Thursday, June 2, 2016


mrandmrscharlie on Instagram

Stephanie Dalton's new painting inspired me today. It reminds me of riverine krantzes, pebble beaches, driftwood and rock pools. 

Stephanie Dalton. Click to go to Stephanie's website

I enjoyed Stephanie's artist statement ..... and wish I had written it myself.

"It is the quieter side of the world that inspires my abstract works, the feelings that arise through a connection with the natural world. Colorful patterns in stone, aged patinas on walls, and fragmented light on the horizon are some natural touchstones for me." - Stephanie Dalton

Small wild basket by Robyn Gordon

My own work is often inspired by my connection with nature. Long walks and foraging on beaches set the mood for beginning new carvings. Once I was inspired by clumps of sea reeds that were washed up on the beach after heavy storms and decided  there and then to sit down and create my first wild basket for the few small treasures I had found. It is a very rudimentary basket but for the time I spent creating it I was totally absorbed.

"Beach Walk" a work in progress by Robyn Gordon

Beach walks have inspired many of my carvings. 

A piece from the River to Wood series by Hannah Lamb

I'm intrigued with how artists interpret what they have seen and how they bring meaningful moments into their artwork.

Hannah Lamb's " creative practice focuses on walking and making as methods of reconnecting with the world immediately around us. Personal, emotional responses to environment and surface are recorded through stitch, print, photography and construction, piecing together fragments of place and time."

Hannah's River to Wood series explores the landscape of the River Aire. 

"Short journeys, walking from home to Hirst Wood, collecting marks, prints and found materials." - Hannah Lamb

Talking about wild baskets and inspiration, I found some delightful images on mrandmrscharlie's Instagram blog.

"The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web." - Pablo Picasso

Old papers and Japanese Wood by inspiration.h.o.m.e on Istagram. Love this one!

Saturday, May 28, 2016


"Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world" - Brene Brown

A lot has happened in the year I have taken off from my blog. The busier I became with commissions and life, the more I found I had less time to compile blog posts. As mentioned in a previous post I decided to simplify by posting on Face Book instead but I have missed Art Propelled! For years it was my little sanctuary where I have made wonderful friends, many of whom are not on Face Book. 

 I have decided to continue my compilations on Face Book but I would like to post here on Art Propelled a few times a month as well.

Commissions bogged me down last year. I have given a lot of thought to how they affect my work production. Through no fault but my own I took on too many commissions and didn't leave enough time in between to create new work which meant I was feeling stale and lost interest. For the first time in a long while I gave myself a month to create something new. 

This piece, "Ancestral Voices" has revived my love for creating art. I began waking in the mornings feeling excited to get out to my work bench to start carving. I purchased a new work bench made of fragrant cedar wood. The moment I set up work for the day the scent of the cedar seems to trigger my creative flow. For years I have worked outside in the courtyard where the heat just about flattened me so I made another change and moved my work area onto the veranda. Though I still do the messy work out in the courtyard I do most of my carving in the shade of the veranda. It has made a huge difference!

A very beautiful quote I kept with me while carving this piece....

"I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands." - Linda Hogan

In 2014 Roxanne Evans Stout invited me to create a new sculpture for her book, Storytelling with Collage . The book is out! And what a beautiful book it is!

This is the piece I created for the book. It is made of fragments from my early totems, previously banished to the back of a dark cupboard. There were parts of the old totems that I loved, so I cut these parts off to use in the assemblage.

"Spirit House" was inspired by the Sepik spirit houses in Papua New Guinea, as well as the "house of the hogan" in Mali. A hogan is a Dogon spiritual leader whose house serves as a conduit for spirits to drift through while communicating with him. I was amused by the idea of a mobile spirit house that could fly or sail.... or drive over a bumpy road in Africa.

I'm not sure what the next post will be about but it certainly wont be about me!

"I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself  when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art" - Anais Nin

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Story Door and Niche carving by Robyn Gordon. Website here

THANK YOU to all my faithful followers who have supported me here over the years and for all the inquiring emails and messages wondering if all is well. All is well! Life has got busier however and I've tried to find an easier way to blog that doesn't take up quite so much of time. For that reason,  I've decided to reinvent Art Propelled on Face Book (here). I will post my art compilations as well as my own work there if you are interested.  Some people don't like Face Book but for the time being it is all I can manage. I do hope I will meet up with you there because I do miss you all.

Art Compilation including work by Alexey Terenin, Paul Balmer, Cathy Brennon, Deborah Bell and Annie Coe

Friday, April 10, 2015


"Strandloper III" by Robyn Gordon

The daffodils are out just in time for the opening of  the "Primary Palette"exhibition at Fillingdon Fine Art. I'm delighted to have 3 pieces in this exhibition including the piece, Strandloper III, above.

The meaning of strandloper ....

1. a member of a Koisan people who lived on the southern shores of southern Africa from prehistoric times until the second millennium AD.

2. a person who collects items on the shore; a beachcomber.

warmly invites you to 
"Primary Palette"
an exhibition of original
paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewellery and craft

from Saturday 11th - Saturday 25th April 2015
daily 10am- 4pm

at Fillingdon Farm, Piddington, High Wycombe, 
Bucks, HP14 3BL, UK

Other times by appointment

This exhibition features work in the three primary colours of red, blue and yellow by new and regular artists from Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa; across the media of oils, pastels, bronze, stone, porcelain, silver, shell and many others.  Monochromatic balance is added with a new collection of drawings by master draftsman Arthur Azevedo.  As always there is a wide variety on display to appeal to all tastes and pockets, and each unique, handmade piece has been personally selected to ensure the ultimate in quality and originality.  Entry is free and refreshments are on offer.  A donation is appreciated for our chosen charity Farm Africa (reg. charity number 326901). The work is available to view on our website, which is constantly being updated.  We look forward to welcoming you, and please feel free to tell like-minded friends!
For directions and a map visit our Contact Us page

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Wishing you all a 
and to those who don't celebrate Christmas

Paintings by Josette Urso

"It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'til his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little something more."  -  Dr Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Friday, November 7, 2014


The "Richly Wrapped" exhibition is on at Fillingdon Art Gallery, High Wycombe, UK until the 13th December. I received an email from Debs Digby to say that Oshun,  the last of my totems sold this week.

"Oshun" is a Yoruban Goddess, who encompasses a great variety of things, including love, sensuality, sexuality, fertility, abundance and diplomacy. She is widely loved as she heals the sick and has an amazing strength within her to bring people together as one. Oshun has a warrior aspect especially when protecting women and children. She is also known as 'Laketi', 'she who has ears', because of how quickly and effectively she answers prayers.

To read the rest of the article follow this link

Monday, October 20, 2014


I love to walk in nature and I especially love to walk alone. In South Africa .... or where I live anyway .... there are not many places one can do so safely. At the wild coast I walk alone for miles and as long as I keep the fishermen in sight (even just a dot on the horizon), I feel safe. It's a time that I unwind completely with not a worry in the world. 

"It's when I'm walking that I come closest to an affection for myself." - Shawna Lemay

During the build up to my daughter's wedding we promised ourselves a healthy walking holiday at the wild coast once everything quietened down. Unfortunately that never happened because our fox terrier was badly savaged by our bull terrier.  Her pelt was almost ripped right off her body resulting in an air pocket between flesh and fur. It's been over a month that her little body has been battling against the infection she developed under her skin but today I can finally say she has turned a corner in her recovery.

During this time of watching over her, whilst she fought for her life, my thoughts have taken me to our favourite beach walks for solace. 

I found a few quotes on Shawna Lemay's blog that sum up why I find these walks such a balm to my spirit ......

"There is an element of repetition in the act of walking where you can forget. And there is a tiredness. A peacefulness. I think that when you are really alone you have a fragility. The feelings are more intense. You have more of a feeling of the eternity of things."  -  Frederic Gros

"And walking with a camera is yet another kind of walking. One's looking becomes more delicate, sharper, refined. One loses oneself in the walking, and then is lost again, while one focuses in on the leaf, twig, or dried seed pod that has attracted one's attention." -  Shawna Lemay

I loved  this post on Shawna's blog. 

One can walk for days on a wild coast beach and never see a soul other than cattle and goats and perhaps the occasional herdsman with his dog.

For me, it's a walking meditation
kicking up water in the shallows for miles
dreaming of the totems I will carve
incorporating the pebbles and driftwood I've gathered

 Catching fish for lunch every day makes one feel healthier

"To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter.... to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring - these are some of the rewards of the simple life."  - John Burroughs

"The kind of dog you have will change the perfume of your walking. The degree to which your dog stops to sniff and mark territory, the pace you keep ...... "  - Shawna Lemay

"Walking is important to my practice, a way to begin. It opens the route between the external world and the inner world of the studio. On my ritual paths, I take notice of changes that occur -- daily and seasonally -- recording what attracts my attention, 'navigating' my way through time."  -  Kim Kopp

"Walking..... is how the body measures itself against the earth" - Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A history of walking.