Something for the Weekend…

‘Also at times, on the surface of streams,

Water bubbles form

And grow and burst

And have no meaning at all

Except that they’re water bubbles

Growing and bursting,’

Alberto Caeiro, ‘The Keeper of Sheep’

Life can seem overwhelming at times; advances in technology mean that we live in a 24/7 society…always able to access the latest news, always on call…always busy, busy, busy, and even if we’re not physically doing something, we are planning, organising, analysing…over-analysing…  If we say we are doing ‘nothing’ people assume we are bored, boring, out-of-work, lazy, idle, dull…insert your own description as you please…  Doing ‘nothing’ every now and again, is becoming less and less acceptable… And yet, and yet…I find the need to spend time doing ‘nothing’ increasingly necessary…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Having ‘focus’; work, plans and goals…and doing ‘nothing’; taking time to ‘switch off’ and ‘tune out’…are important, but it’s vital to achieve a balance…the difference between city and cabin…

“The city (regardless which one it is) does provide a certain degree of sophistication and intellectualism. It offers the challenge of professional matters. It throws new and interesting people in one’s path. There is a dynamic and an energy in cities which is diametric to the life-forces of the forest.

Still the cabin is the wellspring, the source, the hub of my existence. It gives me tranquillity, a closeness of nature and wildlife, good health and fitness, a sense of security, the opportunity for resourcefulness, reflection and creative thinking…” – Anne LaBastille

I find I do ‘nothing’ best when outdoors in nature; taking time out to sit, to unconsciously absorb the sights and sounds…and one area that looks a great place to do this leads me nicely to my ‘Instagram Artist of the Week’…Bisera…a media artist who posts the most wonderful images of Nova Scotia, Canada on their feed…

Bisera, Instagram feed

 

Bisera, Instagram feed

I love the moody black and white images of this maritime province…and I love the way both the grand vistas and the small details are given equal focus; from coastal scenes…

Bisera, Instagram feed

..to ice…

Bisera, Instagram feed

and delicate cobwebs and seed heads…

Bisera, Instagram feed

Colour does play a part, but usually of a limited palette…which obviously appeals to me…

 

Bisera, Instagram feed

 

 

Bisera, Instagram feed

Wild, moody, windswept, atmospheric… colours I love…definitely a place to add to my ‘bucket list’…do go and check out their feed www.instagram.com/bisera____._._._

And keeping in mind ‘wild landscapes’…my book this week is… ‘A Hebridean Notebook’ by Norman Ackroyd

One of my all time favourite artists, I was lucky enough to see his exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (now finished)… including wonderful prints and watercolours. This book provides a glimpse of his sketches, made in-situ; immediate, dynamic or calm, with an almost printerly (is that a word…?) quality about them…

Norman Ackroyd

Norman Ackroyd The book gives an insight into what inspires his work… and is just fabulous for looking through and dreaming, of wild spaces, wild places… and of course, of wishing that my sketchbooks looked like this…..(ha ha…if only!!)

A podcast I dip in and out of is ‘The Messy Studio‘ with artist Rebecca Crowell… A broad range of topics are covered; from the creative through to the business side of art, to interviews and insights with guest artists…Eclectic, topical, thoughtful, filled with suggestions and advice, all interspersed with anecdotes…you’re sure to find something of interest…

My own practice this week has consisted mainly of experiments and exploration…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

…thoughts on my recent trip to Suffolk…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

…ink experiments to reflect a moody, grey day…and the odd foray with acrylics…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

…no real focus, but that’s okay…I know this time is not wasted; exploring with inks, watercolours and processes enables me to pinpoint what I really love – expressive mark making and line being one passion…and continuing to experiment with acrylics means that I am learning all the while how to handle this medium, adding another dimension…forever practicing, developing, evolving…

…and as the weekend approaches, it’s time for me to practice doing ‘nothing’..

‘You do not have to be a fire

for

every mountain blocking you.

You could be a water

and

soft river your way to freedom

too,’

‘Options…’

If you would like to keep up-to-date with my work-in-progress, please follow me on social media, or if you would like more of my musings, art related matters and news, please sign up via the link opposite to receive my monthly(ish) newsletter.

For now,

enjoy the weekend

&

take care…

Something for the Weekend…

‘If a year was tucked inside of a clock,

then Autumn would be the magic hour,’

Victoria Erickson

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

As October slips into November, ancient festivals are celebrated; liminal times marked by fire and crossing of thresholds…and in truly wondrous ways, nature puts on her own pageant…misty mornings, golden hued sunsets, leaves ablaze with autumn colour swirling in wild winds and honking geese…skeins knitted across the sky, heading for winter solace…

Inspiration comes in many forms, none more so for me, than travelling, visiting new places…and a recent trip was to Suffolk…gently undulating land, marshes, watery landscapes leading to the sea…what is it about the swoosh of the shingle in the surf that is so infinitely satisfying…?

Sculpture, particularly site-specific ones, have always held a fascination for me…and a walk along the shore at Aldeburgh to view Maggi Hambling‘s ‘Scallop’, a 4 metre steel work dedicated to composer Benjamin Britten, was a must…

'Scallop' by Maggi Hambling
‘Scallop’ by Maggi Hambling
Scallop by Maggi Hambling
‘Scallop’ by Maggi Hambling

Not without it’s controversies, ‘Scallop’ is described by Hambling as ‘a conversation with the sea’ and wanted to create a work where the visitor could sit and contemplate the ‘mysterious power of the sea’ – very tempting, if not for the multitude of people…

Another place I found equally as absorbing was Walberswick (and slightly less crowded…!!) …and the black coastal huts…simple, uniform…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist…close to the edge, looking out to sea, hunkered down, framed against the big, brooding sky…no jarring, bright colours here…

Muted palettes are my ‘thing’ and it was such a palette that drew me to this week’s ‘Instagram Artist of the Week’ – AyakaMP Art

AyakaMP Art
AyakaMP ART

I love Ayaka’s choice of colours, the tonal variation and the use of stitched line in her work…

AyakaMP Art
AyakaMP Art

…and I am a sucker for these shades of blue…

Ayaka grew up in Japan, spending her childhood creating art and making dolls…a move to America when she was 11 saw her realise the universal nature of art…

Her work is a mixture of the human emotion, the imperfections of our beings, combined with the organic shapes and natural forms of the landscape. She likes to balance opposites; planned/unplanned, controlled/uncontrolled…to depict the beauty of the imperfect…

AyakaMP Art
‘In the Wind VII’ AyakaMP Art

‘Whispers’, watercolour and thread, AyakaMP Art

The variations in colour and tone, the torn edges of paper, the use of stitch adding further textures, all combine to create abstract landscapes that I find absorbing and calming in equal measure…the eye travels around the work, taking in the forms and shapes, the details…

‘Breath II’, watercolour and thread, AyakaMP Art

…and the muted colours make for a calming experience…I find the work beautiful in its apparent simplicity, aware that it is anything but simple to create art imbued with such qualities…

Do check her website out as well as her Instagram feed…where you can watch Ayaka weave her magic…

Further inspiration came in the shape of this book, a birthday gift…

Recently I have been focussing on ‘upping’ my Instagram profile; posting the time lapse videos has been successful but I am always open to more suggestions and information, and hopefully this book will provide just that…and if not, well, it has some fabulous photos…

My own practice has been on hold this week whilst on my travels, but I have got my fix by visiting galleries, one of which was the fabulous Snape Maltings…a fabulous space, where along with a small exhibition by Maggi Hambling, there was a variety of creative talent on show, from paintings, to prints and ceramics etc…Lots to admire but limited funds meant I settled for a couple of cards by artist  Sara Johnson

Bircham Gallery at Holt was another port of call…inspiring works by Chris Prout, Ross Loveday and Andrew Bird to name drop…take a look at their websites…fabulous, expressive works!!

I did purchase some more watercolour and cartridge paper, along with a Seawhite of Brighton concertina sketchbook…I already have one but didn’t realise (d’oh…)they came in a larger size…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Carolyn J Roberts Artist…so I am looking forward to seeing what I can create in this one…

Travelling, seeing new places, new landscapes, art ‘in the flesh’ – not just via social media – is so important to keep the creative juices fresh and inspired…

‘Being in another place heightens the senses,

allows you to see more, enjoy more,

take delight in small things;

it makes life richer.

You feel more alive, less cocooned,’

Jane Wilson Howarth

…and for me, the coast is always a good place to go, not just for my creativity, but for my soul…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

 

‘We are tied to the ocean. And when we

go back to the sea, whether it is to sail

or to watch – we are going back from

whence we came,’

John F Kennedy

 

Where is the place you love to go to? For peace, solace, inspiration…..?

If you have enjoyed my ramblings, please follow me on social media for up-to-date works in progress, or for even more of my musings and other art related stuff, please sign up via the link opposite to receive my monthly(ish) newsletter…

Something for the Weekend…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

‘How bravely Autumn paints upon the sky
The gorgeous fame of Summer which is fled!
Hues of all flowers that in their ashes lie,
Trophied in that fair light…,’

Thomas Hood

The clocks have gone back, darkness comes earlier, curtains are drawn sooner…and although the days are shorter, the longer evenings provide time for reading, listening, thinking…dreaming…

My own practice has been somewhat stop/start this week…more stop than start if I am honest, but I am continuing to read, research, listen, write…being creative in other ways…being patient and gentle with myself…acknowledgement and acceptance that creativity has it’s own rhythms…

I first tried my hand at ceramics many moons ago when I was in the sixth form at school; many afternoons spent trying to get to grips, quite literally in some instances, with the potter’s wheel… Another lifetime passed before I found myself grappling with clay again…at Grantham College during my Foundation course…slab pots, freehand sculpting (which I was rubbish at..) and some slip casting…where I managed to produce a pot I quite liked…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

…my one small triumph… and so, although full of appreciation for those who master the art of painting, I have a sneaky admiration for artists who can coax the most beautiful objects from a wedge of clay…hence, my ‘Instagram Artist of the Week’ this week is Elaine Bolt, a ceramicist living on the south coast…

Elaine Bolt

Two things drew me initially to Elaine’s Instagram feed; her muted colour palette along with her use of natural found materials in her work. Inspired by the colours and tones of the landscape that surrounds her, she creates wall pieces and thrown vessels, each one individual, with the aim of blurring the boundaries between the natural and the made…

Having my own collection of found natural objects, each one a memory of a time and place…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

…I am fascinated with the way in which Elaine combines the two elements…

Elaine Bolt

Elaine Bolt Ceramics, Woodland Utensils (photograph by Alun Callender)

  Elaine Bolt Assemblage

Shoreline Cascade by Elaine Bolt

  Elaine Bolt Cascade/Clusters

Wire and Willow Vessels by Elaine Bolt (photography by Yeshen Venema)

    Elaine Bolt Wire and Willow Vessels

I only wished I lived closer so that I could attend one of her courses….do go and visit her website and Instagram feed…it’s beautiful and inspirational…

Those of you who read my blog regularly will know that one of the podcasts I listen to is ‘Artjuice’ by artists Alice Sheridan and Louise Fletcher…last week’s episode was a conversation between Alice and her mentor/coach Judith Morgan…it was a really interesting and frank discussion, addressing lots of issues… and whilst I don’t feel ready for full on coaching, I did purchase Judith’s book…

(apologies for the photo…the light was terrible…) I am only just beginning to dip into it, but already Judith’s approach is evident; direct, no nonsense, insightful…and funny…

Along with podcasts, I listen to music when in my studio; sometimes the radio, sometimes playlists…depending on mood, some are up-beat, whilst others are more meditative… I recently came across this article which has a plethora of playlists; from meditative and reflective through to energy builders…what do you like listening to when working?

And so the week slips by; the odd splash of paint, a solitary walk by the river…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

‘The gentle Lady Twilight is coming

let her pass

she scatters from her basket

the dewdrops on the grass

She closes up the lilies

and sends the bees to bed

And puts a veil of silver

upon the rowan red,’

(Anon)

Enjoy the weekend,

Take care,

C

(If you would like to see more of my work-in-progress please follow me on social media, or, if you would like more in-depth ramblings, art related insights and offers, please sign up via  the link opposite to receive my monthly(ish) newsletter…)