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

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INTRODUCTION

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

 

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

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

 

STEP THREE AT THE SESSION AND AT MY HOME STUDIO

 

  • Little Bright Blue Love Heart Sequins

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

  • String Of Words Around The Large Pink Heart

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

  • Signed, Photographed And Varnish

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

 

  • Finished Art Work – yet to be titled!

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

 

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

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

 

CONCLUSION

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

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

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

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

© Karen Robinson, September 2015

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

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

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

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

 

INTRODUCTION

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

 

STEP TWO PART 1 – AT THE SESSION

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

STEP TWO PART 2 – IN MY HOME STUDIO

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

 

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

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

 

CONCLUSION

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

INTRODUCTION

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

 

RECEIVING MY PIECE OF CANVAS

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

 

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

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

 

ABOUT ‘USING ART FOR THERAPY’ VIDEO

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

CONCLUSION

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

INTRODUCTION

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

 

MY FANTASY, MYSTICAL CREATURE OF SELF

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

 

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

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

 

HOME/SHELTER FOR MY FANTASY, MYSTICAL CREATURE OF SELF

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

CONCLUSION

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

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

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

 

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

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