What’s That Saying……..?

Carolyn J Roberts artist

…..’Man plans, God laughs’….

This saying seems to sum up the past couple of weeks…. After my experience at the Belvoir Art Trail and my subsequent blog post, I had a list of things to address – re-vamp website, look for ways to get my work ‘out there’ more, investigate the possibility of further mentoring, adding to my mailing list – lots of things to get my teeth into…. And then life throws you a curve ball….or two…and all plans and good intentions go out of the window…

….but some things are more important than art…at the moment all my time and energy is required elsewhere….but I do know that I will get back to my plans and creating again…

For now, to keep me strong, I go to my favourite place…


‘Taking time out each day to relax and renew is essential to living well,’ – Judith Hanson Lasater

So bear with me…hopefully, normal service will resume soon….

Taking Stock…

‘It’s not about your reflection,

it’s what you see beyond it….’

(not sure who wrote this…any help appreciated)


This week has been one of reflection, taking stock….asking questions…

Last Saturday I participated in the Belvoir Art Trail, setting up stall at Blue Owl Art gallery in Grantham…

Carolyn J Roberts artist

Carolyn J Roberts artist

I managed to sell one painting and some cards – thank you so much to those who made purchases, you know who you are, and your support is very much appreciated… but I won’t lie, I was disappointed with how the day went – I wasn’t expecting crowds but the number of visitors was very small, with subsequently small sales and a general lack of interest…

The journey home was very quiet, with lots of ‘licking of wounds’, trying to shush the inner critic who was having a field day… ‘Nobody came because your work is c**p’, ‘Why did you think people would come to see you, who are you?’….’What are you doing?’… and all this inevitably leads to introspection…

‘Unless you learn to face

your own shadows,

you will continue to see them in others,

because the world outside of you

is a reflection of the world inside you.’


But with time comes perspective and a change in attitude…it was an Art Trail, important to me, yes….but in the grand scheme of things, well, let’s just say, it wasn’t a matter of life or death…

Yes, it made me question certain things, but my work wasn’t necessarily top of the list…

‘Creation leaves us exposed. Taking risks, solving problems, sharing ideas, making things you care about: this is scary work. So if you also feel uncomfortable and laid bare in your work, you are not alone. It’s a good sign; that tension means you are on the right track. It’s what doing the work you are supposed to do feels like.’

Meagan Fisher

Carolyn J Roberts

Follow Shadows, Chase the Sun

I am making work I really care about, empathise with; it is moving in the right direction, getting stronger…becoming more ‘authentic’  if you want to get all ‘arty farty’….so I don’t necessarily feel it needs a re-focus… What I do think needs a major shift in thinking is how I get my art ‘out there’, to a larger audience…what I am doing, or not, isn’t working as well as I would like….

‘Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again

and expecting different results,’

Albert Einstein

….so I need to change my ‘strategy’….

‘We cannot become what we want

by remaining what we are,’

Max Depree


I need to look for ways to get my work seen, not just on social media, but in ‘real life’ too – whether that be more events, festivals, trails, exhibitions – or in local places; galleries, cafes etc… this will entail some major ‘gritting of teeth’ from me; approaching people for this purpose is not my forte….I get a severe case of verbal diarrhoea and go an unbecoming shade of red….but I know that, if I want to achieve my goals, I need to get over myself…

‘A good half of the art of  living

is resilience,’

Alain de Botton

I also need to take a look at my website; my visitor numbers aren’t huge but even so, I haven’t had a single order, apart from one when I first launched it….so obviously something isn’t working….

I am researching other artists websites and social media outputs, finding ones I connect with and getting ideas, but I know I have been putting off making major changes in my online strategies because of the technology side of things; I either don’t know how to do things so have to rely on my extremely busy OH, or it takes me so long to implement the changes that I lose the will…..(and unfortunately, no, before you suggest it, I can’t afford to pay someone to do it for me…)

Another thing I need to get to grips with is building my mailing list and making sure there is fresh content, not just a rehash of the last months social media posts…

So, there’s just a few things to be getting on with…but as they say ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’… I just need to remember this:

‘Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success,’

Biz Stone

In the meantime, I have been continuing with the printing and collage work – at least I feel as if I am being creative while all this introspection is going on…

Carolyn J Roberts artist

Carolyn J Roberts artist


Creating these small works clears my head, allows time for processing and focussing…and when I need further clarity I go to one of my favourite places…

Carolyn J Roberts artist


‘It does good also to take walks out of doors,

that our spirits may be raised and refreshed

by the open air and fresh breeze….’


It would appear I have a lot to think about and to do…and will no doubt be keeping you regularly updated on progress…but in the meantime…

Looking Forward

‘There is a stirring in my soul; a restless, wild anticipation,

I am staring out into the horizon,

as far as I can.

I can’t see what’s beyond it – but I can feel it.’

Lang Leav

(If you would like to read more of my ramblings, hear my latest news, receive offers etc, then please sign up to my mailing list via the link opposite – I promise they won’t all be as downbeat as this offering…)





A Walk in the Outwoods….

‘I have nature and art and poetry…..’

Vincent Van Gogh

Carolyn J Roberts artist

Carolyn J Roberts artist

‘The bluebells made such a pool that the earth had become like water,

and all the trees and bushes seemed to have grown out of the water.

And the sky above seemed to have fallen down onto the earth floor;

and I didn’t know if the sky was the earth or the earth was water,’

Graham Joyce

Taking time out is vital for all of us; away from all the day to day routine and minutiae… time to re-charge the batteries…

Knowing this last week before the Belvoir Art Trail was likely to be busy – labelling, pricing, wrapping work etc., and feeling a little unsettled, (see previous post), we took time out to indulge in some ‘werifestering’….(werifesteria (v) from the Old English – to wander longingly through the forest in search of mystery).

We visited the Outwoods, 110 acres of ancient woodland south of Loughborough. The bluebells are spectacular at the moment, but whatever the season, there is always something to see…

Carolyn J Roberts artist

Carolyn J Roberts artist

….and there is even more to see as you wander through the forest at the moment… Running from now until the 9th June is the ‘Into The Outwoods Sculpture Trail’…. 11 artists have combined art and nature to create sculptures, land art and ephemera in direct response to the forest, working with a variety of media including willow, felt, ceramics and other natural materials…

Walking through the forest you meet the Keeper Of The Woods…

This is one of several willow works created by one of the organisers of the trail, Nita Rao….

There is also a fabulous willow horse created by artist Jo Sheppard….

There are 26 sculptures in total…(along with 42 little ‘tree people’ – again created by Nita Rao…)

It was interesting to see the variety of ways the artists had responded to the environment and the differing materials employed…

‘Woodland Webs’

Judith Eason

‘Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle’

Susan West

‘Made You Look, Made You Stare’

Pam Everard

‘This Tenuous Earth’

Jacqueline Palmer

‘Back to Nature’

Sue Barry & Susan West

Alongside this sculpture trail are other carved wood statues…

A wonderful afternoon spent wandering around the forest contemplating nature, the cycles and rhythms of life, changes, natural flow…the trail is well worth a visit…..

Carolyn J Roberts artist


‘A walk in nature walks the soul back home,’

Mary Davis