Thursday, November 12, 2009


Untitled (Hitchcock series) by Robert Natkin.

Whilst walking along a misty beach early one morning, I realized that it was on the soft grey days that I felt most contemplative and content. The muted colours were somewhat soothing ...... and actually, it was a relief not to have the sun in my eyes as I searched the shoreline for bits and pieces to put into my niche carvings.

Sorting through the flotsam which had collected in the crook of a sand dune I marvelled at the beautiful shades of grey. Mussel shells which had roiled at the bottom of some rock pool, pebbles and driftwood rubbed smooth by the sand, downy feathers dropped by industrious sand pipers and my find of the day, remnants of a weathered fish trap .

Driftwood Assemblage from Hanspeterroersma's Flickr photostream. See more here.

Once home and happily reunited with my computer (though I hate to admit my obsession), I found I was gravitating toward art and photographs in beautiful shades of grey.

Black to White by Robert Natkin.
Robert Natkin is an old favourite of mine.
"He is a visual poet whose apparently abstract images actually exist to enchant us with intimations and evocations of things we can sense but never quite see." - Theodore F Wolff

Kalahari by Nicholas Wilton

Rhythm of the day by Leslie Avon Miller
"Having always lived in the Pacific Northwest very near the rain forest, I often live in an environment of grey and white – white caps on the waves of grey seas, seagulls in their grey and white finery, dark grey sands and rocks contrasted with white sea foam and white sea shells, and grey mists hiding the mountains…..the list is long. I see the beauty in the mists as they lift and reveal part of a decomposing dock, or bits of the mountain tops, or a wind carved tree on a cliff as exquisite as a sculpture of granite. One learns to love the subtleties of the colors and the nearly monochromatic shifts." - Leslie Avon Miller

Haunted by Sarah Giannobile.

My friend Lyle often sends me links to new artists and Sarah Giannobile is one of them.
" I use my imagination as a tool to opening up my experiences that once were forgotten." - Sarah Giannobile

Cloth by textile artist India Flint , who is also author of Eco Colour

India Flint has posted glorious detailed photographs of her new series 'landskins', on her website, here. An exquisite series in which "wool felt is used to bind fragments of silk, wool and other natural fibres together to make a cloth; then dyed using plant dyes."
Desire turns concrete by Shayla Perreault Newcomb

Shayla Perreault Newcomb has filmed an Oil Painting Tutorial where she chats about her process, here.

Transience by Donna Watson.

" Currently, I am interested in the passage of time, and what remains. This may be the physical effects in nature or the psychological effects on memory or identity. With the passage of time there is a transience depicted with traces, layers and recollections. I try to take what is personal to me and make a more universal connection." - Donna Watson (interview with Leslie Avon Miller, here. )
Painting from the Expert Mover series by Laurie Pearsall

Laurie Pearsall exhibited the Expert Mover series at her recent exhibition which you can read about here


  1. Serene and like you say so calming. I have recently 'discovered' grey ( and not just in my hair!).

  2. I'm with you in your love of gray. It is indeed soothing and easy to live with. My whole house attests to this belief. Gray is the perfect neutral. Interestingly enough I wear it, live within its wall but rarely create work with gray! I just realized that. I'll have to think about that because the images here are truly wonderful. While some of them are familiar to me; the others are bookmarked for a longer look. You compile such interesting work for our viewing pleasure.

  3. dear robyn, once again my eyes cant take in all the wonderful images at once! we too are having very grey days with lots of wind and rain!I want to grab a blanket and a good book! or maybe a paint brush! thank you for the eye candy!lyle

  4. You have once again inspired me. I think I will take a walk on the beach and search for 'shades of grey'. I especially like your choice of Leslie Avon Miller's painting. That has been one of my favourites as well.

  5. Your blog is one where i can click on any post and come away enriched and inspired. how amazing and beautiful these shades of grey in each of these works. how well the artists have expressed themselves in the quotes you have chosen.
    thank you for bringing these in a nutshell robyn. now i'm all set to click on the links and explore further...

  6. I love black and white and you can't ignore grey then. This is a beautiful post Robyn and just in time as I contemplate doing a series using blacks, whites, grey and accents of faded brights. Thank you.

  7. Another wonderful collection of artwork and artists. I'm looking forward to exploring more later on my lunch hour.

    I would never say that gray is my favorite color. I live in an area that is gray much of the time (although today is beautifully clear) and find it is depressing after a while. But when seen in the context of artwork instead of weather, I'm discovering it is a wonderful color.

    Thanks again for taking the time to collect this information for your readers.

  8. what a treat to start the day with your inspirational posts. a favorite activity...grey, misty beach mornings spent gathering driftwood...each a treasure. love India Flint's works...i am fiber obsessed and have dabbled in felting. Donna's piece leaves me breathless... it's perfection. thank you Robyn.

  9. Lovely, Robyn. I love shades of grey. There are a million variations. I love working in this palette. I may have to run home. I am inspired.

  10. OH MY GODDESS! I shall have to come back several times to take all this magic in or my senses will be on overload!!!
    love grey and mist there a color that I do not love?? cannot think of it! I shall return when I have more time to peruse! I am giving thanks for your computer obssesion , which seems more like passion to me!!!

  11. Very inspiring and soothing examples of gorgeous gray. The driftwood assemblage is especially beautiful.

  12. "I realized that it was on the soft grey days that I felt most contemplative and content" - how much I am with you there.

  13. Love your artwork and your selections of pieces for this blog are so inspiring and beautiful. My 3 and a 1/2 year-old daughter is really into asking if colors are "happy" or "sad". I have tried to explain to her that the colors can mean different things when you use them in different ways, and I look forward to sharing your entry with her as we discuss "grey".

  14. Thank you Robyn, yet again, for teaching me so much about the broad spectrum of art that is being created today. I await each of your posts eagerly. I enjoy each link, and learning about new artists. And thank you for including me in such esteemed company. I respect and enjoy the work of each artist here. As for me, Color is the most important visual factor in art – neutral colors allow me to breathe, to hear my own heart beat, to treasure the moment and take it all in and really feel alive.

  15. HHMN, lol ... pleased to hear that.

    Margaret, I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with shades of grey.

    Lyle, grey days with wind and rain ... definitely sounds like book and hot chocolate weather. Thank YOU for the Giannobile link. This particular piece makes me think of primitive cliff dwellings.

  16. Zappha, yes Leslie's painting really moves but I can't quite put my finger on why. Enjoy your walk on the beach :-)

    Thanks Priya. These artists enrich and inspire me too.

    Maya, I look forward to your new series. Robert Natkins work reminds me of stitched and layered fiber art.

    Kim, I can imagine too many grey days would be depressing.

    Lisa, I'm thinking of your Maine piece and all the pebbles in shades of grey.

    Kerri, I dare you :-)

    La Dolce Vita, I know the feeling .... all clours are divine!

    m.heart, yes the driftwood piece is beautiful in its simplicity and there are quite a few more if you follow the link.

    Avus, the misty solitudes are soothing indeed.

    Gina, I'm smiling at the thought of your daughter deciding which colours are happy or sad. Wish I could be a fly on the wall when you discuss grey.

    Leslie, we learn from each other which is really the most amazing thing about blogging. Thank you for always being so supportive.

  17. What a lovely post full of lovely grey words and images-- I am honored to be included-- it is a wonderful post as usual and even though I paint in neutral colors I have a stronger appreciation of these colors and the artists who paint them.
    donna watson

  18. Robyn,this beautiful collection you have gathered, makes me want to go and start playing ... Thank you!!

  19. Lovely post. I'm reading it after spending too much time indoors this week due to so much rain falling every day. As I've sat here, I've been imagining huge grey seascapes and sky dramas out at sea, so it's nice to read and look at your reflections on one of my favourite colours in Nature.

  20. Yum. Grey is such a beautiful color - such a spectrum of warm to cool, pencil to ink wash. Thanks again for the inspirations!

  21. I totally agree with you about the feel of a gray day. Thanks for this post. The images and artists that you chose are all such great examples of the theme.

  22. Thank you for this post. I love your discoveries...

  23. If I am seeking for inspiration, your blog is never a disappointment!
    Wonderful pictures!
    The driftwood!!! Wow!

  24. not really my favourite colour but this post makes me think twice.
    lovely piece each one.
    thanks for the links

  25. I think you should celebrate your obsession with the computer. Your journeys and post bring so many creative ideas and artists together.

  26. Your shades of grey are so beautiful Robyn. Truly an artist's perspective of "Shades of Grey".

  27. Robyn, thanks again- for including me and for yet another juicy post, so much to contemplate and inspire. I need to take a third look when I can really peruse all the links. I often crave a monochromatic palette as a respite from the density and intricate nature of much of my work. There's a lot to be said for letting the gaze rest in certain spaces and take in the essence of the piece - grey allows for this easily - the art in your post really shows this. It also shows how much COLOR there is in grey!

  28. What a lovely selection of artists that paint in this color field. A true joy to visit your never disappoint!

  29. Amazing, I never realized how much I like these shades of grey either.


  30. always enriched by my visits here, grey day or not.

  31. honoured and delighted to be included in your storytelling, me dear
    now to wander back through the mists and forage through those lovely links

  32. Oh, my favorite color in the whole wide world! You've made my day.

  33. How wonderful - such atmospheric pieces. It's such a delight visiting you Robyn! Thank you!
    Knowing how much you love wood, I wondered if you've seen these driftwood horses?

  34. What a fabulous collection you have gathered, Robyn! Wonderful pictures. Love especially the driftwood assemblage!

  35. I loved your post of greys. You're right about the calming effect. Yesterday was a dark grey day, wonderfully content and cosy. I feel I have to be "productive" when the sun shines.
    Your post shows there is a poetry to gray too. I'm thrilled you included me with such great company.

  36. Black&White, indeed! I enjoyed your new photographs too.

    Donna, the best part is I get to "house" such glorious artworks in my blog gallery.

    Gwen, exactly what I felt like doing ....going to play with paint and shades of grey.

    Annie, I bet the grey can get a bit much when it rains every day.

    Heather, its time we saw a few more of your sketches. You're hiding your artist!

    Seth, its quite surprising how many artists use this particular palette.

    Renee Howell, I enjoy discovering :-)

    Thanks Lawendula.

    Megha, a few years ago I only loved bright primaries.

    Thanks so much Chris. Such an interesting comment....the celebration begins!

    T & S, I imagine you see many shades of grey during your photo safaris ... and also the brilliant colors of birds and tigers.

    Laurie, my pleasure and thank you! You are so right about the COLOR in grey.

    Mary Ann, thank you!

    Renee, the more you look, the more you discover.

    Thanks Nancy.

    iNdi@, happy foraging!

    Susan M, now that is good to hear!

    Caroline, thanks so much for the link. These horses are so amazing!!

    Gaby Bee, weathered driftwood always gives me a warm feeling. Memories of many beach holidays.

  37. I've just found your blog, Robyn, and for sure I'll return many times as well as link to you on my own blog. I'm sitting inside shades of gray today here on the Oregon coast, with wind howling at 50 miles per hour and huge white waves on the big gray ocean. Even the sand is gray, as well as the sky, the rocks in the distance, and the lines of mountains to the east. Excuse me now while I get out some paints and a canvas and record the experience.

  38. Hmm, I wasnt really sure that I liked grey very much but as I went through your examples, I found I was drawn to those with touches of yellow in them so perhaps grey is not so bad after all.
    Put it down to my age perhaps, but I am now drawn more and more to bright colours, perhaps the lack of sight in one eye? Dont know but as usual a lovely colledction and something to think about.

  39. Robyn.... another terrific post!! I'm always love coming here!! Thank you for sharing!!

  40. Beautiful images as ever, so many new sites to visit, they all look wonderful.

  41. i so admire this greyness, but it seems to be outside my abilities to actually *create* this wondrousness. i just can't keep the color out. but oh how i love to gaze upon others' grey/neutral work and admire it...


  42. love this; and i am being smacked in the eye with grey here on the river a lot; and falling in love with it; learning to increase my ability to see; to wonder what is color?

  43. i dont know how you find so many creative wonderful works, but it is always an eye opener to come here. love how you weave it altogether to make a thoughtful beautiful post.

  44. all are wonderful but my fave is the rhythm of the day piece. i'm drawn to it's simplistic lines.

  45. I love all tgese but Kalahari is my favourite. Thank you for showing them.

  46. another incredible post. here, i get all my kind of folk. we are so alike. i love stones, bundles, strings, textiles, collections, muted earth colours, tonal stuff. India is an amazing woman who I have the absolute pleasure to now call friend. Her work is breathtaking. I sat wrapped in her cloths on the floor in her hotel room once, too overcome to speak and near tears. breathless. i had been having a hard time. those cloths and that woman are balm, healing soothing medicine to me when i am world weary. as is ur space. such wonderful work you do collating these mini collections. incredible.

    one book suggestion this month:
    "etcetera etc - creating beautiful interiors with the things you love." by Sibella Court. (Publisher: Murdoch Books).

    Its my new bible. Its an experience reading this. I always thought that if you wrote a book, it might feel like this. India's does and I have a sense one day that Nina's will too. ;)

  47. Thank you for sharing these wonderful creations of your fellow artists.Very inspiring!

  48. lovely evocative images . . . .