Sometimes It’s The Little Things…

It’s funny the things that can catch your eye….on our recent trip to Wales we took in the majesty of Snowdonia as well as the beauty of Anglesey, even if it was a little damp…

…but closer to our temporary home, overlooking the Menai Straits, it was the patterns in the mud flats at low tide along with the red marker buoys that took my interest…

…drawing inspired by…

…not sure if this will develop into anything but I am looking forward to investigating this area in the future…


Sweltering Summer Sketchbook Workshop…

Saturday saw me, along with 10 other ladies, attend a super, if sweltering, Summer Sketchbook Workshop run by Helen Hallows at the Long Eaton Art Room.

First time I have been to the Art Room and I can’t tell you how lovely it was to have a space where you felt totally free to cut, glue, splash ink and paint around without worrying about any mess… different from the tiny back bedroom I have at home!

The Workshop was something different for me…not my usual style…but I like Helen’s work, her bold use of line and colour….as well as her art/life philosophy.. so I thought ..why not give it a go..!!

The Workshop concentrated on how and why we use (or not) sketchbooks, ways to overcome ‘New Sketchbook Syndrome’ and some drawing/mark-making/collaging techniques you could use for any subject, not just the still life set-ups in the Room..

I was familiar with some of the techniques….i.e. continuous line drawing, non-dominant hand drawing.. but Helen provided lots of other information, tips and ideas on how she prepares sketchbooks and how she utilises them…

Although the Workshop was pretty full on – Helen stated from the outset that she had a lot information and tasks to go through – I never felt particularly rushed…which was just as well considering the heat…

I did some pretty dreadful drawings in my newly prepped sketchbook…(in my defence they were non-dominant hand, continuous line-drawing not looking..)

…but Helen was full of advice and encouragement… something that’s hard to come by at home, on your own…

A variety of materials was provided and I really enjoyed using the stick and ink – again, this wasn’t new to me having worked with these on my Foundation Course at Grantham College – but that was many moons ago and it’s amazing how you forget these things…..

…and I finished the day with a rather bold take on the peppers….

…so not like me at all…but sometimes it does us good to have a change and try something different…

As far as Helen’s outlook on art and life….well it certainly made me think…and that’s a topic for another post…..

Would I recommend the Workshop – certainly – not only was it wonderful to spend time with some lovely, creative people, I came away with lots of ideas and a new found enthusiasm……and surely that’s the point of a workshop!!

Horses for Courses…..

There’s been some good news over this last week….and some not so good news….. and as a person who prefers to dwell on the good, I will quickly get the bad out of the way…..

I submitted the following image for an exhibition centred around drawing and line…

….unfortunately it wasn’t selected….. I console myself with the thought that it was perhaps a bit too traditional for the brief….

Now onto the more positive news – I must admit that I follow social media (a lot, perhaps too much) to keep an eye on what’s going on in the art world, to find new artists, new ideas…and it’s through social media that my bit of good news developed…

One of the sites I follow – artistscribbles – asked me to contribute an article about my work! This is a first for me having only written stuff for this blog or ‘blurb’ for any exhibitions I may have taken part in…must admit I was feeling a little daunted and excited in equal measures…. but I did it…..and produced ‘From soaring mountains….

…(& before anyone emails me,  yes I realise I missed the ‘e’ off creake…)

So that’s my good news…in the meantime I will plugging away at my ‘Six in Twenty’ efforts and see how they develop…


International Postcard Show update…blog update

The International Postcard Show 2015 at Surface Gallery, Nottingham draws to a close this Saturday, 14th February. They had a record number of submissions covering a wide range of mediums; everything from painting to photography, drawing and illustration, through to collage and text. There’s a great review of the Show by Megan Bonser on the gallery’s blog – I may be a little biased as she makes a lovely comment about my work with a feature photo!

It’s been great to be part of this exhibition – a chance to promote my work and connect with other artists. I’ve already been contacted by an artist regarding the possibility of a future collaboration!

Obviously it would be nice if my work, ‘Blue Rhapsody’, sold – there’s still time – contact the gallery if you are interested! However, even if they don’t sell, I am thrilled that I have been awarded one of the 20 Runner-Up prizes – woohoo!

Carolyn J Robertsimage

Exhibitions, exhibitions…blog update

Been a while since my last post what with Christmas and family illness, something had to give… Anyway, new year, new post and after a lean period as far as art is concerned, I have been attended launch parties for two exhibitions in as many days – you know that saying about buses…

Last night I went to the International Postcard Show 2015 at Surface Gallery, Nottingham. I had submitted three pieces of work –Carolyn J Robertsso went along to the opening night to see them in situ, as well as all the other ‘postcards’!

imageThe exhibition comprises of just over 300 pieces of original postcard sized art works by local, national and international artists. Categories included painting, drawing, digital works, graphic design and illustration, along with photography, craft, collage and pattern design.

Here’s a list of all the artists –

imageand here are some of my pictures of the work and event!

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageAs you can see there is a range of work on display – and for sale! Any postcard marked with a green dot is for sale at the very affordable price of £15! Pop along to Surface Gallery to see all the work and perhaps snap up an original piece of art at a bargain price!

Thursday evening saw me at Blue Owl Art, based at Grantham Tennis Club, Grantham, Lincolnshire for their exhibition – Photography: Art & Grantham In Focus Competition. Photography: Art exhibited work by Adrian Fretwell, Belinda Thomas, Janine Kilroe, Kayne Clarke, Stuart MacFarlane and Zebadak Heda (if I’ve left anyone out or not included a link I apologise..) The work on show explores hand-coloured images, sport, landscape and abstract photography. Here are some of my photos – apologies for the shadows etc…You need to pop along to the gallery to see the work at its best!


imageimageimageimageAnd my personal favourite is this one by Zabadak Heda – (no, I’m not just saying that G!)

imageIn tandem with this exhibition, the gallery also featured the Grantham In Focus Competition – all work submitted had to be taken within a 5 mile radius of Grantham, and a Tennis Category.

imageAs I said, apologies for the quality of my photos – still getting to grips with my ipad………

Well that’s a quick round up – now back to filling in submission forms – how I detest filling in the blurb bit about myself – might have a spot of lunch – I think that’s called procrastinating………….

New Directions…?…blog update

My blog is like buses at the moment, nothing for ages and then two posts in as many days!

Having produced and delivered work for the ‘Making A Mark’ exhibition later this month at Blue Owl Art (based at The Grantham Tennis Club), I felt the need to move away from only drawing trees!

A childhood spent living on a farm riding ponies in rural Lincolnshire has left me with a love of the great outdoors. Much as I love visiting big cities and enjoying all they have to offer, I can’t wait to get back to the green fields, woods, trees, birdsong…you get the picture!

So, in an attempt to seek new horizons, I decided to have a go at not only drawing the trees, but the surrounding countryside as well! Landscapes are not something I have done a lot of, so this is a bit of a departure for me to say the least!

Two areas of the UK that particularly inspire me are Dumfries and Galloway and the Yorkshire Dales; so I decided to work some of the watercolour sketches I did whilst visiting these parts into more finished pieces. This first one is of Wharfedale. Having ‘rediscovered’ charcoal whilst drawing the trees, I thought I would try to produce a landscape in charcoal, if only to help me see the different tonal values.

WharfedaleThese next two are of Auchencairn, a very beautiful, peaceful place in Dumfries and Galloway. Having produced a charcoal version, I decided to have a go in pastels – taking artistic liberties with the colours because it was quite a dull, grey day when we visited – it was March after all!









Like all artists, I am my own worst critic, humming and haaing(!) as to whether they are okay, are they finished – you know the drill I’m sure!!

Regardless of whether I mount, frame, exhibit or, gosh, sell any, I have enjoyed producing these and feel this is an area I will continue to develop.

The PV for Making A Mark is the 19th September 7-9pm.

Making One’s Mark…blog update

It’s been a quiet summmer for me so far, just working on my drawings for the ‘Making A Mark’ exhibition at Blue Owl Art based at The Grantham Tennis Club. This exhibition is part of the nationwide event ‘The Big Draw‘, and not only is there an exhibition of drawing by various artists at Blue Owl Art, there are also events/activities complementing and celebrating the medium of drawing.  Go to the Blue Owl Art website for further details.

I posted images of some of the work I have produced (all framed and now delivered to the gallery) in my previous post ‘Driven to Draw.’ Below are some more images of work I have done for the exhibition – this time unframed pieces, again inspired by silver birches and The National Forest.

Carolyn J RobertsCarolyn J RobertsCarolyn J RobertsCarolyn J RobertsCarolyn J RobertsThe forest is a constant source of inspiration and seeing it in all it’s various guises is a delight!

We delivered the work to Blue Owl Art last Saturday and enjoyed a catch up over coffee and a delicious flapjack and scone from the Rainbow Cafe!

The PV for the exhibition is the 19th September 7-9pm. The exhibition then runs until the end of December.

I am now working on some charcoal landscapes – pictures to follow….Contemplating whether to work them up into acrylics…decisions, decisions!!!!!!!!!!!