Collage Crazy…

‘…the beauty of not knowing

how you feel is that one

day you’ll realise that

not knowing was the only

way you’d find all the

feelings that were meant to stay,’

r.m.drake

 

Carolyn J Roberts

I am feeling unsettled this week….I have an inkling why… the nerves are beginning to build, anticipating this weekend’s Belvoir Art Trail where, on Saturday 4th May, I will be at Blue Owl Art gallery, Grantham, Lincolnshire.


Carolyn J Roberts

‘Follow Shadows, Chase the Sun’

With my logical head on, I am happy with the work I am taking; this last series in particular really expresses my authentic self (sorry, getting a bit arty farty as my OH would say…) However, that inner critic, that small voice – which I am trying really hard to shush – is whispering some not so sweet nothings in my ear….’Who do you think you are? Pretending to be an artist…no-one will like your work and as for sales, don’t make me laugh…’.

My self-confidence is a work in progress; acknowledging to myself that I am happy with this work and don’t necessarily need external validation is a start – although compliments are always gratefully received (I am only human after all) …. but, but…I am striving to make a business out of my art, so sales are a requirement…and the thought of sales, or the lack of, is making the nerves jangle…

As a result, I am finding it difficult to settle to new work, to really get stuck in, … That’s why the mono-printing I am doing as part of Instagram’s #the100dayproject is great…material requirements are few, it takes no time at all to set up and I can produce lots of prints in a short space of time…

Carolyn J Roberts artist


Carolyn J Roberts artist

 

Another way I am being creative is with my small collage sketchbook…again, material requirements are few – a sketchbook, glue and scraps of paper, magazine cuttings, old sketches and prints – of which I have many…

Carolyn J Roberts artist

Carolyn J Roberts artist

Carolyn J roberts artist

Again, as the sketchbook is small, I can make several collages quickly, and feel as if I have been creative, producing work; time will tell if the mono-printing and collage work will develop further, but as small ‘projects’, they are invaluable…if only for settling my nerves….

Carolyn J Roberts artist

I don’t know what my next work will be, just as I don’t know how successful the Art Trail will be – it’s the first time both myself and Blue Owl Art gallery have participated – so it’s all a journey into the unknown… but I recently came across this…

‘I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you are going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the wind will carry you,’ – C. Joybell

I love the idea of unfolding my wings and trusting the wind will carry me… to see where the breeze takes me….

Carolyn J Roberts artist

I will no doubt write a post about the Art Trail…so keep following…also, if you want more of my ramblings, offers and news, don’t forget to sign up to my mailing list via the link top right…

Carolyn J roberts artist

 

 

 

 

A Change Is As Good…..& All That…

‘Take rest; a field that has

rested gives a bountiful crop,’

Ovid

Carolyn J Roberts artist

As someone who grew up on a farm, this quote has a special resonance for me…the importance of caring for the soil, rotating crops, allowing for fallow/resting periods… and by doing this, the harvest will hopefully be abundant… And ‘rest’ is as vital for us as it is for the land….and by rest, I don’t necessarily mean sitting, reading, sleeping – although all very enjoyable!! A change of scenery, breaking with routine, taking time to ‘be in the moment’ – to employ a very over-used cliché…a rest from the everyday…

And for once, the holiday weekend weather co-operated… sunshine days, blue skies…. ideal for an outing, a change of scene, a walk, space…. Carolyn J Roberts artist

….time to notice the bigger picture as well as the details… colours and textures…song of the curlew…


Carolyn J Roberts artist

Carolyn J Roberts artist

Carolyn J Roberts artist

A trip to Dovedale in the Peak District – a walk along Fishpond Bank…sound of water, colours of the gorse against the sky…

I am becoming more anti-social as I grow older, or is that just me being a grumpy old woman? Luckily, there wasn’t too many people along the river…

….just space to be, rest, listen…to re-charge the batteries…

….and the ‘rest’ has brought fresh impetus to my work – I have been continuing with Instagram’s #the100dayproject and my chosen mono-printing…a process I am really enjoying…the results are somewhat unpredictable, but that’s half the fun…

Carolyn J Roberts artist

Carolyn J Roberts artist

….and along with these, I have also carried on making collages in a small sketchbook..

Carolyn J Roberts artist


Carolyn J Roberts artist


Carolyn J Roberts artist

I am loving creating these – I like working in sketchbooks; they are small works so I can produce several in no time at all, which again, makes me feel as if I have been creative even if I haven’t managed long in the studio. I like the layering of different materials and the addition of meaningful words; I bought an alphabet stamp set so I have been going a bit mad with it….

I have no idea where they are going or how they will feed into my work; no expectations means no pressure, and with that, comes freedom…to create with joy….

‘When you do things

from your soul,

You feel a river moving

in you,

A joy,’

Rumi

 

 

 

 

A Sense of ‘Vorfreude’…

Carolyn J Roberts artist

After a hectic, but lovely, couple of days away with family, and now, with only 18 days to go (at time of writing) until I participate in the Belvoir Art Trail, my time seems to be filled with all the minutiae that need doing before an event… making sure all work is mounted, framed, priced, wrapped, added to my inventory, business cards sorted etc along with naming some of my newer work…

Carolyn J Roberts artist

I only seem to have small amounts of time to make art….that’s why I am attempting Instagram’s #the100dayproject…and chose mono-printing – it doesn’t take long, I can produce 3 or 4 pieces at a time (admittedly with varying degrees of success!!) and at least I feel as if I have created ‘something’…

Carolyn J Roberts artist

Carolyn J Roberts artist

….but all the while I am busy, there is something simmering underneath the surface, a sense of ‘vorfreude’ (n); the joyful and intense anticipation that comes from imagining future pleasures….I am itching to get really ‘stuck in’ creating, spending time experimenting, developing – what…I don’t know yet, and that’s half the fun…

I have enjoyed the mono-printing – the somewhat unpredictable nature of the work…the contrast…and feel that it is a process that I would like to continue with, either, as I have at present, as an element of collage, or even as the base to develop over…

I have also been looking at other ‘doodles’ I have created, past and present; not finished work, more experimental, to see what it is I like about them…


Carolyn J Roberts artist

Carolyn J Roberts artist


Carolyn J Roberts artist

….and it’s the mark making, the loose, expressive quality, the monochromatic nature of them, the importance of the white paper…

Another process I am enjoying, thanks to the lovely Maz Hawes, is the creation of small collages in a sketchbook…

Again, I think it is the ‘space’ in each of these collages that I like, along with the inclusion of graphics… As part of my on/off journaling down by the river, I write words and phrases that spring to mind, and I have printed them out with the intention of including them…somehow…

Caarolyn J Roberts artist

I am not sure how all these processes and interests will appear in my work, or even, how my work will develop…I know I would like to try working larger (which means a radical de-clutter/re-arrangement of my studio space!!) and to develop the courage of my convictions and not make work because I feel that is what other people think I should be doing…

I just know I am eager to get started, to see where my work takes me….meantime, I will just relish that sense of ‘vorfreude’….

 

 

 

 

New Shoots…..

‘Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time,’ – John Lubbock

It’s not summer yet but I have spent time ‘idling’, listening to the murmur of the river, birdsong, watching clouds reflected on the water’s surface, seeing blossom float by like confetti, and this ‘rest’ is definitely beginning to recharge my batteries, spurring me on to take steps to achieve my goals…..

For some time now,  I have been feeling ‘isolated’ as an artist; at university there was always someone around for a chat, feedback or to give support. Working at home has many positives but there are also the negatives; needing clearly defined work time, not getting distracted by all the household chores and of course, the isolation. So I took the step of joining the lovely Alice Sheridan‘s Connected Artist Club…run by Alice, this is an online community of artists coming together to support each other, share knowledge and advice…It’s been great hearing all the other members’ stories, where they are in their art careers, their worries…lots of which are common struggles….the weekly Studio Chats…I have really been buoyed by the support and advice…..

Joining the Club has given me a bit of a ‘kick up the proverbial’ to get on and ‘do’, so, already accepted to take part in the Belvoir Art Trail, I have also applied to participate in this year’s Melbourne Arts Festival – just waiting to hear if I have been successful. Through being a member of the Leicester Sketch Club, I heard about another possible exhibition during July, so have made initial enquiries, and I am also sorting out an application for the Wirksworth Festival – not certain I will be accepted for this, but nothing ventured and all that…

Having taken part in the Melbourne Festival last year, I already have a check list and my ‘box’ of supplies – tools, tape, bags, business cards, cloth, hooks, etc – ready. I have also been getting a system in place for preparing work for sale; mounting/framing/wrapping/pricing/labels as well as adding to my inventory – much less stress to do as I go along rather than having it all to do just before a show…..

It’s obviously an on-going process and I have been assessing work today…

Carolyn J Roberts artist

….looking to have work similar to that which I have sold via my Instagram flash sales available (alongside my other larger, mounted work)…small works mounted on paper. One of the things I learnt from doing the trail was that I needed to have more of a variation of items/price ranges so this is one way of addressing this; will see how successful this is…and report back….

Tidying and sorting work, you unearth pieces you had forgotten about…

Carolyn J Roberts artist

…..and then realise that perhaps one, top right, might be worth mounting…..

…along with another whole sheet of possible delights….

Carolyn J Roberts artist

….it’s always a ‘heart in mouth’ moment removing the tape, seeing if there are any jewels….

Carolyn J Roberts artist

….of which there might be one or two…

Carolyn J Roberts artist

 

I am also making an effort to be more disciplined in my studio work so have decided to take part in the Instagram #the100daysproject…. I decided to experiment with mono-printing…something that seems far removed from the flowing acrylic inks and watercolours….

Carolyn J Roberts artist

Carolyn J Roberts artist


Carolyn J Roberts artist
Carolyn J Roberts artist

….I have no expectations with this process, it’s all a learning curve, but I have produced some pieces I quite like…..the rest will be used as collage in further mixed media work.

Carolyn J Roberts artist

Spring is the season of new beginnings, new growth and I am certainly feeling more hopeful…falling in love with my art all over again….

‘You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees for 100 miles, repenting

You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves,’

Mary Oliver

 

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And before I forget….here is a link to my website www.carolynjrobertsartist.co.uk where all my latest work is available…..

 

New Week, New Month…

Carolyn J Roberts artist

‘April hath put a spirit of youth in everything,’

William Shakespeare

The clocks have gone forward, the days are lengthening, trees are blossoming, birds are singing…the earth is definitely bursting with new life…

…and in the studio I have begun the new week by ‘playing’, experimenting…firstly with mono printing using a Winsor & Newton Oil Bar….along with grease proof paper and an offcut of mountboard with a 6×4″ aperture in…

Carolyn J Roberts artist

Carolyn J Roberts artist

Carolyn J Roberts artist

Carolyn J Roberts artist

It’s all trial and error, unpredictable, which is great for me at the moment as it removes all that pressure I pile on myself to produce a masterpiece each time….

From there I moved on to trying out these foam pad applicators

Carolyn J Roberts artist

I used them with watercolour and have found that, initially, I prefer using them when dry as it produces more random results… I will continue to experiment…

Carolyn J Roberts artist

I keep all these pieces, using them as collage material, even the pieces of paper I used with the mono printing to block out areas; again, they add texture to further work…

I have a number of things/experiments I want to try in order to move my work further and will report on these in due progress…

What do you do to remove that creative block, to move your work forward? Let me know!