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

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

 

 

INTRODUCTION

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

 

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

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

 

 

PAINTING DETAILS

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

PAINTING STORY – ‘Two Women Talking’

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

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

© Karen Robinson, October 2015

 

 

PAINTING PROCESS – From sketch to finished paintings!

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

 

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

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

 

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TWO WOMEN TALKING – FACE TO FACE POSITIVE VIEW!

 

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

 

TWO WOMEN TALKING – BACK TO BACK NEGATIVE VIEW!

 

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

 

CONCLUSION

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

© Karen Robinson, October 2015

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Creative Writing Group Session 3 of 6 – “Treasured Memories”

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

INTRODUCTION

Once again, we as creative writing participants arrived ready to reveal our homework writing pieces.  It was interesting to note how each of us had taken a considered approach to these writing pieces; how by sharing them within the group was an important part of the creative process and also a means to expressing details that revealed more and more about each of us as people.

THE CREATIVE WRITING HOMEWORK

For our last week’s homework creative writing piece, we were asked to write about a piece of furniture and after some reflection, I wrote about an old piece of furniture my family have had for many years.   I called it ‘Treasured Memories’.

Title:  Treasured Memories

“It stands currently in the corner of our living room, the side board that has been in my family all my married life of 34 years. My husband as a young man and before we met, had rescued it from the house next door to his mother and father’s home, when the old woman, who lived there had died and left behind a house full of old furniture. My husband lovingly restored it to its former glory!

Over the years, this side board has moved from house to house, as we did. Sometimes looking out-of-place and at other times blending in beautifully. It has curved legs and stands tall against a wall. Its mahogany timber is a dark, warm, honey colour and has been protected by a layer of varnish which shines in the light that streams in through the window. It has a flat board top, where our family photos sit proudly; and where a back timber board looks over them. Below this top board, there is situated to each side, a set of wooden shelves and wooded inlaid doors, with fancy antique lock handles. When the doors open, it has that old musky smell of a time long gone. In its centre, it has a set of heavy timber draws, which have been lined with pretty, flowered, scented draw liners.

This piece of furniture holds many dear and treasured memories of my adult life with my husband and children; and explains why it is still with us despite being a very heavy, old piece of furniture…”

Written by Karen Robinson 16/11/2014 ‘Copyright’ Protected

DURING THE CREATIVE WRITING SESSION

During the session, the creative writing facilitator had us create a number of writing pieces on (1) Moving; (2) then on a saying we had each chosen, mine was ‘never say never’; (3) and a final writing piece on something that we could sight from the balcony window where our session was being held – I called my writing piece “Black Power”.

CREATIVE WRITING INSPIRING ART!

Again I wanted to use my creative writing piece ‘Treasured Memories’ to inspire an art work.  I wanted to especially create an image based on the sideboard wooden texture characteristics and it beautiful honey tones using  Matisse Acrylic Structure Paint.  Four colours were used:  (1) a very dark brown – almost black; (2) a lighter dark brown; (3) a mustard colour; (4) a orangey colour; (5) and then a light metallic gold.  I then used the end of a fine paint brush handle to etch in a lining to reveal the first layer of the dark brown – almost black paint.


CONCLUSION

Thank you for joining me on this Creative Writing Group Session Journey!  Please click on the below links to view Nos. 1 & 2 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 2 of 6 – “The Face Mask”

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

No. 1 Creative Writing & Abstract Painting 'The Face Mask' Acrylic Paint on A3 HW Paper by Karen Robinson Nov 2014 NB All images are subject to copyright laws .JPG

No. 1 Creative Writing & Abstract Painting ‘The Face Mask’ Acrylic Paint on A3 HW Paper by Karen Robinson Nov 2014 NB All images are subject to copyright laws .JPG

INTRODUCTION

We are now into our second session of Creative Writing and feeling a bit more confident about what the process of creative writing will bring.  Group participants appear to be happy to be in attendance; and keen to reveal their creative writing home work efforts, that our creative writing facilitator had set for us, to do in between our first session and this now our second session.

NB:  Please click here to read the introduction to this series of posts and also more about the first session:  Creative Writing Group Session 1 of 6 – “The Happy Box”

THE CREATIVE WRITING HOMEWORK

We were asked to think about writing a piece about ‘what plant/flower’ we imagined we might be!  On giving this some thought and after doing a small amount of research on my choice, I decided to nominate myself as a ‘prickly pear plant’ –  http://www.daff.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/76606/IPA-Prickly-Pear-Control-PP29.pdf

This is my homework writing piece and I called it ‘Prickly in Nature!

Title:  ‘Prickly in Nature’

“I remember a time, when a CEO of a company I worked for, said to me, that I was a little prickly in nature! Yes, it is true at times, I can be a little prickly and therefore it seems appropriate I choose to be a prickly pear plant…

I am greenish in colour and have long, sharp spines that protrude from my fleshy, oval-shaped flat pads. When I am at my best, I have a show of flowers that will bare one fruit for every flower. My fruit can be peeled and eaten raw, but I like to be used to make candy, jelly, juice or wine, as it helps improve my reputation, as a sometimes likable cactus. My flowers maybe coloured red, yellow, or purple and depends where I am growing. I have a tolerate nature and therefore like a wide range of temperatures and moisture levels. I adore my desert like conditions!  For centuries I have been best known for my healing capacities and hold valuable food qualities.  At my worst my spines will come off into your skin, they will be difficult to remove and will irritate your skin for days, so a warning – be careful how you handle me!

So whilst at times, I can be a little prickly in nature and perhaps I don’t appeal to all; and whilst valued by some and brushed aside by others, I do know there is a place for me in this world as a prickly pear….”

Written on 2nd November 2014 by Karen Robinson – “Copyright’ Protected

I was the first to embark on telling my story about, being a plant/flower and there was some discussion that I wasn’t really a ‘prickly pear’; that some of my writing didn’t sound like me.  I was surprised and also pleased, but not without understanding that there is a prickly pear inside of me!  Each creative writing participant then proceeded to share their plant/flower story.  All were very thought-provoking creative writing pieces.  Some wrote detailed and deeply personal stories that revealed life long struggles.  Hearing their creative writing pieces left me pondering about the power of words and how writing our experiences can be so revealing, about what we are thinking; about what we have deeply embedded in our subconscious’.  That by taking on a creative writing exercise, can bring forward these thoughts and emotions to the forefront, for further self-examination.

CREATIVE WRITING PROCESS DURING SESSION 2

During the balance of the session, we were asked to write a piece about a Sue Janson Mug.  We were presented with the mug itself.  It was handed around the group, where each of us had a turn, to examine it in detail.  Then we were asked to brainstorm a list of thoughts that came to mind after handling the mug.

The following is my brain storm list of thoughts after viewing the Sue Janson Mug:

  • Being old – not a wonderful look!
  • Comfort in old age!
  • Vanity disappears – thank god!
  • Good humour about bodies!
  • As if the face mask can hide the other 99.9% of the body image!
  • Seagulls are having a good laugh!
  • Learning to accept the passage of time!
  • Humanizing body image!
  • Low acceptance of human fragility in society!
  • Glamorising of the body beautiful of so few!
No. 2 Creative Writing Session 2 - working with Sue Janson Australian Artist Coffee Cup Images as inspiration photographed by Karen Robinson Nov 2014.JPG.JPG

No. 2 Creative Writing Session 2 – working with Sue Janson Australian Artist Coffee Cup Images as inspiration photographed by Karen Robinson Nov 2014.JPG.JPG

Once we had written our brain storming list of thoughts, we were than asked to pass it over to a partner and we where then asked to circle three thoughts and/or words/phrases on the list and give back to the writer.  From this point we were ask to write a piece, which would be inclusive of those three circled word/s and mine consisted of:  (1) body beautiful; (2) face mask; and (3) the seagulls are having a good laugh.  From these I wrote the following creative writing piece which I titled ‘The Face Mask’.

Title: The Face Mask!

“The glamorising of the ‘body beautiful’ puts so much pressure on us as women. I have seen it, as my job as a mum, to ensure my daughter does not feel the need to adopt a falsehood of herself. That the value of a person is not summed up in, how we look first up, but in what we say and do!

Makeup wearing by women can act like a ‘face mask’ worn to hide the real self, to indicate to others that we are not happy with the real us, that an improvement of our physical self needs to be done regularly. It’s the same for body hair and in particular women’s body hair. We go to such lengths to ensure there isn’t a pubic hair in sight, when wearing bathers at the beach, fearing that the sight of one, will be an utter embarrassment and most certainly have ‘the seagulls rolling on the beach in laughter’.

It’s a tragedy that we cannot, just be our natural selves all of the time; we waste so much time, energy and money on our ‘looks’. We need to just consider our health in mind and body only, as looks fade and without a healthy mind and body…looks are just so unimportant!”

Written on 5th November 2014 by Karen Robinson – “Copyright” Protected

CREATIVE WRITING INSPIRING ART!

Again I wanted to use my creative writing piece to inspire an art work.  ‘The Face Mask’ had me thinking about how as women in privileged societies spend so much time, energy and money, in trying to live up to almost impossible images that they view each and every day through television, newspapers, magazines, movies, and social media.  Over a life time, masses amounts of lipstick is applied to our lips;  face make up smeared onto skins; eyebrows plucked and shaped;  lashes lengthened and coloured; face-lifts done to ward off wrinkles; tanning colour applied; bleaching of skin; eye colour lens to change original eye colour; hair dyed, cut and styled over and over again; along with numerous other ‘beauty’ treatments.  All these effects are beyond wanting a healthy mind and body.  My art work below is of a face that has had a constant laying of Matisse Acrylic Structure Paint applied to its surface – hence hiding its true self…

CONCLUSION

I am finding the creative writing group process, gives me an opportunity to express myself with words.  We get to share our creative writing pieces and we have the opportunity to hear what others have written as well.  It really makes you think and listen…

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 1 of 6 – “The Happy Box!”

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

INTRODUCTION

My art therapy journey has been mostly a solo experience up until recently, 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 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 hard to find.

No. 9 Creative Writing & Abstract Painting 'The Happy Box!' Acrylic Paint on A3 HW Paper by Karen Robinson Oct 2014 NB All images are subject to copyright law.JPG

No. 9 Creative Writing & Abstract Painting ‘The Happy Box!’ Acrylic Paint on A3 HW Paper by Karen Robinson Oct 2014 NB All images are subject to copyright law.JPG

Throughout my abstract painting portfolio, I have dedicated an effort to verbalizing my art works’ sources of inspiration, meaning and sometimes its purpose.  Each painting has its own painting story, as I have called it, and whilst the details are of a factual nature, the process feels very much like creative writing. The creation of painting stories to accompany each painting has become, for me, an important part of the therapeutic process which has, over time, lead to a greater sense of wellbeing.

CREATIVE WRITING GROUP

Just recently,  I was fortunately asked, if I would like to join a ‘Creative Writing‘ group.  The small group is especially for those who are carers for another in their lives.  The sessions are designed to offer individuals a way to express themselves through ‘creative writing’ in a safe, secure and supportive environment.  It also gives participants an opportunity to meet new people whom they learn to share thoughts, emotions and life experiences within an imaginative and creative environment.

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.

No. 10 Creative Writing & Abstract Painting 'The Happy Box!' Acrylic Paint on A3 HW Paper by Karen Robinson Oct 2014 NB All images are subject to copyright laws.JPG

No. 10 Creative Writing & Abstract Painting ‘The Happy Box!’ Acrylic Paint on A3 HW Paper by Karen Robinson Oct 2014 NB All images are subject to copyright laws.JPG

CREATIVE WRITING PROCESS

In our group there are between five to eight participants, one creative writing specialist and one co-facilitator.  At this very first session it was really about getting to know each other, gaining a sense of being comfortable in sharing basic facts amongst the group, in this new space.  We then embarked on several creative writing exercises where we were asked to write about (1) The View; then about (2) Where am I right now!; and lastly (3) What am I an expert in?  After each piece was written, we shared our writings with each other.  It was very interesting to share and hear each others creative writing endeavours and was a wonderful way to get to know each other in a manner that was quite personally informative.

MY CREATING WRITING PIECE TITLED “THE HAPPY BOX!”

We were given homework to do which was to write another piece on ‘What I am an expert in?’ and this is the writing piece I would like to share here below.  I gave it the title of ‘The Happy Box!’:

Title: The Happy Box!

When it comes to thinking about what “I am an expert in” and taking into account my age, being the length of time I have had, to create expertise – I am left to ponder. The word expert, for me, has a limiting effect. Once you become labelled as an expert, there is a notion that you have reached the end of that ability to grow further more; that you therefore know, all there is to know, about that particular field of knowledge.

Thinking again, about what “I am an expert in” I would have to say there have been many things that I have become an expert at, over my life; and once I reached that state of being an expert, I moved onto the next thing I could become an expert at. Over what now seems to have been a long life, I have always challenged myself to be the best; to be expert in tasks that require great dedication and drive, and an inclusiveness of a sort of madness to continue, despite hurdles to overcome.

My greatest life-long challenge has been, to become an expert at being a fully functional human being. Inherited childhood learning’s and deficiencies, became adult puzzles to work on throughout my whole life. I would mould myself into a better me at times and at other times fail at this task miserably. I have learned to treasure the smallest of delights and recall them in my melancholy moments; to use them to uplift my spirits, when day-to-day life had failed to do so.

To help me gain this sense of expertise in being a fully functional human being, I just recently developed a system for myself. I call it the ‘happy box’! I ask myself each day, is what I am going to be doing this day, going to tick the ‘happy box’ and if the answer is yes, then it is included and if the answer is no, I take the time out to ask why and should I be doing it at all, if it is not going to tick the ‘happy box’.

I find myself now working towards being an expert at living the balance of my life in such a way that I look for joy in everyday. My ‘happy box’ thought process, has been helping me work towards this quest. I look to become the expert I have been striving for, all my life. It is a deeply personal endeavour and it is going to be very satisfying … it will tick the happy box!”

Written on 28th October 2014 by Karen Robinson – ‘Copyright’ Protected

CREATIVE WRITING INSPIRING ART!

After immersing myself in my creative writing homework task; and after reading it to the creative writing group in session 2, I decided to go home that day and do a small work of art based on my creative writing piece ‘The Happy Box!’ to accompany this weblog.  The ‘Matisse Acrylic Structure Paint‘ colours I chose to use are bright and bold being (1) Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red and Red Oxide, along with two other colours I had mixed previously – a reddish colour and black/smokey colour.  I used a flat, oval spatula to smear the paint around the paper and then used a thin paint brush to add the box and tick. I found myself really enjoying the process of producing the art work and photographing it accordingly.  Even the act of photo-taking of it was a therapeutic process!  Art therapy at its best I feel…

CONCLUSION

For me, the act of creative writing and accompanying it with the process of creating an art work to reflect the creative writing piece – definitely ticked the happy box…

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. 13 – “A Celebration of Womanhood”

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

 

0-Process used Painting No. 57 Titled 'A Celebration of Womanhood' 8 Colour Personal Mix of Matisse Acrylic Paint Photographed by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 2014.JPG

0-Process used Painting No. 57 Titled ‘A Celebration of Womanhood’ 8 Colour Personal Mix of Matisse Acrylic Paint Photographed by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 2014.JPG

 

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!

 

PAINTING STORY

The painting featured below, which I titled ‘A Celebration of Womanhood’ has a story that will show how art also needs to be about finding your sense of humour, to have a laugh about yourself, a bit of a giggle – it can put a smile on your face and a skip in your step.  I really wasn’t sure if I was going to share this painting story but after originally promising myself, when I first started painting that I would always be open and honest about my art for therapy journey, I realised there should be no exceptions to that promise to myself. So I am hoping that by sharing what this following painting was inspired by, will give you a bit of a giggle too!

 

Painting No. 56 – Title "A Celebration of Womanhood" Aug 2014 – by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

Painting No. 56 – Title “A Celebration of Womanhood” Aug 2014 – by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

 

During a recent visit to The Royal Women’s Hospital with the Women’s Health Clinic for a Urogynaecology consultation, I experienced a pelvic floor examination. Now, to my shame, it had been many years since I had such an examination. It is not exactly what every women looks forward to having done. It can be embarrassing but I thought to myself, well I am too old now to be embarrassed and followed through with what was required of me during my examination. All was good until I saw the look on the women’s face, the face of the consultant. Well I was all ‘au naturale’ and perhaps this was just too much of a shock for her or perhaps when you get on in old age, ones private parts are just not that attractive anymore! After asking me a range of standard Urogynaecology consultant type questions, I felt in some regards relieved and in other regards, mildly disturbed.

It brought to my mind, thoughts about what women have to go through, just by being a woman. First we grow breasts and get periods, we learn about sex, then it is the incredible experience of pregnancy and the birth of children, then it is menopause and then it’s a – Urogynaecology consultation! Our poor bodies do have to go through many changes throughout our lives…

 

15-Process used Painting No. 57 Titled 'A Celebration of Womanhood' Painting drying on stand - more coats to do Photographed by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 2014..JPG

15-Process used Painting No. 57 Titled ‘A Celebration of Womanhood’ Painting drying on stand – more coats to do Photographed by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 2014..JPG

 

This must have been playing on my mind because on my return home that day, I decided to start another painting. I got the new white canvas out and began to draw directly onto the canvas as per usual for me. During this creative process, the lines and swirls began to form an image to me – it looked like a vagina. I thought yes – it is a vagina! I decided that I wanted to paint with all new Matisse acrylic paint colours, bright, happy, joyful and beautiful colours; colours that would celebrate women’s womanhood – this strange and interesting journey we embark on throughout the course of our lives…

 

STEP BY STEP SLIDE SHOW – Painting No. 57 Titled ‘A Celebration of Womanhood’

 

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NB:  To view my Abstract Painting Gallery, please click here

CONCLUSION

This painting now hangs proudly on my living room wall…art for therapy at its best I feel…

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