‘The World Turned Upside Down
In the misty habit of a rainy afternoon
a single, ponderous drop of rainwater hangs tenuously
from the curved tip of a leaf
holding within it the world turned upside down
and a moment later falls into eternity.’
Bernadette E. Kazmaraki
…at the time of writing, the weather has been toying with, and teasing us; from scorching high summer days of cloudless blue, to thunderous skies, forerunners of torrential downpours…
…but even when the world appears to be topsy-turvy, and you’re not sure whether to pack the sun-cream or an umbrella…there are small delights to be found tucked away….
‘Live quietly in the moment
and see the beauty of all before you.
The future will take care of itself…’
The pure white trumpets of the bindweed (such an unlovely name for a beautiful flower…) pepper the hedgerows, small star-lights in the dark…
The story of the river and its wildlife continue to enthrall; hours sat watching and listening, trying to develop my recognition of the birdsong, the flora and fauna…to absorb the experience of the changing moods…to gain an intimate knowledge of the landscape…
Someone who has an incredible knowledge and understanding of his subject is artist Karl Martens…and I was fascinated to watch this short video, hearing his philosophy, seeing his technique…
…his description of preparing himself to paint, to achieve the right frame of mind, of having to ‘let go,’ and how the painting, or should I say ‘bird’, lets him know when the work is done…’hello…..’ There is something about that white, simple, calm studio space with the materials beautifully laid out, that really appeals… (ha – one can dream…)
Much as the weather has been a little up and down, so my creative mojo is equally as variable – at this particular moment, it definitely appears to have gone ‘walkabouts’…but I am aware that this is the pattern of my creativity… and, although it all feels a little lack-lustre now, I know that, at some point, there will be a tiny spark, something that lights the flame of inspiration… In the meantime I have been doing the inevitable scrolling of social media, as well as re-visiting Pinterest… Have to admit to being a little ‘all or nothing’ on Pinterest; at times, I will ‘pin’ like mad, and then go for long periods without looking at it… until it suddenly dawned on me; I have a board called Artistic Inspirations with over 1400 pins on, lots of different artworks and artists, ‘why was I pinning all these images and then not using them in my research, considering what it was that attracted me to them, was it something I could experiment with or develop in my own work….?’ (what can I say…some things take a while to permeate my little grey cells….) So I am making an attempt to go through some ‘pins’ and analyse why I like them…
JMW Turner, Tate
Even in this small selection it is evident there is a common theme; the colour palette and the mark making…so is this is something I want to explore further or should I shake it up – add in pops of colour contrast? Definitely food for thought…and, by continuing to re-visit my Pinterest boards, there could be more areas for consideration…do you review your Pinterest pins at all…..or are you like me…and leave for months on end…overlooking a whole range of artistic inspiration!!
My collage sketchbooks continue to provide a gentle, no pressure warm-up…using scraps of old work, papers, images, ephemera and words or phrases that appeal, I create a composition that I like…
My Instagram Artist of the Week is someone who also creates books alongside other equally beautiful works of art – Roxanne Evans Stout…
Living on the Pacific Northwest amidst the mountains and rivers…(sounds perfect….) she considers herself to be: ‘an artist and teacher, a wanderer and dreamer, a garden dweller, a river walker, a child of the forest, a daughter of the sea…and is always grateful, always noticing, always growing….’
Initially, Instagram being a visual platform, it was Roxanne’s colour palette and use of natural, found materials, that stopped me scrolling…there’s something so appealing about the pop of blue, the natural twine and stone…
Roxanne uses a variety of media and materials, ranging from collage, stitching and sewing, encaustic work, book-making etc, to weave stories… stories that have the ability to touch us…
…and obviously, as soon as I saw her magical collage notebooks/handmade books, I was hooked!!
I love Roxanne’s Instagram feed; it presents such a calmness, a quiet understanding and awareness of what she wants to convey…
From beautiful layers of artwork, with tales waiting to be revealed, each mark adding to the strand of the story…to gorgeous photographs of her inspiration and work, assembled as a still life, a work of art in its own right…
Roxanne’s philosophy, her way of approaching her work, is one that I feel a connection to, and if she will indulge me, here is a paragraph from her website about how she begins a project:
‘Before I begin a project I love to collect and spread out small objects that inspire me. I take a walk through our gardens and under the trees. I cut a flower, pick up a stick or feather, and find a leaf or stone that calls to me and bring them into my studio. Then I spread them out carefully and arrange them, intuitively and almost without thinking…and shoot some photos…this process helps connect me to the earth, the seasons, and helps me feel renewed,’ (Roxanne Evans Stout)
I too, like to feel that connection to the landscape and to nature, and am also an inveterate wanderer and collector; only the other day, my OH discovered a seashell in a jacket pocket from our trip to Cornwall in February. That one object can trigger a memory; walking along the windswept beach, blown sand peppering our cheeks, spray from the pounding waves hurled far and wide, me picking up stones and shells, interesting driftwood, dried seaweed etc…and as my pockets were full, well…
…and telling stories, recalling memories, finding connections, is what, I feel, Roxanne’s work is all about; through her choice of materials and media, her words, and her assemblages, she transports us to her world…in the most beautiful of ways…
As ever, I would like to extend my thanks to Roxanne for allowing me to feature her beautiful work – it is a joy and a delight!
‘There is music in the wind
and the gentle breeze
carries your song
As ever, I hope you have something to interest and inspire you,
(If you would like to see work-in-progress, general studio ramblings and other things that inspire me, please follow me on social media:
Instagram – www.instagram.com/carolynjrobertsartist
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