Monday, July 11, 2016


Deena Haynes. Click

"Stillness is not about focusing on nothingness; it's about creating a clearing. It's opening up an emotionally clutter-free space and allowing ourselves to feel and think and dream and question..." - Brene Brown

The sense of peace we achieved on holiday is already seeping away. My chiropractor who has to deal with my tense shoulders suggested I find something that instills peace closer to home since we can't  go racing off to the Wild Coast (a 7 hours journey away), every time I feel tense.  I'm taking the advise of Brene Brown and trying to create a clearing within the busyness of life.

Jessica Rimondi. Click

Recently I discovered the work of Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis, an artist who is inspired by nature and the surrounding countryside of the Sussex Downs. 

Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis. Website here

"The artists deep affection for place and rural history is the antithesis of sentimental pastoral, as she seeks to understand all that is complex and valuable in our landscape heritage. Giving as much or more attention to the detail of a sycamore leaf as she does to a classic sweep of downs or a tempestuous sky, Aytoun-Ellis shows us how to look at landscape and nature with compassion, fairness and honesty. These are vital ways of thinking about our countryside as it continues to be threatened by creeping urbanization." - Clare Best   #

 Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis  Click

Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis

"Every soul innately yearns for stillness, for space, a garden where we can till, sow, reap, and rest, and by doing so come to a deeper sense of self and our place in the universe. Silence is not an absence but a presence. Not an emptiness but repletion. A filling up." - Anne C LeClaire

I enjoyed Anne LeClaire's book, Listening Below The Noise: The Transformative Power of Silence. It "offers readers the possibility of finding grace and peace in the natural world". Find it on Amazon here

The beautiful art of Jeanie Tomanek. Website 

"Silence is something more than just a pause; it is that enchanted place where space is cleared and time is stayed and the horizon itself expands. In silence, we often say, we can hear ourselves think; but what is truer to say is that in silence we can hear ourselves not think, and so sink below our selves into a place far deeper than mere thought allows..." - Pico Iyer

I have started reading The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere by Pico Iyer. Find it on Amazon here

"Accept what comes from silence. Make the best you can of it. Of the little words that come out of the silence, like prayers prayed back to the one who prays, make a poem that does not disturb the silence from which it came." - Wendell Berry

The imposing Mennesket ved Havet (Men at Sea), Denmark. Photo by Marco Franchino. Click

"Be secluded in your secret heart-house, that bowl of silence..." - Rumi

Friday, July 1, 2016


We have returned from three glorious weeks at the Wild Coast, feeling replenished and at peace with the world. 

 Most days were soft and meditative, filled with winter sunshine and the hushed unfolding of waves on the sand.

I learned a new word from Mo yesterday.
Apricity: The word apricity represents a simple and familiar yet a very specific phenomenon - the sun's warmth on a cold winter's day. (Click on the word to read further)

It seems appropriate to introduce the word here since, the world and his wife..... dog.....goat and cow, within a kilometer's radius, seemed to wander down to the beach to stand in the sun, .....relishing apricity on a winter's day.

I walked around this bull several times, clicking my camera and he remained  unperturbed. Just a twitch of tail and ear.
I can't imagine our holidays without the resident dogs. They add much joy and tail wagging to our days. 

The sea poems of Pablo Neruda also seem appropriate here. Follow the link if you wish to read a few more.

The Sea by Pablo Neruda

I need the sea because it teaches me.
I don't know if I learn music or awareness,
if it's a single wave or it's existence,
or only it's harsh voice or it's shining
suggestion of fishes and ships.
The fact is that until I fall asleep,
in some magnetic way I move in
the university of the waves.

It's not simply the shells crunched
as if some shivering planet
were giving signs of it's gradual death;
no, I reconstruct the day out of a fragment,
the stalactite from the silver of salt,
and the great god out of a spoonful.

What it taught me before, I keep. It's air
ceaseless wind, water and sand.

It seems a small thing for a young man,
to have come here to live with his own fire,
nevertheless, the pulse that rose
and fell in it's abyss,
the crackling of the blue cold,
the gradual wearing away of the star,
the soft unfolding of the wave
squandering snow with it's foam,
the quiet power out there, sure
as a stone shrine in the depths,
replaced my world in which were growing
stubborn sorrow, gathering oblivion,
and my life changed suddenly:
as I became part of it's movement.

Need I say, this weathered plank and broken shell returned home with me

"Among the things the sea throws up,
let us hunt for the most petrified,
violet claws of crabs,
little skulls of dead fish,
smooth syllables of wood,
small countries of mother-of-pearl;
let us look for what the sea undid
insistently, carelessly,
what it broke up and abandoned,
and left behind us."

- Forget about Me by Pablo Neruda

More chiton shells to add to my collection

Limpets doing what limpets do.

 An ox drawn sled (made out of branches) carries fire wood home

Cows in the mist

 Fish for supper.

A misty end to the day

The  SILVER SUMMER show begins tomorrow at FILLINGDON FINE ART in PIDDINGTON, UK. Details here.  I have a few pieces on the show, including the tall story panel below.

"Stop measuring days by degree of productivity and start experiencing them by degrees of presence." - Alan Watts

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!