Connections…

After my diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis last year it has taken me a while to be able to pick up a brush or even feel like painting…but the medication is kicking in and I am beginning to feel more like my old self… however, after such a long time, it feels as if I am starting all over again… I had such a successful exhibition at Blue Owl Art last year and sold work via social media…now it’s back to square one…

I am trying not to feel too despondent and am looking at this time as an opportunity…to try new things and act on my ‘word for the year….Connections’…

Just as the river wends its way through the countryside, connecting the land –

I decided I needed to connect more…with fellow artists, (working at home can get lonely), with workshops, mentors, galleries and with my art materials, media and process..

It’s taking me a while to build up the nerve to contact possible mentors and galleries but I have made a start with the materials and process…tidying up my studio space…

…adding encouraging words..

…working in my sketchbook, experimenting with media…

…and on paper…

…making lines…

…adding ink, oil pastels and watercolours…

…think the above series should be called ‘Wild Weather’…

…not ground breaking…but I am starting to connect with materials and media…comforted by the words of Brenda Ueland –

‘So you see, imagination needs moodling –

long, inefficient, happy idling,

dawdling and puttering’…

 

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Fits and Starts…

…lead to a little bit of everything…

An artist’s life I find is very much one of ups and downs…buoyed by recent sales, including those at the Exploring Place exhibition at Blue Owl Art plus a couple of other small works, as well as the positive reception some new work received, I feel full of optimism…I can do this…

…then a week goes by, which becomes two, and I find that I have produced no new work that makes the grade…

This leads me to dabbling in little bits of everything in the hope that, eventually, that creative spark will ignite…

Ink and charcoal…

Watercolour…

.. to no avail…and that’s when the doubts creep in…and it then becomes a vicious circle…

It helps to know I am not alone – I listened to a podcast of the wonderful Maggi Hambling who quoted Constantin Brancusi: ‘To see far is one thing, going there is another,’ and the one I found particularly relevant at the moment: ‘Things are not difficult to make; what is difficult is putting ourselves in the state of mind to make them,’ – how true is that!!

I know however, with my logical head on, that this is just temporary, and soon all will be well again…

 

 

 

Maintaining The Momentum…..

Although I don’t create art in the expectation of making lots of money…(I love making marks and splashing colour around!!!)…for a number of reasons it is important to me that this artistic journey at least pays its way…

I am in the lucky position of knowing the owners of Blue Owl Art who have kindly invited me to take part in several exhibitions in their gallery space, the most recent one being ‘Exploring Place’. This has been the most successful exhibition for me – out of the twenty pieces I submitted, nine have sold….still a little shocked… and there is still a couple of weeks to go…so still time for another cheeky sale or two..!!

Alongside this exhibition I have also set up my website carolynjrobertsartist.co.uk  – this is still a work in progress, with new pieces/sections being added…

The problem I am faced with now is maintaining this momentum…as I said, I know the owners of Blue Owl Art so have no difficulty in approaching them…the same cannot be said of other galleries/outlets…I have read that galleries don’t like ‘cold callers’…so I would be interested to know how other artists have overcome this problem…

Taking Stock….Part Two…

Back in June I wrote a post called ‘Taking Stock’; having delivered the work to Blue Owl Art for the Exploring Place exhibition, I was contemplating how to move forwards….

As well as continuing to experiment, I booked myself on some workshops….the first of which was Helen Hallows Summer Sketchbook Workshop….a thoroughly enjoyable day; the overriding ethos I took from this course, was to be kind to myself, to be patient…

…and eventually I will produce work that begs further development…

I am going on another course at the beginning of August; Caroline Chappell’s two day Abstracted Landscape workshop….

I am really hoping that the course will give me the inspiration, and the tools, to move the work forwards…..

 

(apologies for the blurry photo…)…charcoal beginnings…

I quite like the above, so will be interesting to see what I take from this workshop and how I integrate it into my work…

Channelling……

Inspiration for my work comes from many sources…..number one is the countryside, both the coast and and the hills/mountains…

…the large scale…

…and on a smaller scale, from my own garden…

I just love the colour of this plant – Santolina Lemon Fizz… the nearest shade in my selection of watercolours is Daniel Smith Rich Green Gold….so I decided to channel, not only the colour, but also the memories of late evenings in Norfolk…the sunlight filtering through the reed beds…

….so here’s my effort…

…I really like the initial wash so am loathe to add any more to it – perhaps just intensify the colour?

Inspiration also comes from literature…. At the moment I am reading ‘The Running Hare: The Secret Life of Farmland’ by John Lewis-Sempel. Included in the book is this quote from Richard Jefferies’ autobiography, ‘The Story of My Heart’:

‘I want to be always in company with the sun, and sea, and earth. These, and the stars by night, are my natural companions.’

Sounds like my kind of guy!!! This love of the landscape is something I try to convey in my work – whether  I am successful remains to be seen…

Having said that…I am pleased to report that, in the first week of the Exploring Place exhibition at Blue Owl Art, Grantham, Lincolnshire, I have sold FIVE paintings….

 

 

Studies in Blue…

Perhaps it is because I am a thalassophile that I love using blues in my work….

…plus the two that sold recently at the Blue Owl Art Exploring Place exhibition…

Cei Bach

Norfolk Memories

….always love the sea in all its guises…

..although I have recently discovered that the word for a lover of mountains is ‘acrophile’ – (n) ….

….and I do like mountains….

 

…although they have yet to figure as prominently in my work…as yet…

‘Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like falling leaves.’ John Muir

Flabbergasted……

Last night saw the Private View of the Exploring Place exhibition at Blue Owl Art, Grantham, Lincolnshire…..Three artists, John Pooler, Kate Robotham and yours truly are exhibiting works ranging from John’s architectural watercolour scenes of local churches as well as views of Venice, Kate’s more illustrative ink and wash images of France and Norfolk, and my own ink, charcoal and watercolour works inspired by the Welsh coast, Norfolk and The Peak District.

A steady flow of people enjoyed the music, wine and of course the art…

Each of our styles as artists is different which adds an interesting variation to the exhibition; it certainly provided lots of discussion…

….I received lots of positive feedback and compliments…but the thing that truly had me flabbergasted was that I sold not one, not two, not even three…but four paintings….and that was on the first night!!!!

If you follow my blog you will know that confidence in my ability and my art is something I do not possess in any great quantity, so the positive feedback and the sales have been a wonderful boost…do you know, maybe I can do this!

A big thank you to Jette and Belinda for having faith in me and to those people who fell in love with my work …it has made this artist feel slightly taller than her normal 5′ 2″!!!