Monday, May 17, 2010


Since Seth's last few posts have revolved around the book True Colors , I've been pondering over my own true colours and what they mean to me.

Rich earthy, spicy, colours ...... ochre, rust and kaki green....

Sacks of spices. Photograph from Paint by Elizabeth Hilliard and Stafford Cliff

Warm terracottas ....

Terracotta garden pots. Photo from Paint by Elizabeth Hilliard and Stafford Cliff

Detail from my Creation Myth Panels. See more HERE.

The faded, scorched earth colours of the Sahara....

Mask detail from the book African Vision

Tribal colours contrasting with black and white ......

....the colours of pebbles and driftwood,

rusted metal and patinaed wood....

the colours of Africa .......

..... and a touch of delicate china blue.


  1. i love the colors and textures of your work. they are very grounding and yet often times take me to otherworldly places.

  2. I love these colors too. I didn't realize how brown and green my house decor was until one time we got a black and white cat. It stood out like a sore thumb. Ha..

  3. Yes. Two movies enthrall me for their stunning images and color - Out of Africa and The English Patient. Easy earthy spicy colors, sophisticated and natural at the same time. Color is the strongest element of design I think, and pulls us into a piece immediately. I love color!

  4. I love all of these colours but I also love the bright blues and purples and oranges, it's so hard to select just a few. Your photos are delightful, so inspiring.

  5. Yes yes, wonderful colours and yet...I also love a few pure translucent colours too, red, blue, yellow and the occasional orange, colours of Australia.

  6. Oh Robyn, I can't believe I am your first
    It is about 5:00 in the evening here (monday).
    A rainy spring day it was, and now so nice to be home
    warm and cozy.
    Your colors of Africa
    are inticing,
    rich, earthy, soft and bold
    contrasting and vibrant...yes all you!
    I love this post... the bags of spices...
    I saw some like these
    at the outdoor markets
    in the small villages of France
    thank you always,

  7. Lovely post and photographs Robyn. I always enjoy when you talk about your art and creative inspirations. Those colors of Africa speak to me as well.

  8. I love your true colours! Beautifully presented mosaics, Robyn!

  9. The colors of all things natural and of the earth. These hues are grounded and sustaining in my eyes.

  10. I want to 'braile' this post...I want to be able to place my fingers onto these surfaces and trace the shapes, contours and designs...I want to pick up the pieces and parts and turn them over and fold them into my palms...the colors are grand but the textures are also inspired.

    Post after post...I love the artist eyes you look through.

  11. Hi Robyn, several blogs I frequent seem to have an overall distinctive colour palette, and one of the things that characterizes your blog is the earth tones. They are indeed your true colours.

  12. Robyn,

    What a luxurious trip you've taken me on--the juxtapostion of images you've offered is so rich, it makes me want to dig my hands into the bags of spices! It seems that your life in Africa has allowed you to draw up the colors from the earth itself and reflect them back in your art and in your photography. Thank you.

  13. Wonderful colours and objects, your phrase 'rich earthy, spicy, colours' sums it up perfectly and accords with my own taste.

  14. Love your blog. So pretty. I feel the same way. If I am not creating something I am thinking about creating something. Sleep is a waste of precious time. I'll sleep later.

  15. robyn, I always think you couldnt post a more wondrous page, but as ever I'm wrong! this is terrific! I love it and wish I could hang the whole thing on the wall in my studio! congratulations , you win the" we all appreciate your work "award!

  16. truly you are a girl of and from the earth.. it suits you perfectly...

  17. Thanks Paula.

    Lisa at Greenbow, cat as decor ... I like that.

    Leslie, I enjoyed both films and could watch them several times.

    Jala, thank you.

    Ro, I give them all turns. A little while back the bright blues, oranges and purples where my favourites. In fact I wear a lot of berry colours including purple.

    Penny, show me a colour and I'll like it :-)

    Roxanne, open bags of spices make me think of camel caravans and exotic countries.

    Lisa, exciting colours aren't they.

    Thanks Caroline

    Seth, enjoy!

    Donna, thanks so much. I'm smiling at the braile comment. My fingers always itch to touch and feel the texture of things.

    Priya, your blog makes me think of charcoal and white as well as a touch of rich red. Plenty of green too.

    Hannah, you make it sound so exciting!

    Shayna, my pleasure.

    Thanks Annie.

    Ian, yes I recognize the "rich, earthy, spicy" in your work.

    Beth, exactly! Why do we have to sleep? :-)

    Lyle, thank you so much. I've just been admiring your Frida.

    Gwen, I'm smiling. Thank you.

  18. It's interesting to see your post today, just yesterday I was wondering how much where we live affects our color sensibilities as artists. I love the earthiness of your choices.

  19. this set me "thinking" and then i ended up at Seth's blog which set me thinking too--

    your colors are warm like your soul and firey too, i imagine :)

    the bags of spices make me think of the old romance of a Silk Road...


  20. what are my true colors?
    au natural, like you, true.
    categories of colors: the colors we wear, the colors we use in our work, the colors in the home, the colors we feel best surrounded by in nature. many times, the same. colors: clear, simple, there. whether white or black, blue or green. and colors' find their metamorphasis in their companions. a blue next to white, so different than when next to orange. like us with our companions?

  21. Your true colors are , in my opinion, the BEST / the most nurturing / the most serene. Lots of neutrals / naturals with just a pinch of the terra cotta always makes my heart sing.


  22. your true colors are just magnificent! earthy, and grounding!

  23. Your amazing, rich photographs make me want to hop on a plane and explore the colors and textures (and sounds and aromas) of some far-flung, exotic land.

  24. What I love about how you approach your work is your 'connections'. Not only are they personal, but they speak for all of us in some way or another. Thank you for sharing this. I am a big fan.

  25. A wonderful inspiration! I think that as artists we can't help being influenced by our surroundings. I love the neutrals and brown and agree with all of the comments about the sophistication and grounding of them. I wish that I could feel all of those textures too and then give you all of the textures from my part of the world too. There are so many shades of green in Washington state as well as grey blues of water and the bark textures. I live in red mostly at my apartment though, its very warm and welcoming.

  26. Leslie has just named two of my favorite movies too.. and I have to say that your colors are my colors too--they seem very Asian to me--earthbound and yet spiritual

  27. I love these colours too Robyn, they resound deeply. Being an Aussie the palette is soothing for me as they're the colours of this land as well.

  28. Robyn, You displayed your colors, the colors you love,your true colors in such an open and loving way in these photos....a very dear and important part of you, your art and your life in Africa. Thank you.

  29. Give me anything with black or red in it and I will love it. Of course, there are countless options then from there. Sometimes a beautiful yellow is thrown in or a wonderful green. I don't even mind blue so much if it is in its proper place. There is always room for a little blue. But black and white, reds, oranges...just YUM!

  30. A complete feast for the senses.
    Great post, thank you!

  31. Love this world where we can contemplate our "colors" and have others who "get it!" The colors we live with - chosen from memory and instinct. Because they FEEL just right in some inside ourselves way. The comfort and excitement of our true colors. smiling. thanks, as always for your post. You always inspire me. To venture. To pause. To try.

  32. Your posts never fail to inspire me. I so love your colours and the many forms you showed them in! I like the fact that the wooden materials you work with are naturally within that range.A perfect collaboration:)

  33. lovely pictures!!! the colors so amazing and magnificent....

  34. oooooh all the great colours robyn :)
    i am glad i am back, i so enjoy being in this space.

  35. Your colors are comforting and I love them- enough that I hope to have them travelling across the ocean to me one day :) I hadn't thought browns could be so dramatic until I saw those feathers!

  36. Your true colors resonate deeply within me; warming, soothing, symbols of life lived, touched, worn... so very beautiful. xox K

  37. Those colors are wonderful. Though my favorite colors are light ones, I like earthy colors too. I enjoyed your post.

  38. Nothing left to say for me. I too love your color palette ... naturaly, strong, earthy. They fit perfectly to your art work!
    Have a wonderful art filled weekend!
    Gaby xo

  39. The images are just amazing, so glad to find you!! Just love your site. Come and visit. having a great giveaway!

    Art by Karena

  40. Beautiful rich colours in those ochres and I just love that touch of the delicate blue patterned china.

    Jacky xox

  41. just one humongous scrumptious delightful sigh...what a pleasure to more words xo

  42. Oh Wanda, you raise my spirits with your scrumptious comment. Thank you my friend!