Thursday, October 9, 2008


Whenever I take a break from my work or even from blogging I find it quite difficult to get back into the swing of things but once I've taken the first few steps ideas begin to flow again.

I'm rereading Living The Creative Life by Rice Freeman-Zachery. She writes "Work begets ideas, which begets work, which in turn begets more ideas". This is so true.

Another book I've been dipping into is Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland.
I wrote this excerpt into my quote book because it struck a chord.

"Art is exquisitely responsive. Nowhere is feedback so absolute as in the making of art. The work we make, even if unnoticed and undesired by the world, vibrates in perfect harmony to everything we put into it - or withhold from it. In the outside world there may be no reaction to what we do; in our artwork there is nothing but reaction.

The breathtakingly wonderful thing about this reaction is its truthfulness. Look at your work and it tells you how it is when you hold back or when you embrace it. When you are lazy, your art is lazy; when you commit, it comes on like blazes."

My Hunter/Gatherer totems will be off to the Gallery soon. I think I'll be quite sad to see them go but on the other hand it will be exciting to get feedback.


  1. I like the bit about when we are lazy our art is lazy - or in my case the art doesn't get done at all! I love your new tribe of totems btw.

  2. Thank you Robyn, I really needed to read this! Really!
    Your "Hunter/Gatherers" tribe of totems are truly amazing. I love them. How tall are they? Do they have individual names?
    I have "Living The Creative Life" by Rice Freeman-Zachery, it's a lovely book.
    Quotes are wonderful too!

  3. Love the tribe! Are they connected or individual guys? I adore their hunter/gatherer theme.

    I can tell you've been embracing your work. :^)

  4. Thank you so much for putting my as one of your favorite blogs! I love the totems!


  5. The 'tribe' is wonderful. Lovely theme. Thanks for the quotes too - good food for thought.

  6. Oh, what a splendid sight. Those totems are woooooooooooooonderful.

  7. Its so true about feedback and so important but there are only a few around me who can give me constructive feedback.Blogging helps but I think society at large if not educated or exposed to art in all its different forms finds art worthless or at best unimportant.

  8. Hi Robyn,
    I found my here from daviddrawsandpaints -- and so glad I did. I think the totems are extraordinary and exquisite.

    And, scrolling down, I was glad to be reminded of the Kalidasa poem.

  9. I like the first photo...the one that has no 'totems' just the 'bodies'. It brings attention to the contents of each one.

  10. Yes, work and play are pretty much mixed together in art, and i wonder do artists ever take a vacation? :)
    The totem tribe is amazing!

  11. I totally relate to the needing a jump-start sometimes. I covet your streams of new ideas! Your new pieces are wonderful, as always. Now, get them finished and to your waiting public! Thanks for stopping by my blog - I think from your message I understood that you will be beaching it for a few days? If so, have a great trip!

  12. I see so many things in them: power, dignity, peace. I love the little bottles filled with things.

    "Work begets ideas, which beget work, which in turn begets more ideas". I like that. Very true, reassuring and motivating.

    Your post has inspired me to tinkering in the studio for the rest of the morning.

  13. Robyn - fabulous quotes - I do believe 'work begets ideas' - waiting for inspiration has never helped me - only when I'm working, am I inspired. You can't move forward unless you're engaged.

  14. Thanks Heather.Looking back at photographs of my old work I can see exactly what Bayles and Orland mean.

    Thanks Jo. The totems are about 160cm in height. So glad this post hit the spot.

    Thanks Willow, They are all individual totems with individual names but they are part of the Hunter/Gatherer series. (They aren't a set)

    Queencraftygirl, you are an inspiration and I love popping over to your blog to see what you have been making.

    Theresa, thank you. I've had such fun creating them.

    HHMN, Thank yoooooooou! :-)

    Embellisher, people who create art appreciate how much work and soul goes into a piece and I'm finding so much support in the blogging world. It's such a pity that there are not many people around you to give you feedback because your work is so beautiful, skillful and creative ...and it certainly helps to receive feedback. My immediate community is quite conservative when it comes to art so I don't even bother to ask for feedback but the main gallery I supply is very modern and the fact that my work sells there is very encouraging.

    my croft, glad you found me. I will hop over for a visit soon.

    Thanks Jason, I must say I like to see lots of little nooks and cranies full of treasures too.

    Thinker, thank you. The thing is working is a holiday for me.(as I'm sure it is for you) When I'm not making art I'm actually a pain in the neck.

  15. Virginia, only one day at the beach (today) and though we awoke to rain the skies cleared by the time the car was packed and it was a great day in the sun.

    Thanks Shayla. Happy tinkering!

    Jeane, I never have been one to wait for inspiration to strike.

  16. Your totems actually make me ache at times that I cannot reach out to touch them, and to see all of the exquisite details in person. I love the artful insights too. I have been without a lot of art making lately and I know that absence does not create more art!!

  17. Your totems are beautiful - very earthy and real. The words are very good too. I think I will copy them into my collection of words that move me. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Kerri, once you get into it again you will find art so healing. Perhaps you are bored with doing what you usually do and need a new direction to grab your interest. I found that I kept going back to what I always created and it was only down the line that I realized one of the reasons for my block was boreom.

    Thanks Bindu. My quote books are a great source of inspiration and comfort. I just keep adding new quotes and whenever I feel like a little upliftment I open anywhere and read.

  19. i know exactly the feeling,the quotes are so apt.
    i love your totems robyn,its amazing the love you put into them cause it shows.
    thank you for this post :)

  20. robyn,
    couple things...
    it occurred to me that your work, while it is so authentically yours, reminds me a lot of louise nevelson's sculptures, with which i've always felt an association . it is interesting to me as a woman and artist and one who for the most part is very internalized, how your work and hers represents so many connected compartments within the body of the work. there's more to say on this but idon't want to run on here... i'll find another way.
    i also have the book "art and fear" but haven't opened it in a while. wonderful excerpt !
    we seem to have shared a thread of similar thoughts this past week.
    i know that every time i visit your blog it will be a thought-provoking experience.
    many thanks:)
    mary ann

  21. megha, it's so wonderful being able to hop from blog to blog inspiring each other. Thanks for your input. Your blog is a joy to me.

    Maryann, please "run on" soon. I have an email address on my profile if you ever feel the urge to run on but I'm quite happy for you to continue here too.

  22. Looking together for the 3rd time - your creativity and skills are even more amazing each time we look. Thanks for sharing so much with us.
    Don and Susan

  23. These autumnal tones are amongst my favourite. A feast for the eyes in your post today. I really like that quote, it's quite accurate, isn't it....thanks for sharing it...

  24. Shakti Gawain--i haven't heard her name in ages...

    I love your totems; this is what happened, I saw them as lovers, or friends. The way a lover or a friend allows us inside--they show us a shelf with some part of an identity to their self, and we can almost slowly know the other shelves; we can almost look into them as others and see our our mystery or fascination of the collective things we are--little treasured bits at a time.

    THanks for this.

  25. I can see why you will miss your hunter/gatherer totems, they have a really strong presence, they look stunning all lined up together, like ancient protectors.

  26. I seriously wish I could stand in front of the totems and truly take them in ... thanks for sharing the quotes, too.

  27. Just found your blog by chance. Great to have found you. I need to come back again later and have a longer stay! These hunters are beautifully haunting. Thanks for reminding me about some excellent quotes. Best wishes, Sx

  28. What an imagination you have, Robyn.. You are right about work and play and ideas.. first a trickle then a waterfall!!! once it starts it is hard to turn them off...

    I would love to explore each and every carved box you have created.. all presented with such honour to the objects within... I love this!!!

  29. Robyn, your "Hunter/Gatherers" are amazing creations. The four of them together, so tall, and bearing their beautiful souls as one... Thank you! Roxanne

  30. Don and Susan, the feelings mutual.

    Lavinia, it's amazing how one little quote or poem can uplift one.

    Mansuetude, thanks for those words. I am savouring them.

    Azirca, so many people have picked up on the ancient protectors or guardians...which I find rather comforting.

    Thanks 3rdEyemuse.

    Thanks Spot, glad you found me and in turn, leading me back to your blog.

    Gwen, it's great what we do isn't it? Making a living from what we love to do.

    Thank you, Roxanne. You say the sweetest things :-)

  31. Absolutely beautiful work!! I so wish that I could see them in person! Maybe someday!

  32. robyn - just found myself here for the first time and WOW love your totems! so unique and handsome. you have something really special going on here. thanks for sharing your artistic vision.

  33. Amy, you never know! I might even get to see you working in your gorgeous studio. Wouldn't that be great?

    Michelle, I'm so glad you stumbled across my blog. I followed you back to yours and I know I'm going to enjoy reading it. Your amazing art features in some of my books so I feel I've already had an introduction to what you do.

  34. just enjoying looking through more of this amazing blog of yours robyn. these hunter/gatherers are wondrous.

  35. I remember really resonating with Creative Visualization, and I think I wore the book out. I have been so fortunate to be able to indulge in play at work. Your Hunter/Gatherer totems are magnificent and cannot wait to see what your new inspiration creates...