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…)

 

 

 

 

 

Something for the Weekend…

‘Each moment of the year has its own beauty,’

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

It seems no time at all since I published last week’s ‘Something for the Weekend’ post…and here we are, already at another weekend…the year is slipping away at an alarming rate…or does it just appear so the older you get…?

It’s been another quiet week, one with the odd ‘lightbulb moment’, but mostly just a week of exploration, reading, listening…thinking, planning…discoveries and inspirations…

Talking of ‘inspirations’…my ‘Instagram Artist of the Week’ this week is Martha Holmes – living and working in Cornwall, Martha’s paintings are her response to the coastal environment; both the north and south coasts of the county. She is influenced by the ever-changing light and colours of the area; her seascapes/landscapes are painted ‘en plein air’ providing an immersive experience that is reflected in the energy and brush strokes of the work…

 

 

Martha Holmes Autumn Blue, Porthmeor

As you know, I love a limited colour palette and Martha’s choice of colours particularly appeals to me…as does the slightly abstract nature of the work…I like the boldness; there’s no ‘fiddling’ here…definite strokes, capturing the essence of the moment…

October Day, Gwithian.jpg          October Day, Gwithian (oil on board) SOLD

IMG_1481 copy.jpg          The Island, Porthmeor (oil on paper) SOLD

I like the clean, white surround to the work as well; I feel it focuses the viewer’s eye on the colour and energy of the work… There is a short film on her website in which Martha talks in more detail about her inspirations, process and work…well worth a look!!

As for ‘listening’, well, along with the weekly episode of Artjuice by Alice Sheridan and Louise Fletcher, I have recently discovered ‘Simple & Season‘ – a blog and podcast designed to help ‘creative people find clarity and direction’, as well as creating a marketing strategy that will help you ‘grow with soul’… Having listened to the most recent podcast, I am determined to take on board the idea that ‘it is never too late…’ and to be ‘more gentle on myself’…

See the source image

My own practice has undergone somewhat of a ‘lightbulb moment’ this week…don’t ask me why it has taken so long, probably fear, fear of failure, of other peoples’  expectations, or what I  imagine others to expect…but somewhere, subconsciously, the reading and podcast messages are permeating, albeit slowly…

…if I prefer working with a limited palette, then that’s what I am going to do…

…if I prefer leaving space around my mark making work, then that’s what I am going to do…

…if I prefer making abstract marks and washes, then that’s what I am going to do…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist Shorelines
Shorelines Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Carolyn J Roberts Artist


Carolyn J Roberts Artist

…and slowly the confidence is developing to leave the work when I am happy, when I love it…and I have the following quote pinned up in my studio space to remind me…

‘Your art

is not about how many people

like your work

Your art

is about

if your heart likes your work

if your soul likes your work

it’s about how honest

you are with yourself

and you must

never trade honesty

for relatability,’

Rupi Kaur

One of my first loves has always been drawing, mark making…and whilst de-cluttering my studio space, I came across this book that had been hidden behind a load of other ‘stuff’….

(apologies for the dodgy camerawork…)

…already thinking about next year and areas I would like to re-visit and develop, drawing and mark making is high on the list, so this was a timely ‘discovery’…there are certainly some projects in here that I would like to have a go at!

If you would like to see how I get on with the mark making and drawing, plus other work-in-progress, please follow me on social media, or for more insights, art-related matters, and general ramblings, please sign up via the link opposite to receive my monthly(is) newsletters…

And, as the weekend arrives…I will finish with this quote by John Keats…(although you can swap the French wine for a drink of your choice….and I can’t guarantee fine weather, but you get the gist…) :

‘Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather

and a little music played outdoors by

somebody I do not know.’

Enjoy the weekend!!

 

Something for the Weekend…

‘Each moment of the year has its own beauty,’

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

It seems no time at all since I published last week’s ‘Something for the Weekend’ post…and here we are, already at another weekend…the year is slipping away at an alarming rate…or does it just appear so the older you get…?

It’s been another quiet week, one with the odd ‘lightbulb moment’, but mostly just a week of exploration, reading, listening…thinking, planning…discoveries and inspirations…

Talking of ‘inspirations’…my ‘Instagram Artist of the Week’ this week is Martha Holmes – living and working in Cornwall, Martha’s paintings are her response to the coastal environment; both the north and south coasts of the county. She is influenced by the ever-changing light and colours of the area; her seascapes/landscapes are painted ‘en plein air’ providing an immersive experience that is reflected in the energy and brush strokes of the work…

 

 

Martha Holmes Autumn Blue, Porthmeor

As you know, I love a limited colour palette and Martha’s choice of colours particularly appeals to me…as does the slightly abstract nature of the work…I like the boldness; there’s no ‘fiddling’ here…definite strokes, capturing the essence of the moment…

October Day, Gwithian.jpg          October Day, Gwithian (oil on board) SOLD

IMG_1481 copy.jpg          The Island, Porthmeor (oil on paper) SOLD

I like the clean, white surround to the work as well; I feel it focuses the viewer’s eye on the colour and energy of the work… There is a short film on her website in which Martha talks in more detail about her inspirations, process and work…well worth a look!!

As for ‘listening’, well, along with the weekly episode of Artjuice by Alice Sheridan and Louise Fletcher, I have recently discovered ‘Simple & Season‘ – a blog and podcast designed to help ‘creative people find clarity and direction’, as well as creating a marketing strategy that will help you ‘grow with soul’… Having listened to the most recent podcast, I am determined to take on board the idea that ‘it is never too late…’ and to be ‘more gentle on myself’…

See the source image

My own practice has undergone somewhat of a ‘lightbulb moment’ this week…don’t ask me why it has taken so long, probably fear, fear of failure, of other peoples’  expectations, or what I  imagine others to expect…but somewhere, subconsciously, the reading and podcast messages are permeating, albeit slowly…

…if I prefer working with a limited palette, then that’s what I am going to do…

…if I prefer leaving space around my mark making work, then that’s what I am going to do…

…if I prefer making abstract marks and washes, then that’s what I am going to do…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist Shorelines
Shorelines Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Carolyn J Roberts Artist


Carolyn J Roberts Artist

…and slowly the confidence is developing to leave the work when I am happy, when I love it…and I have the following quote pinned up in my studio space to remind me…

‘Your art

is not about how many people

like your work

Your art

is about

if your heart likes your work

if your soul likes your work

it’s about how honest

you are with yourself

and you must

never trade honesty

for relatability,’

Rupi Kaur

One of my first loves has always been drawing, mark making…and whilst de-cluttering my studio space, I came across this book that had been hidden behind a load of other ‘stuff’….

(apologies for the dodgy camerawork…)

…already thinking about next year and areas I would like to re-visit and develop, drawing and mark making is high on the list, so this was a timely ‘discovery’…there are certainly some projects in here that I would like to have a go at!

If you would like to see how I get on with the mark making and drawing, plus other work-in-progress, please follow me on social media, or for more insights, art-related matters, and general ramblings, please sign up via the link opposite to receive my monthly(is) newsletters…

And, as the weekend arrives…I will finish with this quote by John Keats…(although you can swap the French wine for a drink of your choice….and I can’t guarantee fine weather, but you get the gist…) :

‘Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather

and a little music played outdoors by

somebody I do not know.’

Enjoy the weekend!!

 

Something for the Weekend

‘And the sun took a step back,

the leaves lulled themselves to sleep

and Autumn was

awakened,’

Raquel Franco

Autumn, one of my favourite seasons, always has a slightly melancholic air to it…one last flourish of colour before nature settles down to sleep…but even in decay there is beauty and inspiration…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist


Carolyn J Roberts Artist

There have been some simply stunning sunrises with the low sun, although a nuisance when driving, providing beautiful light…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

‘Two sounds of Autumn are unmistakable…the

hurrying rustle of crisp leaves blown along the street…

by a gusty wind…and

the gabble of a flock of

migrating geese,’

Hal Borland

Such mornings are wonderful; a time to walk, to listen, to absorb the sights and sounds of nature… ‘An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day,’ Henry David Thoreau. I don’t know about you but I always feel better outside in the fresh air and the riverside is a great space to go for a walk;  it is also a fantastic place to sit with a coffee and plan the day ahead…definitely one of my go-to inspirational places…where do you go for inspiration?

Reading is a passion of mine; words are a constant source of inspiration…and a recently acquired book is….

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

A favourite author of mine, having read the opening paragraph, I am looking forward to delving (!!) further…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

How evocative is that? Who are your favourite authors…which books inspire you?

Talking of books, albeit of a different ilk…I am looking forward to using these new 140mm square format travel sketchbooks from Seawhite of Brighton…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

The paper weight is 130gsm so should be perfect for sketching with pencil, ink…perhaps a little soluble graphite and watercolour… Hopefully I will get a chance to use them in the near future so will give feedback soon…

Although I have been on Instagram for a while now, shamefully I have only just figured out how to share other artists’ posts on my stories – technical dunce that I am – but I am making up for lost time…. I am really enjoying discovering new people to follow and to share their work…hence my ‘Instagram artist of the week’ feature… My ‘artist of the week’ this week is Maria Wigge . Along with posting beautiful images of the Swedish countryside, which only makes me want to visit even more, Maria creates the most beautiful abstract, almost dreamlike landscapes, as well as some with more representational elements. Working with acrylics and watercolours, applying layer upon layer and using wonderful hues and tones, she produces ethereal, atmospheric images, with a stillness to them, a calm quality…simply beautiful and definitely worth a look…by the way, I love this watercolour image on her Instagram feed…

Art by Maria Wigge
‘Waiting for You’ by Maria Wigge

A27.jpg

‘Waiting for Aurora’ by Maria Wigge

Whilst I am working, or faffing as my OH says, I enjoy listening to podcasts; one of my favourites is ‘ArtJuice’.  Artists Alice Sheridan and Louise Fletcher discuss a range of topics; artistic matters, business strategies, helpful tips and advice, along with listener questions and inspirations, all interspersed with a generous amount of laughter… being an artist can be a lonely business but this podcast is just like having a get-together and a chat over a cup of coffee…go over to the podcast link on either of their websites and have a listen…if you like all things art-related you won’t be disappointed!

My own artwork has been inspired this week not so much by the art but by technology; I finally purchased a holder for my Ipad and have been experimenting with filming time lapse videos of my process…

Eventually, if I gather all my courage, I intend to run workshops, so being comfortable with demonstrating is a must; this is just a baby step on the way… Still a work-in-progress, the videos have made me focus on my process more than usual; partly because people have been asking questions about the materials and stages of the work…so I have to have the answers….but also, because being clear on my process, what I am interested in and trying to capture, will help to clarify the way forward…

And so another weekend approaches; I hope you have found something to interest you in this post…  And before I go…here is one more thought about Autumn…

‘I am made for Autumn. Summer and

I have a fickle relationship, but everything

about Autumn is perfect to me.

Woolly jumpers, scarves, thin first,

then thick, socks. The low

slanting light, the chill in my

fingers, those last warm

sunny days before the

rain and wind, The moody

hues and subdued palette

punctuated every now and again

by a brilliant orange,

scarlet or copper goodbye,’

Alys Fowler

Here’s wishing you a fabulous weekend !!

 

Should you wish to see more of my work-in-progress, please follow me on social media, or if you want more personal reflections, studio insights and general arty goodness, please sign up to receive my monthly(ish) newsletter via the link opposite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Artist’s Journey…

‘Travel is more than

the seeing of sights;

it is a change that

goes on, deep and

permanent, in

the ideas of living,’

Miriam Beard

A week ago I was in sunny Valencia, 30 degrees, blue skies, sunshine…and, even though we walked miles, it was a wonderful relaxing break…time spent with family, time to ‘be’, to think, to see….


Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Taking in the Silk Exchange, the Central Market, the museums…not to mention all the other fabulous buildings along with the vibrant atmosphere, culture….and food – definitely worth visiting….

….and then, it’s back to earth…with a bump…rain, rain and more rain…so much rain the river has overflowed…creating temporary pools on the meadow beyond…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

….and a thick blanket of cloud shrouds any chance of seeing blue skies…

And, as ever after a break, there is the inevitable catching up of household chores, washing, ironing, paperwork to sort….so getting back to the studio has been a slow process, not helped by the weather – a case of post-holiday blues…

However, rather than get down on myself for not immediately spending hours painting, for not instantly creating ‘masterpieces(?)’…I have been gentle with myself…choosing to continue working in my sketchbook with charcoal, Art Graf block and ink..

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

I have been reading – currently ‘A Brush with Nature: Reflections on the Natural World’ by Richard Mabey – listening to podcasts, namely ArtJuice with Alice Sheridan and Louise Fletcher, always worth a listen as they discuss artistic issues, life in general…along with insights into their practice.

I have also watched ‘Upstream‘,(available for the next 28 days on this link) a new film by Robert MacFarlane and directed by Rob Petit. Shot entirely from the air, the film follows the course of the River Dee in Scotland to its source in the Cairngorms, accompanied by an original score by composer Hauschka and a prose poem by MacFarlane. I realise that to some, the subject matter doesn’t appear that thrilling, but it is strangely hypnotic…in black and white, weaving recordings of the birds and creatures that live along the river with place-names, stories, creating a ‘songline’ that takes you, the viewer, on a journey…

At the start of the film is a quote by the Scottish writer Nan Shepherd (1893-1981); ‘One cannot know the rivers until one has seen them at their source; but this journey to the sources is not to be undertaken lightly. There are awakened also in oneself by the contact, elementals that are as  unpredictable as wind or snow,’ – The Living Mountain

And it struck me, as I watched the film, how Shepherd’s quote and a river’s journey could also be applied to my artistic journey; I began creating/painting in a particular way, but as I progressed there were unpredictable elements, new discoveries, ‘happy accidents’, that took me on another course, twists and turns, bends in the river…times when everything runs smoothly and it all flows, and others, when it feels as if I am negotiating the rapids…

‘And see the rivers how they run,

through woods and meads,

in shade and sun,

Sometimes swift, sometimes slow,

Wave succeeding wave, they go

A various journey to the deep…’

John Dyer

And through it all, the joy of creating…and I echo MacFarlane’s words in the film…’Here is where the heart fills….’ Yes, there are times when I struggle but I wouldn’t be without my art..


Carolyn J Roberts Artist

 

To keep up-to-date with my work-in-progress follow me on social media or, for more insights and news, please sign up via the link opposite, to receive my monthly(ish) newsletter….