Elf Ears are ON!

I had thought there might still be a Christmas market. It was cancelled.
Then thought that hubby would get round to fixing the Gaia Hut’s lights and brakes and that I’d go it alone.
A single COVID freindly, stall, in the village…he didn’t, so neither did I.
All is locking down again .
At least, the pressure was off to complete all my curious makes, for market, in time.
Everything I make becomes ‘stock’ for next year’s Gaia Hut adventures anyway….
Now the whole Xmas present making/Solstice doing Time is upon us.
Elf Ears are on!
It’s become a bit of a family tradition.
Playing a fantasy ‘elf ‘ , Santa’s not-so-secret, moany, house-elf, with these latex ear extensions, helps get me through this ‘season of excess’ and ‘expectation’…. I’d miss it all out all together if I was not ‘Mum’….a right Bear-Humbug by Nature…..
When not writing lists, cooking, pickling, wrapping/assembling hampers for family, decorating,
I escape into making.
Music on.
Positive distraction.
Pottering between responsibilites and my ‘artden’ cocoon.
Eating too much butter and chocolate.
Too much coffee and tobacco.
A bit of this, a bit of that.
As the mood takes me.

Here’s a glimpse into my ‘elvish’ doings…..

Gilding the Kitchen Light.
This dosn’t really count as a ‘make’, but it was ‘elvish’ work!
And the kitchen really began to feel quite festive! There was gold dust all over the kitchen and me!

Rendering my own pure’ish’ beeswax

Last summer’s dried flowers: realeased from the press.
Lovely releasing these colours of summer into our, now, winter world and working with them.

Rush cord peg dollies : 3 metres of organic, wrapping twine on a peg dolly.
Link to post showing how this cord is made: https://rollingom.blog/2020/03/09/weaving-women/

Avocado stone/pit carvings
Link to first attempt : https://rollingom.blog/2020/07/28/avocado-turtle-carving/
Just feeling into the shape of each stone/pit.
This time I used a bit of pyro-burn technique too.
Ended up with 3 bears and a wee bird skull.
Totally useless little totem things.
But nice to hold.
A beginners work. Need to keep practising my whittling!
(And get new glasses…these are so tiny to work on!)


Lots going on my little ‘workshop’…. will share more as it arises!

UPDATE 25th DECEMBER : Turned out to be a great way to keep the foliage off the table!
Happy feasting all!

‘Co-Creation’

I was invited to join a visionboard group.
The idea being to create a visionboard for 2021.
It triggered some deep thinking.
Not really sure what I want exactly.
More about what I do not want!
Haunted by the word ‘less’……

Then I dumped all the, pages and pages, of journalling and automatic responses and just let it flow, as a digital collage.
Not something I have tried before.
Grabbing images from the internet and building them up using photoshop….

Key words for this were BIRTH, GROWTH and COSMOS.

A member of the group commented “A lovely image for Christmas. Especially these days when Earth Consciousness needs to be reborn. I love the ‘digital’ pun.”

I did not think about the Christmas angle…..hope the pun he also sees is the cosmic, super nova, vagina and human doulas idea!

I decided to title it ‘Co-creation’ after that…

(Note: I know I have used other artist’s work uncredited here….not something I do as a rule….but I hope they will forgive me, just this once, as the process was fast, intuitive and fluid…and it would take me hours to unwind it and credit all the talented photographers and artists that got woven into this piece! It was ‘flashed ‘on Facebook, but I do not intend using it anywhere else. So “Thank You!” is all I can say….)

Oh and they are all doing another round, so please visit ‘Create 2021 Visionboard Challenge‘ on Facebook if you fancy a having a go yourself!

December mandalas.

Quite a crop of mandalas this month.
Some treelinesky mandala experiments.
I published the coloured one on Facebook and someone commented that it looked like human pubes!
Have not been able to look at it quite the same way since then!

I had good reason to meet with some friends around a fire.
A night where the sky was full of shooting stars.
Fire mandalas were inspired …

I wiggled the camera as I took pictures of this years Tree with the lights on….psychedelic rainbow serpents!
A digital bow! A crossing over of worlds.
Intuitive tingles led to this mandala becoming this years Solstice greeting.

Let there be LIGHT!
(even if, at Source, it is some fairly cheap, electric, tree lights ….. the illusion is beautiful!)

Solstice greetings 2020!

Bear Coat.

Samhuinn.
My favorite seasonal celebration.
But this year my two sons were not interested and social media conveyed that guising in the village was going to be pretty low key, due to COVID.
The weather was stormy, so I did not drive into town to get a large swede.
(I refuse to buy pumpkins anymore. So sick of ‘America’s treat or treat’.)
So no carving or soup either.
Really missed the gorgeous smell of candle-roasting ‘tumchie’ lantern.

Stayed up late with candles, watching to see if the blue moon would show it’s face. It did not.
And ‘talked with the dead’, but it was not like other years at all.

Missing all the ususal costume dramas, I decided it was time to work with the old faux-fur coat I had had stored in my studio for, at least, the last 3 years.
An old coat that I have always just known was to become ‘Bear’ in my, incrementaly evolving, ‘dream’, puppet show.
It was the coat that inspired the character.
Bear.

It felt good to work with Bear. So familiar to me. Bear medicine.
Hibernation now never far from my mind.

Quite a journey in patience and understanding too!
I would begin folding and stitching, then see, over and over, that, to make it better, I had to unpick it all.
It felt ‘complete’ a total of 3 times, but then it would stare at me and show me better ways to approach it.

Which always meant taking it apart and starting again.

I like the way this has roughened this faux-fur coat.

It’s evolution took a couple of weeks.
Ever simplifying.

It was not just the way it looked that was important, but also the way it worked, as a prop.

It was frustrating me that what was to have been a quick, fun, project began to eat into days.
It simply was not working as I had imagined.
It was very difficult, and clumsy, to wear.

Then, on November 2nd, I woke from a dream about how to approach it from a completely different angle.
Making the arms the snout, not using the neck, and I unpicked it all for the last time.

Everything fell into place.

Complete with naturally forming eye-holes, in the right place, so I could wear it and actually see where I was going!!
Which had been a real problem until that point!

Now it is a joy to make the simple folds and have/be ‘Bear’, then undo them and have ‘coat’.
Definitley going to be part of my show……think more items will be tied onto it over Time….

Mama Bear prowls in the kitchen…..
In the show it will only be the head that shows (in quite a few different ways), but it works as a fun costume too.

Amazing to wear when meditating! A Bear Woman!
Old cat not bothered.

Below is a wee gif I made for the fun of it all….
51 years old.
Think this might be a mid-Life crisis, or even the effects of lockdown weariness….but I highly recommend it.

(Looking at all the above, I think it needs some whittled, willow, teeth….and perhaps I will paint the eye ‘buttons’…..I would like for this ‘teddy bear’ to become a bit more fierce!)

“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.

Mandalizing.

The need to ground, to centre, wild weather and a distinct lack of clear direction have drawn my attention back to mandalas recently.

These are very retro!

I know there is a button on new programmes that just ‘makes these’ now, but I love my ‘dinosaur’ software, the non symmetrical, imperfections and the pain-staking process of ‘making’ them.

I love the ‘bringing to wholeness of many parts’, circular, meditation of making them and the surprises at the end!
How some just work and others don’t, but you cannot know until you try. The vast choice of directions at any one point, in light, filter, position of image, scale……like a giant crossword with no correct answers, only possibilites.
How I can erase wrong moves and go back, but also, often, go too far and have to start again.
How working with natural images focuses me. It becomes an act of honoring the subject.
How they create stories, and wonder sometimes, as they reflect forms.
How mirroring often gives birth to new, magical ‘faces’ and characters/butterflies/insects, all gazing out at me. All echoing the beautiful, imperfect, symmetry in all all Life……..

(What I do not love is, that in ‘following my bliss’, I find myself sat at the computer all day!!)

I have been keen, for a while now, to push them a bit further.
They had become a bit boring to make. Too easy.
I wanted to complicate matters!
To experiment with layers/change of focus/filters, and, most importantly for me, numbers.

I have strong feelings with regard to numbers.
I embue certain numbers with meaning.
Some with real power.

I have always used 6 as this echoes the Sacred Geometry of the ‘Flower of Life’.
I have now been on an intense journey of learning through 8 (eurgh) and layering 6’s and 7’s (jolt!).
I have even ‘cracked’ the 9 direction mandala!

It is so difficult to pick just one or two to share that I made this short video to give you an idea….this is the experience of ‘mandalaizing’!

Mandal Eye Zing October 2020 from Kat Robertson on Vimeo.

The weather around the ‘box-house’ is wild.

I burrow in.
Looking in this screen to look out.
Looking in myself for calm.
Filling the circle.
Reflecting on forms.
Finding calm in the eye of a storm.
Focusing on Source.

I think I have arrived at ‘my’ new way of making mandalas.
A process that echoes the intention and that deepens the mandala.

One of my very favorites of the last few days is one of the Scots Pine mandalas.

I have been reading up on Fenrir (the giant wolf of Norse fame) and the leash that holds him.

I could clearly ‘see’ a wolf-form in this mandala, so worked with this theme in mind, for a few hours, to create these, one-off, mandalas.

I call them ‘Gjallarhorn’ and ‘Roar of Fenrir’……

Gjallarhorn
Roar of Fenrir

In these Singing Stones.

slate ‘heads’ I made during recent exhibition

Letting go of any plans and ideas.
Just playing in the Gaia Hut with what springs to hand.
Letting my intuition take me where it will.
Sometimes I surprise myself!

I recorded this video of me playing with these slate ‘heads’, then halved the speed of it and extracted the audio of the stones ‘ringing’ as they they were hit/bumped together.
I then took that audio to the Audacity app and sampled that to create a rythmic soundtrack for the video.
The ‘singing’ was created in layers on top of that.
Intuitivley. As it came through the ether.

Another kookie offering to the world ……

To the Top.

I pushed the curtains back as I closed the bedroom window.

There was snail on the ceiling!

We live in a two storey building, this was on the top floor

I tugged the snail off the plaster, intending to return it to the garden.

The shell was dry and empty.

Just a beautiful shell, still ‘stuck’ to the ceiling.

I wonder what possessed this little creature.

To climb higher and higher.

Further away from the lush, dewy, green below.

Wonder at it’s epic, futile, journey to ‘the top’.

At how it crept, into the dry, heated, air of the house, through the open window, and just stopped there.

Hanging, improbably, upside-down.

Defying gravity.

At those last days. Spent in absolute stillness.

Just, slowly, drying out.

I wonder at how there is no part of it’s soft body left.

Nothing at all.

Just a clean, hard, spiralling, empty shell for me to find.


An object, if made by an artist, I would marvel at in a gallery.

This little snail’s legacy.


Kat Robertson. October 2020