Tagged: #100daysprojectscotland

#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.


#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’……

#100treetales (pt 3)

The 100 day project continues!
I have not missed a day so far. Finding this half hour discipline fits quite well with the day’s routine.

These are drawn, direct with permanent, indian ink onto the inkjet print paper. They are not penciled out first.

Only two really tricky ones.
‘goat’ and ‘crow’.
‘goat’ I actually had to re-print and re-draw….sometimes the pen just follows the wrong line!
Or, a better line becomes obvious after a line has been comitted to.

With ‘crow’, more black ink covered a multitude of regrets!

Past the half-way mark now!

(click on first image to view as gallery)

#100daystreetales (pt 2)

More from the #100daystreetales

(Working as part of 100 Days Project Scotland 2020.
Pictures posted daily to Facebook profile.)

To view previous ‘days’ and concept on this blog, click here.

#100daystreetales (pt 1)

Yes! I have decided I am going to take part in the 100 Days Project Scotland again.
Seems like the perfect Time for it and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a small discipline to keep creative everyday!
(Only Day 14 so you could quickly catch-up….?)
You do not even have to be a visual artist!
Some people use words, some fabric, knitting, some video/audio!
Anything goes…you only have to do the same thing, everyday, for 100 days.
The exhibition of all the work collected is always a great event.
(Link is to pictures I included, within last year’s 72 seasons project, of some of 2019 exhibition submissions)
All generations. All kinds of approaches!

I was recently reminded about it when it popped up in my Facebook notifications.

I loved doing the 100 squiggles last year.
(Can also be viewed #100dayssquiggles on Facebook)

Took a wee while to think up something to do this time, but I have decided that this year’s offering will be 100 Tree Tales.
Stories, shown to me by ‘looking through the branches.’

I played around with this idea in 2017 and have always wanted to revist it.

So I have prepared 100 photocopies (photographs of the shadows cast by some special, beech-branch, ‘props’ that hide in my artden, across white paper.)

treasured beech-branch props hiding in my art den

Then, daily, I sit and see what I ‘see’ in them.
What is suggested.
I draw that out in ink, then tint, using my homemade, ‘treeblood’, alder ink.

Here is the collection so far!

insects hole up underground 47/72

working as part of a ‘Japanese 72 season micro-climate’ artist collaborative initiative within Treesisters)

Japanese season called ‘Shubun’ / autumn equinox, 23rd September – 7th October
Micro climate ‘insects hole up underground’ 28th September – 2nd October

Here is just a glimpse of some of the 100 dayers work in the fabulous 100 days project Scotland exhibition…..I did a better job of crediting as many artists as I could (with links to their web presence) on my Facebook Page ,but do not have the time today to do it again!
Just a visual walk through this time. Such a fun exhibition to be a tiny part of!

(click first image to open the gallery and see more of the story)

These are the new squiggles created, live, in the gallery space.
I am glad I did that, as the public did not quite seem to ‘get’ the concept, the ‘game’ of it and momentary creation aspect, unless they saw me actually doing it….

And here are a few pictures of Edinburgh city life….through my lens….

Here also are a few pictures taken in the tiny oasis, away from all the noise and clamor of the city, out the back of my old school friend’s flat, where I was staying….I need spaces like this to be able to cope with the city these days….

Now here is an insect related tale!

Leaving the relative safety of our hill always brings up a great deal of anxiety for me and one aspect of the city is always having to lock up and knowing where your keys/phone is. This seems to cause me more anxiety than anything else! I was forever worrying that I had not locked up properly or that I had lost my keys and/or the keys to my friend’s flat! We are far more relaxed about things like this up our back track, so I am simply not in the habit.
I love the wee tenement garden out the back of her flat and, when I stay with her, I always enjoy my routine of starting the day with a tobacco rollie and a coffee, ‘filling myself up’ with the peaceful green of her wee oasis, before heading out into the concrete jungle.
On a previous visit I had, very embarrassingly, locked myself out, in her tenement garden. I had forgotten to put the lock on the snib! There literally is no way back in, but luckily her next-door, ‘garden’, neighbour was in and had keys!! I was super conscious of this fact on this visit.
When I arrived I was saddened to hear that their wonderful cat Pepperpot had passed (he really was an amazingly beautiful and powerful cat) under quite mysterious circumstances….but delighted to meet their new, crazy (arn’t they all) kitten, Simba. He was, on no account, to be let out yet and he moves like lightening! My dear friend does not approve of my ongoing addition to tobacco and instructed me to smoke on the street side. Fair enough.
But I missed being in her garden so much that I formed strategies of kitten ‘control’ in order to do this….it was quite a palava, encouraging him into another room and closing a few doors before I opened the outside one…but it seemed to work and she relented.

So, on my very last morning, just before I left, I did this and opened the back door……


I had already been admiring the work of this beautiful spider across her door, on previous mornings, and am not phobic at all, but this web was ENORMOUS, I lterally wlked into the centre of it! The shock of this threw me, and more concerned that this large spider was in my hair, I heard the door ‘click’ shut!!

Not again!! How embarrassing!

Luckily her daughter had not gone to school that day and I was able to knock on her bedroom window, she woke and then woke her Mum, who let me in….

So I became the insect! Caught in the web of this magnificent arthropod!

And I did feel like ‘holing up underground’ after that!

So I survived all the city adventures and experienced the most glorious, 4 hour, drive back home, loaded with spices and treats from the Indian supermarket, IKEA and the Loch Fyne Oysters that I picked up along the way. Another dear school friend, in Glasgow, was in (which is unusual) so stopped and had a great catch up and coffee with her too.

It truly was lovely to return to the peace and autumnal shine of our hill and I am looking forward now to finishing the trailer, a drawing I am working on and falling into a deeper winter practice with less pressure to perform.
Closer again to this beloved Nature, with so much space for dreaming.
Supported and entranced by the ever-changing wonder all around.
I welled up with gratitude and deep love for my family on my return and this place I now call home.
It was lovely to go on adventures, but, perhaps with age, I feel like a bit like I never want to go anywhere again….for it it is all here. Everything I need, and more.
My roots sigh as they work their way deeper into this knowing….
Letting go again….

kat robertson artist

wagtails sing 44/72

working as part of a ‘Japanese 72 season micro-climate’ artist collaborative initiative within Treesisters)

Japanese season called ‘Hakuro’ / white dew, 8th September – 22nd September
Micro climate ‘wagtails sing’ 13th – 17th September.

We actually have seen the grey wagtail quite frequently in our garden recently, but never when I have a camera handy! Bobbing about.

Inspired by an initiative called ‘Listen to the Earth‘ I have been introduced to recently, I have been sitting and watching the dawn every morning this mirco-season. Listening with my whole body. Imagine this with a, healthy, morning chorus soundtrack. It is one of the best ways to begin the day!
I think I will listen to the audio clip in this link and see, tomorrow, if I can identify it’s call in the chorus…..

I am often amazed at how divine synchronicity seems to plot my path these days….not only have I been reminded of this simple powerful, ‘earthing’, work, but the Treesister‘s Full Moon Embody call, I joined last night, was all about ’embodying’ nature, and employing all the senses, allowing, fully, all this ‘outside’ in.

Now…..just look at the latest piece that is growing out of a larger, squiggle, experiment I started a week or so ago!
Made the same way as the simple, biro, ‘squiggles’, but on a larger scale and in pencil. Squiggle…then see what presents.
The Norns! Being heard!
Definitely tuning in….
Also I got a nudge, from a local friend, today, re-gathering in healing circle and it looks like 3 of us might be ‘listening to the earth’ together on Monday at 2.30pm (autumn equinox and just before the UN climate summit) with the above project!
Did I weave this into my reality? Probably not, but I do notice these things.

The build/development of tiny gallery intuitively continues.

This is now the fun bit…..

I have found some neglected, old, rusted, corrugated tin and installed it as a ‘fire guard’ behind my wee wood burner. I just love this element-worn texture and colour. The work of water on metal.
I intend to break up the straight edges with other found metal bits, dreamed it had loads of blossoms on it all made out of beer bottle tops, so I guess it is also becoming a tree…

And on the subject of textures….for anyone who did not quite ‘get’ my comment on how ‘wood + fire = water’, in last season’s post… here a couple of shots that illustrate that better!

I have been keeping my eyes open for, quirky, storage solutions for the Gaia-hut and I have scored this, well loved, doll’s house from our ‘dump’ shop for £5! Perfect!

(Not sure where all the, (stupidly cheap), wooden, hexagon boxes I have already ordered from ebay have got to….late in arriving…. but they will also be included as a ‘beehive’ of storage, if they ever get here….and if they do not all fit I can always paint them and make ‘magikal’ objects to sell in my shop.)

The two halves of this dolls house fit together, back to back….the holes are a good size for reaching into and will hold ‘stuff’ well, when in motion.
I intend to paint them the same colour as the trailer walls, perhaps even with real-slate roofs, and create two shelf units.
I can see them multi-tasking as part of the puppet show too and, still, also, as a toy for younger visitors…I do need to half the width of both though.
On the to-do list.

The inside-out (or is that the outside-in?) theme of the Gaia-hut continues!

Then there is what to do with what remains, after recycling the dubious, plastic, characters and furniture, of the contents of this dolls house?!!
I had some fun with that today, for this blog!

So I sit here now, with wet knees, from playing in the garden with my new tiny family.
Such fun.
Once, in a deep, processing, led meditation, I was required to ask my 8 year old self what she wanted to say to me now.
My 8 year old self was absolutely furious that I had stopped making houses for fairies in the woods!
I feel she is happier now. Looking forward to playing more…I have some strong ideas for climate change related work,….and, again, can see that they might play a part in the puppet show too….
They are all watching me now as I type, back in the dry artden…..happy to be loved again.

For the rest of the day I am going to be painting my, old, sandwich board brilliant white (using up old pots of paint), in preparation for my trip to Edinburgh.
I will be using it to display the #100daysquiggles as part of the 100 Days Project Scotland exhibition next week…where I hope to sit ‘in gallery’ doing some ‘live’ squiggling.

And then I plan to, lovingly hand-sew, up the hem of a beautiful, vintage, kimono I treated myself to, last time I was there, in July.
The photographs do not do this vintage fabric justice. It has more of a glow to it.
All hand sewn and, possibly, even, real silk!
It was stunning long, I felt like an elegant mermaid wearing it it, but it was too long.
I hope to wear this at the opening event of the exhibition.

I had to take a new photograph of myself for the exhibition bio. This is it. I have also made it my new gravatar for this blog. I rarely share photographs of myself….but I like this one!
Wagging my, autumnal, tail and ‘singing’ in my element.

#100dayssquiggle journey is complete!


100 squiggles.

100 days.

Each day I’d do squiggle, quickly, in biro, then bring to life….or ‘drawn it out’ as I got used to saying!
It was important to me to ‘not think’ too much….just to allow it……the average time taken on each one was about 20 minutes. Some came more easily than others.

Then I took a photograph, reduced the size and photoshopped a good, white, background onto it, to publish online.

The first ones are often squiggled in strange corners of scrap paper, but no.s 70 – 100 are at least captured, as originals, in a sketchbook!

Quite a curious collection all together!

They have proved more popular on Facebook than any of my other creative experiments! Some of which took me days and days to complete….

I guess we live in a bite-sized world.

Comments have been many and varied!

Many suggested I do this on Instagram or other 1-pic -a day sites… I am looking into it….. and it tickled me that someone used them as a calendar to help him stay off the booze for a while! Nice to be of service! But the comment I treasure most is the observation that they are so full of LIFE….

Lots of empty pages left in the sketchbook.

Perhaps I’ll keep this book only for squiggles….
I am already missing the process of doing them, the relinquishing of ‘all of me’ to this simple act.

Now I have to work out a fun way to display them for 100 Days Project Scotland exhibition, Edinburgh, in September!

A flick book perhaps? Or a memory card game?

(Aaargh…just counted and I must have missed a day….or does the animation of HOW they grow count!? Ahhh no….it’s just that one day I did two squiggles in one day to catch up…..)

100 days project Scotland 2019

Another project I have signed up for is this years #100daysprojectscotland2019

I was involved with this lovely project two years ago.
The idea is that one does something, simply anything, everyday for 100 days to form a collection that can be displayed.

Isla Munroe has organised a wonderful exhibition space, in the TENT gallery, Edinburgh, in previous years, and this will be happening again, probably around September time.

I had trouble last time keeping up with the days so this year chose to keep it very simple indeed (this fits in well with all my other garden/tiny gallery plans and keeps the creative juices flowing!)

I do a squiggle in biro pen. A very quick continuous line and then see what it suggests to me! Then draw that out. I try not to spend too long thinking about it or being precious about it.
Great fun and takes me right back to my doodling days. (My late mother was also a prolific telephone doodler, although hers were nearly always glamorous women!)

I share them daily on my public Facebook tagged #100dayssquiggle

So as we are approaching the ‘quarter’ mark I thought I would share ‘progress so far’ here as a gallery….another aspect of this prolific rolling om….

It actually really fun to see them all collected together like this.

Gives me a better idea of what I am creating here!

‘The bean that fell off the potting table and sprouted anyway’
GIF animation of how these squiggles are ‘born’

peonies bloom (18/72)

(working as part of a ‘Japanese 72 season micro-climate’ artist collaborative initiative within Treesisters)

Japanese season called ‘Kokuu’/ Grain Rains. 20th April until 4th May .
Micro climate ‘peonies bloom’ 30th April – 4th May.

Going a bit cuckoo myself trying to keep up with this fleeting seasons!

I have been spending more time than I probably should (with so many other projects calling) on changing the energy in our home.

I have these occasional ‘feng shui’ learning binges! Spring ‘nesting’ really.

Here’s a picture of a wire and ‘shrinky dink’ sculpture that I have dusted off and re-positioned, (it is a very flexible sculpture), in the ‘children and creativity’ corner of my bedroom.

It was created as part of a 100 days project in 2017.

It is called ‘Birds off the Wire’ and was accompanied by other art works, referencing freedom, the meaning of ‘home’ and the refugee crisis….I was not very good at keeping up with all the days back then either!

(Always a sucker for a, routine-creating, brief, I have signed up for 100 days again, this year, with a Scottish off-shoot of this original project, 100 Days Project Scotland…..a lovely bunch of creatives that I exhibited this work with, 2 years ago, in Edinburgh.
Keeping it much more simple this time though….doing ball point ‘squiggles’ with my eyes shut and making them into something! Trying not to overthink it. Let’s hope I can keep up! )

Today I have seen at least 4 house martins scouting for nest sites around our house.

Thier arrival always make my spirits soar.

On May Day morning I went out, in bare feet, to wash my face in the dew and fill our bird feeder…..and I experienced stereo cuckoos….one behind me and one ahead of me! 

I appreciate their message in a bitter-sweet way these days….for, to me, they represent the nay sayers, those that push others out of their rightful nest….those that say we are crazy for being so connected….but, in nature, such creatures are rare….the majority lives in harmony with each other…..crikey, they were loud though that morning tho!

They start calling late too, after the rest of the chorus….as if catching on or not welcome to sing with the others.

I smile when I think they are just lazy and get up late (like I was….I had wanted to be up at dawn, but it was cloudy and uninviting, so I went back to bed!)

I am reminded that ‘cuckoos’ also exist and have their place within the whole pattern of things….that our world would be lesser without them…..my mini mission, though, is to wake up all the human ‘cuckoos’..and not take their comment personally! 

Later the early evening was truly glorious, so I went for a walk.

Lo and behold….there he was…..a cuckoo, shouting out with all his might!

In all my years living here, I have never seen one, except occasionally flying over, flapping fast across the sky! Such a gift to see one like this!

Look close and you can see his, exotic, red eyes…..

Quite a fitting end for this micro-season called ‘Kokuu’….(even though that actually means ‘grain rains’ )

“Cuckoo. Cuckoo”…..they are still calling now….perhaps simply telling us what they think of our human antics….

This webpage made me smile though….I was hearing them from both left and right!!