Mid-Year Review…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

‘The great gift of the energy of the Summer Solstice

is that it’s designed to move you

from one phase to the next

on your terms,’

Deborah King

Okay, okay, I know I’m late….Summer Solstice has been and gone…but only just, and it got me to thinking that before we get heading down the rabbit hole that is the year’s end, I should have a bit of a mid-year review…to check on those lofty goals (for goals read – pipe dreams) I set way back in January and see how far I have got to achieving them…(so apologies if this post is a bit wordier than my usual offerings)

Here are the goals;

  1. Make my art business self-supporting
  2. Participate in more events
  3. Join local art groups/build connections & networks
  4. Improve marketing/social media strategies/audiences/mailing list numbers
  5. Work on a larger scale

As with all goals I broke them down into what I thought were manageable/achievable steps…for example…

  1. Have limited time sales on social media to raise cash for materials etc
  2. Take part in 4-6 events/exhibitions
  3. increase mailing list by 100% and Instagram followers by 50%
  4. De-clutter studio to make more space so can work on a larger scale
  5. Apply to join two local groups



‘Whenever you feel overwhelmed by how much time and work

it will take to accomplish your goals,

take a moment to reflect on and appreciate

the progress you have already made.

Small wins here and there are to be cherished’,

Duncan Muguku

And how have I got on….?

  1. I have had two very successful limited time sales on Instagram, raising some much needed cash that enabled me to purchase some materials, (although nowhere near enough to be self-supporting)
  2. I have participated in one event already and have two more lined up (Thornton Exhibition, Leicestershire next weekend & the Melbourne Festival, Derbyshire in September) , with the potential for a fourth event towards the end of the year
  3. I have already increased my newsletter mailing list by more than 100% (although I did only start with 14…); still a work in progress as far as Instagram is concerned – increased followers by 25% – I have found that daily posts are almost a requirement, and after my recent hiatus the numbers dropped, so it’s a case of building them up again, onwards and upwards
  4. De-cluttering – what can I say – it’s another work in progress… Erring towards minimalism in the rest of the house, I find I like being surrounded by favourite objects, quotes and works in my ‘studio’ whilst I  find it difficult to get rid of art materials, even those I don’t use…something I don’t have a problem with elsewhere…go figure…
  5. I have applied and become a member of one local group, but as yet, have not really participated…lack of confidence, motivation… Later in the year there will be the opportunity to apply to join another society so we will see how that goes

So small steps, worth celebrating and cherishing…but, and this is where I know I am being hard on myself considering the recent family crises, there is still a long way to go…but this quote by Abraham Lincoln is worth writing out and pinning up in my studio…

‘I walk slowly,

but I never walk



I have come a long way, and have made definite strides this year, so it’s not all doom and gloom….roll on the next few months, let’s see what I can achieve…..



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Tentative Steps…

Carolyn J Roberts artist

‘Sun on my shoulders and wind at my back,

bound & determined to get back on track

to where the heart is…

where it’s been all along,’

Tim McGraw


Okay, so I might be stretching it a little this morning; the sun most definitely isn’t on my shoulders, nor is the wind at my back…but this week has seen me determined to get back on track after recent and still ongoing events…Without harping on, regular followers of my social media will know that family dramas have taken up most of my time and energy, leaving little space or inclination for creativity. However, the immediate crises have subsided slightly and I am making tentative steps back towards making art again…

Getting back in the studio was a major step…

Carolyn J Roberts artist

..and whilst it’s small and jumbled, it’s my space…and it was fabulous to go in there and be surrounded by all my favourite materials as well as some of my favourite objects..

It has been several weeks since I created any art or even picked up a pencil or a paintbrush, so I have been conscious of the need to be gentle with myself…to concentrate on just enjoying the feel of the materials, exploring and playing, with no expectations..

So I have been making small collages..

Carolyn J Roberts artist

Carolyn J Roberts artist

..getting back to the mono-printing – Instagram #100daychallenge

Carolyn J Roberts artist

..and while I need to brush up on the technique, it was great to just to get ink on my fingers…

Mark making is fundamental to my art and getting my arm moving, making gestural marks with the Art Graf, soluble pencils and ink was so liberating…

Carolyn J Roberts artist

All this experimenting and playing is really just to get me back into the habit of daily creating…and with the exhibition at Thornton coming up on 6/7 July as well as getting confirmation of my acceptance to participate in this year’s Melbourne Festival, Derbyshire in September, I need to get back in the swing of things…

Carolyn J Roberts artist

Carolyn J Roberts artist


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‘Finding your way doesn’t mean you know where you are going. It’s

knowing how to find your way back home that’s important,’

Clare Vanderpool


Slowly, I am finding my way home../