New Membership – Regional Arts Victoria ‘Just become a member!’ by Karen Robinson

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

 

 

I have just become a member of Regional Arts Victoria.  They “inspire art across the state of Victoria through creative facilitation, touring, education, specialised resources, artistic projects and advocacy.  They develop and sustain creative communities and artistic practice” all over Victoria, Australia (Regional Arts Victoria 2015).

Regional Arts Victoria are an “independent, not-for-profit, membership-based organisation working in long-term partnerships with every level of government, fostering contemporary and innovative regional cultural practice across five decades.  They advise and impact on decision-making across multiple portfolios and levels of government.  The organisation is the peak body for regional artists and arts organisations, and the leading organisation for regional creative practice in Victoria, Australia” (Regional Arts Victoria 2015).

This is exciting for me and I am hoping that I will have lots to share through my blogging as I become more familiar with this organisation.

 

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

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

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

Creative Writing Group Session 5 of 6 – “When All Seemed Possible…”

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

No. 1 Creative Writing Session 5 & Abstract Painting 'When all seemed possible' Acrylic Painting on A3 HW Paper by Karen Robinson NB  All images are protected by copyright laws .JPG

No. 1 Creative Writing Session 5 & Abstract Painting ‘When all seemed possible’ Acrylic Painting on A3 HW Paper by Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws .JPG

INTRODUCTION

It is now our second last creative writing session, which means we are close to the end of our creative writing journey as this group.  Once again, we shared our writing efforts and once again, these writing pieces revealed more about ourselves.  This process of writing and sharing has helped me feel more confident about broadening my writing endeavours; to look for writing inspirations from areas of my imagination that I had not used as a source of inspiration beforehand.  It was ‘kinda’ fun in lots of ways and in other ways it was confronting, especially when it came to writing about pieces that were deeply personal.

THE CREATIVE WRITING HOMEWORK

For last week’s creative writing homework, one of the writing tasks we were asked to do, was to write a poem or poems, using a list of words given to us by the creative writing facilitator.  We could use some or all the words within a poem, if we wished.  I had a lot of fun trying to formulate words to make a poem, especially from a set of given words.  It felt like play…good therapy!  NB:  The highlighted words, in the list below are the ones I used in my two poems here in this weblog.

These are the words:  magic, conjure, doves, enchant, gloves, wand, stage, words, show, cards, disappear, hat, rabbit, hand, wave, sleeve, coin, theatre, act, glamour, flowers, rings, cloth, illusion, hocus-pocus, abracadabra, spotlight, spells, tricks, tights, curtains, presto, silk, handkerchief, smoke, mirrors, and flash.

The following two poems are the result of this creative writing exercise. The first poem I titled ‘The Magic Rabbit’ , it is a playful piece and the second poem I titled ‘A Person in Need…’ and is more solemn.

Poem No. 1 –  Titled:  The Magic Rabbit…

“There was a magic rabbit

     Who had a very bad habit!

He was full of tricks and hocus-pocus

     And used illusions whilst he had us focus

He would put us under spells with his wand

     Then hay presto the magic rabbit would have us all conned

But alas it was just a show

     Only the magic rabbit was in the know!”

Written 23/11/2014 by Karen Robinson – ‘Copyright’ Protected

Poem No. 2 Titled:  A Person in Need…

       “Give me a hand when I am in need…

Give me flowers when I need the scent of spring…

Give me silk when I need a soft touch…

Give me a handkerchief when I need to stop a falling tear…

       Give me a ring as a sign of your everlasting love…

Give me a wave when you leave for the day…

Give me a card to show you have remembered me…

Give me your word you will stay…

Written 23/11/2014 by Karen Robinson – ‘Copyright’ Protected

 

CREATIVE WRITING PROCESS DURING THIS SESSION

During the creative writing session, the facilitator asked us to write about a time we felt secure, confident and in touch with a strength.  We were also asked to write a piece on ‘stars’ – could be anything but just with the word ‘stars’ in mind.  Here below is my story which I titled ‘When All Seemed Possible”.

“When All Seemed Possible”

“When I was a very young girl, I used to sit on the front, outdoor, wooden stairs of our Northern Queensland home in Cairns and look up at the stars. The night’s skies in Northern Queensland are so clear and the stars seemed to be so close; you felt you could almost reach out and pull one into yourself. They looked like they were winking at me and I could find different shapes as my childish imagination went to work.  I spent many hours with my younger sister and brother gazing up at them, at the end of a childhood day.

These nights were barmy and as children we were usually in our pyjamas, clean and ready for bed. My mother taught us an old English language nursery rhyme which stayed with me for many years and one I also recanted to my children, when they were very young.   The lyrics of this rhyme goes like this:

‘Star light, star bright,

The first star I see tonight;

I wish I may, I wish I might,

Have the wish I wish tonight”

Sometimes – in times of childhood despair, I would make a wish that I, very much hoped would come true. I remember, believing that by, looking at the stars in the heaven at night, and making such wishes, must mean, I had a good chance of them being realised sometime in the future.  The heavenly northern night skies, with its twinkling, bright and beautiful stars, were just some much bigger than me – so they must have the power to make my wish possible…this was my childhood belief.

I still find the stars in the night skies breathtakingly beautiful. I now live in the very southern part of Australia in Melbourne.  Its city night lights drown out the stars’ brilliance, and we don’t get to see the them, as they are meant to be seen.  It is not until I go, out into the bush and take time out to gaze upwards, that I remember just how small I am within this universe. It is this action that always reminds me that my problems are small too.  And it is also at these times, that I remind myself, of my childhood belief. I say to myself “just look up at the heavens and make a wish” – why not…life has taught me, anything is possible…”

Written on 26th 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 and is featured below titled ‘When All Seemed Possible’. They are not ‘master pieces’ 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.

CONCLUSION

Thank you for joining me on this Creative Writing Group Session Journey!  Please click on the below links to view Nos. 1,2,3 & 4 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

Short and Sweet Post! “Artist Interview with Casey Webb of Jung Katz”

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

This month – July, 2014 – I had the good fortune to have had the opportunity to be interviewed by Casey Webb – Jung Katz – Blog for Artists.  Please click here to read “Artist Interview: Karen Robinson – Abstract Painter”.

It was a wonderful way of being able to share with others my ‘art for therapy’ story and I really enjoyed the process of thinking through the set of questions that Casey Webb for Jung Katz – Blog for Artists had put forward as set out below:-

  • Tell us about yourself, who are you, where are you from, and what do you make?
  • How did you get started making the type of art you make?
  • What is art to you?
  • What does your typical day look like?
  • How have others responded to your work?
  • How do you keep motivated?
  • What do you hope to accomplish with your work?
  • What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
  • Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
  • What are your thoughts on art school?
  • Have any future aspirations that you’d like to share?
  • What’s your dream project?
  • What art supplies do you use?
  • How could the art industry become better in your opinion?
  • Any other artists that you would like to recommend for others to check out as well?

I hope you will take a look and make comments – I would love to know what you think. Please click here to read “Artist Interview: Karen Robinson – Abstract Painter”.

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

Short and Sweet Post – “Art for therapy’s sake!”

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

This particular article from the Hindustan Times, nicely and simply sums up art for therapy’s sake’.  We all think that when we have a problem, talking about it will help and it can – if you can talk about it!  And sometimes, we find ourselves in a situation which has us emotional held up, until we can find a way to communicate, communicate in a positive and effective manner and art can do just that, give us a voice when words are just too hard to find…

“The classic image that comes to mind when you think of counselling is a psychiatrist sitting in a comfortable chair, notebook and pen in hand, and the patient lying on a sofa, talking non-stop about the early childhood experience.

This is because the best way to deal with a problem, or even know the problem, is to talk about it. That’s the common narrative, and it’s true to a great extent. But sometimes, a person suffers trauma so severe that he/she can’t talk about it. Can’t open up. Can’t deal with the pain in any way but to hide it away or keep it locked. That’s when the experts know words are useless. What this person needs is, to express himself some other way; which is why counsellors are now using art therapy to aid their non-talking patients to open up” (Singh, Veenu. 2014, June 27).

 

Singh, V. (2014). Lady with lots of thoughts. [Photograph ID. pg_19]. Retrieved July 4 2014 from httpwww.hindustantimes.combrunchbrunch-storiesart-for-art-therapy-s-sakearticle1-1234219.aspx#sthash.N0cUhPTZ.jpg

Singh, V. (2014). Lady with lots of thoughts. [Photograph ID. pg_19]. Retrieved July 4 2014 from httpwww.hindustantimes.combrunchbrunch-storiesart-for-art-therapy-s-sakearticle1-1234219.aspx#sthash.N0cUhPTZ.jpg

EXPRESS YOURSELF (Singh, Veenu. 2014, June 27).
“Art therapy includes doodling, drawing and painting, but it’s also more than just these. It includes music, colours, dance and story-telling as well. “Art therapy, when combined with counselling, speech therapy and occupational therapy, is known to show superior results for people of all ages including children, individuals, couples, families, groups and communities,” says Dr Samir Parikh, director, mental health and behavioural sciences, Fortis Hospitals. “Through the creative process involved in the artistic self-expression, people can resolve conflicts better, develop interpersonal skills, manage behaviour, reduce stress, and improve self-esteem and self-awareness.”

Doodling helped an 18-year-old girl, who suffered from anxiety and was unable to connect with anyone including her counsellor, open up. “I gave her paper and crayons and once she started doodling, she started talking about her childhood and problems,” says clinical psychologist Kamna Chibber. Story-telling also helped a nine-year-old boy diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder increase his power of concentration. And painting helped a 56-year-old cancer patient cope with her illness” (Singh, Veenu. 2014, June 27).

CREATIVE TOOL (Singh, Veenu. 2014, June 27).
“Art therapy brings benefits to children and people suffering from sexual abuse, terminal diseases and cases of marital discord when the couple simply cannot communicate with each other,” explains Chibber.
So it’s a useful mode of therapy – but not one that should be used on its own. “It’s used as part of counselling, not a therapy by itself,” says art therapist Kanika Mehrotra. “Counselling must continue. But art therapy is used when words cannot reach a patient’s emotional space.” (Singh, Veenu. 2014, June 27).

 

For me, I found myself using art for therapy during a difficult time in my life and I continue to do so.  What also helped me was the act of verbalizing my art process.  With the completion of each painting, I would  and do, articulate its meaning for me, inclusive of its source of inspiration. This process of story telling/writing along with the act of painting and photo taking was/is an important part of my art therapy process.  It gave/gives me an opportunity to be able to examine my thought processes, my emotions and feelings which I at first had no words for!  Over time, I was able to re-look at where I had started in my art therapy journey to where I am now and have been able to realize that art for therapy has been an important process for me, to be able to move forward in my life.  An added bonus has been, that by sharing my art and the art work’s stories, others have been able to gain an insight into issues, that they themselves had previously had no understanding about; or issues that they themselves had experienced and now understand that they are not alone.  By sharing my art and their stories, has not just helped me, but has actually helped others as well.  And that’s a great feeling…art for therapy in action!

Reference:  Singh, Veenu. (2014, June 27). Art for therapy’s sake! When talking doesn’t help. Hindustan Times Online. retrieved from http://www.hindustantimes.com/brunch/brunch-stories/art-for-art-therapy-s-sake/article1-1234219.aspx#sthash.N0cUhPTZ.dpuf

Follow @VeenuSingh12 on Twitter From HT Brunch, June 29
Follow us on twitter.com/HTBrunch
Connect with us on facebook.com/hindustantimesbrunch

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

Sharing my art therapy journey…by Karen Robinson

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

Welcome to my blog about my art therapy journey and about how others use art for therapy.  My art therapy practice consists of abstract painting and what I like to call abstract digital photo painting.  I have learnt that abstract painting and the act of writing an accompanying painting story for each abstract painting, has become an important form of self-expression for me. The process of making digital abstract photo paintings was just as therapeutic as painting but without the act of producing an accompanying story.

Painting No. 12 - Title "Coloured DNA" by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson - 2008 NB: All images are protected by copyright laws!

Painting No. 12 – Title “Coloured DNA” Jan/Feb 2008
– by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson NB: All images are protected by copyright laws!

To view Painting No. 12 – Title “Coloured DNA” Jan/Feb 2008 and its accompaning painting story – please click here!

 

My abstract painting has proven to me, to be a very powerful way of being able to communicate deeply personal feelings which otherwise would never have been expressed.  During my journey, art has become a way to examine and heal emotional quagmires; and as I looked back over my work, I found it was a window into my sole as an artist.

Abstract Digital Photo Painting No. 64A - Titled "Queenscliff Point Lonsdale ADAP" April 2010 by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson NB: All images are protected by copyright laws!

Abstract Digital Photo Painting No. 64A – Titled “Queenscliff Point Lonsdale ADAP” April 2010 by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson
NB: All images are protected by copyright laws!

To view Abstract Digital Photo Painting No. 64A – Titled “Queenscliff Point Lonsdale ADAP” April 2010 – please click here!

I am hoping that by sharing my art therapy journey, will inspire others, to take up art therapy to find their voice – in order to be able to move forward in most difficult of times.  Art Therapy has brought me now to a much better place where I find myself being able to seek joy in each day.  As an ongoing process, I will be blogging about my art therapy journey “moving forward” and expand on how others have used/are using art therapy to assist physical and emotional well-being.  I hope you will join me!…Karen Robinson

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