Monday, September 8, 2008


"And what is it to work with love?"
"It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit". - Kahlil Gibran

It's been a strange journey creating these totems over the last 2 years. I've learned so much about myself and remembered things from my childhood that I had forgotten. Aspects of myself that I need to celebrate. Aspects that make me who I am.

In a way I am also paying homage to those friends and bloggers who feel the same way about nature as I do. Lynne Hoppe , Kate Strickland and Gwen Buchanan immediately come to mind....and there are many others.

Carving the Nature series has been a turning point. I'm not sure how or why except for a feeling of having found myself again. Now more than ever I am convinced that creating art heals. It is one of life's little miracles.

"Creativity exists more in the searching than in the finding". - Stephen Nachmanovitch


  1. An inspirational post, Robyn. I'm glad to know that art can bring healing. I haven't come to that realization yet, but then I'm still on my search. I know it must be true, because many speak of art as a healing resource.

    There's so much to love in this last one. The horns, the little frog, the carvings of leaves, and are those porcupine quills? "Nature's child" is a real treasure. I feel tenderness coming from it.

  2. Thank you for that Shayla. I think finding something to be passionate about is the key. Keep on searching. You will get there.

  3. Oh, and I forgot to say, yes, your art definitely reflects the Khalil Gilbran quote - I so love "The Prophet."

  4. Oh Robyn,
    "Natures Child" is one of the most soulful carvings I have ever seen!
    What a thrill to not just 'see' but 'feel' this piece...I can only imagine what she would be like to actually touch.
    "The Beachcomber" is too a 'heart felt' piece...beautiful and very inspiring post. So wonderful you have "found yourself and healing" through your art have given a great deal of 'hope' with this post.

    ...and thank you for all the links too. :)

  5. Jo, I think we have an ever turning circle of inspiration going on in the blog world.Thanks for your lovely comment.

  6. Robyn, this is wonderful! I would love to be able to touch 'Nature's Child', but no matter, I can almost feel the smoothness of the wood in my imagination. The treasures you've placed within the little boxes, wow!
    Your soulful connection with your art is part of what makes each piece so special, this one in particular. Add that to a quote from The Prophet, always so meaningful. Thank you.

  7. Congrats, Robyn! Well deserved award!! I loved seeing the pix of "Nature's Child" and the connection it has to you personally.

    I always love coming over here! :)

  8. you're killin' me here robyn... do you know how badly i'd love to touch this totem? sit with it... commune with it...

    i love every element she's holding... every, single one. but that one carving -- with leaves on top and what look like roots on the bottom. wow... that really speaks to me. but the acorn, and the snake, and the jaw, and the owl!!! oh! they're all perfect! the shells!!!

    and then i read about how carving 'the beach comber' and 'natures child' has been a turning point, and i think that maybe this is even more beautiful than the carvings themselves. yes, this surely is miraculous and makes me smile all over.

    you've really gone over the top on the smile quotient today... : )

    p.s. you deserve the heck out of those awards.

  9. I agree with your post. Often I feel healed, when I create certain pieces.

  10. Beautiful work R. I love looking at these totems of yours in close up.
    Tell me, is it a wrench selling them, do you ever decide to keep a piece? I am in the middle of 3 mosaics at the moment and there is one that will be hard to part with!

  11. Your totem turned out beautifully. This is one of my favorites too. I can really identify with your thoughts in this post. Thanks for your words. They have touched my heart and I feel so much joy for you!

  12. Thanks Heather!

    Annette, it's such fun to find a use for all the little treasures I've collected over the years. Thanks for your sweet comment.

    Willow, my door is always open :-)

    Lynne, your comment has put a big smile on my face.

    Jason, it's a great feeling isn't it.

    HHMN, I have 2 pieces that have been packed in the car for delivery several times and then hurriedly unpacked and put back in my studio. I know they will have to go at xmas time but it is going to be very hard...and Natures Child will probably be another that I battle to let go. I can't wait to see your new work!

    Thank you so much Chris. This blogging community is so supportive and generous with comments that warm my heart.

  13. Robyn- I'm snugged under my duvet with laptop and soon a book! My goodness, what a very full post! First, your totem is just incredible....I love the inside of her...all her little pieces bared for us to see and compare to our own little pieces - congratulations on your blog awards! Not just one, but TWO!! - so well deserved - AND you did the "unspectacular" quirks - loved them! I just wanted to say also, my visual art is for one very important reason, well, important to me, and that is to heal - it's the one place I can go that is safe and I feel free to look inside and express what I find - I feel lucky to have my art - it keeps me balanced.

  14. These totems are so inspiring. Really beautiful work.

    I can't believe you mentioned Gerald Durrell! My Family and Other Animals is one of my very favorite books ever. All of his work is wonderful.

  15. Robyn your posts put me in a reflective mood and there's so much truth in your discoveries, so in a way I don't need to reinvent the wheel if you know what I mean,thanks for the award I really appreciate it.

  16. dear robyn,you left me smiling with this post.what a beautiful quote from Kahlil Gibran.very inspiring.
    your totems are amazing,you deserve every award for nature's child.
    thank you for the smile keep it coming.

  17. This is one of my favourites, it reminds me of my grandson who is always collecting things for me and also sees beauty in the simplest of things that nature has to offer.

  18. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I want to get up close and take in every perfect natural detail.

  19. thank you robyn. embellisher and i were talking about your wonderfully interesting blog today, as we did the red book exchange.

  20. Jeane. It was going to be a short post but somehow it just got longer and longer.

    Pamela, I think I read all his books. His collecting trips in the Cameroons kept me enthralled for hours when I was a kid and I really fancied the thought of myself as this adventurous collector just like my hero Gerald Durrell.

    Embellisher, reflective posts are usually the ones I enjoy reading the most.

    Megha :-) :-) :-)

    Ro, thank you. To see a world in a grain of sand.....

    Kerri, I wish you could see it in person because it looks so different to the photos. Because my totems are so tall (160cm) I find it difficult to take good photos of them...and besides I'm such a novice with the camera.

    Priya, now the red book is what I find really interesting.

    Thanks Sandra.

  21. Robyn, I've been trying to think of 6 things about myself that I haven't already said all day long. I'll give it my best shot....I'm really very boring I'm afraid. BTW, I hate flying cockroaches too.

  22. wow, grrl, maybe the totem carved YOU! Such a powerful act to create this, are your really surprised it's affect on you?

    Oh, and I tagged you for the quirk thing before I realized you had already done it. Such cute quirks.

  23. Oh my!!!

    I LOVE your work.
    Just a quick comment to thank you for stopping by. I am headed to italy this afternoon. Will stop back when I return.


  24. Stevie, I tagged you because I don't think you're boring :-)

    Grrl, its a great learning process.

    Thanks Karen. Enjoy Italy!

  25. I think it is wonderful the way you can find out more about yourself through your art, and the way you put it into words. Very moving! Roxanne

  26. Inspiring post and an amazing carving...Nature's Child...btw thanks for dropping by "walk the wilderness".

  27. What a spectacular sculpture, Robyn. I suppose at some point you have discussed what sort of wood you carve, but being new to your blog, I haven't seen it. Just curious.
    I love your blog.

  28. Roxanne, thanks for your lovely comment.

    t and s, thanks for following me home. I'm looking forward to exploring more of your blog.

    Karine, thank you so much! I use several different woods depending on availability. Obechi from the Congo and Jacaranda when I can get it.

  29. I feel the breath of your spirit in this wonderous piece, Robyn. "Nature's Child" is as evocative and soulful as "The Beachcomber". It is evident that you have found healing in this process. There is a sense of quiet devotion and care here. You have touched me once again.

    Like Shayla, I am curious about the quills. They look like porcupine quills to me but I'm quite sure these are not indigenous to your area and if I'm reading the scale correctly (and with my perceptual problems, I might not be!) they seem to be much bigger than porcupine quills.

    Many heartfelt congratulations on your many awards. So deserved! I love your quirks! Flying cockroaches? Ewwwww!

  30. Kate, you have made my day again. Thank you. Yes they are small porcupine quills about 10cm. I have several 22cm quills as well. They are indigenous to this area. We had a lot of them in the forests on our farm. The farm workers used to eat them roasted on the fire. Apparently delicious, though I certainly wouldn't even have a little taste.

  31. Robyn...darn it! Wouldn't you know it, my sense of scale was off again. I could have sworn those were huge quills. I'm amazed that you have porcupines in South Africa. For some reason I thought they were just found in North America. Thanks for enlightening me!

  32. Loved reading the second paragraph where you describe your connection to nature and your totem's connection to yourself. Nature's Child is wonderful and the awards to you well deserved!

  33. I'm absolutely thrilled to be here - this is the first of your totems/carvings that I have had the pleasure to see and I must say that "Nature's Child" has me completely hooked - I could easily stare at it for a good hour or more - can you imagine how long if it was physically in front of me? I could possibly get lost for quite a while. :)

    Cheers to healing in creating!


  34. Kate...LOL don't worry I am also discovering all sorts of things since I started blogging. It's wonderful!

    Seth, thank you so much!

    3rdeyemuse, I am just as thrilled to have you here :-) Thanks for your lovely comment.

  35. Robyn, "Nature's Child" is delightful, of course. I really do love the discovery of each compartment. What fun also to read about your blogging adventures!

  36. "Nature's Child" is exquisite and majorly inspiring, Robyn! Thanks so much.

  37. Thanks Virginia.

    Karen, you have made my day.

  38. Yes, art does heal. I am quite sure I would be perpetually in the fetal position without it! And what an amazing feeling it is to know that you are doing the work you were meant to do...and loving doing it! We are really really lucky.

  39. Amy, you are so right. We are extremely lucky to have the creating bug.

  40. You dear soul... I am so humbled to be mentioned by you in reference to loving nature.. I am in honoured company... Please forgive me for not seeing this sooner...

    Your work is so distinctive... so unique.. I know of no other like it... Thank you for being YOU!!!