Photography 2017 – Cityscape: “Docklands Waterfront” Written and Photographed by Karen Robinson

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“Photography:  Painting and Drawing with Light”

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Early one Sunday morning, and due to the weather forecast indicating the day to be perfect for photography, hubby and I decided to head into the Docklands Waterfront (Victoria – Australia). It is just a short car journey via the freeway towards the City of Melbourne for us and a short distance from where we live.  The Docklands Waterfront holds lots of memories for me, as it is where my sister used to live, and we spent many an hour at the local restaurants and coffee shops, enjoying each other’s company.  It’s an interesting area to photograph as it features many intriguingly designed building shapes, sizes, textures and colours; all set along side of the Yarra River Harbour water’s edge at Docklands.  Being early Sunday morning there were not many people out-and-about which made it easy to set up shots throughout our limited time there.

 

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT USED

During this cityscape photography exercise – I used a compact system camera, a Sony A7 Mark II – Full Frame with a Sony A FE24-240mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Lens. For all these photographs I used the camera mounted on a tripod with a remote timer.  I also used my Apple iPhone 8 Plus mobile phone for quick spontaneous photographs and gain GPS location readings.

 

 

 

MY FAVOURITE PHOTO OF THE DAY!

This photograph below is my favourite!  I managed to capture a young man walking along holding his skate-broad, heading towards the Coffee Van.  Just love the different shapes, textures, colours and angles of the Apartment Building and the way it stretches up into the sky above…

 

 

 

THE PHOTOGRAPHS

On my return home, I downloaded all the photographs into Adobe Lightroom 6.  I developed a small selection of photographs During the process of developing them I was able to see what I needed to address during my next photographic adventure.   Please find both above and below the best of what I took during this photography adventure!

 

  • Please click on the images to view in full and find camera setting details

 

CONCLUSION

Being out and about experiencing the natural wonders of the world really does rejuvenate the body and soul.  Photography is just another way to improve one’s sense of wellbeing and at the same time – be creative!  It definitely works for me and once more we finished up our time in high spirits.  NB:  Please click here to visit my ‘Photography – About’ page where you will be able to find blog links and photographs about other photographic adventures…

Happy photography all!

 


 

Please click here to visit my ‘Photography – About’ page where you will be able to find blog links and photographs about other photographic adventures…

 

© Karen Robinson – December 2017

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

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

Photography 2017 – Landscape: “Mitta Mitta River – Omeo” Written and Photographed by Karen Robinson

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


 

 

“Photography:  Painting and Drawing with Light”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

The aim of this travel and photography adventure was to visit my husband’s brother and his family for a couple of days on their small farm in Bruthen.  During our journey back home to Melbourne, I managed to capture some landscape scenes around the ‘Mitta Mitta River‘, a perennial river located within the alpine district Omeo, Victoria – Australia.  It is a direct tributary of the Murray River and this particular spot very popular with holiday makers looking to do a bit of fishing.  My husband, his brother, my daughter and I stopped to do some sightseeing.  While they fished, I went about taking some photographs of the still river waters that mirrored the cloudy blue skies above and surrounding region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT USED

During this landscape photography  exercise – I used my new compact system camera a Sony A7 Mark II – Full Frame with a Sony A FE24-240mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Lense. For some of the shots I used the camera hand-held, and for others, I used the camera mounted on a tripod with a remote timer.  I am still getting use to understanding the abilities of my new camera and lense, but it was such a pleasure though to use, and good for someone like myself trying to learn to be a better photographer!  I also used my Samsung Galaxy S6 mobile phone for quick spontaneous photographs and gain GPS location readings.

 

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THE PHOTOGRAPHS

On my return home, I downloaded all the photographs into Adobe Lightroom 6.  I developed a small selection of photographs During the process of developing them I was able to see what I needed to address during my next photographic adventure.   Please find both above and below the best of what I took during this visit to Mitta Mitta River, Omeo, Victoria – Australia.

 

  • Please click on the images to view in full and find camera setting details

 

 

 

 

SLIDE-SHOW OF ALL PHOTOGRAPHS

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CONCLUSION

Being out and about experiencing the natural wonders of the world really does rejuvenate the body and soul.  Photography is just another way I can improve my sense of wellbeing and at the same time – be creative!  It definitely works for me and once more we finished up our day in high spirits…

Happy photography all!

 

Omeo, Victoria - Australia 'Mitta Mitta River'_Photographed by ©Karen Robinson_www.idoartkarenrobinson.com - April 2017. Comments: My husband, his brother and my daughter stopped by the Mitta Mitta River to do some fishing and exploring. It's a perennial river located within the alpine district of Victoria. A direct tributary of the Murray River.

Omeo, Victoria – Australia ‘Mitta Mitta River’_Photographed by ©Karen Robinson_www.idoartkarenrobinson.com – April 2017. Comments: My husband, his brother and my daughter stopped by the Mitta Mitta River to do some fishing and exploring. It’s a perennial river located within the alpine district of Victoria. A direct tributary of the Murray River.

 

 

Please click here to visit my ‘Photography – About’ page where you will be able to find blog links and photographs about other photographic adventures…

 

 

© Karen Robinson – May 2017

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

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

Creative Writing Group Session – 2 of 5 September 2016 by Karen Robinson

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1 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session Two - I'm ready to start with my creative writing session with Mind Australia and facilitated by Judy Bird. Photographed by Karen Robinson

1 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session Two – I’m ready to start the creative writing session made available by Mind Australia, facilitated by Judy Bird. Photographed by Karen Robinson

 

INTRODUCTION

This was our second September Creative Writing Group Session – made available by Mind Australia, and facilitated by Judy Bird, for carers of loved ones experiencing mental health issues. It was evident from the group’s noisy, happy chatter that all participants were keen to be there!

 

CREATIVE WRITING PIECE NO. 1

During this week’s creative writing session we were asked if we would like to share our homework from the previous week. We had each been given a postcard which featured an oil pastel painting by Tyler Arnold of High Street, Northcote – March 2016, and an image of the postcard is featured below. The instruction from the facilitator was to write for 5 minutes about the postcard picture which is exactly what I did.  A number of participants read out their stories and it was amazing to hear the different takes on what they had gained from viewing the postcard itself.  Most of the participants had turned the postcard over prior to writing, which showed details of the painting’s location – I had not done this!  At the end of my story you will note I say that “maybe one day I will visit this destination” only to realise, in this session, I have already been there!

 

Title:  Postcard Story

When I look at my postcard, I cannot help but think of some exciting, historical travel destination to come – where the unknown is to be found and enjoyed. Where new sights and sounds can be gobbled up into one’s memory banks and accessed in times when life appears dreary and dull.  I also like the wonderful, chunky, oil painting technique shown, reminding me of Old Masters and their amazing abilities in time long gone, leaving me to wonder “what was it like, then”. I also like the period-style homes that are featured in the postcard, double storey, squished side by side and with doorways positioned right on the street pathway.  Cars are tightly parked along the gutter, barely allowing a breath of space between each of them.  There’s a pizza sign on one of these buildings giving the locals a place to get a quick and easy meal perhaps to be consumed after a busy day at work.  A sign indicates it’s a 40-kilometre speed zone within this street, slow enough for pedestrians to dash across the road and cars to slow down to avoid mishaps.  Each side of the image are lush trees showing off full green foliage, hinting that it must be full summer.  The windows of the buildings peer directly over the busy suburban street, allowing their residents to see all the action happening in the outside world as they tend to their homely activities.  As I stated before – perhaps one day I will visit a destination like the one on my postcard and stop to gobble up all the sights and sounds to recall on my dreary and dull days.

© Karen Robinson – September 2016

 

4 of 4 Post Card of 'High Street, Northcote in March 2016' Oil Pastels by Artist Tyler Arnold' used as a source of creative writing inspiration during Creative Writing Session One

4 of 4 Post Card of ‘High Street, Northcote in March 2016′ Oil Pastels by Artist Tyler Arnold’ used as a source of inspiration for our Creative Writing homework giving at session one – September 2016.

 

CREATIVE WRITING PIECE NO. 2

Another creative writing task we were given was to find something that we thought no one else had noticed.  One morning before this session I was sitting quietly, working at my computer, when I decided to write for the task, as I had found quiet and peace whilst no one was noticing, just before dawn.

 

Home

­
It is quiet and peaceful
at this very moment.
There are no ‘world worries’ in my space.


I hear birds awakening
 to the beginning
 of a new and promising day.


Inside here in my home
it is safe and warm,
and outside, surrounding my home,
is a garden paradise
grown and crafted
by the loving hands of a man
I cherish.


Here, I know, is a place
 for me
to run and hide -
to shelter from the outside world’s daily challenges;


a place where I can be myself –
unafraid, comforted.

The family dog sits beside me,
endearingly,
as always.


Together we wait for the morning-sun
to show its friendly face


and when my husband arises,
from his night’s sleep,
it is then we will take coffee
 and talk
in the security of each other’s company.


It is quiet and peaceful here –
this blessed place
I call home.


– Ο –

Prose Poem © Karen Robinson - September 2016

5 of 5 Creative Writing September 2016 Session Two - Home Garden used as a source of creative writing inspiration. Photographed by Karen Robinson

5 of 5 Creative Writing September 2016 Session Two – Home Garden used as a source of creative writing inspiration. Photographed by Karen Robinson

 

CREATIVE WRITING PIECE NO. 3

At the commencement of this creative writing session Judy placed a box in the centre of the table – please find below a photo of the box.  We were then instructed to write about “what would be in the box if it was for us”.  It was an interesting request; there was no peering inside it to see if there was anything to be revealed.   We just had to imagine what was inside, and this is what I wrote:

 

Box!




I’m thinking all good
 has to be inside this box 
meant for me!  

There are stars floating across its surface 
and colours of the rainbow are fully displayed 
against a deep black background.

In my box --

perhaps hope, 
happiness, 
and joy
 will disperse 
as the lid is lifted;  

perhaps wonderful memories
 of the past
 will float out into my presence
 to be shared and enjoyed;  

perhaps promises of good times ahead
 will ascend
 into my hands
 as promissory notes
 that can be taken up at times
 when I am feeling sad;  

perhaps the sweet scent of Spring
 will drift into my soul
 and I will find myself
 taking a deep breath of rejuvenation;  

perhaps loud trumpets
 will bugle a merry tune
 and put me in fine spirits;  

perhaps fairy floss
 will spring from its centre, 
pink, sweet, 
and sticky to the fingers;  

perhaps a flutter of chirping noisy miners
 will escape, 
heading towards the highest trees
 in the garden outside;  

or perhaps
 there is just a whole lot of nothing!


 So, for me,
 I will not be taking the lid off this box
 as I already know 
what it is full of, 
and that is
 my imagination.


– ο  Prose Poem © Karen Robinson - September 2016

 

2 of 4 Creative Writing September 2016 Session Two - Mystery Box placed onto table and to be used as a source of creative writing inspiration. Photographed by Karen Robinson

2 of 4 Creative Writing September 2016 Session Two – Mystery Box placed onto table and to be used as a source of creative writing inspiration. Photographed by Karen Robinson

 

CONCLUSION

It is always a pleasure to be participating in these Creative Writing Group Sessions.  Catching up with participants that have become friends is wonderful, and meeting new like-minded people a real privilege!  A big thank you to our Creative Writing Facilitator, Judy Bird, for making these sessions such an enjoyable time. So good for one’s well-being…

 


© Karen Robinson – September 2016

POST-TRAUMATIC GROWTH:  Using Art & Creative Writing as Therapy – My Journey by Karen Robinson.  Please click here for my latest blog news!

							

Creative Writing Group Session – 1 of 5 September 2016 by Karen Robinson

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1 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session One - Photograph by Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws

1 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session One – I’m ready to start with my creative writing session with Mind Australia and facilitated by Judy Bird.  Photographed by Karen Robinson. NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

INTRODUCTION

Once again Creative Writing Group Sessions for carers of loved ones experiencing mental health issues has been made available by Mind Australia and facilitated by Judy Bird.  Participants consisted of some familiar faces of people whom I had got to know during previous sessions, and others who were new to the group.  During this creative writing session, our facilitator gave us a number of creative writing tasks to carry out.  They were mainly designed to get us all re-acquainted, and to assist us in getting our creative writing brains into action!  Below I have included here, two of my writing pieces I under took during this first session.

 

CREATIVE WRITING PIECE NO. 1

We were asked to find something in the garden that no one else had noticed, and then write a piece about it. I found a wonderfully coloured umbrella!  In the photo image below of the umbrella you will notice that the sun is shining on its surface, but at the time of originally finding it, the sky was overcast, hence no sun on its surface at the time of writing this piece below!

 

Title:  Rainbow Umbrella

It’s waiting in the garden bed, waiting for its friends, the wind, rain and sun, to arrive.  It’s patient and mindful of its importance but does not demand attention from all who pass by.  Today it’s open and full of all the colours of a rainbow!  It’s waiting, waiting for you to pick it up and use it for protection from its friends, the wind, the rain and the sun.  Its name is ‘umbrella’ but its friends call it rainbow and its users call it a necessity.  Today umbrella is feeling a little neglected as there is no wind, rain or sun, and so there is no need for it.  So umbrella will just stay in the garden, resting and looking gorgeous, hoping that its friends will arrive so that it will be taken up and enjoyed!

© Karen Robinson – September 2016

 

3 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session One - Rainbow Umbrella Story Photograph by Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws

3 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session One – Rainbow Umbrella Story Photograph by Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

 

CREATIVE WRITING PIECE NO. 2

We were asked to choose a card from a selection of cards on the creative writing-table, and then write about ‘what it brought to mind’.  The card I chose (as shown below) featured icing flowers and satin ribbons on top of a wedding cake.  It immediately reminded me of my days as a Bridal Designer – Haute Couturier and therefore became my source of inspiration for my creative writing piece ‘The Wedding Event’ found here below.

 

Title:  The Wedding Event

Over many years in my earlier life, I have been directly and indirectly involved in other people’s wedding day plans.  My part was in the making of their very special bridal gowns and sometimes the bridesmaids’ and mother of the brides’ outfits as well.  It was my job to design and make a bridal gown that a bride imagined would turn her from an ordinary everyday person into a princess for at least one day.  From my experience this is a flawed thought.  When I would first meet with a bride-to-be they were just like you and me, but over the course of time, in the planning of their wedding, something would change!  Invariably it was more like the bride-to-be became a she-devil, possessed by rage and self-interest that came dressed in white, and not the princess of fairy tales at all.  What happened to that lovely girl I met months ago, I would find myself asking?  Many times I have mopped tears away from the faces of distressed brides-to-be on their wedding day where professionally applied makeup was in danger of being ruined.  Many times I have tried to stop bridesmaids from planning the murder (not literally) of the bride-be-to!  Many times I have had to take out bridesmaids’ dresses and take in brides’ gowns, even after bridesmaids and brides-to-be have sworn they will not be losing or putting on weight.  There have also been the saddest of times, when tears have been shed due to unforeseen deaths in families but the wedding had to go on; and other times when just after the wedding day itself, the bride and groom have decided that their short-lived marriage is not working.   It is then that there is the realisation that all of the effort put towards bringing together families, the prince and princess, has dissolved into a bad experience, needing to be forgotten.  So unfortunately I have become very cynical about weddings and cannot help but feel that they should be the simplest celebration possible where the emphasis is on the union of two people who love each other and want to share this with family and friends.  Forget the rest – this is all that matters – and hopefully they will then share a lifetime of memories made of all that’s good that life has to offer.

© Karen Robinson – September 2016

 

2 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session One - The Wedding Event -Photograph by Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws

2 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session One – Card used as source of inspiration for the creative writing piece titled:  ‘The Wedding Event’.  Written and photographed by Karen Robinson. NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

CONCLUSION

It was a pleasure to be back within this Creative Writing Group.  Catching up with participants that had become friends was wonderful, and meeting new like-minded people a real privilege!  And a big thank you to our Creative Writing Facilitator, Judy Bird, for making the session such an enjoyable time. So good for one’s well-being…

 


© Karen Robinson – September 2016

POST-TRAUMATIC GROWTH:  Using Art & Creative Writing as Therapy – My Journey by Karen Robinson.  Please click here for my latest blog news!

 

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

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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

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

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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”

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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!”

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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

Artful Child’s Play!

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September 2014, I was asked if I would do a one-off, two-hour ‘holiday program art session’ at our local council, for a group of 8 children, ages from 5 to 12 years old, as a volunteer artist.  The theme we decided upon was Halloween and the children made Halloween masks.  We had an assortment of materials to work with and I was on hand to assist with any requests the children had; to answer any questions and to offer artistic encouragement during the whole process.

We firstly talked about what Halloween is in very simplistic terms being that it is one of America’s favourite holidays which is celebrated on the night of October 31st. It’s a time putting on costumes, trick-or-treating, and having theme parties.  It can also be a time for superstitions, ghost and goblins and also about having lots of fun…

It was very interesting how each child went about producing their Halloween mask and what materials they individually decided to use.  We started the process with a coloured rectangle shape of hard cardboard.  I had given each child a specific colour and suggested that if they didn’t like the colour they had, perhaps they could ask someone to swap with them.  A couple of the children decided to swap and did it in such an agreeable way – that impressed me!  Then we glued a white, plain cardboard face onto the square coloured paper, just so that they had a basic face to work on.  Paint was a big favourite with the children and glitter became the star product used, both with the boys and the girls.  I made a suggestion to use wool for hair and as you can see above, there were some children who took up the offer.

I was so impressed with how the group of children went about studiously working on their Halloween masks.  At times I offered further encouragement and input; along with some ideas and suggestions for them to consider; and with lots of encouragement and praise.  For me, this was a form of art therapy for children, as it gave them an opportunity to do just what they wanted to do; unrestricted creativity and with total ownership for their end results.  It was a good art session and it appeared the children had enjoyed themselves and were genuinely pleased with their efforts.

NB:  For the purposes of this weblog, I will not be mentioning any names or personal details of participants or even the name of the organisation that ran the session.  Individuals have the right to privacy, so it will be about my own experience and broad statements about the 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 7 of 7 – “Our journey is at an end!”

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My Art Therapy Group Sessions have now come to an end.  Part of me was sadden by this, as I was going to miss the meeting up each week, with a group of women whom I have gotten to know and appreciate.  Over a period of seven weeks, we have all shared deeply personal thoughts, emotions and feelings with an honesty and frankness that is generally very rare with people whom you barely know.  The art therapist herself proved to be an intrinsic part of the success of this Art Therapy Group set of workshops.  We left with the knowledge that art for therapy, has a place in our lives that will give us a voice to express ourselves seriously and sometimes just for the fun of it!

It was at this last Art Therapy Session, the Art Therapist had us start with an exercise that would involve each of us contributing to one another’s art work.  We were asked to gather up, art materials and a piece of butcher paper and commence producing an art work. The theme was around, what we found we had gained from attending the Art Therapy Sessions overall; and what we had gained also from each other.  We were given a short period of time to do this and then we were required to passed onto the group member next to us to contribute their part. This process preceded via each group member until each had contributed on each and every art work.

Featured above is mine and I commenced with a circle of green, squiggly lines and in the middle of that, I wrote the words ‘BEING’.  Then I wrote the words: ‘exploring self’; ‘understanding others’; ‘appreciation’; ‘new connections’; and ‘new artistic ideas’.  The rest of the art work were the contributions of the other group members.

We were then asked to make a set of little cards that would be representative of each group member. Each card needed to be about what we had learned about that group member. I firstly chose a colour that, for me, reflected their personality and then used symbols to tell my story as requested.  I add a common element of the silver pieces which was a symbolic representation of finding the ‘silver lining’ in life.  I also used gold and silver paint to be symbolic of the best I found in them all over the course of the 7 sessions.  Once this task was completed, we shared with each other our cards and their stories about that group member.

NB:  Below are my set of cards – each representing a group member and the bright green card is the one I made for myself.

3. ArtTherapy Group Session 7 'Our journey is at an end!' Painting by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson Sept 2014 NB All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

3. ArtTherapy Group Session 7 ‘Our journey is at an end!’ Painting by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson Sept 2014 NB All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

To finish up our last session, we had lunch together.  It was a warm and friendly atmosphere with lots of laughs and good conversation and a blossoming of new friendships.  Art Therapy at its best I feel…

Thank you for joining me on this Art Therapy Group Session Journey! Please click on the below links to view Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 Art Therapy Group Sessions:

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

What is ART? – It enriches your soul and gets you thinking!

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What is ART?  Well for me, it is a means of being able to communicate with myself and with others, emotions, feelings and thoughts.  It is a voice that can reach into our hearts and souls; it can reach out across oceans.  Art can convey powerful messages, points of view, challenge our beliefs and attitudes; and it can change the way we think.  It can take us back in time and also it can transport us into the future. Art can invite us into unknown magical worlds of others and it can, at times be like a ‘slap in the face’ by being troubling and confronting.

TAC "Picture This" Exhibition 2010 at Geelong Gallery, Victoria - Australia. Featuring Painting No. 45B "The Death of Our Son Ben" by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson (as photographed) NB: All images are protected by copyright laws!

TAC “Picture This” Exhibition 2010 at Geelong Gallery, Victoria – Australia. Featuring Painting No. 45B “The Death of Our Son Ben” by Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson (as photographed)
NB: All images are protected by copyright laws!

Art takes us on a journey and then returns us back to where we came from but on our return we are a little richer for the experience; whether a viewer of art or an artist.  This is what art is for me. Please find here in this video below titled “Using art for therapy” – myself talking about my own art for therapy journey.

 

When I firstly watched this other video following below “what is ART”, I was so impressed by the freshness of these artists’ take on what art is!  Each of their statements resonated with my own personal experience of what art has been and has become for me.  It was not until I got to delving into the details of the video further that I realized that these participants of said, are actually theatre artists and not painters.  I was surprised that what they had to say about “what is art?” from their perspective, as theatre artists, rang just as true for me, as an abstract painter; so much so that I felt it was a good summation to share!

These are their words about “what is ART?”….

“art is an agent of change”; “anything that highlights life”; “they know it’s an art form when it has a story – when it speaks to them”; “art is an expression of the soul”; “the product of the reaction to something you love”; “and passion”; “and anything in-between”; “it’s the highest form of language”; “it’s got to be honest”; “a vehicle for expressing your thoughts, your emotions”; “we can’t keep it, we need to share it”; “if it’s not shared – it’s just a work of a crazy person”; “for me art is important because it makes you think”; “I like the idea of creating something out of nothing”; “think about how to improve your own life and the lives of others”; “to have something in the world that exists that affects people”; “it is what allows us to feel”; “without it we are nothing more than robots”; “just rocks”; “if you don’t have art – you merely exist”; “art draws out the humanity”; “art elevates existence into something else”; “we are able to inspire and move people into action”; “it’s your way of sharing and giving back to the people”; “without art life would be boring”; “everyone should have some sense of creativity in their lives”; “it is not beautiful without art”; “if you have a point of view your are an artist”; “an artist is someone who sees things that no one else sees”; “with the mindset of moving the society forward”; “anyone could be an artist as long as you are honest”; “courageous”; “art makes you sensitive to things around you”; “to allow growth in our lives”; “a reflection of the beliefs and the desires”; “it pushes me to improve everyday”; “makes me appreciate all the little things”; and “art is everything”.

 

This video campaign, as shown below, is produced by Mayk Juat, Jake Macapagal, Pam Imperial and directed by Mayk Juat and the Cinematography by Nix Lanas. They state that it “aims to take a closer look on how the arts can be applicable to our lives” and is “expressed by those who live, breathe and LOVE it – the Filipino Artists” (What is ART – maARTe ako, 11 Jul 2011).

Spoken by Theatre Artists:- Robbie Guevara Actor/Director; Ana Abad Santos Actress; Carlos Canlas Actor/Singer; Stephanie Reese Actress/Singer; Joel Trinidad Actor/Playwright; Reuben Uy Theatre Actor; Bea Garcia Actress; Casisa Borromeo Actress; Jake Macapagal Actor; Jenny Jamora I’m a Human Being; Topper Fabregas Ma ART e ako; Pam Imperial Ma ART e ako; Raul Montesa Ma ART e ako; Astarte Abraham Ma ART e ako; Teresa Herrera Ma ART e ako; Kakki Teodoro Ma ART e ako; and JM Rodriguez.

Reference:
Juat. M., Macapagal. J., Imperial. P. (2011, July 11). What is ART? – maARTe ako. YouTube. Retrieved May 18, 2014 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjuV7SA6fj4

Whilst you are here – please check out my my home page!  I hope you will continue to join on my art therapy journey…Karen Robinson

Art Therapy Group Session 6 of 7 – “Blessings, Ideas and Inspiration!”

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Art Therapy can be a surprising process within a group session.  It is an incredible way of learning about one’s self and about others, in a safe and supportive environment. It can reveal pain, sorrow, joy and laughter…

This week’s Art Therapy Group Session revolved around selecting one to two cards, from a set of cards called ‘Healing with the Angels Oracle Cards’ by Doreen Virtue Ph.D.  The pack consists of 44 oracle cards with unique Victorian-style or Old Master-style angel pictures on one side. They convey a simple statement on the front side of the card and on the reverse is the full meaning of the ‘angel readings’.  During this session, these cards were used just as a means to creating another meaningful piece of art within this art therapy session.

After we had all thoughtfully considered which ‘Angel Card/s’ and it’s statement had appealed to us most, we were asked to collect them and assemble as a group at the table.  The Art Therapist asked each of us to explain our reasons for selecting our specific cards.  When it came to myself to explain, I suddenly found myself very emotional and began to cry.  It was a shock to me and I didn’t think I would be able to continue but with a breath of time, I was alright to do so.  My choice of the ‘Blessings Card’ was related to the fact that after my son had been killed in a single vehicle crash, I found it very hard to find joy and meaning in my life.  It took so much inner strength to look at my life in a different way and it was very hard to look forward without my son but I worked hard at looking at what blessings I had, which eventually lead me to a better place in my life.  The second card for me ‘Ideas & Inspirations‘ was all about finding that new path, rebuilding myself and finding joy in everyday life – it took a lot of ideas and inspirations to do – but I am there and grateful to be able to enjoy life again.

Once we had all talked about our reasons for choosing our particular cards, we then received instructions about our next art therapy project.  We were to make little ‘candle holder covers’ from assorted provided materials.  These covers once completed were then stuck to the outside of a glass jar and a little tea candle placed within it and lite.

I decided to base my glass candle cover around people; people in my life.  Here below you can see how I have strung them together and when placed around the glass jar, they complete a full circle.  Different colours represent different types of people, and the different heights represent the different ages of these people.

 

The image below I particular like as it shows one large purple person looking down at the small yellow person in a caring way – the green person is part of this group and at the same time is reaching, stretching out to connect with another within the circle of people.

Once we had all finished our glass candle holders with their new covers around the outside, we lite the tea candles. Each group member’s art work was reflective of the ‘angel cards’ statements. We then had the opportunity to share our thoughts and emotions we experienced during this art therapy process.  Whilst these art works will not mean much to others, they are little treasures to the group members…art therapy at it’s best I feel…

 

 

 

NB:  Please click on the below links to view Nos. 1, 2 & 3 Art Therapy Group Sessions:

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 5 of 7 – “Finding a safe place within!”

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This week’s Art Therapy Group Session consisted of a well attended group of 5, plus the Art Therapist and the assisting facilitator.  We commenced our session with a light physical stretching set of exercises for approximately 10 minutes.  Just to get us loosened up.  We were then asked to sit down and close our eyes and concentrate on our breathing, clearing our minds of other thoughts, relaxing our body and bringing ourselves right into the present.  From here we were asked to think of a space we felt safe in; it could be a real space or it could be an imaginary space.  We were asked to image ourselves walking through this ‘safe space’ and to think about what it was that made us feel safe.  It was a very relaxing process where I could feel my mind and body totally washing away other thoughts and emotions and truly being in the moment.

From here we were asked to open our eyes, take up our desired art materials and commence an art work that represents our ‘safe space’.  I gathered up a sheet of butcher paper, paint brushes of varying sizes, some acrylic paint, soft oil pastels and some ink paint and got started…

After completing our paintings, we were asked to place them in a line across the floor.  Each of us in turn talked about what our painting said in relation to painting about our ‘safe space’.  It was interesting to see and hear what others had painted and said about their ‘safe space’.  A number of the group had ‘imagery safe spaces’ and others had ‘real safe spaces’.

My painting was based on a ‘real safe space’.  It was my home garden which my husband has worked on for over 13 years to create from bare soil.  Every room in our home has a view of our garden.  The garden its self is full of well established bushes and trees where wild life flock to rest, feed, drink water and go about the daily lives.  Over the seasons, the leaves on the trees go golden brown, yellow, orange and drop; in spring they flower and in summer they provide us with must needed shade to protect us from the strong Australian sun.  In my painting about my ‘safe space’ the golden-yellow represents the soft warmth of the sun in spring, when it warms my cheers and reminds me of the summer to come.  The blues remind me of our beautiful clear bright blue sky, we as so fortunate to have here in Australia.  The planting represents a plant my husband has used to line each side of our garden leading from the road to our front door.

Our garden has been a treasure over many years, offering both my husband and myself a form of refuge during difficult times in our lives.  My ‘safe space’ is my garden where nature kindly cares for my soul…

NB:  Please click on the below links to view Nos. 1, 2 & 3 Art Therapy Group Sessions:

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

Melbourne: Northcote “Street Art” Photo Stories No. 1 – Photographed by Karen Robinson

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During this series of ‘Melbourne Street Art Photo Story weblogs’ I will endeavour to share my personal discovery of Melbourne’s Street Art.  Whilst there is much available to view in the way of images on the web, I hope I can offer a point of difference.  I will be inviting you to productively contribute your opinions and knowledge, in a way that is respectful to the Street Artists featured, and in a way that will add value to this conversation. Please click here to take you to my web page which features my “introductory story” and view other featured Melbourne Street Art works photographed by me, as I discover them…

Melbourne:  Northcote – “Street Art” Photo Stories No. 1 – Photographed by Karen Robinson

STREET ARTIST – AS TAGGED BELOW

I came across this Street Artist’s work on the corner of High Street and Mitchell Street, Northcote, Melbourne, Australia.  It is set on the side of a shop building which has a long side wall, ideal for such art work.  The positioning of the Street Art work is well placed, just behind a transparent bus shelter, within a side street leading to Santa Maria College and public/disabled toilets; and just down from a frequented coffee shop.  Lots of Northcote’s community members would regular use this travel route which ensures this Street Artist’s work gains lots of exposure.

The Street Art work its self, for me, was striking as it grabbed my attention as I was travelling along High Street in my car.  On taking a closer look when photographing, I found the inclusion of the different animals and the bird delightful, especially the upside-down zebra.  The expanse of the bird’s wings and clawed feet, approaching a landing or ready to grasp its prey, was well-defined. I particularly loved the colour choices of this Street Artist – beautiful blue/green colour against the blacks and greys.  I am sure that this Street Artists work has added to this community’s street scape in a very positive way and given them something to gaze upon and wonder…

I hope you enjoyed viewing this Street Artist’s work, please feel free to leave comments that are respectful to the Street Artist and add value to the conversation…Karen

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. 12 – “A Bird of Paradise”

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‘I Do Art Discussion’ series features and discusses in-depth, particular abstract paintings produced by myself.  Previous ‘I Do Art Discussions’ can be found here.  My goal/desire is to give the viewer of my art work the back story; meaning an artist’s reflection on what was the inspiration behind the art work itself; and hopefully help guide the viewer to a place of deeper understanding and appreciation of the art work featured.

This particular abstract painting no. 38  I titled “A Bird of Paradise” – acrylic on canvas, as shown above was completed in September 2009.  It is 100cms in length and 115cms wide by 3cms deep.  The painting was inspired by the ‘Bird of Paradise’ Strelitzia Reginae that my husband had planted out into pots and then placed on our back paving garden area, as featured in the image of our garden below.

When we first moved to this home, there was no garden, just bare soil and it is to my husband’s credit that over 10 years he has created this garden wonderland.  Much of it was created from cuttings and plants given to use by my husband’s father. Sadly his father died suddenly in 2008. The pots of bird of paradise were from his father’s garden originally and are now growing happily in our garden.

During my husband’s recovery from Chemotherapy in 2009/2010, he spent small amounts of time in the garden planting; which helped him feel better about life.  This featured painting titled ‘A Bird of Paradise’ represents the beauty of my husband’s gentle inner soul.  He has been and is – a wonderful soul mate over the course of our 30 years plus of marriage.  Our garden is a place of peace and hope.  A quiet place to potter and tender to mother earth.  My husband has been my “Bird of Paradise” in my life and the source of my inspiration for this painting…

Footnote:  The Bird-of-Paradise (Strelitzia) are native to South Africa and are much-loved in Australian Gardens and in our home garden Melbourne, Australia. They are a tough plant that can withstand our Australian droughts. The variety grown in our garden is called Strelitzia Reginae and features striking orange and blue flowers with tropical looking leaves.

Kew Royal Botanic Gardens states “the bird-of-paradise flower, or crane flower as it is sometimes known, was first introduced into Britain in 1773 by Sir Joseph Banks, then the unofficial director of the Royal Gardens at Kew (as they were known at the time).  He named the exotic-looking plant Strelitzia in honour of Queen Charlotte, wife of George III and Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who lived at Kew for many years” (Kew Royal Botanic Gardens. 2014).

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 1 of 7- “It’s actually fun!”

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My art therapy journey has been a solo experience up until now, 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 had to find.

Just recently, I was fortunately asked, if I would like to join an art therapy 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 art 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 “Art Therapy 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.  During my first session experience, I realized that I must have been ready for this type of art for therapy, as I found it actually fun. This was my personal experience but I am sure for some of the other participants, it was emotionally challenging and confronting.

In our group there are five participants, one art therapist 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.  One of the exercises involved using a set of crayons and a sheet of butcher paper.  Each participant had to articulate a story about the first session.  Our time frame was just 10 mins – so we had no time to waste, it was straight into creating!  It was very interesting how each individual’s drawing was so different; and how each participants accompanying story – fascinating and revealing.  I was just amazed how the act of making art could unleash such strong emotions, thoughts and feelings.

For myself, I did a crayon sketch on butcher paper about our group.  The black darken outlines represents the seven of us within the art therapy group.  The red shaping in the body of each represents our hearts.  The different coloured lining represents our human makeup.  What I said at the time, when explaining about my art work story was that “we are at the beginning of this 7 week journey in this art therapy group, we are all human, all the same, we know little about each other at this point, but we are united together as a group to venture forward to learn more, more about ourselves and about each other”.

Once we had all explained what our art work was about, we had to cut or tear it up and use the pieces in a group weave.  This was confronting for me and some others because it meant we had to virtually destroy what we had just created.  It was an interesting group process and once completed, we all stood back to have a look at our new group master piece.

 

This whole process for me, was about the act of individually creating; individually given up that creation; and then recreating as a group.  A little like what happens in a family, giving up individual efforts for the good of the family as a whole.  Another thought that I had, was that we can some times in our lives suffer great losses and in order to continue on, we need to look at being able to recreate ourselves over again, for ourselves and for others.  Art for therapy gives us a way to process thinking…I could see this in action within our art therapy group on this day…

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 Exhibition – ACSO Branching Out 2014 – Art creating another chance!

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My own art therapy journey has given me a personal insight as to how art for therapy can help improve a person’s physical and mental well-being.  My journey has brought me to understand, that art is an important way for people to be able to express thoughts, emotions, grief, despair, joy and just what’s on their mind!  It is important to understand that art for therapy can be experienced by anyone – you don’t have to be an artist to gain a benefit from engaging in art, whether it be as a producer of art or even as a viewer of art instead – gains can be made.  Art for therapy gives a voice to people where words can be hard to find, and helps others as viewers to understand, the maker of the art better.  Art can help us gain an insight into our own or others – inner most personal thoughts; it came be a window into the sole of the artist.

So it was no surprise to my husband when I suggested that we go to ACSO’s Art Exhibition called “Branching Out” 2014 at the Yarra Gallery, in at Federation Square, Melbourne – Australia. The exhibition consisted of self portraits, prints and other medians which have been produced by ACSO clients – via ACSO’s  Creative Art Program. I wanted to see what these artists, artists whom are serving time in prison or artists whom had served time in prison had shared in their art.  ACSO was established in 1983 and their goal is to reduce re-offending and help people in their transition from prison, assist them in the community, stop them re-offending and divert others from committing crime (ACSO. 2014).  Melinda Wills, artist in residence at ACSO provides art therapy sessions to their clients “to find a new form of self-expression, tapping into their emotions and uplifting their spirit through colour, line and texture” thus helping them to express their inner thoughts (Wills. 2014).

Please find here, a series of photos I took on my iPhone during the opening night of the ‘ACSO Branching Out 2014’ Art Exhibition:-

During the exhibition I had the opportunity to speak with one of ASCO’s clients – Michael Morgan about his particular piece of art work called ‘Prehistoric Breathing’ which he had produced through the Fulham Correctional Centre – Cultural Arts Program.

Kangan Institute delivers a nationally recognised qualification in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts to Indigenous inmates at Fulham Correctional Centre.  The course covers a range of drawing techniques, developing painting and printmaking skills.  Concurrently, the Correctional Centre provides Indigenous inmates the Koori Art program as an opportunity to practice their culture.  NB:  Paintings from both programs were on display at the ACSO Branching Out 2014 Art Exhibition.   (ACSO Program 2014).

Painting by Michael Morgan – Titled:  ‘Prehistoric Breathing’ and following the wording that he provided with his painting –

No. 6 - Branching Out 2014 ACSO Art Exhibition - The Yarra Gallery at Federation Square, Melbourne - Australia. Photos taken by Karen Robinson on iphone.JPG

No. 6 – Branching Out 2014 ACSO Art Exhibition – The Yarra Gallery at Federation Square, Melbourne – Australia. Photos taken by Karen Robinson on iphone.JPG  Painting by Michael Morgan – Titled:  ‘Prehistoric Breathing’

No. 7 - Branching Out 2014 ACSO Art Exhibition - The Yarra Gallery at Federation Square, Melbourne - Australia. Photos taken by Karen Robinson on iphone.JPG

No. 7 – Branching Out 2014 ACSO Art Exhibition – The Yarra Gallery at Federation Square, Melbourne – Australia. Photos taken by Karen Robinson on iphone.JPG  Painting by Michael Morgan – Titled: ‘Prehistoric Breathing’

These clients through the ACSO’s Creative Arts Program, gain an opportunity to explore art as a therapeutic means to help them reintegrate into community living (ACSO. 2014).  This exhibition was a good example of how important art for therapy can be, how it can help people to take a look at their thoughts, feelings and emotions in a non judgemental environment.  During my time at the exhibition I was able to witness how these artists were using art to help create another chance for themselves in their lives…

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

Reference:

Wills. M. (2014). ACSO. Branching Out 2014 ACSO Art Exhibition Brochure. Exhibition Curator and Artist in Residence. Retrieved June 28, 2014 from http://art.acso.org.au/art-show/artist-residence/

ACSO. (2014). ACSO Create Another Chance. Branching Out. Retrieved June 28, 2014 from http://art.acso.org.au/