Saturday, May 28, 2016

A SMIDGEN OF MY SOUL



"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


45 comments:

  1. Oh. My. Goodness. WELCOME BACK!!!!!!

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    1. Oh. My. It does feel good!Thank you!

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  2. This is so much better. Love seeing you here. I love you new piece. I can't imagine working in the sun. UGH... I would croak. I am glad you now do most of your work in the shade. I can't wait to see what else pops up here.

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    1. Hi Lisa!This feels like old times. Thank you,working in the sun was lovely in Winter...but that was about it. The rest of the year is steamy.

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  3. So Pleased to see you here and to find you on Facebook. Absolutely adore your posts, you do inspire! THANK YOU!

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    1. Hi Linda Sue, great to meet up with you on FB and now here again.Thank you for the welcome!

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  4. wonderful insight into your work & so good to see you back in bloglandia!

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    1. Well I took some very good advice and it does feel good to be back. I think I needed the break to help me sort out exactly what I was going to do work-wise and blog-wise.

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  5. I was just sharing your work with friends. I think it is just so amazing! Blog or FB no matter, I'll will follow you across the web. :-)

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    1. So sweet of you to follow me anywhere Ginny. Thank you!!

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  6. So glad you are back I love your blog, I find fb rather impersonal, somehow blogging is a bit more like a diary, well it is for me. So glad you have reassessed your work area, don't mind if you don't blog a lot, but please, keep it up.

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    1. Thanks Penny. I am going to try and keep up, even if it's once a month. It is like a diary and has been useful for looking things up to remember what I was doing, say two or three years ago.

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  7. I love your beautiful work. I have a quilt of my grandmother's (ruined) that I want to cut into 3 tall totems, dye the pieces, hand embroider and somehow sew or lace back together. Your work with totems is an inspiration!

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    1. Ohhh I love the sound of your quilt totem! I hope you do follow through and share the results. I have actually created a wood quilt. I loved creating it. See this post...http://artpropelled.blogspot.co.za/2012/09/the-story-of-african-quilt.html

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  8. I was surprised and very happy to see Art Propelled on my blog roll this morning. Welcome back! What struck me from your pictures is how big your totems are. And then of course I eyed the cedar work table. I love the collage you've created for the book. The close-up showing the textures is beautiful. When there is a lull in commissioned work for me, I find it disconcerting at first but then I go back to my own work and it is bliss.

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    1. I feel like I have come home, seeing all the old "faces" here this morning. It's been such a long time since I allowed myself to carve for the love of it so this piece is very special to me.

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  9. Hi Robyn-Art-Propelled!!!! Glad to see you are propelling again! Love this new totem and the story telling with fragments....I like the depth of blog posts, comments, stories, quotes and poems...connection with the tribe. Xo Leslie Avon Miller

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    1. Leslie it feels great to be back connecting with the tribe!This is where I met you! What was I thinking, moving away?!

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  10. Glad you're back in blogland!!!! Missed seeing you over here.....!

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    1. It feels like I have been away on a long sabbatical but so good to be back.

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  11. Welcome home, Robyn. Wonderful to have you back. Facebook is killing blogs and many of my blog friends have "gone to the dark side".
    I prefer the spaciousness of blogging, but can understand how it must get in the way of a busy day.

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    1. Avus I have met some wonderful people on FB. The pace is quicker there but this is my old haunt where I found my art tribe so it feels right to be here. Thanks for the warm welcome!

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  12. So happy to have you posting again here. I like the new piece in progress, and I'm particularly taken with the traveling spirit house. When I was in NYC one January, I picked up a traveling prayer shrine from a flea market. Talismans, protections, and conduits into another realm.

    In the meantime, in this realm, I am using the last two wooden figures this year for the Madonna totem I commissioned from you. Two more grandchildren on their way!

    dc

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    1. Thanks P.D. Oh so wonderful to know the pockets are filling up with precious little people! I must tell you my hand went to my heart reading your comment.

      The travelling prayer shrine sounds lovely.

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  13. Well, I never knew about your blog before, but now I do. This is spectacular!

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    1. Really Tammy? Thank you! I don't know why i thought we had met moons ago through blogging. It must have been on FB.

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  14. As another non facebooker I am so thrilled you are back Robyn. I missed you. I love so much about this post ( the creative struggle etc) and your work is absolutely wonderful. Welcome back to blogdom.

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    1. I am basking in the warm welcomes. Thank you so much Wendy!

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  15. So wonderful to read a delicious and lengthy blog post from you Robyn! A true to delight to look at your work again and read your stories. Welcome back! Looking forward to more conversations with you here - go well.

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  16. Thanks so much Fiona.I thought it was about time!

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  17. That Anais Nin quote, YES!! And I love seeing your work and hearing your story just as much as I enjoy your posts on others' work. I like the sound of working on the veranda, as a northerner, I can't imagine making art in unbearable heat! I love the smell of cedar, we had a lot of cedar trees where I grew up so I associate the smell with the warmth and safety of childhood.

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  18. Hi Valerianna, those little changes have made a difference to how much I look forward to working every morning. As I walk past the cedar wood table to feed the birds early in the morning the scent emanating from it reminds me it's carving time and of course the shade is a balm on hot days.

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  19. Robyn, So happy to have you blogging again and on FB! I don't do commissions myself and after reading your post I think I made the right decision. I love both these pieces, they are wonderful, and I like reading about your work! xoxo

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  20. Hi Annie, yes it's good to be back! Thank you!

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  21. Robyn, I am so pleased to see you back and to enjoy and marvel at your beautiful work. I am not on Facebook and I missed your posts very much. My friend, Glennis, I understand, has kept in touch with you through that and I hear of your work from her. But to see your creations again is magical - I look forward to the next one.

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  22. Oh Glennis is a friend of yours?! She is lovely! Thank you again for your kind words. I'm not sure how often I can post but even if it's once or thrice a month I will enjoy connecting with my old blogging friends.

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  23. Glad you're back in blogland, Robyn! I love the blog world! I am on FB too, but I'm not really into it. FB isn't the same for me ~ only a flood of pictures, without much content, scrolling and quickly liking ~ almost letting people know you saw it. That's all! Blogs are so much more personal. I wish that I had more time to view them.

    Your new creation looks fantastic!!! I'm looking forward to your next post!

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    1. Hi Gaby!It's all about time, but I do agree a blog can hold so much more information as well as the personal touches that I love on the blogs I visit.

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  24. So, so glad you're back, Robyn. It's wonderful to read about YOU and what you're up to. I've always enjoyed your blog posts about other artists, other topics, but it's also very nice to hear about your life, too. We live so far apart, all the way around the earth, in different climates, cultures, so whatever you post seems exotic to me. I love Ancestral Voices and Spirit House, too. Excellent work. Stay out of the sun, girl.

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    1. Jo, so great to see you! Thank you for your kind words. We are having blissful autumn/winter days here. The sun is kind for the time being.

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  25. Robyn, oh how touched I am to sit and read this tonight... I see and feel so much depth of feeling in what you shared in your process, and in what you created. The sculpture has much energy that radiates out, and knowing the back story just made it even moreso. Thank you for taking the time to share your process, and I am so happy to hear that you are returning to a place that feels genuine and from your deepest and most free self, ready to create what comes out of your amazing hands and heart. Hooray for you. So much to ponder about your post, that i am going to let it sink in for a while before reading your next one (if I can resist :)). So glad to be able to see YOUR work, whatever parts you want to share... Thank you!! xoxo, Michelle

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  26. Lovely to see you back here again Robyn. I hope all is well with you and yours?
    Susan HHB

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    1. Oh and so great to see you Susan! All is well and I'm back in the saddle. Hope you are enjoying your new studio!

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  27. Beautiful work Robyn...welcome back.

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    1. Hi Jo!It's good to be back, thank you!

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