Category: DRAWINGS AND PAINTINGS

kat robertson artist

Holding Back the Tide.

(Every month I participate in the Treesister’s wonderful, nourishing, Full Moon Calls and journal the experience. Sometimes I share the experience here too.)

So,this is the last of this six week cycle.

Belong. Belonging to Life.

I have put off sharing this as I could not work out how best to make this post.

I think this may be the last of these Full Moon shares for a while.

In drifting away from the screen the way I am called to, I am drifting away too from all online connections.

I will still be meditating every Full Moon, but am curious now in ‘loosing the narrative’.
Hopefully those ‘unguided’ meditations will also inspire creation!

Head has been too hungry for information and full of searching possibilities to be able to make art these last few months.
Trying to make some kind of sense of it all and failing miserably.

This drawing broke a period of crushing ‘artist’s block’.
A weird kind.
Too many inspirations. Mind like rapids.
In a state of constant inspiration.
Never starting anything.
Never finishing anything.
Podcasts, drama, radio constantly on.
Repeatedly triggered.
Very distracted.
Fascinated and horrified by these times in equal measure.
Watching it all play out and, at the same time, come closer.
Sometimes obsessing about the way that, as a wave goes out, there is a crossover point, and that is when the gravel hisses.
An emotional gyroscope.
Meditation an essential coping mechanism, that I am not always doing.

Doing this drawing helped.

I have not yet, fully understood, what this pencil drawing, inspired by the guided meditation, speaks to me.
It is still landing.

This is an attempt to share one ‘still’ image that arose during the meditation.
One that stayed with me days later.
One that called to be drawn out.

It arrived as an intuitively, evolving, work.
A combination of ink-jet print and pencil.

Interesting, that it is a picture of a ‘blockage’ ……. the figure seemed very peaceful…..

I call it ‘Holding Back the Tide.’

kat robertson artist
‘Holding Back the Tide’

From notes 24/6/21:

“Full Strawberry Moon.
Solstice Moon.

Embrace the World.

Sandy soil giving way to pure sand. Mediterranean? Pines in a beach edge.
Deep dappled shade.
River estuary to my right through the trees.
Ahead a clear, straight, HORIZON.
Relcutant to leave the shade.
No shade at the edge of the sandy estuary.
Stepping into the punishing glare.
Leaving one way tracks across the silty sand.
Stepping into the river.
Fresh and Salty.
Brine.
Floating down stream, then stopped from going ‘all out to sea’, caught in a basket-shaped, natural, ‘harbour’ of water-bleached, smooth, river-drifted, wood.
Gently held by those broken limbs.

Reminded again of ‘Debris’. (A character I wove in 1992, for my peculiar degree show, who still haunts me somehow.)

Back to floating.
In the calmer water behind this wooden ‘pocket’.
The rest of the river continues to roar past alongside.
Important not to let myself be caught in its pull.

Very aware of Air and Water.
Supported by the sky above and the briney water below.
Exploring the air and water within my own body.

Kind of dissolved. Like salt.

Looking straight up at the ever-changing sky.

Clouds.

My breath joining them, creating more clouds.


Sandwiched between Sky and Water.

Bridging Water and Sky.”



Tides, washing up and flotsam, jetsam.
White sprays tinged with grey and floating matter, all too ready to latch onto the back of her brain.
Vultures disguised as gulls, snap and scream, waiting for the water’s waste to choke her up completely, then to swoop and gnaw.
Sneakily paranoid of their intentions.
Rocking in a sea-like motion, (narrator rocks) sailing her old memories and collecting all the junk, clogging up her veins.

Debris.

Debris crying salty tears for the beautiful ocean she remembers, now a solid field of left behinds and waste.”

(extract from ‘Spook’ : performance by Kat Robertson. 1992)



Heart-Light Glow/Full Flower Moon: Partial Eclipse

(Every month I participate in the Treesister’s wonderful, nourishing, Full Moon Calls and journal the experience. This month my response was more visual!)

This month we were guided to ask ourselves if we were giving from empty?
It does feel like that sometimes.
And then asked if we could fill up enough to give?
To Connect, become Open and Breathe in the Love.

What part of me is needing Love?

The part of me that does not know she is loved.
The part of me I, frankly, do not Love.
A part of me that has become so wizened and hardened, like a nut.
She is difficult to prise open.
Probably rotten inside anyhow.
The part of me I find unloveable.
Undeserving of my Love.
The part with no self discipline, the lazy, self-sabotaging, self.
The part of me that does not Love itself.
And hides in it’s tough shell.
Pushing all Love away.

I can see ‘her’ now , as a cartoon figure.
Overweight, mis-shapen, slouching, bad teeth, thick glasses, cracked feet.
A fag hanging off her bottom lip. Yellowed fingers, purple skin.
An ugly, crying, needy, face.

How to embrace our short comings, our weaker selves?
Do we forgive them? Explain them, make excuses for them? Tell their story? Attempt to understand them?

Those parts of ourselves we’d rather not meet.

I said ‘Hello.’

‘She’ did not reply.

Just pretended not to hear me and blew smoke/ink in my face, obviously willing me to try again.

I was not in the mood for those games.

I moved on past.

The meditation guided us in to our Hearts.
Into our Heartbeat.
Such an incredible organ.

Recieving and Giving. Recieving and Giving.
24/7.

As I listened, I ‘saw’ an image of naked women, appearing like sea creatures, curled up in child’s pose, faces to the ground? Floating in dark matter cosmos? All with glowing, changing, skin. Skin covered in chromatophores. Like a squid or octupus. Pulsing light, in unison, in the dark. As they pulsed, a mysterious, network below them pulsed Life, thier Love Energy, all through the forest floor.

I decided to try and work with this ‘vision’ and see what happened!

I set out thinking it was going to be a pen and ink drawing …. it evolved into some rather strange, digital art experiments, which bear little resemblance to the original ‘vision’!

Like ‘sketches’ for part of a performance? Sci-fi illustrations?

Here are some of the images that resulted.

Heart-Light Glow

dandelion clock as background?
kat robertson artist
kat robertson artist

Growth.

Thinking alot about Growth recently.
Reading about ideas of Degrowth.
Knowing that it is less, not more, that I need now,
But not wanting to ‘send us back to the dark ages’.

I stare out of the window.
Tree teacher.

The great Oak grows up fast in the beginning.
Then pauses to thicken.
Creating Stability.

Often it looses a lower limb or two as it stretches toward the sky.
Shedding what no longer serves.

It grows slower and wider as it ages.
Putting on rings of girth.
Not only on it’s trunk, but also on it’s branches and it’s roots.
Growing in all directions!
Building strength to ensure it’s longevity.

In years of scarcity it grows less.
In years of plenty it takes all it needs.
In it’s maturity it becomes host to other, new, Life.
Ferns and fungi, lichen and mosses.

Societal progress might do well to learn from this great tree.

Societal ‘growth’ has more in common with the growth I see in the commercial, forestry, plantations.
The fast growing, conifer, trees, all planted too close together.
They rush toward the light.
Growing thin, straight and brittle.
The ground below becoming deadened.
Little thrives there, in the acid dark, to knit it all together.

And then, when the first big wind comes along,
They uproot or snap.
Collide into one another, falling like dominos.
Each taking it’s neighbour down as it falls.

Becoming worthless as a crop.
Impossible to even harvest.

No longer possible to make sense of as ‘forest’.

So Oak teaches it is not about stopping growing.
Not about degrowing.
(Although, perhaps, we could lose a useless limb or two, that no longer serve)

It is about growth in the right places, at the right time.

Allow for more Light.
Create more Space.
With Care and Foresight,
Prune away the dead, or diseased, wood as necessary.

Like all good gardeners, cultivate more Patience.
More Awareness of Resources available.
More Awareness of what grows Beneath.

This is what makes for more Resilience.

These are lessons well worth remembering now.

Not new wisdom. As ancient as the hills.

Thank You Oak for reminding me.

Kat Robertson. May 2021.

charcoal drawing, used to create animation, in its final state.
‘Tree. Growing in all directions
, as dictated by what is available to it, by the stresses it encounters
kat robertson artist

Playing in Mud again.

Sick of going ‘roon and roon’ with the mandalas and needing to connect with my, creative, inner child.
So it was no real suprise to find myself playing in mud again.
I get so lost in it.
It fits every need in me.
Just soil/earth and water. Nothing else.
And so giving. Endless possibilities.
This time I have been exploring printing techniques.
I am very excited by some of the effects created, but still have little control over them!
The print dictates the image, rather than having a plan!
Earth speaks through the medium.

I make a mono-print and then ‘draw out’, by simply moving ‘earth about’, what image I see ‘sleeping’ in the shapes made.

This mud art is very difficult to photograph well,
All these experiments are done on white paper, even using photoshop editing on them is prooving difficult.
It is impossible to simply replace background on these as much of the subtlety is lost, and, in some instances, seemingly impossible to loose ‘the blue’ of white paper.

To the best of my ability I have reproduced these images as true to their real appearance as possible!

kat robertson artist
Initial first experiments with printing in mud.

This print below has to be my favorite.
(See the top picture in this post, top left, for a truer idea of the colours and subtle texture in the mud, after applying linseed oil fix.)
This wee mud fairy was clearly calling to be ‘drawn out’ of the mud!

I have been experimenting with adding pigments/fixatives to the mud.
But this does not work.
The pigment stains the paper in a way that then does not allow further, effective, manipulation of the mud before it dries, which is more than half the fun!
I discovered (during the creation of Delta State) that I can add pigment to the dried, finished, piece if I require it.
I am also experimenting with some alternative fixing methods, as I feel these prints loose a lot of texuture when the linseed oil is applied.
More muddy experimenting to follow!

kat robertson artist
kat robertson artist

Delta State.

Delta State a
Inspired by Grayson Perry’s Art Club to do some drawing.
It has been a while.
The prompt was ‘Dreaming’.

I did a few random searches on ‘dream states’ and was reminded that the name of the brainwave, associated with deep dreaming, is ‘Delta Wave’. These brain waves, electrial impulses, now recorded using electroencephalography (EEG).

I meditated on these words and an image began to take form, behind my eyelids.

I really enjoyed a return to charcoal (probably still my favorite medium of all time!). Burned Tree.
I used a plastic stylus to invisibly carve ‘rivers’, running from the centre out to the edge, each reaching a ‘delta’ at the edge.
Then, when I took the charcoal over the page, it worked like a rubbing, the ‘rivers’ remaining white.
I worked it up from there, getting lost in the ‘mountains’ and land forms that appeared and disappeared with the swipe of an erasor or the rubbing blackness of my finger. Enjoying all the accidental illusions.
As I worked I began to wonder if I had made a mistake making the centre ( that had also clearly became the pupil of an eye) so very dark?
Perhaps the rivers should run from the edge and become delta near the centre? With the ocean as the pupil?
No possibility to change that now.
I introduced soil pigment and was amazed at the sheen it had to it when used with charcoal in this way.
And eventually reached a point when the piece could be worked no further.
One of those pieces when the best versions lie hidden under later layers.

I googled ‘river deltas from space’ and sat, open-mouthed, gaping at the Beauty of these branching, sediment carrying, ‘tree’-like, neuron, blood vessel, veins of Life.
Each finding their own way, pulled by Gravity, following paths of least resistance, at last to join, the Ocean.
I learned that, apart from the threat of rising ocean levels, our world’s great river deltas are actually sinking.
This is due to damming and other human-made, water diversions, higher up stream.
The sediment is no longer washed down to the sea.
Less and less, new, silty land is being created. Fewer nutrients feeding our shores.
This natural barrier to coastal erosion removed by our own, ignorant, subtraction.
(Sub-traction. Ex-traction. These words now haunt my Dreamtime. Our human obsession with all things ‘traction’ so tied up with removing the very earth’s surface we seek ‘traction’ upon! Mechanically hauling ourselves forward. At what cost? ‘Progress’ and ‘traction’ becoming the same word in my kookie mind……)
The real irony is that these deltas provide such rich, fertile, plains, on which huge numbers of humans have made their homes.
And now they are the first to suffer ……

I created a ‘sketch’ mandala using Nasa photograph of the Great Ganges River Delta from space.

kat robertson artist

Delta State b
I loved the colours of this mandala and resolved to work again with this vision.
This is something I rarely do as my experience is that, everytime I attempt to re-do, better, a vision, it looses rather than gains anything! It seems always to become more contrived.
This time I used my mud preparation and ‘drew’ the rivers through that with a wet brush.
It made sense to try using actual soil/earth, with the direction this idea was moving in.
I sought out my beloved Prussian Blue watercolour and painted an ocean around. I soaked the paper around the ‘mud Earth’ with water and delighted in watching the sediment joining the ocean, the exact same green from the photo mandala glowing through, as the soil met my artifical watery blue…..
It became clear to me that the ‘pupil’ was now an ice cap. A polar region. Each river now beginning as a glacier.
The centre of the ‘eye’ became frozen, white.
Perhaps also a dreaming/trance eye? Pushing the subconscious, mental ‘sediment’, out into a wider ‘field’ …..?

In truth, I did not like this version much.
The rivers did not flow and they reminded me more of roots.
The mediums used seem to clash somehow. So many elements I loved, but overall I found no Beauty in this work.
I learned a few new tricks with mud, but again reached a point of no return. Over-worked.
(I was also reminded how extremely difficult it is to photograph this mud art. These images do little to represent the original, but are the closest I managed to get! It is something to do with the colour/quality of the mud. In edited pictures it always looks more ‘pooey’ than to the naked eye!)

Delta State (final version)
I sat with it again.
One more attempt.
This time only soil/earth on paper. Pure Mud art.
I worked slowly , more mindfully. Mapping out the precious deltas.
Working in negative.
Only adding what needed to be added.
Never ‘taking away’.
The rivers and oceans were the page itself.
Water is Life.
I took great care to leave them alone, not to ‘dam’ them.
Where they met the ocean, I used my finger to sweep the powdered earth out into the white paper ‘ocean’ surrounds.
This time a definite , snow-capped, volcano, began to take shape.
Lying in the centre of this ‘earth-eye’.
It’s crater, the focal point.
I found, again, great pleasure in simply moving the mud to create valleys and mountains, seeing how the terrain morphed and and changed, with the slightest sweep of the brush.
A joy to work with such a slow drying medium. Even when it has dried, it can be rehydrated with water and softens again.
Water and Earth, with the brush playing the part of Weather and Time.

kat robertson artist

Then it was finished.

I fixed the piece using linseed oil, which, again, changed the finish.
I feel it lost some of the ‘magical detail in its terrain’, but this step is necessary, to stop the whole thing crumbling to dust.
(Note to the cynics out there, I will not give away all my secrets, but this method of fixing does work! I now have mud art pieces that are over a year old and show no signs of crumbling! )

The photographs do not really do it justice, but it pleases me.
It now is.
Another piece of physical evidence to prove my ‘doing’ …… to document here …. to qualify my existence …..

I did enter it to the TV show, but hold little hope of being chosen. Image not screen-grabbing enough? Not really Grayson Perry’s style either. I do not have a mobile, so did not record my video ‘on my phone’ as requested. I do not do Zoom or other facetime apps, so would probably prove to be a bit of an awkard body, even if they did choose to feature ‘Delta State’!?

I did enjoy working to this prompt though.

Words often provide the gateway to the image in this ‘artist’s way’.

I may revisit this idea again, sometime.

It has traction.

original official Standing As Earth Banner

STANDING AS EARTH : January 13th – February 12th 2021 #standingasearth

A creative attempt to summarize/record my, month-long, participation in this remarkable project.
My original, published, ‘cool’ captions and inspiring ‘Earth quotes’ became lost to the ether when I chose to delete my Facebook account…..which is just as well….as with hindsight it seems I was not really listening…..some of my posts where only text and gone forever now ….but this is all the visual work I shared with the group….cobbled together, chronologically, and with new meaning.

It all began with Nuts.
Tree Seeds.
Those prefectly designed, well travelled, nuggets of both nutrition and potential.
(Reminded now, also. in hindsight, of an Egyptian Nut.
Daughter of vital breath and heat, a star-covered naked woman, bowed over the Earth,
With her head in the West and her feet in the East. A bridge between the Earth and the Sky.)

I wondered how this ‘tree’ would grow from there…..

kat robertson artist

The endangered red squirrel became my constant companion on this journey.
And, as always here, the Wind.

Winter Hawthorn showed me her sharp, protective, thorns…..

kat robertson artist

The Beech hedge whispered ‘Sssssh…..ssssh’……

kat robertson artist

Mole spoke to me of staying buzy, but remaining underground, unseen…..

kat robertson artist

Mosses demonstrated how to cling on and thrive, on only cold, ungiving, stone……

kat robertson artist

But I was not really listening …….
And worms writhed in the compost heap of my mind, giving birth to strange new, artifical, creatures….

kat robertson artist

I have a well-weathered head.
Colonized now by Nature.
Worn away by Time.

Still able, though, to see those ‘Spots of Light’ and bask in their Radiance.

kat robertson artist

Celebrate their Beauty.

kat robertson artist

That is, until I see when I venture out, again and again, our trashing of everything Sacred …
And I am returned to Grieving.

Yet, I was reminded, in that Darkness, there is always Light.
You only have to find new ways of Seeing.

kat robertson artist

It is Imbolc.
A time of Rebirth. Of Future. A Time of New Beginnings and Returning Light.
Humble Snowdrops blaze a fanfare.
Hope Incarnate.
Spring is on its way.

The soil gives way to green, urgent, spears of New Life, pushing up toward the Sun.

kat robertson artist

Even, inside our winter home, the houseplants put on a show of wondrous, exotic, blooms.

kat robertson artist

Out walking I was shown something weird, almost alien, something that I had never encountered before.
Sea squirts!
Earth spoke to me again of all the unseen wonders that she holds.
That Living can only ever be learning.

I cracked open my first rotten egg in a long, long time.
The smell was of Sulphur.
I learned that Humans create more Sulphur now than is released by all the Earth’s volcanos put together.
So Humans smell, to the Earth, of Sulphur too.
A smell associated with Decay.
And the breaking open of her Crust.

kat robertson artist

Then we were invited to dig deep and find our authentic Howl.
Always a tough one.

kat robertson artist

It turned out my Howl is, and has always been, my felt Impotence in affecting any real Change
Through what I am able to do, through my own unique gifts.
Earth told me it was OK to share, again, some work I have already done.
For it is Work that has not lost Value through Age.
Just as I have not lost Value.

kat robertson artist

Work created when I first began to Give the Earth a Voice online.
(Though, at that time, I thought I was Alone in doing so.)

kat robertson artist

Sharing this Work, reminded me that I have been Standing here a long, long Time already.
And brought home how committed I am to doing it still.

kat robertson artist

Still.
Rarely witnessed and, in the main, uncelebrated.

kat robertson artist

As undeserving of applause as a weed in a lawn.
A rock, the moss or a twisted tree.
A sea squirt.
Or a hooded crow.
This is not a show.

kat robertson artist

A creature of magik and alchemy.
Who no longer needs to shout out “I am here!”
Because, in the course of this experiment, the only One who really matters told me that:

She Loves me,
that She is Sorry,
that She Forgives me
and is Grateful for all that I do.

And when I heard that back….

I just Let Go.

I AM HOME

and that is where you’ll always find me.

Still Standing.

Kat Robertson. Standing As Earth. Imbolc 2021



I am staring at this screen.
How to condense the Experience?
It’s impossible!
The above barely scratches the surface.
Now only recorded in pages and pages and pages and pages and pages
of messy, scrawled notes, avid, crazed, chanelled, journalling …processing …..too much to edit.

And this trail of shared artworks.

I have deleted my Facebook account.
Deleted all social media accounts.
I am too much to edit.
It was Earth that called me to withdraw from all that fight to be seen.
The fight to feel heard.
While I celebrate all who are able to continue this work of being visible online.
Who have those skills.
I have become exhausted from trying to find new ways to say such a simple thing.
There simply are no words left in my limited vocabulary.

I can tell you how I felt when I first saw the online invitation.
YES! YES! What a brilliantly simple idea!
Let’s ALL Stand AS Earth.

————————————————————————————————————————————————


Earth, my true Nature, guides me now to simply write of the WEATHER during this month long experiment #standingasearth on Facebook.

The Weather of Standing As Earth

It began with a, freezing, Siberian Wind that howled from the East.
Screaming over vast, populated, landmasses,
Carrying all that stale air,
To meet the ocean
Here.
All the way from China, it came hurtling through, at tree-breaking ,wave-hurling, speed,
Onward over the Atlantic, toward the East Coast of the Americas.
It was hard, sometimes, to Breathe.
The Land became hard too, as iron.
It’s Life Blood frozen.
Impermanent diamonds grew in the Mud.
And the Trees grew hair of Ice.
Until the very Dryness turned it all to Dust.
Dust that came Alive, like dervishes, like dancers,
Rising, with the gusting wind, up from the Ground.
Gritty in my eyes.
Making me Cry.

And then it Snowed.
And all became Still and Silent.
And all became Clear and Sharply defined.
Blueish and Breathtaking.
The Light alone, a sensory orgasm.

And then, it all, inevitably,
Thawed.

The winds have never stopped blowing.

They are blowing still.
They have just swung around a bit and radically changed direction.

I found I had been blown off course.

I found myself, full circle, called back into the Mystery.

I found I was, already, HOME.


Kat Robertson. Standing As Earth. Imbolc 2021

“Ssssssh…..Sssssh….” EARTH

My last post on Facebook, after realising I felt I had shared way too much, and deleting my account, was this.
It hangs on the wall of my ‘artden’.
And, while not my own words, says all I really have left to say of any worth.
My continued prayer is only that more of us will find this Truth and try their very best to LIVE BY IT.
And each find their own ,unique, Balance.

(N.B. I have only just realised that when a person deletes their Facebook account, they disappear, also, from all groups. As if they had never been there at all. I experience a deep sadness about that, as I fell in Love, with new brothers and sisters, and Earth, over and over again, during this month of participation …….. despite not joining in on Zoom! Now guided just to rest in the Knowing that we are, all connected, through the Forest floor. )

“Albatross!”

Inspired by an online ‘call-out’ for ink drawings of either a hummingbird, a penguin, an Artic Tern or and Albatross.
But now I cannot find the page.

I was thinking about that moment.
The moment when a single, solitary, just-fledged, Albatross takes-off, for the first Time.

And then does not touch dry land for 4 – 10 years…..incredible birds.

kat robertson artist

There is a lot of white space in this drawing.

What a difference a frame makes!

So happy that the right person came along to the exhibition and bought ‘CROWNE’ from me.
He was into tattoo inking and she spoke to him.
(Apparently, the fact that my artist freind, who did most of the advertising for the show, had used this image on the poster, meant that ‘to see Crowne’ was the main reason he came to the exhibition in the first place.
She ‘caaaaaa-lled’ to him.
I wish I was better at ‘advertising’.)

He wanted it framed, so I contacted a local artist/framer.
I had a clear vision that I wanted a burned frame.
We found a wooden frame that looked as if it could ‘take a burning’ and, after he had constructed it, I took it home to ‘distress with flame’.
After burning the frame, with a blow torch, I washed, scrubbed and waxed it.
It looked great.
The framer told me it was a ‘real bugger’ though, as, when the picture was being mounted, some small charred pieces kept appearing behind the glass.
He had to re-do it four times!!
But the end result does look amazing.
I wept when I saw it first time.
I think many artists will agree, it is easy to dismiss ‘older’ works that do not find new homes.
They lie, unseen, in a folder/ a drawer until, eventually, hard choices have to be made.
This drawing was very special to me though. I probably would have kept it for years.

But wow! How it came together in a frame!

I have a kind of allergy to the ubiqitous ‘rectangle’ of a frame though.
Always reminds me of the ‘cage of our conditioning’.
And as this work was always, essentially, been the illustration to a favorite poem of mine, I thought I would make a scroll to attach onto the back of it.
So story and picture remained together.

I made a quill from a crow’s feather and painstakingly wrote out the poem. Then aged the paper with teabags and burned the edges.
Then stuck both quill and scroll on the back of the painting using real red sealing wax.

Luckily the customer loved this too, despite my ‘authentic’ calligraphy!
I hope they will be very happy together for years to come.

#100daystreetales (pt 5)

The 100 day project is complete!

I have been very buzy setting up an exhibition in the village, but somehow I have managed to keep up with the days!!

These are drawn, direct with permanent, indian ink onto the inkjet print paper after spending some Time with the shapes in the branches and ‘seeing’ what arises in them.
They are not penciled out first.
They are then stained with a homemeade stain made from alder-bark.
This can be layered for shading and has a beautiful, natural, luminous quality.

All of this batch are ‘first-takes’, with no-re-draws this Time!

Each addition is published daily on Facebook, where the whole collection, so far, can be viewed at #100daystreetales (typed in Facebook search)
The comments have been encouraging and fun!

Or follow these links for previous blog posts:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

And last, but not least…..here’s a hedgehog!
It was so sweet.
A freind of mine came to the Gaia-Hut exhibition and looked through all the 100 days images and had a bit of a sad face….she so wanted to find hedgehog, as she had been having a lovely time with some in her garden!

I picked up the next blank…and there it was! A hedgehog.

Hope this will make her happy when she next visits.

hedgehog

#100treetales (pt 4)

The 100 day project continues on!

Been finding it harder to keep up with this the last few weeks.
But ‘not doing’ one day means doing two the next and that is quite a push to get them done!

These are drawn, direct with permanent, indian ink onto the inkjet print paper after spending some Time with the shapes in the branches and ‘seeing’ what arises in them.
They are not penciled out first.
They are then stained with a homemeade stain made from alder-bark.
This can be layered for shading and has a beautiful, natural, luminous quality.

All of this batch are ‘first-takes’, with no-re-draws this Time!

Each addition is published daily on Facebook, where the whole collection, so far, can be viewed at #100daystreetales (typed in Facebook search)
The comments have been encouraging and fun!

Or follow these links for previous blog posts:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

After I published Day 64/’bareback’ a freind got in touch saying that she could see another horse in the same shadow picture.
(I sometimes publish the original ‘blank’ asking if viewer’s can see how I got there.)
She sent me a simple drawing to show me where. I was blown away!
When I had sat down to do it the picture had simply screamed “Horse!” at me, but I was struggling to ‘see’ it.
I did, after much squinting, find a horse and rider.

But the horse she could see was mighty, using the whole page!
And so totally clear , once she had shown me, I could not ‘unsee’ it!

So I printed a repeat shadow pic and drew her stallion out.

I think it is my favorite from this batch as result of such collaboration! Interesting how I often ‘know’ what I am looking for too…..even if I do not always ‘see’ it right away…



Day 74! Getting there!

(click on first image to view as gallery)

I also recieved some other interesting feedback today, on Facebook.

A friend commented that she ‘thought they all tended to look imprisoned and a little sad.’

I found that is so interesting.

I take the shapes I see in the spaces, between the branches and ‘draw them out’, (a kind of organic suduko ), the process feels more about ‘freeing’ to me.
I guess also ‘freeing’ the imagination.

There is also the idea of ALL Life being held in ‘Tree’, which I like.

These are, though, ‘shadow branches’ and, the longer this project continues, sometimes I have felt like I am drawing a kind of role-call for all that may be lost in the future.
I also kind of ‘capture’ what I see, as they ARE ‘caught’ in the branches..
I prefer the idea of them being gentley ‘held’ though!

I have long been a bit obessed by ideas that it is the SPACES BETWEEN that defines ALL.
That, as a human-race, we are very obessed with visible matter and inclined not to notice the much larger, ‘invisible’, fields that, to me, surround and define.
This is what I affectionately call ‘the Gap’, and this obsession has fed into the seed of this project!

Then there is the mono-chrome.
The faded, sienna, look of these drawings.

I do love ink and stain, but I also often miss colour, especially now that we are in summer!

But for continuity and ‘the collection’ I feel I must maintain this technique for all 100 of these ‘tree tales’!

So, as others have also commented, they are multi-dimsional little works….

Another aspect worth sharing is how they help to ground me daily in these strange days of ‘not knowing’……