Places to Inspire…..

One of our favourite ‘what if’s’,or maybe that should read ‘where would you go’ if you won the lottery, is deciding which part of the country we would most like to move to…. and we can never quite decide between the north Norfolk coast, the Yorkshire Dales or somewhere with mountains….

A recent drive home through Snowdonia brought my mountain loving soul back to the forefront…and I have spent some time playing around with collage and mixed media…

….the light dusting of snow adding to my delight….


….where would you go…..?

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Paper, Paper Everywhere….

Whenever I go to an art shop or browse an on-line art catalogue I am always overwhelmed by the selection of paper on offer…paper for all mediums and preferences..

For those of you kind enough to stop by and read my blog, you will know that I have a rather parsimonious attitude to the paper I practice on…using only old sketchbook sheets…and even these vary in weight…

…but today I decided to go mad, call it Friday Frivolity if you will…

….the above are initial watercolour washes… the bottom right is on sketchbook paper whilst the other two are on 300lb Fabriano Artistico HP paper – I know, whatever was I thinking….

It’s fairly obvious how the sketchbook paper buckles under the amount of water I use – and I am lazy and can’t be bothered to stretch it – but the Fabriano paper is lovely. It withstands lots of water and a lot of rough treatment; I used a brush along with a roller, old credit card and stick to move the pigment around… without damaging the surface.

I continued to add washes….and with the help of Adobe Photoshop Express for virtual cropping and framing…these are the results…

Sticking with my favourite colours of Daniel Smith Rich Gold, Indigo, Paynes Grey and Quinacridone Gold…..I based these on Norfolk reed beds… ??

It was actually lovely to have experimental pieces that might be worth framing and not be worried that the paper has buckled…there’s a lesson in there somewhere…

Only problem now is that I would like more of the Fabriano paper…doesn’t bode well for my piggy bank when I head off to the Patchings Art Festival next week….

 

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….

 

 

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″!!!

The Final Countdown….

Well, I am pleased to say that, after a couple of marathon mounting/framing sessions (huge thanks to my better half for all of his help with this), all the work for the Exploring Place exhibition at Blue Owl Art is packed and ready to go!!

I have tried to select work that I feel best depicts my emotional response to the countryside, whether that be The Dark Peaks of Derbyshire or the flat expanse of the North Norfolk coast. I am really happy with how they look…(and as long as I am happy with them that’s all that should matter…)

                                               ‘ Cei Bach’


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Copsewood’                                                          ‘Tangled’

‘Uplands’

                                              ‘Dark Peak II & I’


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Pingle’                                                             ‘Roughet

 

                                                 ‘Selvedge’

‘Windswept Sentry’

                                              ‘Boundary Tree’

                                                   ‘Hagg’


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Hawthorn I & II’

                                             ‘Suthering’

                                                 ‘Cow & Calf’

                                               ‘Fenlands’

                                                ‘Smeuse’

                                                ‘Norfolk Memories’

……but the doubts creep in – doubts that are common to most artists I should imagine….

Anyways, the PV is on 29th June at 7.00pm – you are all very welcome….would be lovely to see you there…..and the exhibition then runs until October!

(Apologies, wordpress seemed to have a mind of its own as regards lining up the titles  under the work….or perhaps it is more likely to be operator error….)

 

 

 

Developing Inspiration?…blog update

Although social media comes in for a fair amount of criticism (and in some cases I feel it is entirely justified!) there is a positive side to it as well. Without it I wouldn’t have discovered all the amazing artists that I have, picked up lots of tips from artists who generously share their techniques, methods and general advice for us mere mortals trying to find our way, or learn about so many opportunites and exhibitions. It was only through social media that I learnt about the International Postcard Exhibition at the Surface Gallery, Nottingham. I submitted three ‘postcards’ for display

Carolyn J Robertsimageand whilst they might not win any awards or even sell, being part of an exhibition all helps with making connections and getting your name ‘out there’.

It was also on social media that I spotted an invite to contribute to an installation – part of the ‘Drop Me A Line’ exhibition by Michael Fairfax and Louise Baker at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton, Devon. Having seen examples, again on Twitter, as well as having a ‘bit of a thing for lines’ as anyone who was at uni with me will testify, I thought I would submit some work. My sketches of the Peak District and of the ‘cliffs’ along the Norfolk coast concentrating on the ‘anti-clines’ were my inspiration!

imageCarolyn J Roberts

 

 

 

Carolyn J Robertsimage

 

 

 

And here are the ones I submitted –

imageimageimageimageI like the strength of the line in the landscape – whilst also acknowledging the transient nature of the world around us. I had been playing around with this idea for a while, but felt like I needed more inspiration as I wasn’t totally sure about the direction I was going until, luck would have it, I watched ‘Countryfile’ on Sunday night, all about the bard of Scotland, Robbie Burns. It was the piece involving landscape photographer Colin Prior and his quote from Burns’ poem ‘Tam O’Shanter’ –

‘But pleasures are like poppies, spread,

You sieze the flower, its bloom is shed;

Or like the snow falls in the river,

A moment white – then melts forever,

Or like the borealis race,

That flit ere you can point their place,

Or like the rainbow’s lovely form,

Evanishing amid the storm,

Nae man can tether time or tide’

 

that really captured, in words, what I was trying to portray.

So, suitably inspired, I am now trying to develop these pieces further –

imageimageimageSo far I have used Bockingford Paper, indian ink and watercolour pencil in an attempt to show the contour lines and anticlines, but with the addition of tissue paper and washes to portray the transient nature of the landscape. I can see these developing into larger pieces….

Might even submit these to Blue Owl Art, Grantham, for their ‘Inpired by Nature’ exhibition – 30 April-31 August 2015 -will see how they evolve…