Tagged: 2019

deer shed antlers 65/72

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

Japanese season called ‘Toji’ / winter solstice, 22nd December – 4th January.
Micro climate ‘deer shed antlers’ 27th December – 31st December.


I had so many words, so many great thoughts, to share, but now they are all gone.
Something about the colour brown and the word ‘soil’.
I am struggling to stay awake for the bells at midnight….already so tired….all my words have dissolved.

Spent sometime today meditating and sending healing cooling ‘rain’ to Australia.
So many friends live out there….I cannot imagine what it is like.
I kept hearing koalas crying, so I thought I’d try and muck around with painting a koala, using the ‘from the earth’ technique. as a way of honoring them.

Such extraordinary creatures.

I did a bit of research into old aboriginal stories and was struck by this…

Koobor, an unfortunate orphan, was always thirsty, but his adopted ‘family’ were mean and never let him drink enough. He learned to suck the leaves of the gum trees to quench his thirst.
One day his family went out hunting and Koobor grabbed his chance.
He stole all the waterbuckets and climbed a tree.
He sang a sweet, soft, song and the tree grew taller and taller.
When the family returned they were very angry.
Koobor threw the waterbuckets down to stop them climbing, but eventually they reached him and they threw the orphan to the ground.
He died.
But then a magical thing happened!
He came back…..as a koala bear!
And before he returned to the trees, he turned to his family and said these words….

” “Listen well as this is my law and if my law is broken then I will return and dry up all of the rivers and lakes and you will all feel thirsty, are you listening?”

The relatives nodded and so Koobor told them his law, “From this day forward you may only kill me if you need food, but you must cook my body before you take off any of my skin or break any of my bones.
Is that clear?” “

Made me wonder if this is it…..he did make it quite clear…..

Koobor has really had enough.

This is another of these first mud art testers. Doodling in mud really. Seeing what works and what doesn’t.
They really are proving difficult to photograph.

Some signs of vibrant life in our patch here.
Strange to see a lonely periwinkle flower at this time of year.

I made a fire outside to see the New Year in….it really was lovely sitting out there.
I had hoped we might get stars tonight, but the clouds rolled over, and after a few hours of singing and ‘throwing’ onto the fire ‘all that no longer serves’ and the worst of the last year, I have returned to the easy warmth, company and comfort of our centrally heated home.
Gratitude wells up in me.
Anyway, tribes are not ruled by clocks the way we are, they would not find themselves waiting for a particular hour!
It takes a lot of wood to stay up all night too when one needs the heat!

I hope I will manage to encourage my family out to welcome this New Decade around it later and plan to throw the remaining, Christmas tree, sitka trimmings on it for a bit of natural fireworks.
Joules Holland’s annual Hootenany beckons from the living room.

2020 eh.

Would have thunk it!?

I keep thinking about ‘2020 vision’.

I pray that kind of balanced clarity will come this next decade.


Wishing all a miraculous and evolutionary 2020!

(Joining the 7 Days of Rest and Radiant Diversity tomorrow … so I will posting here everyday for the next 7 days, something on the themes suggested ….. a glorious opportunity to focus all our love with best intention and be the change we want to see in 2020!)

self-heal sprouts 64/72

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

Japanese season called ‘Toji’ / winter solstice, 22nd December – 4th January.
Micro climate ‘self-heal sprouts’ 22nd December – 26th December.

It seems that, as with the beginning and ending of the Japanese calendar, winter solstice is also ‘delayed’!
Although I do kind of agree that it always seems a bit early here, considering the length of winter that still lies ahead of us, but the stars are the stars and I think I’ll stick with our calendar for that one!

I guess the beginning of these lengthening days is worth continuing to celebrate though!

Feeling over-indulged and tired by the ‘business as usual’ of UK, traditional, Christmas celebrations.
All felt a bit flat after a meaningful, powerful, solstice.
My boys are growing up and not as excited as they used to be.
All about the money and less about the magik.
Ended up, led by their desires, watching a teen horror, ‘In the Tall Grass‘, which makes my beloved wild, powerful, nature the horror, demonizes Hopi rock art and is basically a ‘do not stray from the tar mac road’ modern, gory, fairytale …. of course, a small boy calling from the church steeple saved the day.
Glad the wild power of nature was recognized, but not at all sure of the ‘message’!!
Then sat through, munching the ubiquitous, gifted, chocolates, ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events‘ which I do enjoy for its cabaret, almost steam punk, imagination, but after cooking/eating a heavy, late, lunch (with all the trimmings) it all had me ready for early bed.
We, (Mum and Dad), found ourselves remembering just how little effort we used to put into ‘making Christmas happen’ before having children, and almost began looking forward to a time when less may be demanded of us at this time!
(Although simultaneously feeling nostalgic for the wild delight of tiny children!)

Wish we had all gone for a walk…the sun was actually shining for a bit!

I have explored, what probably is our native, ‘self-heal‘ in a previous season….I went out just now to see if it was indeed sprouting already…..I think this might be it!!? As this is where it flowers later in summer! It is very tiny though, as you can see by the mosses beside it!

These are the finished sock toys and home-made kaleidoscopes from the elfy artden….I am leaving the little cats ‘faceless’ for my young nieces to sew up as they want!

And these continue to delight me!
If you have ever been stuck with what to do with a precious, family, lace collection (they really do not fit into our lifestyle as doilies!) I really recommend turning them into, reuse-able, Christmas decorations.
All one does is paste them with a PVA solution, let them dry and then add sparkles of your choice, adding a hanging ribbon.
I love getting these out for kitchen every year and admire this work every time I do….so not lost….and still loved.

Got out all the christmas lights again….but seem to be forever turning them off.
Really aware of how much extra energy is being consumed for this extra ‘sparkle’ this year….

Family visiting happens today, so not much time to create a post.

Time to get the game face on!

My squiggle cards became my Christmas cards this year.

A quick bit of vandalism and here they are…..not at all sure they are improved, but better than buying more!

Feeling that annular solar eclipse today.
It was quite weird. I woke up very early (for a day when I was supposed to be able to lie in), turned on the computer and was ‘led’ straight away to a live feed of the eclipse….just as it peaked and made a ring!
Amazing technology. despite recently learning just how not innocent the internet’s carbon footprint really is, these are the kind of things that really make my day.

Join the #Resolution2020 Song!

#resolution2020

I’m here standing with you!
This doubling as a tidy retrospective of this rolling om of Earth Love 2019!
Time for a Change!!

Looking for last minute presents? Why not buy a Treesisters (tre)e-card!?? Available from £5 up and all goes to world reforestation projects! Win WIn!

Treesisters e-cards

salmon gather and swim upstream 63/72

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

Japanese season called ‘Taisetsu’ / greater snow, 7th December – 21st December
Micro climate ‘salmon gather and swim upstream’ 17th December – 21st December.

No snow yet here….but I made this today to wish all a very happy Solstice and there is a suggestion of snow in this!

No salmon either.

Just a buzzing ‘elphin’ workshop!

I have been playing around with using mud prints from natural forms and turning them into mandalas!

At this time of year I am normally found in my ‘artden’/workshop as I always try and make most of my presents…recycling and generally using my imagination!

I even have some latex ‘elf ears’ that I wear to help get me in the mood. They make everybody smile!

with my ‘elf’ ears on!

This year I rang a bell and stopped for one minute to think about/pray for the world with people all over the globe.

It felt powerful, joining in with so many others in this way.

But in truth I spent most of this sacred day ‘in that zone’.

This led to another wee creation…I just let the mud do the talking and soon I began to see a tiny, turtle taking shape as I move the soil around….it’s not finished yet…but this became the vehicle for some deep Earth prayer.

Here are a couple of my homemade gifts.
A fun ‘sock dog’ I have made (out of my son’s single socks!) and the, as yet un-decorated, kaleidoscope, made from an old Pringles snack tube!

I wish I could get better shots of how it looks when you look through it, but I managed to get these strange images by putting the camera to the spy hole.
I used digitally manipulated close ups, of the mud art on the turtle’s shell, as the kaleidoscope’s focus.
It really works as you turn the end, like a proper kaleidoscope!
Quite a surprisingly satisfying, curious, make!

Also been busy in the kitchen making blackcurrant syrup and orange peel candies to add to my hampers. I am going to half dip the candies in chocolate later. YUM.

So all in all a very busy, Yule, elf!

And I just have to include a few shots of this beautiful, whittled, willow garland, (with tree seeds), I received as a gift on my birthday from a talented, willow working, friend.

See more of her work here.

Arn’t they stunning!!?

Sweet Solstice Dreaming to you all from this hill!

bears start hibernating in their dens 62/72

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

Japanese season called ‘Taisetsu’ / greater snow, 7th December – 21st December
Micro climate ‘bears start hibernating in their dens’ 12th December – 16th December

Stayed up nearly all last night following the election reveal.

It really is all such a mess!

No proportional representation. Little co-operation between parties.
All tactics and no substance.
Extinction Rebellion is the only ‘politics’ that makes any sense to me now.
People’s assemblies the way to go.

Found myself writing that I am so sick, of all these fences and walls, that now I choose to sit firmly on the ground that runs UNDER all of them.

Thank goodness for the clarity of Clare Dubois’s December Full Moon Call.

So nurturing.

There was reference to the reflection of the moon in water, so I was excited by the divine timing of seeing this from the bedroom window (when I crawled to bed at 4.30am!).

So I grabbed my camera, went out barefoot, into the frozen night and attempted to capture it.

I love the moonlight.

I quite like these ‘arty’ shots.

The moon was also shining as the sun rose……

This is the stuff of life.

This.

The morning moon and snow on Mull.
Morning Moon!

And then I peeked at Facebook and this was pretty much the first share I read!

“Enlightenment is like the moon
reflected on the water.
The moon does not get wet,
nor is the water broken.

Although its light is wide and great,
the moon is reflected
even in a puddle an inch wide.
The whole moon and the entire sky
are reflected in one dewdrop.

Treading along in this dreamlike,
illusory realm,
Without looking for the traces
I may have left;

A cuckoo’s song beckons me
to return home;
Hearing this,
I tilt my head to see
Who has told me to turn back;

But do not ask me where I am going,
As I travel in this limitless world,
Where every step I take is my home.”

Dogen

cold sets in, winter begins 61/72

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

Japanese season called ‘Taisetsu’ / greater snow, 22nd November – 21st December
Micro climate ‘cold sets in, winter begins’ 7th December – 11th December

Feeling pretty wintry here.

The Sun rises at 8.30am and it gets dark around our house, (due to the forest behind our house), at 2.30 pm! Properly dark around 4.30 pm.

Been spending hours on ‘housekeeping’ my blog. Who knew that ‘housekeeping’ a blog was necessary?
No wonder, it really feels like a chore!

Because I have been learning as I go along there is so much to do!
It’s not unusual for me to spend all day in my nightie and be up well into the wee small hours data correcting….a bit obsessive…I just want to get it all done so I can get on with creating again and get into the Yule spirit!

It really is worth it though, knowing all the images are the right size, that links still work and all.

I feel like I am preparing the ‘runway’ for a ‘take off’ of sorts!

Clearing the way for Treesister’s Year of the Tree 2020.

I made time tonight, to unwind, and got lost a couple of tiny works using the miniature canvases that I had prepared earlier in the year (used in ‘fish swim upstream‘).

Crazy feeling to re-connect with all that trauma and satisfying to see how a real direction is forming now, in my creative practice.

I ‘see’ these images in the patterns already in the wasp spit and wood pulp paper. Still experimenting with ways to bring them out using my new palette of mediums.

I am calling this series ‘In Waspspit Woods’….

tachibana citrus trees leaves start to turn yellow 60/72

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

Japanese season called ‘Shosetsu’ / lesser snow, 22nd November – 6th December
Micro climate ‘tachibana citrus leaves start to turn yellow’ 2nd December – 6th December

My first thought is what is a tachibana tree?!

‘The tachibana orange (Citrus tachibana, or Citrus reticulata tachibana) is a variety of mandarin orange, a citrus fruit. It is native to China and introduced to Japan 2000 years ago. The Tanaka System assigns it to its own species, while the Swingle System places it in the same species with other mandarin oranges. Genomic analysis has shown it to be genetically pure, without the pomelo introgression found in the closely related domesticated mandarin oranges of mainland Asia, though distant enough for it to by considered a distinct subspecies by Wu. They are estimated to have diverged from other Asian mandarins about 2 million years ago, and likely spread to the islands over land bridges formed during Pleistoceneglacial maxima, probably arising near where its mandarin cousins would later be domesticated in the Nanling’ Mountains of China.’
Wikipedia

Well there we go then!

I wish there was a citrus tree that could survive our latitude here.

I have a sizable tree, grown from a pip by an old local man, and given to us as a wedding present, (16 years ago), in our living room. It has never flowered yet! Although the leaves smell delicious.
It is going to suffer a serious prune very soon and the cuttings used for Yule decorations, as it is getting too big!

our satsuma tree

Here are some, random, other shots of our living room in the morning’s low sunshine and of the, 50 or so, alder seedlings I have potted up to plant around our boundary as shelter and bark provider for my paints in time! Wonderful nitrogen fixing trees.

A few will become Yuletime gifts too. Something wonderful about receiving something so tiny and unassuming that will only grow and grow…..

I have been/am very busy changing my blog’s appearance recently, so pretty sick of being on this screen.

I hope you like the changes?

The idea is to show a bit less at a time and to try and ease navigation of this dense blog.

More changes to come. Today’s task is to work out how to create some separate pages of collections of art/poems, with links to posts, as I have done here with the mandalas….

As promised, here are some images of latest soil paintings.

I prefer to call it ‘mud art’, but that tag connects with nothing out there…yet!

I think this will be my thing for a while to come, as I sense a lot of potential in it….and simply love using this medium, as it is full of surprises!
It can go from nothing much to really something in the tweak of a splodge.

These are literally my first experiments, it is a fast, intuitive process. really just feeling into what is possible…sketches if you like.
And for the first time ever, they really do not look as good, as they do in real life, on screen. It is generally the other way around!

I have developed a way to ‘fix’ these pictures, (with another, secret, totally organic medium), and so far they are lasting well!

north winds blow the leaves from the trees 59/72

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

Japanese season called ‘Shosetsu’ / lesser snow, 22nd November – 6th December
Micro climate ‘north winds blow the leaves from the trees’ 27th November – 1st December

Oh my.
This is now, technically,the next season already.

Not sure I am going to find the words to describe my current experience of the last 5 days!

So inspired, so determined to create, so fired up on all cylinders.
Today, mainly, ignited by attending a local, political, husting regarding the climate emergency (organised by local youth group) and being reminded just how much work there is still to be done! How completely out of touch with environmental reality our state still is!! Particularly when it comes to more local issues….the kind that build resilience in times of climate change.

Even, for a brief moment, considered entering politics!!

In the artden I am becoming obsessed with the sonification of ‘climate change’, and having huge breakthroughs with my soil painting experiments, now with a driving soundtrack,

(A visit to my public Facebook timeline would probably be the easiest way to articulate where I am right now, if at all interested, in details of the meeting, my more recent mud related experiments and links to sonification ‘finds’!)

I feel like a creative octopus that wishes I could work all my arms at the same time!!

Perhaps a side step back into the beauty all around is exactly what I need right now!

So here are some pictures of some ‘ice beauty’, that my son called me outside to see, after he had tipped out the ice from the top of one of my soil buckets, a few days ago.

It was difficult to photograph well.

The ‘ice fronds’ were so 3D!

And this ‘ice forest’ formed under the surface….

I have never seen anything quite like this before.

Exquisite and short lived.

Aaah…that’s better….

And in an attempt to connect this better with the title of this season….

It feels so important, in these times, to strip away all the noise and flutter of our social ‘leaves’ and simply admire the bare, living, ‘bones’ of beauty that hold them all up to the light….and also always be curious enough to look for what lies under the surface….we might be surprised!

Intending to share some of my more muddy experiments next season…..

(The north wind just started to blow through my artden window as I type. Brrrrr.)

kat robertson artist

rainbows hide 58/72

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

Japanese season called ‘Shosetsu’ / lesser snow, 22nd November – 6th December
Micro climate ‘rainbows hide’ 22nd November – 26th November

What an incredibly ecstatic day I have had! No snow, but the frost is absolutely enchanting!
I have gone a bit mandala crazy this season with such a winter wonderland to explore.

Also beginning to think of Christmas presents….I always make up-cycle mine.
A hamper full of homemade treats and always a homemade pop-up card….these are just some of the designs I am working with.

The rainbows are not ceasing here in Argyll.
Most enchanting are the spectrum of colours that comes off every iced twig and stem, which proved difficult to capture with my wee camera.

(Click on first image to see larger images as gallery)

Made this one today from one of the above photographs. Can you work out which one?

frostedtreebranches mandala

Below I share just one of the many rainbows still gracing our skies. There is hope!

I have now fitted the woodburner and lit the fire in the Gaia-hut. Also fitted one wall wing. At last getting closer to my inside-out space being habitable as a tiny studio space…

Couldn’t resist making this gif too…..away with the frosty fairies!

The mud play continues in artden.

So many crisp and crunchy revelations, as to direction and development of my craft, in this season…too much to share here!

But a big part of it is realizing that the big, energetic, ‘push’ is over….everything I had ever dreamed would be discussed on the radio/media, and even in the political realms, fills the media daily.

At last the planet is a matter of concern for all.

And I now longer feel like I have to shout so loud from this remote hill top.
Of course, this is only really the beginning….

The greatest release is that I can now begin to return, in full heart, to what I AM.

A nature celebrant artist and visionary, simply residing in this BIG LOVE and dreaming up better, more beautiful, futures…

YAHOO!

daffodils bloom 57/72

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

Japanese season called ‘Ritto’ / beginning of winter, 7th November – 21st November
Micro climate ‘daffodils bloom’ 17th November – 21st November

Phew!
Nearly lost this entire blog just now!
Seems I may have been the victim of some kind of hacker….think WordPress and I have sorted it now….I was distraught!
All this years work for nothing!
Bloomin’ technology.
It is even possible that I will be better seen now….as it appears that someone, somewhere was trying to control my activity!
Perhaps even ‘steal’ my identity or stop my simple message from getting out?!
Not really sure that it is that dangerous though….probably paranoid…
At least I always keep images and poems etc. on my hard drive….but this just goes to show how fragile our online existence really is…..

Daffodils are blooming in Japan right now?
Seems strange to me….they are so associated with spring here, but my Dad has always had some ‘rebel’ ones flower in autumn these last few years. Perhaps they are from Japanese bulb stock!?

We have been experiencing a very cold spell. The news still calls this ‘autumn’, but this feels very much like winter.

I love these ice puddle pictures.
Each one would look amazing painted as a large canvas.
Tempted to make an ice mandala….feeling very alive in his crisp, crunch….

(click on first image to see all as gallery slideshow)

The writing course seems to be dying down in urgency.
I spent a few hours working up this piece…live on screen.
I am very pleased with it.
Sandy suggested that this was a ‘ritual’. A rite of passage.
So I tried to do that as I wrote.
Returning to rhyming was both a challenge and a Joy.

The Journey

Preparation:

Breathe deep.
In …..and….out.
That’s it…slow….
Thank you, thank you, thank you….

Thank you, too, blank page of light,
That dark words, in this time, invite.
Drawing down with all my might,
For words to come
And then take flight.

A journey shared with all around,
Deep below, I sense a sound,
I could say I see it,
The aim is to be it,
The channel has only to be found…..

————————–

There is a wound, so deep and wide,
I cannot see the other side.
I only see our job to mend,
To heal, to feel, and Love to send,
To, somehow, this flowing blood, congeal,
At least that’s how I think I feel…..

The wound is, now, too deep to hide,
Still many ignore it, though millions have cried.
Our denial exposed now, for us all to see,
We need rainbow bridges, heartfelt stitches,
To fix the tears, torn, in our memory.

‘Big girl’ breeches.
Brave ‘out reaches’.
Each word like a stepping stone.
Much has changed, since way back when,
I first held this howling pen,
Now I know I’m not alone.

Throwing our whole selves in life’s rushing river,
Being never a taker, always a giver,
Creating a crossing by sharing our hearts,
This Rainbow Bridge growing, a spectrum of parts.
We stand on each other to leap ever further,
Holding steady, we put our whole faith in a future,
The golden thread tightens,
Our connection enlightens,

In fits and starts.

It fits and it starts.

Sometimes we just get washed away….
The distance to ‘bridge’ seeming longer,
But the more that we open,
to what we know how to say..
This invisible bridge gets stronger…

Go for the jugular….form platelets to clot…
Find the Grace to point out
What we really are not,
This balances vision,
This heals the division,
Simply follow this thread, dot to dot.

A stone in a river, a bridge to close,
A stitch in forever, a clot, hidden in prose,
Eons of endings meet again, their birth,
Wholeness becomes visible now
In this one, sacred, Earth.

A bringing together, to heal the divide,
Duality smashed as the mirrors collide,
The dams, an illusion,
For they held back the flow,
There is only one way for this water to go.

Stones in the river,
Heavy, connected.
These words sink in silt,
The way over, directed.

No trolls under this bridge.
No knots in this twine,
The timing is crucial.
And this timing’s DIVINE.
A clot with a keyboard,
(That is what they say!)
‘Let it be so’
the words,
I, sincerely,
PRAY.

————————————

Closing this space.

Releasing these words,
Throwing them to the sky,
I love you, I am sorry, Please forgive us,
I cry.

Three to the power of one.
This journey to wholeness has only just begun…

Be a bridge o’er this river,
Between death and birth.
Or a tree, stand connecting the heavens and Earth,
Masculine and feminine,
All in this together,
May this dance between both, play forever and ever…

In Gratitude I loose this song,
There is no right, there is no wrong
The River? It always goes back to the sea,
I hold my position, as it flows around

me.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Kat Robertson 19th November 2019

frostonmetal mandala