Tag Archives: addiction

2016 Is The Year For Patience and Tolerance

I apologize for not blogging in a while. I have been working hard on a fellowship application for the Tory Burch Foundation that supports women entrepreneurs. I never thought I was or could be an entrepreneur, but here I am, and 2016 is the year to kick it into full gear. I have heard that entrepreneurs are doers and not just dreamers. So here I go. When I was in 5th grade I learned about art therapy and followed that dream right into a masters program at NYU with some of the founders of the movement. I lost that dream to drug addiction and domestic violence.

Today, I am building a business called Recovery Art Studio™ to bring comprehensive art for healing projects and programs to those recovering from trauma and addiction. My dream didn’t die, it just took a detour while I healed and recovered from my own stuff. My dream is big and will hopefully help a lot of people to strengthen and support their recovery through the healing power of art. But it takes time and baby steps in making this happen. I am rebranding from Robin Gilliam’s Art and will release a new webpage and logo for Recovery Art Studio in the spring of 2016.IMG_2089

I have already taken some baby steps. We now have a Recovery Art Studio™ closed FB group that is growing stronger every day.  Art is a generic term for any type of creative expression and being an artist is not a requirement.  Everyone benefits when we share our creations and how it helped us to deal and heal.

I have been using intuitive painting to help deal with my own anxiety, and I hope to be chosen as a Tory Burch Fellow to gain some necessary resources to help build this business.

So my New Year’s resolution is to be patient and tolerant with myself as I build Recovery Art Studio™ one baby step at a time.

What was your dream when you were little? What baby steps can you take in 2016 to make it come true?

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No Sailboat Paintings for this Artist & Person in Long-Term Recovery

Hi! I am an artist and person in long-term recovery since February 6, 1991. I began creating art around the same time to deal with my anger, pain, shame, and guilt.

From 2000 –  2004, I tried to get into shows and galleries  to sell my artwork which I really thought  would validate me as an artist.

During this time I joined an eclectic group of women artists – The Wylde Women – and we set up and curated our own shows in public venues, like the dock at Solomons Island. We even owned a gallery that was creatively set up in an antique and tea shop in Leonardtown, MD.  But no one wanted the funky, abstract, 3-D collages that got my creative juices going and lit up my heart.

(See the Gallery page for details of Out of the Ashes)

I quickly learned that people living in the Chesapeake  Bay area preferred paintings of sailboats.

Then one of my fellow artists recommended that I make something functional with my collages. So I used beautiful rice papers and found objects and collaged them onto glass flower vases in a similar style to my fabric pieces. Now those sold! But now I was manufacturing to sell and still did not feel validated as an artist.








In reality, validation did not come until much later when I catalogued my 20+ years of collages for my novel, Gift of Desperation. It was then that I really came to understand that creating those collages was my way of using art for healing to put myself back together after domestic violence that ended in rape and from almost dying from a drug overdose in the mid 80s.

Creating to help me deal with and heal from trauma and addiction in order to strengthen and support my recovery is my validation.


Robin Gilliam is a person in long-term recovery, an artist, and the author of the recovery novel, Gift of Desperation.  She has over two decades of using art and the 12 steps to recover from addiction and heal from sexual assault. She is an inspirational speaker and art for healing workshop facilitator. To book Robin for a presentation or workshop, please send an email to robins.art@verizon.net or PM her on FB.

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Welcome back from the Sturgis 75th Motorcycle Rally

Welcome back to my blog. I have returned from my 2 1/2 Week vacation to the Sturgis South Dakota 75th Motorcycle Rally with my husband, Dirk, and two dogs, Chopper and Duffy.

Sturgis 2015_2

I am in the bottom right hand corner.

Aside from our bike breaking down at the beginning of the trip and our campground losing electricity for about an hour, which shut down the AC for the dogs (they were fine after we raced back from Custer State Park), we had no other major drama.

There were tons of beautiful bikes, wonderful mountain scenery which was unusually green this year due to extraordinary rain, and hot days /cool clear nights. We were also lucky that any nighttime storms passed us by without incident.

I was hoping to post my pictures here, but I am dealing with an old computer that can’t manage the space or processing necessary for such a post. So please stop by my Facebook page to enjoy pictures from our trip. I am saving up for a Mac which I hope to get by the end of the year and then retire my current laptop.

I hope you will visit my blog again next week when I will be talking about the Iron Girl my sister is in to raise money to fight cancer and how it inspired me.


Robin Gilliam is the author of the novel, Gift of Desperation, a story of hope and inspiration woven around her 24+ years of artwork that helped her to heal from PTSD and addiction.