Something for the Weekend…Artistic Inspirations…

‘The reeds give

way to the

wind

and give the

wind away,’

A. R. Ammons

To sit awhile, amongst all the madness, to hear the wind rustle through the reeds…to watch their heads bowing this way and that…provides me with a sense of calm, a moment of solace… And I am forever grateful that the river, so close by, affords me the opportunity to do just that…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

‘The dream of my life

is to lie down by a slow river

And stare at the light in the trees –

To learn something by being nothing,

A little while

but the rich

Lens of attention,’

from Entering the Kingdom – Mary Oliver

Following the river on my daily walks is endlessly fascinating, there is always something, perhaps previously unnoticed, that catches the attention…providing inspiration – if not literally, then, just that experience of being out in the landscape, feeling the sun, (when it makes an appearance), and the breeze, hearing the sounds of the water and the birds…

‘A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving, living

part of the very earth itself,’

Laura Gilpin

Rachel Sudworth, this week’s ‘Instagram Artist of the Week’, is also inspired by wild environments; empty Scottish beaches, mountains, the vast expanse of Iceland, northern light, woods and forests… She is particularly influenced by quiet still places, mist and rain and subtle colours…

Rachel Sudworth
Rachel Sudworth

I fell in love with Rachel’s work some time ago;  the soft washes and layers in her paintings combine to create ethereal, evocative landscapes…hinting at memories of places…an invitation to me, as the viewer, to recall my own special moments…

GORSE

  ‘Gorse’ – Rachel Sudworth

After studying Textile Design at university, where she acknowledges that her work was ‘basically just paintings on fabric, Rachel spent many years working as a textile and wallpaper designer, basing her work on ‘hand-drawn imagery in a world of computer aided design.’ After a move to Herefordshire, she took the plunge and returned to her love of painting landscapes…

Rachel Sudworth
‘Small Snow’ – Rachel Sudworth

It’s Rachel’s use of soft, muted washes and marks that appeal to me, along with the small details that invite the viewer to look closer…

QUIET DAY

‘Quiet Day’ – Rachel Sudworth

There is a subtlety about Rachel’s work; I find it very calming, quiet…but so, so beautiful…

RISE

‘Rise’ – Rachel Sudworth

I don’t think it will come as a surprise that one of Rachel’s favourite artists is JMW Turner…(she admits to crying on seeing one of Turner’s sketchbooks in an exhibition, so beautiful did she find it….)  Another favourite artist is Cy Twombly, whose gestural mark making Rachel finds ‘just fabulous.’ Current artists who she admires include Norman Ackroyd and Richard Whadcock…’though their processes are very different, both have a wonderful ability to create such depth and atmosphere, it just transports you. I like paintings you can get lost in.’

Rachel also creates abstract pieces; inks and watercolour on paper…gestural marks combined with loose washes, allowing the  natural qualities of the paint to come to the fore…

Rachel Sudworth
‘Number 5’ – Rachel Sudworth

Again, it’s that combination of the muted, washes, marks and varying textures that draw you in to read your own interpretation of the work…

Rachel Sudworth
‘Number 2’ – Rachel Sudworth

Having previously had a ‘studio’ in a room in her house, a recent move has provided Rachel with the space to design her very own garden studio, which is now in the process of being built – exciting times!! The studio is wedge-shaped, an idea pinched from one of her favourite ‘Grand Designs’ on the Isle of Skye. Rachel says that she ‘intends to keep it in a state of creative chaos, with all my photos and inspiration on one wall, and another nice blank wall to view finished work’ – sounds fabulous, and I might just be a teeny bit jealous!!

SUMMIT

‘Summit’ – Rachel Sudworth

Do take a look at Rachel’s Instagram feed, and her website…find inspiration in her quiet washes, muted palette and interesting mark making…dream of wild places….

As ever, I would like to thank Rachel for agreeing to participate in my ‘Instagram Artist of the Week’ feature – I am always amazed and forever appreciative to my fellow creatives for taking the time to answer messages and questions from a random Instagrammer/artist/blogger…

Being an artist is a somewhat solitary occupation, and spending long periods at home/in the studio is the norm; however, even though I am used to being home alone, keeping motivated during these uncertain times has been a little like riding a rollercoaster (although I am fully aware this is a small matter compared to what some people are having to cope with…..) The internet and social media, so often maligned, have been invaluable during this period, providing inspiration along with art initiatives and tutorials…Jackson’s Art Blog have provided a round up of some of the online art classes and activities.. Who wouldn’t be inspired to experiment with oil pastels after watching Sir Quentin Blake drawing with them, or perhaps, try your hand at life drawing courtesy of the Soho Life Drawing

I have continued to work on my series of abstract mixed media paintings inspired by the Cornish Coast…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

I now have to think of titles for these; the vocabulary used to describe the landscape plays a part, along with inspiration from text, poems, song lyrics etc…and whilst researching I came across this by Sir John Betjeman:

‘Cornish Cliffs

Those moments, tasted once and never done,

Of long surf breaking in the mid-day sun.

A far-off blow-hole booming like a gun –

 

The seagulls plane and circle out of sight

Below this thirsty, thrift-encrusted height,

The veined sea-campion buds burst into white

 

And gorse turns tawny orange, seen beside

Pale drifts of primroses cascading wide

To where the slate falls sheer into the tide.

 

More than in gardened Surrey, nature spills

A wealth of heather, kidney-vetch and squills

Over these long-defended Cornish hills.

 

A gun-emplacement of the latest war

Looks older than the hill fort built before

Saxon or Norman headed for the shore.

 

And in the shadowless, unclouded glare

Deep blue above us fades to whiteness where

A misty sea-line meets the wash of air.

 

Nut-smell of gorse and honey-smell of ling

Waft out to sea the freshness of the spring

On sunny shallows, green and whispering.

 

The wideness which the lark-song gives the sky

Shrinks at the clang of sea-birds sailing by

Whose notes are tuned to days when seas are high.

 

From today’s calm, the lane’s enclosing green

Leads inland to a usual Cornish scene –

Slate cottages with sycamore between,

 

Small fields and tellymasts and wires and poles

With, as the everlasting ocean rolls,

Two chapels built for half a hundred souls.’

I particularly like the lines ‘To where the slate falls sheer into the tide’ and ‘A misty sea-line meets the wash of air’…we’ll see how all this inspiration plays out in my choice of titles…

Our time in Cornwall seems a lifetime ago…little did we know when battling the gales, what further ‘storms’ were waiting… Being able to visit wild places, to experience the landscape…to be outdoors is necessary to me…and it’s true, that when you are not able to do something, even if just for a relatively short period of time, it’s then that you realise how much you miss it…so I am having to ‘roam’ vicariously through books, podcasts and radio broadcasts…and I came across this BBC ‘Open Book’ programme where presenter Mariella Frostrup is exploring the landscape of the Yorkshire Moors and how it has inspired authors and poets…from the Brontes, Ted Hughes and, slightly more recently, Ross Raisin…just hearing their footsteps crunching on the path made me want to pull my walking boots on…

For now, I will remain close to home…

‘Among the tawny tasselled reed

The ducks and ducklings float and feed

With head oft dabbing in the flood

They fish all day the weedy mud..

 

The geese in troops come droving up,

Nibble the weeds and take a sup;

And, closely puzzled to agree,

Chatter like gossips over tea…’

from The Fens by John Clare

 

As ever, I hope you have found something to interest and inspire you,

Take care,

C

(If you would like to keep up-to-date with current works-in-progress please follow me on social media:

Instagram – www.instagram.com/carolynjrobertsartist

Twitter – www.twitter.com/CJRFineArtist

or for more of my arty news, ramblings, offers, discounts and the occasional video please sign up via the link opposite to receive my monthly(ish) newsletter)

 

 

Something for the Weekend…

‘One step at a time is good walking,’

Chinese proverb

It’s difficult to know what to say, what to write in situations such as these; I am taking it one step at a time, one day at a time…life has a new ‘normal’ for now…

Endeavouring to maintain a semblance of routine, I am continuing with these posts; researching and writing provides a focus along with further experimental artwork…

Inspired by the colours of Cornwall, the wild weather, the slate grey cliffs…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

I am also continuing with my daily collage sketchbook; as I have said before, it provides a gentle start to my creativity…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Someone else who has the most fabulous sketchbooks is this week’s ‘Instagram Artist of the Week,’ Helen Glassford

Helen Glassford Art
Helen Glassford Art
Helen Glassford Art
Helen Glassford Art

I find artists’ sketchbooks fascinating and always make a bee-line for them whenever I can… Helen’s sketchbooks look veritable treasures of mark-making and atmospheric artworks…

Helen Glassford Art
Helen Glassford Art
Helen Glassford Art
Helen Glassford Art

Immersed in the Scottish landscape Helen acknowledges that there are three major areas to her work; the geographically remote and intensely powerful locales, the evocations of Northern ideology, the feelings and emotions along with the liminal spaces, the edges, the borders…

Helen Glassford Art
Helen Glassford Art
Helen Glassford Art
Helen Glassford Art

The atmosphere and colour palette really appeal to me…

Helen Glassford Art
Helen Glassford Art
Helen Glassford Art
Helen Glassford Art

On her Instagram feed, Helen includes short videos of her creating work in her sketchbooks… I find them fascinating to watch…

Do take a look at Helen’s Instagram feed as well as her website…beautiful, evocative work that transports me to wild, remote places that I can lose myself in…

Helen Glassford Art
Fallacies of Hope – Helen Glassford Art

As ever, I would like to thank Helen for agreeing to participate in this… I very much appreciate the generosity…

Whatever else is happening in the world, Nature reminds us that life goes on…Spring is most definitely in the air…

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

…and although this reading of William Wordsworth’s ‘Daffodils’ by Noma Dumezweni is from a few years ago…I find it beautiful and evocative…(hopefully it’s available to you…)…and another favourite poem is A. E. Housman’s:

‘Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

is hung with bloom along the bough,

And stands about the woodland ride

Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of threescore years and ten,

Twenty will not come again,

And take from seventy springs a score,

It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom

Fifty springs are little room,

About the woodlands I will go

To see the cherry hung with snow.’

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

Even though, for the foreseeable, trips out into the landscape are on hold, being outdoors plays an important role in my life, not just for my emotional well-being, but also, as inspiration for my artwork…. Someone, for whom wild, remote places are also an inspiration is Norman Ackroyd… I was lucky enough to see his exhibition back in November 2018 at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park…

To me his work is so evocative and atmospheric; definitely makes me want to explore these remote landscapes….

Norman Ackroyd
Norman Ackroyd
Norman Ackroyd
Norman Ackroyd

I find it endlessly fascinating listening to an artist talking about their inspiration and thought processes as well as watching their practice; not sure this programme is still available on the BBC but I found it on YouTube, albeit in two clips….

Carolyn J Roberts Artist

I hope you’re managing to keep safe and well, and, hopefully, having the chance to get outdoors…

For now, take care

C

 

(If you would like to see works-in-progress or general studio ramblings please follow me on social media:

Instagram – www.instagram.com/carolynjrobertsartist

Twitter – www.twitter.com/CJRFineArtist

…or for more even more arty news, musings, offers or discounts plus video demos, 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!!

 

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….

 

Tentative Steps…

Carolyn J Roberts artist

‘Sun on my shoulders and wind at my back,

bound & determined to get back on track

to where the heart is…

where it’s been all along,’

Tim McGraw

 

Okay, so I might be stretching it a little this morning; the sun most definitely isn’t on my shoulders, nor is the wind at my back…but this week has seen me determined to get back on track after recent and still ongoing events…Without harping on, regular followers of my social media will know that family dramas have taken up most of my time and energy, leaving little space or inclination for creativity. However, the immediate crises have subsided slightly and I am making tentative steps back towards making art again…

Getting back in the studio was a major step…

Carolyn J Roberts artist

..and whilst it’s small and jumbled, it’s my space…and it was fabulous to go in there and be surrounded by all my favourite materials as well as some of my favourite objects..

It has been several weeks since I created any art or even picked up a pencil or a paintbrush, so I have been conscious of the need to be gentle with myself…to concentrate on just enjoying the feel of the materials, exploring and playing, with no expectations..

So I have been making small collages..

Carolyn J Roberts artist

Carolyn J Roberts artist

..getting back to the mono-printing – Instagram #100daychallenge

Carolyn J Roberts artist

..and while I need to brush up on the technique, it was great to just to get ink on my fingers…

Mark making is fundamental to my art and getting my arm moving, making gestural marks with the Art Graf, soluble pencils and ink was so liberating…

Carolyn J Roberts artist

All this experimenting and playing is really just to get me back into the habit of daily creating…and with the exhibition at Thornton coming up on 6/7 July as well as getting confirmation of my acceptance to participate in this year’s Melbourne Festival, Derbyshire in September, I need to get back in the swing of things…

Carolyn J Roberts artist

Carolyn J Roberts artist

 

If you want to keep up-to-date with all my goings on please follow me on social media or sign up using the link to receive my newsletter where you will also receive offers and opportunities..

 

‘Finding your way doesn’t mean you know where you are going. It’s

knowing how to find your way back home that’s important,’

Clare Vanderpool

 

Slowly, I am finding my way home../