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!!

 

Lightbulb Moments…

‘To be a true artist you have to play the way you feel – not the way

others think you should feel,’

Don Ellis

 

Usually, when a FB/Instagram memory pops up, it just serves to remind me that time is passing…occasionally however, a memory crops up that makes me take another look…

Norfolk Memories (Sold)

This one reminded me of a painting technique that I hadn’t experimented with in a long while… and, as my focus has been somewhat lacking of late…I thought I would go back and explore the process – with fresh eyes…

…and, as is often the case, no expectations produces some reasonable results…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

I think I even have a new favourite colour…Daniel Smith Grey Titanium watercolour…it’s a mid-tone warm grey with slightly yellow undertones…which I think works well with my old favourite Daniel Smith Indigo watercolour…and a touch of Daniel Smith French Ochre and Daniel Smith Raw Umber…along with my very old favourite Daler Rowney FW Sepia Acrylic Ink – I love these colours…!!

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

I belong to an artist group run by Alice Sheridan as well as a Facebook group run by Louise Fletcher – they also host the podcast ‘Artjuice’. I am also reading ‘Feel the Fear & Do It Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers as well as listening to other podcasts…and a common theme running through these platforms etc has been the idea of doing what you love, being authentic, creating art that is true to yourself… and I know that in the past I have been guilty of creating work that I think others will love, work that doesn’t always feel authentic…

And ‘ping!’ – off went my lightbulb…I love this colour palette and effects, as much as I love mark making, so why do I persist in fighting what feels natural?

‘Happiness comes

when you believe in

what you’re doing,

know what you’re

doing, and love

what you’re doing,’

Brian Tracy

I have loved going into my ‘studio’, working on these, experimenting…exploring the colours, tones and effects I can create…why ever did I imagine that artists’ shouldn’t have a limited palette…?

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

I have loved working on larger paper; it has felt liberating, splashing and swooshing paint about, apparently randomly – but with an element of control… Some pieces work, some don’t; sometimes cropping the piece produces small but interesting images…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

I don’t know where this work will lead to, I don’t even know if people will like them; all I know is, I love creating them, I love the colour  palette and effects – it truly feels as if this is ‘my’ art, and this feeling is giving me the confidence to persist with this ‘voice’ along with the mark making…

‘Don’t aim for

success if you want it; just do

what you love

and believe in,

and it will come

naturally,’

David Frost

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

It’s such a joy going into the ‘studio’ knowing that there is work that I am looking forward to working on…

‘Art

is when you hear a

knocking from your soul…

and you answer,’

Terri Guillemets

If you want to see more work-in-progress, please follow me on social media, or, for more of my ramblings, insights and art-related matters, please sign up via the link opposite to receive my monthly(ish) newsletter.

(This page contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of the links and then buy, I could receive a small percentage commission. I only recommend products that I use and love.)

 

 

Searching for Simplicity….Cont’d….

It’s been a bit of a stop/start couple of weeks – what with the ongoing family issues and preparations for the Melbourne Festival, Derbyshire on the 14th/15th September – my search for a simpler life as well as for more clarity in my artwork has taken somewhat of a backseat…such is life…

To-do lists, mounting, framing, pricing, cataloguing etc., let’s be honest, not the most glamourous side of being an artist…but all jobs that need doing…and it will all be worth it, fingers crossed…

However, even whilst making a prototype ‘book’ of my watercolour, charcoal and ink mark making studies…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

….the urge to splash ink, make marks and generally just experiment, was too strong…even if it was just a couple of pages in a sketchbook…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

It felt so good to be creative, experimenting…and to know that, when I finally have more time, I am conscious of the direction I want to go with my art….

(And by the way, regarding the prototype, I have decided to make the ‘covers’ out of heavyweight rough watercolour paper rather than mountboard…we shall see…)

If you want to keep up-to-date with my work in progress, please follow me on social media…or for more ramblings, please sign up to receive my monthly(ish) newsletter via the link opposite…

In the meantime…..

‘Start where you are.

Use what you have.

Do what you can,’

Arthur Ashe

Sketchbooks…Part One

I have just spent a very cathartic couple of hours…clearing, sorting, cutting and sticking… Regular followers will know that I am going through somewhat of a transitional phase, part of which includes getting rid of ‘stuff’, both physically and mentally… De-cluttering is the order of the day so…

I am sure I am not alone in having a pile of reject artworks sitting in the corner of my work space; experimental pieces, offcuts of work, quick sketches, odd mark making exercises…at the time, they all served a purpose, now they just sit there, glaring sullenly at me from the corner, taking space…so, armed with my latest acquisition, a guillotine, I set to work…

Some went straight into the recycle bin…others were sliced and diced until I found a composition or a mark I liked, and duly stuck into a sketchbook…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

I can’t tell you how good it felt, clearing out, sorting, saving the areas of work I liked for future reference…all in one sketchbook rather than just having a huge pile of ‘also rans’…even the slicing and dicing was therapeutic…there is something strangely satisfying about the ‘snap’ of the guillotine from one end to the other….or is that just me?

Carolyn J Roberts Artist


Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

 

 

Now I realise that this idea is not revolutionary, I haven’t re-invented the wheel or anything, and many of you will already do this – I’m just a late-comer to the party…. And I can see the benefit of it…not only am I de-cluttering, the process is making me assess and evaluate which bits of my practice I prefer; the mark making, the colour palette, the empty spaces…and clarifying these elements is all part of my artistic journey…speaking of which…I came across this poem by David Whyte recently, aptly called ‘The Journey’…

‘Above the mountains

the geese turn into

the light again

 

Painting their

black silhouettes

on an open sky

 

Sometimes everything

has to be

inscribed across

the heavens

 

so you can find

the one line

already written

inside you

 

Sometimes it takes

a great sky

to find that

 

first, bright

and indescribable

wedge of freedom

in your own heart

 

Sometimes with

the bones of the black

sticks left when the fire

has gone out

 

someone has written

something new

in the ashes of your life.

 

You are not leaving.

Even as the light fades quickly now,

you are arriving.’

 

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

 

This process  of clearing out, sorting through, pinpointing likes and dislikes, is just another step along my path…

What do you do with old work, experimental pieces….I would love to know!!

If you would like to keep up-to-date with what I am working on please follow me on social  media… I am also in the process of writing my August newsletter; have to admit it’s longer than usual, but it explains a little about the shift in my creative thinking…if you are interested in learning more, plus hearing other news, please sign up via the link opposiste…

Experimentation…..Likes & Dislikes….

‘Taste is an evolution and refinement of one’s

personal likes and dislikes. This evolution takes

place with a constant curiosity and interest in

everything. The editing consequently refines

the choices and defines taste,’

Norma Kamali

 

It’s been a week of development and experimentation; some of it on a practical level, interspersed with a bit of ‘research’…(for research read social media, scrolling and Pinterest, more of which later…)

Using what is to hand in the ‘studio’, I have continued with the work inspired by the swallows and house-martins swooping over the river, the ‘tales from the riverbank’ series as I have named it, temporarily at least..

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Created on sketchbook paper that I don’t feel so precious about, I have splished, splashed, swooped and splattered, creating work that I have then had fun cropping, finding new compositions…

Carolyn J Roberets Artist

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Continuing to experiment I found some left over landscape 140lb Daler Rowney cold press watercolour Aquarelle paper so thought I would give it a try…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

 

….and whilst I love the format, and larger size, I am not so keen on the paper surface…and that’s where the personal likes and dislikes enter into it. If we all liked the same things, we would all live in the same houses, drive the same cars, wear the same clothes and like the same art…but we humans are a diverse bunch, and our tastes differ….

…and I’m just not that keen on this surface for this particular body of work…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

I don’t like the effect the surface has on the charcoal; I much prefer using the charcoal on smooth paper…

Carolyn J Roberets Artist

 

So I am slowly refining my tastes, although not liking the paper hasn’t stopped me from playing around with the piece, cropping with a spare mount….

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

The next materials order will definitely be for smooth/hot press paper!!

….and as for Pinterest – well I have been upping my game with this recently; most feedback suggests that this platform is one of the most effective ways of driving traffic to your website, so I thought I had better make an effort. After only a short period, two things I have noticed/realised 1) there has been an increase in traffic to my website, although this hasn’t materialised into any sales yet, but slowly, slowly building an audience…and 2) how scrolling/re-pinning/creating boards is helping me refine my tastes, helping me to see my preferences and how this translates into my artwork. I do have boards about colour (even one titled ‘Colours I love….but am afraid to use’…!!) but the majority of the artwork I pin or re-pin is loose, expressive and of a muted colour palette. There is also an awful lot of mark making images and work with a graphic element to it…I am obviously a little slow on the uptake, but seeing the work I love pinned this way, all in one place,  has really crystallised my loves and, in a strange sort of way, confirmed that my preferences/loves/my artwork are okay – I know, I know – it’s just how my brain works…or not… Anyhow, I shall persist with Pinterest and see how it goes…

….and I shall continue experimenting, refining my likes and dislikes…

‘…the important questions are answered

by not liking only but disliking and

accepting equally what one likes and

dislikes. Otherwise there is no access to

the dark night of the soul,’

John Cage

If you want to see more of my work in progress/ramblings please follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook, or for previews of new work, offers and more, sign up using the link opposite, to receive my monthly(ish) newsletter…

As One Sketchbook Closes…

‘Wind of Change’

‘A strange wind is coming from the west. It

smells of change. As it gently blows

my hair, I feel my unanswered questions fade.

I don’t remember them anymore. Their

answers don’t matter. A tickling feeling

over my face makes my bare skin come to

life when I know that it is my very soul

that is actually awaking from a long, deep

sleep. Wind of Change…now I know I had

been long waiting for you. I am ready,’

Vasiliki

 



Carlyn J Roberts Artist

 


Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Just as the river meanders it’s way through the year, transitioning from quiet hibernation to brimming with life, lush with growth…I too, feel as if I am in a transition period…

Regular followers will know that I have been creating collages in a small sketchbook…which I have now filled…

Creating these collages has made me question my likes/dislikes…

 

 


Carolyn J Roberts Artist

 


Carolyn J Roberts Artist

(bottom collage image quote by Seamus Heaney .)  Beautiful words that conjure up magical landscapes…

I am trying to simplify my life, de-cluttering ( or trying to) the house, getting rid of ‘stuff/baggage’ that has been weighing me down, making my life lighter, more ‘spacious’ – both physically and mentally – and it is  the space around the work as much as anything, the monochromatic nature of the work, the mark-making that I am drawn to…and feel this is the direction I want to explore in my work…

‘It is what I was born for –

to look, to listen, to lose

myself inside this soft

world – to instruct

myself over and over…’

Mary Oliver

 

So I have lots of sketchbooks waiting to be filled…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

 

Change of any description is scary; who knows where this exploration will lead, if any where but, as this saying goes…

‘If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies,’ – Anon.

If you want to keep up to date with my latest ramblings, offers and previews, please sign up via the link opposite to receive my monthly(ish) newsletter! You can also see work in progress on my social media posts….