interesting process that got all the participants thinking that our problems can be approached in different ways, if we are prepared to take a different approach and perhaps instead of looking at a problem as a whole, that we take some time out to see it in smaller tasks that might be easier to handle – even if only part of the problem is solved with other parts left to resolved perhaps at a latter date.

 

 

 

Exercise 2 –  “Happy Boxes Made In Clay”

This next art therapy exercise involved taking a large block of clay, approximately the size of a square-shaped brick. We were then asked to close our eyes and start working the clay with our hands. We were asked to make something with it and I decided I was going to make something positive – I just didn’t want to have any negative emotions and feelings at work in this particular activity. We were given a period of approximately 10 minutes for this part of the process. I personally enjoyed moulding the clay but there were others that found it hard and didn’t enjoy. During the closed eyes part, I started making what I like to called ‘happy boxes’. I made a set of them and decorated the tops with a pencil. It was interesting to see what others had made and the symbolism of their work.

 

 

ART THERAPY SESSION NO. 3

Exercise 3 – “Australian Native Garden Drawn with Pastels on A4 Paper”

For this particular art therapy exercise, we were asked to close our eyes and visualise sitting on a magic rug that was to take us on a ride. We were asked to imagine where the magic rug was taking us and to imagine where its final destination would be. Some of the participants’ magic rug journeys were sad, emotional and distressing, others had journeys that were pleasant and comforting. For me, I had a good journey across the grass fields opposite where I live, across homes and gardens within my suburb.  My final resting place was within my own home garden. My dear husband over 15 years has grown from bare earth, a beautiful Australian Native Plant garden and it offers both of us in our autumn years, much joy and peace.

 

 

Exercise 4 – “People Scene Drawn with Pastels on A4 Paper”

This was a very interesting art therapy exercise. We were handed a set of cards. These cards each had an individual image. We were required to take a card from the pack without sharing the image on the card with another and then partner up with the person next to ourselves. Each partner was required to describe the details of the card to the partner, without the partner seeing the card. The partner was required to draw from this description on a sheet of paper. Once each partner had completed the task, we all showed our cards, shared our experience and drawing with the group. This for me, was a process that really required a great deal of trust in another. It required a degree of understanding that at times, we need to surrender our desire to want to control all circumstances. I didn’t have a problem with the task, as I trusted my partner, to do her best to inform me of details that would enable me to complete my drawing from her description. I also noticed that I wasn’t too concerned about how different my drawing might be from her card. I really just enjoyed the process but I did see and understand that some others struggled with letting go and just taking it as it comes and not getting stressed out because it didn’t look the same as the card image. It was a very good activity about effective listening, communicating, trust, understanding that we cannot always be responsible for another’s actions, we can only be responsible for our own.

 

 

ART THERAPY SESSION NO. 4

Exercise 5 – “Two People Talking Drawn with Black Felt Pen on A4 Paper”

The art therapist had us do a series of sketches that involved firstly choosing a card from a pack of cards without the knowledge of what we were about to be asked to do.  Once each of us had our chosen card we were asked to do the following:

  • 1. Drawing the card image with dominate hand without looking at the card image
  • 2. Looking at the card image and drawing the card image with our dominate hand
  • 3. Looking at the card image and drawing the card image with non dominate hand
  • 4. Drawing the card image with dominate hand without taking the pen off the paper

What was firstly revealing was how little we had listened to the instructions first up.  How we really needed to have paid attention to fully comprehend what seemed like simple instructions.  Another revealing factor was that most of us preferred the last of our images being No. 4 – drawing with dominate hand without taking the pen off the paper.

 

Exercise 6 – “Fence and Barbed Wire Section of Group Mural on Length of Butcher Paper”

Our last activity for session 4 was a group activity based on producing a group mural.  I had, in 2014 participated in such a task and was familiar with what to expect, which did help me prepare myself to just enjoy the process and not be to ‘precious’ about my artistic endeavours.  We were required to paint/draw an image and then think about how it could be connected to the person’s art work, either side of ourselves.  I was happy with my image, which I did in paint with bold orange fence posts, out lined in charcoal with two runs of charcoal barbed wire running through them.  As I stared at my art work, I realised that it could be the fence posts and the barbed wire that could be the connecting theme running through the whole mural work.  For me, I found the task enjoyable.  My only concerns during the process was to ensure I had consulted properly with the rest of the group to ensure they were going to be happy with what I proposed as a way of connecting all our individual art works, for my part.  Some of the group were apprehensive about having another mark their part of the mural work but after some general conversation, they came to appreciate that it was a group work of art and as per the instructions given by the art therapist we needed to ‘give and take’ during the group mural task at hand. All group participants in my group got the idea and all individually went about adding in their personal contribution to the other participants mural art work sections.

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

Over the course of participating within these art therapy session for 2014 and 2015, it is very clear to me that it is not about the art, but about what we are thinking and how we apply that thinking to the art work itself. The art therapy process can present as a challenge for some participants.  Some, also find it hard to let go of the fact that their art work is not a representation of being a good artist or not; and struggle to make an open acceptance that it’s about self exploration; that the art work is just a vehicle that is used to achieve that outcome.

 

NB:  For the purposes of this weblog series “Art Therapy Group 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

I Do Art Discussion No. 19 – “Sweet Dreams” by Karen Robinson

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

 

 

INTRODUCTION

This abstract painting No. 61 titled ‘Sweet Dreams’ as shown below is part of my abstract painting portfolioI mostly paint for myself and give little thought to pleasing others when it comes to colour, form and subject matter during the creation of my paintings.  It is a deeply personal process I use to manage my anxiety and depression.  This form of art therapy along with creative writing processes, such as the painting story formation, really does help me maintain a good sense wellbeing.

 

PAINTING DETAILS

 

  • Painting No. 61 Titled:  ‘Sweet Dreams’
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • 100cms Length x 100cms Wide x 3cms Deep
  • February 2015
  • Abstract Artist – Karen Robinson

 

PAINTING STORY – ‘Sweet Dreams’

Writing the painting story is always, an important part of my art for therapy journey.

This painting was inspired by a conversation that I had with my sister.  She was talking about an ambition, a goal, a dream she wanted to achieve in her life.  It got me thinking about the dreams I have had and wanted to come true in my life.  How some of my dreams/desires have eventuated and how others have gone ‘belly up” hence one of the fish, in the painting is featured in such a way ‘belly up’, just above my signature!  We all need dreams that we work towards achieving.  Dreams where anything seems possible.  My sister’s dream was cemented in an image of a sea merchant and fish, and the love of the ocean.  I took that thought, that image and created my own dream like image – being a Frenchman, perhaps a simple fisherman with a red beret and stripped T-shirt, handkerchief tied around his neck, dark mediterranean skin, swirly whiskers, and deep blue eyes.  My fisherman is enjoying the warm seas where delightful, colourful fish reside and frolic playfully with each other.  They have ruby-red lips, golden faces and colourful jewel like scales. They are almost flirting with the fisherman in my painting.  At the top of the painting – is a hot summer sun, reaching out over mother earth and a deep blue sky reaching back into the heavens.  Throughout the painting are silver frosted waves that gentle move across the pretty blue waters – magically twinkling.  I called this painting ‘sweet dreams’ as it reminded me of the times I would say to my children when they were very little, just after they were tucked into their beds at night and just after giving them a kiss on the forehead – ‘sweet dreams’…

Written by Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist 2014

 

 

PAINTING PROCESS – FROM THE SKETCH TO A FINISHED PAINTING SLIDE-SHOW

My painting process starts with a conception 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.  For this particular painting, once all the layers of acrylic paint had been applied and were dry, I decided to use a ‘dry medium’ called ‘mica flakes‘ on part of the waving – it may look like silver or grey in the photo but in real life it glitters/sparkles – makes the painting ‘dream like’.  After applying the ‘mica flakes’ I allowed it to dry throughly and then signed and dated the painting.  I also turned my painting over and put all the relevant details on the back of the canvas.  I then spray varnished it three times which gave it a nice shine.  In order to keep track of my work, I photographed the painting, wrote the painting story, printed 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 this painting.

 

No. 15 - Stages of Painting Process with Karen Robinson - Abstract Artist -Painting no. 61 Title 'Sweet Dreams' Feb 2015 - Acrylic on Canvas NB All images are copyright protected.JPG

No. 15 – Stages of Painting Process with Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist -Painting no. 61 Title ‘Sweet Dreams’ Feb 2015 – Acrylic on Canvas NB All images are copyright protected.JPG

 

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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

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

Working with Ink on Paper No. 1 – “A New Artistic Direction for Me!” by Karen Robinson

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

 

View No. 1 "Nude", "Crowds" and "Interiors" Sketches - Karen Robinson's ink drawings created in Marco Luccio's arts session on creating powerful & expressive drawings Feb 2015.JPG NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

View No. 1 “Nude”, “Crowds” and “Interiors” Sketches – Karen Robinson’s ink drawings created in Marco Luccio’s arts session on creating powerful and expressive drawings Feb 2015.JPG NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

 

INTRODUCTION

Over recent years, I have become more and more interested in the use of ink on paper, after seeing what others have so creatively been able to produce with this intriguing medium.  I feel now is a good time to expand my repertoire as an abstract artist, in the use of other mediums and materials. With this thought in mind, I recently had purchased a set of bottles of ink with the intention of setting about using them, only to discovery, that I needed a lot more knowledge and I also needed to develop new artistic skills to be able to use them effectively.

So when I saw this opportunity to take up a one-off session with Marco Luccio to ‘dip my toe’ into the world of ink and paper, I couldn’t resist doing so!  Marco Luccio, a formidable Australian artist himself and avid user of ink, ran a 3 hour session on ‘Sketchbook, Travel Studies Techniques and Frank Hodgkinson:  The Nude, Crowds and Interiors‘ and it was so much fun.  Marco Luccio demonstrated various approaches to drawing with ink on paper, using a feather, stick, brush and even just our fingers.  He provided a series of powerful and expressive drawings of classic, common and natural subject matter (Marco Luccio 2015) of famous artists, for us to use as form of inspiration, in order that we could become familiar with the techniques demonstrated by himself, and those evident in the sketches produced during the session.

 

ABOUT INK DRAWING NO. 1 “Goat”

View No. 2 "Goat" - Karen Robinson's ink drawings created in Marco Luccio's arts session on creating powerful & expressive drawings 2015.JPG NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

View No. 2 “Goat” – Karen Robinson’s ink drawings created in Marco Luccio’s arts session on creating powerful & expressive drawings 2015.JPG NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

NB:  Sketches above on the left being white pieces of paper glued onto the page are the sketches provided by Macco Luccio.  My ink sketches on paper are to the right above and below which I did in my new Travel Journal.

View No. 3 "Goat" - Karen Robinson's ink drawings created in Marco Luccio's arts session on creating powerful & expressive drawings Feb 2015.JPG NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

View No. 3 “Goat” – Karen Robinson’s ink drawings created in Marco Luccio’s arts session on creating powerful & expressive drawings Feb 2015.JPG NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

In recreating the ‘goat’ we were instructed to dip a feather quill into a small tube of Schnincke Acrylic Ink.  With the tip of the feather quill, I found myself etching a way on the Travel Journal page with gusto!  It was the very first time I had used ink and paper in such a way and I found it strangely liberating.  Being able to just push the ink around onto the paper without being confined by set lines and space was very enjoyable for me.  The sketches are not master pieces for sure but I could feel that it was certainly a practice I was going to engage in further down the track in my artistic endeavours.

 

ABOUT INK DRAWING NO. 2 “Nude”

View No. 4 "Nude" - Karen Robinson's ink drawings created in Marco Luccio's arts session on creating powerful & expressive drawings Feb 2015.JPG NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

View No. 4 “Nude” – Karen Robinson’s ink drawings created in Marco Luccio’s arts session on creating powerful & expressive drawings Feb 2015.JPG NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

NB:  Sketches above on the left being a white piece of paper glued onto the page are the sketches provided by Macco Luccio.  My ink sketches on paper are to the right above and below which I did on paper provided by Macco Luccio.

View No. 5 "Nude" - Karen Robinson's ink drawings created in Marco Luccio's arts session on creating powerful & expressive drawings Feb 2015.JPG NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

View No. 5 “Nude” – Karen Robinson’s ink drawings created in Marco Luccio’s arts session on creating powerful & expressive drawings Feb 2015.JPG NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

Re-creating the nude was tricky for me but once again, I very much enjoyed to process.  Again, we used the feather quill to etch our nudes onto the paper and then we used our fingers, dipped in ink and a little water to add colour, depth and interest.  Using my finger instead of a paint brush gave me, a great sense of freedom.  I worried little about the correctness of the forms and just enjoyed to process of experiencing new ways of being able to apply the ink to the paper.

 

ABOUT INK DRAWING NO. 3 “Interiors”

View No. 6 "Interiors" - Karen Robinson's ink drawings created in Marco Luccio's arts session on creating powerful & expressive drawings Feb 2015.JPG NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

View No. 6 “Interiors” – Karen Robinson’s ink drawings created in Marco Luccio’s arts session on creating powerful & expressive drawings Feb 2015.JPG NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

NB:  Sketches above on the left being a white piece of paper glued onto the page are the sketches provided by Macco Luccio.  My ink sketches on paper are to the right above and below which I did on paper provided by Macco Luccio.

View No. 7 "Interiors" - Karen Robinson's ink drawings created in Marco Luccio's arts session on creating powerful & expressive drawings Feb 2015.JPG NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

View No. 7 “Interiors’ Karen Robinson’s ink drawings created in Marco Luccio’s arts session on creating powerful & expressive drawings Feb 2015.JPG NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

The interiors task was quiet challenging, lots going on that had to be re-produced.  But once again, it was important to not try to reproduce the image verbatim but to just use the image provided as a source of inspiration and another opportunity to experience ink, colour ink and paper.  The use of water to assist in the washes and diluting of the inks proved to be also a very interesting part of the process of formulating the image.  I came to understand, for me at least, that working with ink meant you needed to adopt an attitude that it had a mind of its own and at times, as an artist there maybe a need to give way to its control of my work – well until I gain a much greater understand of its medium qualities, at least.

 

ABOUT INK DRAWING NO. 4 “Crowds”

View No. 8 "Crowds" - Karen Robinson's ink drawings created in Marco Luccio's arts session on creating powerful & expressive drawings Feb 2015.JPG NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

View No. 8 “Crowds” – Karen Robinson’s ink drawings created in Marco Luccio’s arts session on creating powerful & expressive drawings Feb 2015.JPG NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

NB:  The sketch above on the left being a white piece of paper glued onto the page is a sketch provided by Macco Luccio.  My ink sketch on paper is to the right above and below which I did in my new Travel Journal.

View No. 9 "Crowds" - Karen Robinson's ink drawings created in Marco Luccio's arts session on creating powerful & expressive drawings Feb 2015.JPG NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

View No. 9 “Crowds” – Karen Robinson’s ink drawings created in Marco Luccio’s arts session on creating powerful & expressive drawings Feb 2015.JPG NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

Re-producing the crowd scene process, offered me another chance to experience paper type, form, colour and ink application.  I really enjoyed seeing and feeling how the ink responded, when collected by the feather quill and then applied to the paper.  I also enjoyed working out where to place certain colours and at what strength of colour to apply them to the paper.

 

MATERIALS USED

  • Travel Journal – Hahnemuhle Fine Art D&S, for pencil, ink and charcoal, natural white, sketch book suitable for journaling, 140g/m2 80 pages, size A4.  Has hard cover and sets of pages can be removed without the rest of the pages becoming unstable within the binding.  Very portable size.
  • Schnincke Acrylic Ink – has 36 brilliant highly pigmented liftfast colours and 12 effect colours.  Suitable for drawing pens, calligraphy, brush and airbrush techniques. Comes in 28ml glass jar with dropper.  Is waterproof when dry. A large number of the bright colours are glazed or semi-glazed.  They can be made opaque by adding a slight quantity of extremely opaque aerocolour Professional colour supra white, without being made any brighter or losing their tinting strength.  Aerocolour Professional adheres particularly well to all sorts of papers and cardboards as well as the usual, non-absorbent surfaces such as film, hard plastics and after appropriate preliminary treatment, metal.  Link to Aero Colour Professional – finest airbrush colours PDF Chart: http://www.schmincke.de/fileadmin/downloads/AEROCOLOR.pdf
  • Bird Feather – random bird feather used as instrument to apply ink to paper via the quill part of the feather and/or the feathering part of the instrument.

 

CONCLUSION

Marco Luccio’s 3 hour session on ‘Sketchbook, Travel Studies Techniques and Frank Hodgkinson:  The Nude, Crowds and Interiors’ I found very enjoyable and advantageous.  What I took away with me after attending his session – was just enough confidence to move forward into using ink on paper.

Over the years, I have found that taking time out to engage in an artistic process is very therapeutic.  It has helped and continues to help me de-stressed and assists in clearing my mind of any negative thoughts.  It also gets me inspired to go about planing and putting into action, new projects that will have positive effects on my sense of wellbeing. Thank you Art


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/Writer/Photo-taker

 

Art Therapy Group Session 1 of 5 for 2015 – “A Tree of Treasured Memories…” by Karen Robinson

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

 

INTRODUCTION

My art therapy journey 2015  – has once again enabled me to participant in another art therapy group.  This group is larger than our previous 2014 group and is especially for those who are carers for another in their lives.  It is facilitated by a very experienced Art Therapist and a co-facilitator.  They assist participants to express themselves through art in a safe, secure and supportive environment.  It also gives participants, an opportunity to meet new people with whom they learn to share thoughts, emotions and life experiences with, in an imaginative and creative way.  The art work produced during an art therapy session, is not and will not be, works of art, as little time and energy is invested in the creative process.  But what is important to understand and appreciate, is that it is, about the process of self exploration through art therapy.

 

GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER

Getting the participants to know each other – was the group’s Art Therapist’s primary goal at this first session.  It involved participating in a number of simple exercises which helped each of us, to get to know one another, a little better.  For some, we already knew of each other through our first art therapy group in 2014 and for others, it involved getting to know the whole group for the first time.  Following our first session will be another 5 sessions, where we will have plenty of opportunity to broaden our knowledge of each other and of ourselves even further.

 

A TREE OF TREASURED MEMORIES

One of our art therapy exercises involved a visualisation process.  We were asked to close our eyes and visualise a place of beauty, a place we feel safe in, a place we would enjoy being within.  I found it easy to reach my ‘mind place’ as I like to call it, being the beach with stretches of golden sand, a deep blue sea with crashing waves creeping up onto the shoreline, a pretty, light blue sky that seem to go on forever, a warm sun filling my soul with a sense of joy and a soft sea breeze caressing my skin.  On reaching this ‘mind place’ we were then asked to find a ‘magic seed’.  I found myself picking up a seed pod near a rock pool and holding in my hand as I examined its texture, shape and colour.  We were then asked to plant it and visualise what it had grown into.  After a few moments of visualisation, we were then asked to open our eyes and draw/paint/crayon an art work that showed what our ‘magic seed’ had grown into.

Once we had completed our art work about what our ‘magic seed’ had grown into, we each took turns to explain it to the group; and only as much as we were comfortable in revealing.  It was very interesting and amazing how serious the participants had involved themselves in this visualisation process.

 

No. 1 of 3 ArtTherapy Group Session 1 'Tree of Treasured Memories' created by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson Feb 2015 NB All images are protected by copyright..JPG

No. 1 of 3 Art Therapy Group Session 1 ‘Tree of Treasured Memories’ created by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson Feb 2015 NB All images are protected by copyright..JPG

 

For me, my seed grew into ‘A  Tree of Treasured Memories’:-

It was an imaginary tree with no leaves!  It held only pear, shaped droplets hanging from its branches, that once reached for and plucked, would take me to a treasured memory I held in my mind and in my heart.  I didn’t realise at that very moment of producing my ‘tree of treasured memories’ art work, that I would become very emotional.  I found myself working hard at trying to push back the tears, so as no one could see them. As we went around the table, with each person telling their story and showing their art work, I found myself becoming more and more tearful.  I held tight to my tears welling up in my eyes, so they wouldn’t fall. It was then that I realized, that my ‘tree of treasured memories’ was about, having a wish to be able to revisit memories of my son Ben, who had been killed in a single vehicle car crash in 2009.  Over the recent years, I had come to understand, how time spent with loved ones was a treasure.  I tragically had learned this through my loss and all that was left of my son now – were treasured memories.  I did manage to explain some of my tree of treasured memories art work, but it was difficult and I stopped short in order to hold back the pain in my heart, that was slowly seeping forward to the present moment.  No doubt there were others there on this day, that had difficulty in relaying their stories as well, but it was hard not to think about anything else other than – my treasured memories….”

Written by Karen Robinson

 

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL

 

Our next art therapy exercise involved getting a piece of paper and cutting a small hole out of it, in the centre, a hole big enough to peer through.  We were then instructed to hold the paper up to our eye and look through it and then look for something ‘beautiful’ to focus on.  The room we occupied had beautiful,ornate architraves.  I used those images to create the above sketch.

 

WHAT I NEED NOW

No. 3 of 3 ArtTherapy  Group Session 1 'What I Need Now!' created by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson Feb 2015 NB All images are protected by copyright.JPG

No. 3 of 3 ArtTherapy Group Session 1 ‘What I Need Now!’ created by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson Feb 2015 NB All images are protected by copyright.JPG

 

The last art therapy exercise for the day, involved choosing a card from a set of cards.  On one side of the card was an image, and on the other side of the card, were a set of words.  Using the card as inspiration, we were asked to create an art work that reflected  ‘what we need now’.  My chosen card and its accompanying words as stated below, inspired my crayon art work above.

“We will call deep into the past to all our ancestors and they will come because they have to.  Because…without us they do not exist and without them we do not exist…Boorndawan Willam Aboriginal Healing Service Cards

 

During my sharing of my art work, I explained that what I needed now and look for, is joy in my life.  I very much look for actions that tick the happy box in order to fulfill that desire.  So there are lots of colourful shapes in my art work which is representative of having lots of avenues of finding joy in everyday life.

 

CONCLUSION

I must say, I found it difficult to go forward with the rest of the session after the visualisation process exercise, where I created my art work and story of  ‘a tree of treasured memories’.  Sometimes during art for therapy, I have found and still do find the process to be very challenging, difficult and confronting.  Thankfully our co-facilitator had organised for the whole group to have lunch together after this session. This helped wash away any sadness I was feeling and I left in a good frame of mind; strong enough again to go back to working on actions that tick the happy box!…

 

NB:  For the purposes of this weblog series “Art Therapy Group 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

I Do Art Discussion No. 18 – “A State of Mind” by Karen Robinson

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

 

INTRODUCTION

This abstract painting No. 58 titled ‘A State of Mind’ below  was the last of what I like to call, one of my major art works 2014.  It is an expression of feelings and emotions and its painting story can be found below.  I have also included within this ‘I Do Art Discussion No. 18’ – two short YouTube videos about two of my painting practices.  The first is about the use and application of builders tape which I have called blue tape; and the second video in about, the application of a coat of Matisse acrylic paint, to the canvas within the sectioned of areas of the painting.

Writing the painting story is always an important part of my art for therapy journey and this painting’s story can also be found below along with the painting’s details.

Painting No. 58 - Title 'A State of Mind' Dec 2014 - by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

Painting No. 58 – Title ‘A State of Mind’ Dec 2014 – by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

PAINTING DETAILS

  • Painting No. 58 Titled:  ‘A State of Mind’
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • 100cms Length x 100cms Wide x 3cms Deep
  • December 2014
  • Abstract Artist – Karen Robinson

PAINTING STORY – ‘A State of Mind’

This painting was inspired by a sketch I did during an art therapy group session August 2014. During the session our art therapy facilitator asked us to sketch within 5 minutes about ‘how we feel right now’. My life, my state of mind right at that moment was best described as being more ‘cup half full’ as opposed to being half empty during earlier years.

The bright yellow colour is representative of sunny feelings; the blue and green colours representing cooler feelings and emotions; the orange and red being representative of rage and/or being upset; and lastly the black is representative of the loss of my son and the sorrowful feelings I have which will never go away.

During my art therapy session, I explained that my sketch and now in this painting, once turned upside-down, is representative of some days where it is not all sunny, they can be dark and looming such as the early years after the loss of my son; but these kind of days were few and far between now, as it had been nearly five years on since the loss of my son Ben in 2009, being that it was August 2014 at the time the sketch was done. Within the painting its self, I created scaffolding type lines in black which signifies how my daily life, months, and years can be complicated by depression and anxiety. But I am in a much better place now than I have been…my wellbeing has improved greatly with the use of art and creative writing therapy.

Written by Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist 2014

 

My Movie by Karen Robinson Abstract Painting No. 58 ‘A State of Mind’ Dec 2014 – “Talk on applying blue tape to the canvas to get straight edging…”

Blue Tape Preparation and Painted Black Section of Painting Executed - Abstract Painting No. 58 'A State of Mind' Acrylic on Canvas Dec 2014 by Karen Robinson .JPG

Blue Tape Preparation and Painted Black Section of Painting Executed – Abstract Painting No. 58 ‘A State of Mind’ Acrylic on Canvas Dec 2014 by Karen Robinson .JPG

My Movie by Karen Robinson Abstract Painting No. 58 ‘A State of Mind’ Dec 2014 – “Talk on applying the acrylic paint once the blue tape has been applied…

 

CONCLUSION

It has been an amazing journey using art, storytelling, and photo taking over the last year 2014 and I hope by sharing here within my weblog, will help you find your voice.  Happy painting, writing and photo taking and/or just plain good living for 2015….Karen

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/Writer/Photo-taker

Art and Creative Writing: “What Australia Day is to me…” by Karen Robinson

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

 

INTRODUCTION

Australia Day for me, is about taking some time out to look at, how fortunate we are to be able to live in a free and multi cultural society and democratic country, such as Australia. It’s a time to reflect on those that have offered us inspiration; reflect on those that go quietly about doing good for others with little recognition; and to take part in the pleasures of spending time with family and friends.

Abstract Painting No. 58 - 'Brighton Bathing Boxes' Acylic on Canvas - 105cms Length x 60cms Wide x 3cms Deep by Abstract Painting Karen Robinson Jan 2015.JPG

Abstract Painting No. 59 – ‘Brighton Bathing Boxes’ Acrylic on Canvas – 105cms Length x 60cms Wide x 3cms Deep by Abstract Painting Karen Robinson Jan 2015.JPG

 

AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS

It is also a time in the year, where Australia recognises the inspirational actions of fellow Australians with the nomination of:-  an Australian of the Year; a Senior Australian of the Year; a Young Australian of the Year; and an Australia’s Local Hero.  This process of highlighting the good in humanity serves as reminder to what we as a nation need to strive for, each and every year.  We need to never stop working towards a better us…

 

No. 3 Brighton Bathing Boxes - Melbourne - Australia Day Weekend 2015 Photographed by Karen Robinson.JPG

No. 3 Brighton Bathing Boxes – Melbourne – Australia Day Weekend 2015 Photographed by Karen Robinson.JPG

 

AUSTRALIA DAY:  UNSUNG HEROES OF OUR NATION

And it’s a time to not forget the many Australians that each year, give of their time and energy to others in the way of volunteering.  In Australia, approximately 5.2 million volunteers contribute to the wider community, totally approximately 713 million hours of unpaid work, every year! (Macklin. J. 2008).   In the year 2012, I was very fortunate to be asked to take part in a Herald Sun Newspaper feature article and group photo called “Australia Day: Unsung heroes of our nation“.  It was about a group of 12 people of all ages and walks of life, just ordinary Australians who volunteer their time in order to give back to their communities.

Joyce McDonald, 81 of Myrtleford;  John Neamontis, 76 of Malvern; Austin Omann, 11 of Mornington; Cheryl O’Hanlon, 59 of Elsternwick, Primrose Holland, 21 of Williamstown, Rebecca James, 13 of Lalor; Teng Bath, 28 of Fitzroy; Brad Crewe, 34 of Melbourne; John Johnson, 66 of East Keilor; Nicola Vaughan, 35 of Williamstown; Megan Wolsky, 17 of Berwick; and there was myself Karen Robinson, back then I was 56 of Attwood.

Herald Sun. (2012, January 26). Australia Day: Unsung heroes of our nation. [Photo ID: 836463-unsung-heroes.jpg]. Retrieved 26th January, 2015 from http://www.news.com.au/national/unsung-heroes-of-our-nation/story-e6frfkp9-1226253830705 NB: Karen Robinson middle row, on right in red shirt.

Herald Sun. (2012, January 26). Australia Day: Unsung heroes of our nation. [Photo ID: 836463-unsung-heroes.jpg]. Retrieved 26th January, 2015 from http://www.news.com.au/national/unsung-heroes-of-our-nation/story-e6frfkp9-1226253830705 NB: Karen Robinson middle row, on right in red shirt.

 

BRIGHTON BATHING BOXES AT DENDY STREET BEACH – A Favourite Australia Day destination for the customary Aussie BBQ Lunch!

I particularly love the above photo which was taken in front of an iconic Brighton Bathing Box at Dendy Street Beach which is approximately 13 km south of the city of Melbourne.  The first of these bathing boxes was built in1862 and today there are approximately 80 bathing box’s lining the shore line.   It’s locality is a favourite with tourists; and particularly on Australia Day, tourists, families and friends get together for the customary Aussie BBQ lunch.

 

PHOTO TAKING OF THE ICONIC BRIGHTON BATHING BOXES

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Photo taking is one of my art for therapy activities and with my husband, we drove to Dendy Street Beach this 2015 Australia Day weekend and took a series of photos of the iconic Brighton Bathing Boxes and its surrounding area.  As an abstract artist and photo-taker, I was particularly interested in the amazing colours of the bathing boxes themselves and how the owners of them had used their artistic imagination to give each one an individual personally!

 

 Melbourne – Awarded ‘The most liveable city in the world’

 

ABSTRACT PAINTING OF THE ICONIC BRIGHTON BATHING BOXES

On my return home, I decided to do an abstract painting that reflected the sun, sea, sand and the amazing colourful Brighton Bathing Boxes.

 

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CONCLUSION

Happy Australia Day….Australia!

 

Ref Link:  Macklin. J. 2008.  https://www.dss.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/05_2012/volunteering_in_australia.pdf

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. 17 – “Life’s a Washing Machine” by Karen Robinson

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

 

INTRODUCTION

Sometimes, I find painting to be just a way to vent pent-up feelings and emotions.  It can be a way of putting the days/months/years frustrations onto a canvas via paint; and it can be a way to just unburden one’s daily struggles and frustrations.  Once it is done, I can stand back and say, well it’s all there, on the canvas, and I don’t need to carry around that particular burden anymore in my mind, heart and soul.  Adding to that process is the writing of the painting’s story. By this I mean, the act of verbalizing its meaning, which then allows me to be able to examine exactly what’s been going on within myself.  This whole reflective mechamism is and continues to be, a very therapeutic process that effectively increases my sense of well-being.

NB:  Better Health Channel summarize the meaning of well-being as:  “Well-being is not just the absence of disease or illness.  It is a complex combination of a person’s physical, mental, emotional and social health factors.  Well-being is linked to how you feel about yourself and your life” (Better Health Channel 2015).

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PAINTING STORY

The inspiration for this particular ‘I Do Art Discussion Blog’ Painting as featured below, came from a time in my life, where it felt like I was on a treadmill and I couldn’t get off. The pressures of work and family life seemed never-ending and no matter what, it had to be endured to ensure we had a roof over our heads, cloths on our backs and food in our bellies. It did not help that I personally struggled with anxiety and depression. The following is the painting story that I wrote for this particular Painting No. 43 titled “Life’s a Washing Machine”:-

“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 and washed out, hang out to dry only to start all over again each day! A whole mixture of life experiences tumbling into a single life which is shared with family, friends and work colleagues…..”

Written by Karen Robinson – Abstract Artist 2010

 

Painting No. 43 - Title "Life's a Washing Machine' by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson - 2010 All images are protected by copyright laws!

Painting No. 43 – Title “Life’s a Washing Machine” Feb 2010
– by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson All images are protected by copyright laws!

 

PAINTING DETAILS

Painting No. 43 – Title “Life’s a Washing Machine” Acrylic on Canvas February 2010 – 122cms Length x 122cms Wide x 3cm Deep by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson

 

PAINTING FORMATION

The painting formation is made up of contoured bracing that have a circular movement.  It is like when you view cloths being washed in a washing machine that has a glass door that you can see the washing through.  You can see the objects being sloshed and tossed around in the water and suds action.

 

CONCLUSION

Art Therapy has been an incredible tool to help me as a painter/person.  It can be at times like looking into a mirror and seeing my thoughts, feelings and emotions at work.  It offers me an opportunity to revise and reinvent a better me. By sharing my story I hope to inspire others to take up art for therapy…


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/Writer/Photo-taker

 

Art and Creative Writing: “Happy Christmas 2014”

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No. 1 View of 'Happy Christmas' Oil on HW A3 Paper by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson NB All images are subject to copyright laws.JPG

No. 1 View of ‘Happy Christmas’ Oil on HW A3 Paper by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson NB All images are subject to copyright laws.JPG

 

It’s Christmas Day and early in the morning.  The streets are quiet and no one seems to be out and about, perhaps still snuggled in their beds.  The birds are awake and busily chirping, and the sun is hiding behind some clouds.  The morning is not cold and hints at a warmer day ahead.  Once my husband has risen from is bed and our family dog has had his daily walk, we will firstly set out to visit Fawkner Memorial Park to pay our respects to our son, as it will be now 5 years since his death and five Christmas’ we have not had him here, in our presence.

Afterwards we will spend time at my husband’s mother’s home, where all his brothers and sister gather to have Christmas lunch.  It is usually a very happy and enjoyable time where we laugh a lot, exchange big hugs and kisses and enjoy each others company.  My daughter with her husband joins us in the late afternoon, after having lunch with her husband’s family.  I look forward to seeing her, look forward to seeing her smile, and seeing her with her husband, seeing her with her Nana, Aunty, Uncles, Cousins and us her mum and dad, seeing how much she belongs amongst these good people.  It is also a time where I find myself contemplating how fortunate we all are and how much I cherish these yearly opportunities to share as we do…

Boxing day is the day my side of the family get together, and is another day where hugs and kisses are shared, along with another big festive lunch and the exchanging of gifts.  This is very much a time, where as a family, we do a big catch up and there is lots of story telling, laughing and sharing of precious time…

I try to take lots of photos on these occasions.  Photos are important to me as they capture small pockets of memories that can be revisited, when the memory fails to recall, these ever so special moments.

So from my family to your family, I wish you all the very best today – Christmas time with family and friends is such a precious gift of time for sharing…Karen Robinson

 

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: “The Art of Peace” by Karen Robinson

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

 

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 HW Paper NB All images are subject to copyright laws.JPG

 

INTRODUCTION

My blog this week could not be about anything else, other than the terrifying and violent siege at the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place, where two people lost their lives and where others were severely traumatized.  In keeping with my creative writing process, I have written the following in response to this disturbing and worrisome event, for which Australians have to date, been mostly protected from in comparison to the rest of the world.  Our resolve as a nation has not been tested like this before and it has left us shaken and questioning our future – as a once known safe place to live.  We have been known as ‘the lucky country’ and we are, and we must remain just that…  Below is a short essay on my thoughts, of what has become in the minds of Australians, a monumental event.

 

Picture by John Grainger. The first of the floral tributes stands alone at Martin Place at 5.45am -The Daily Telegraph 17/12/2014. Retrieved 19/12/2014 from http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/sydney-siege-amazing-scenes-as-sydneysiders-empty-florists-to-fill-martin-place-with-flowers/story-fni0cx12-1227157698015?nk=bb450278d46e93b005c405fcba30b6f4

Picture by John Grainger. The first of the floral tributes stands alone at Martin Place at 5.45am -The Daily Telegraph 17/12/2014. Retrieved 19/12/2014 from http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/sydney-siege-amazing-scenes-as-sydneysiders-empty-florists-to-fill-martin-place-with-flowers/story-fni0cx12-1227157698015?nk=bb450278d46e93b005c405fcba30b6f4

 

Photo by 702 ABC Sydney:  John Donegan:  The floral tribute for victims of the Syndey siege continues to grow at Martin Place, Sydney Australia 18/12/2014. Retrieved 19/12/2014 from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-15/sydney-siege-photographs-of-hostage-situation/5969010

Photo by 702 ABC Sydney: John Donegan: The floral tribute for victims of the Syndey siege continues to grow at Martin Place, Sydney Australia 18/12/2014. Retrieved 19/12/2014 from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-15/sydney-siege-photographs-of-hostage-situation/5969010

 

Title:  The Art of Peace!

“What does the ‘art of peace’ look like? It looks like this! It is a people who show their outpouring of grief through peaceful assembly where they lay flowers as a sign of respect; and a desire to show that they care about their fellow Australians.

The sudden and unexpected death of two very fine Australians during a violent siege this week in Sydney, Australia Martin Place, is a sorrowful happening and to their families, friends and work colleagues, a loss they will feel for the rest of their lives. My heart filled condolences go out to these families and friends, as the death of a loved one, killed suddenly and violently is hard to understand and harder to bare…

The way in which Australians have responded to this terrible happening, has never made me feel prouder than now, to be an Australian. The show of solidarity through a peaceful, caring and very touching way, the placing of thousands of flowers at Martin Place, has been deeply touching.

Thank you Australia for setting an incredible example to the rest of the world! It is a real expression of an ‘act of peace’ and a shape contrast to the ‘act of violence’ that has perpetrated the lives of all involved during the siege; that has perpetrated the minds and souls of Australians . . .”

 

Written by Karen Robinson

 

Photo taken by ABC News: Kylie Williams of two Australian flags form part of a public tribute to the two hostages killed at the Lindt Cafe in Martin Place, Sydney Australia Retrieved 19/12/2014 from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-17/sydney-siege-flower-and-tributes-overflow-in-martin-place/5972412

Photo taken by ABC News: Kylie Williams of two Australian flags form part of a public tribute to the two hostages killed at the Lindt Cafe in Martin Place, Sydney Australia Retrieved 19/12/2014 from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-17/sydney-siege-flower-and-tributes-overflow-in-martin-place/5972412

 

 

CREATIVE WRITING INSPIRING ART!

Over the course of time, I have painted a number of works of art that express may reactions to social, environmental and political events around the world.  I felt a strong desired to mark this dreadful tragedy and incredible outpouring of Australians grief with an abstract painting.

Again I wanted to use my creative writing piece to inspire an art work and is featured below titled ‘The art of peace’.  I have called it the art of piece and not the act of piece because I believe there is a real art to creating peace.  That it takes far greater strength of character to create peace than it does to create a violent act.  This is a small piece of art work which I have done on HW paper using acrylic paints.  I plan to do a larger art work of said on canvas, a meter x a meter for a forthcoming exhibition mid 2015.

 

 

PAINTING STORY

The blackness as shown in the background of the painting, is our deep and dark universe and the circular shape is our earth.  The multiple colours are representative of all the coloured flowers layed at Martin Place as a sign of respect by many Australians.  The motion within the painting represents how the news of the tragic event and the amazing outpouring of grief demonstrated in the laying of the flowers, sweep the world…  The blurring also is representative of a strong desire of a peaceful amalgamation, a peaceful unity of humanity in order that we can all live on this planet together for future generations.

 

CONCLUSION

My sister informed me this week that she had sent flowers to Sydney from Melbourne from our family…I was really touched by this act of peace….

 

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