Sunday, August 29, 2010


.... then silence in the morning. Mixed media collage by Michel Lefebvre

My husband left to go fishing at 4.00 am on Sunday morning so I had the whole day to finish carving a totem which had been giving me a few headaches. By the time the first hadeda called I'd already set up my work bench in the courtyard and by midday I was totally immersed in my carving. Working in quiet solitude, more often than not, helps me to find and fix any problem areas in my art.

Silent. by James Blackwell. See more of Jame's work on his website here.

James Blackwell's work centres on themes of silence, nature, structure and meditation.

"Solitude has always been a luxury I have embraced. It is the quiet friend who directs you to larger truths; it is the ghost of all those yesterdays, distilled into our unique perception and view of the world." - James Blackwell

Silent. Mixed media by James Blackwell

Judit Varga's clay vessels have that weather-worn look that I love, reminding me of gnarled coils of bark or sea corroded conch shells.

Blue Cocoon by Judit Varga. See more of Judit's work here.

"I work in a quiet solitude in my studio and find this peaceful loneliness a perfect stage for my play with clay. In the silence sometimes there is a moment of harmony when the clay and I understand each other perfectly, we know exactly what the other one wants to do. Those are the moments that I long for and this longing draws me back to the studio to open up a new bag of clay and start again. - Judit Varga

Twisted lines #3 by Judit Varga

I recently discovered the small collages of Michel Lefebvre and immediately fell head over heels in love with them. Wander over to Penumbra to see more of Michel's collages, here.

The heart of the matter . Mixed media collage by Michel Lefebvre

"I create these small mixed media/collage pieces every morning at 5h30, sitting at my desk with an espresso (which serves as a wash to delineate the image field!). They are, I suppose, a kind of meditation, a way to focus and begin the day. The format is small (9.5 x 14 centimetres) and I try to post a drawing every day". - Michel Lefebvre

A leap of faith. Mixed media collage by Michel Lefebvre

When did you get here? Mixed media collage by Michel Lefebvre

My life in Japan. Mixed media collage by Michel Lefebvre

“The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you, the better you will hear what is sounding outside. Only he who listens can speak.” - Dag Hammarskjold
Places I've been meaning to explore. Mixed media collage by Michel Lefebvre
Thanks to everyone for all the warm helpful comments and emails regarding my website. You've no idea how much you have helped me! I've made a start and am learning as I go along. I still have to find out how to create the thumbnail photos (click to enlarge) but otherwise I'm pretty chuffed that the end is in sight.


  1. Silence, punctuated by a woodpeckers call - perfect creating conditions in my studio too! Thanks Robyn.

  2. I must go and explore these collages, they have a lovely feel to them, if you can feel by looking.
    I like silence, and I like my own company, sometimes, but the older I get the more afraid I am of losing friends, of not seeing people and interacting as most of my close friends live at least an hour away these days. I want to be around people more often than I did who know what I am about and what I do. So many of the ones who live closer have no idea what I am about or what I do and find me 'strange'.
    Ok but I may need them one day, looking at my mother, I feel the need for people more.
    Here I have to say I find it entertaining that my word verification is GROUPI !!

  3. Looking at these shots seems to make me slow down! I too recently discovered Michel's collages and I just love them.

  4. What a wonderful find Penumbra is! You are great at finding interesting art.

  5. Hope we get to see the results of your day of solitude soon. :>)

  6. Nothing like a bit of peace, quiet and space for making progress. I didn't know what a Hadeda was - what a lovely bird! I enjoyed reading your post below on your website worries - I'm currently building my own site, so can totally sympathise! Looking forward to seeing it in due course.

  7. lovely images - the colours and textures are wonderful.

  8. glad you got some time alone to work in solitude and love hearing the website is coming along!
    loving judit's pieces!!!

  9. Leslie ..... and Loeries calling as they fly overhead :-)

    Penny, equal proportions of solitude and company would suit me. I only need a morning to achieve so much and then I start missing my family, but I do agree that the older we get (especially when our children leave the nest) the more we need our friends.

    Annie, it was like discovering treasure when I stumbled upon Michel's work.

    Max the Lobster, I like the thought that each collage is made in the early morning over a cup of coffee.

    Oogleboops .... soon :-)

    Caroline, have you been pulling your hair out too? My website is very simple but I will probably keep tweeking it as I learn more computer skills.

  10. Yes, sometimes I like something else, but mostly it is silence, or how else can I hear myself? Nice Post.

  11. another great post, and I love Vargas work, really fantastic! hope you got through that headache giving totem!

  12. Always such a treat to read your posts Robyn. You always provide such richness with your own work and broadening my horizons with the work of new artists!
    Thanks so much!

  13. Sometimes I long for more of the solo solitude of which you speak, as it's the only time I can truly be 100 percent into the work.

    I'm a great fan of these collages by Michel,,,and love the morning coffee thing.
    Thank you, Robyn

  14. Really love Judit's glaze pigments.

    Its easy to slip into that zenlike knowing mind when no distractions touch. I am getting a half-week of no echo in the house soon and looking forward... right now i hear the soft wet breathing of dolphins break the skin of quiet.

  15. I find quiet solitude wonderful in general, and you're so right about it being indispensable for solving pesky art issues, one of which is hanging over my head right now.

    Thanks for introducing us to yet more inspiring art-- penumbra will work well for my daily dose of collage and Judit's work makes me want to break out the clay...

    Good luck with that website :-)

  16. Thank you as always Robyn for pointing out such fabulous artists...I don't know where you find them all, but I don't think there is one that I have not adored!

    I'm so glad you are "chuffed" about your new website...not sure what that means, but it is a very "cool" word....and can't wait to see your site!

  17. what a blessing to have silence when you have thirsted for it. lovely collages and artworks.

    myself, i have buckets of silence and i love it but what i crave is conversation, human beings, live, in my life. i have few at the moment and it is a big desire.

  18. I really enjoy that quiet time. I just don't get enough of it.

  19. Just wandered through youre site.. so much to discover...
    Beautiful collages by Michel Lefebre!

  20. chuffed.
    I simply love to say this word that you taught me so many months/moons ago.

    and solitude...ahhhh...for me...there is nothing quite like that space between 3am and dawn for really falling in love with the work all over again...that said...I've just had a glorious retreat to the mountains...painting watercolors next to the campfire, tent sleeping from dusk till dawn, wandering wooded paths and walking in the after day.

    the small collages you share are delightful.

    I look forward to seeing your new website...I created mine on my own in 2007 and love being able to make any changes I want when I want...but while I was setting it up I felt as though I had locked myself into a closet, while trying to learn a foreign language all on my own. Yikes.

  21. Enjoy your solitude! I especially enjoyed Michel Lefebvre's pieces. Thank you!

  22. I had a long, hot weekend to myself in the studio, with only an occasional visit from Pasha cat - the work I am doing now is more truly like a meditation than any work before. I was completely immersed yet at the same time acutely aware of the chirping crickets, the occasional frog song and the gentle wind. I sometimes wish a new partner would show up at my doorstep, but then I also remember how my time is less free then. Both having their benefits. But when the studio pulls, well, it just does. Right now I'm blissfully in solitude.

  23. Beautiful stuff/creativity that you are sharing here... thank you.

    I sincerely hope that the word stuff doesn't offfend. I like stuff ;)

    Best of luck with your new site and I look forward to visiting.

  24. ah the quiet and the bits and pieces of an ordinary day spent with the work and play of art. peace

  25. So glad you're able to sort out a web site, it's quite a challenge, look forward to visiting when it's up and running.
    I love Michele's work, definitely my cup of tea.

  26. I've always loved -- and often have posted somewhere -- a quotation from Thomas Carlyle:
    "Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves."

    Congrats on your progress with the website.

  27. Another inspiring post, dear Robyn, I love the work of Michel Lefebvre.
    Just wonderful!

  28. I don't know where you find all these gorgeous artists. Michel Lefebvre's pieces are brilliant. Great compositions and the colors are captivating!

  29. Silence and solitude! Both such beautiful things. Very familiar with Michel Lefebvre's collages -- they are so vibrant and beautiful and I love his titles. Happy to be introduced to the work of the other artists here as well.

  30. I have had to readjust to silence...this is a small house and the studio in the middle.Pablo needs to walk from the den to the kitchen and sometimes is chatty...he laughs when I announce "I'm in the studio" which is clear code for don't talk to me! Yet other times I forget and begin talking?!
    Love these collages and am anxious to see your website up and running!

  31. What wonderful words by James Blackwell. Pure poetry. I love the "ghost of all those yesterdays". His work you have featured is beautiful Robyn. I thought Judit Varga's clay vessel reminded me of a wasps nest.

    Great shot of the huge bird too. It must have been flying very low over you.

  32. I love the solitude quotes. Thank you for sharing such inspiring words and art. Gilly

  33. Really wonderful finds Robyn! Though quite different, I am drawn to both Michel and Judit's fanstastic to explore more about them.
    Thanks for the enlightening post!

  34. Ida, glad you enjoyed them.

    Paula, getting there slowly!

    Annell, exactly ..... how else can we hear ourselves :-)

    Cat, the totem still has a question mark above it.

    Thanks Patti.

    Babs, for me coffee is always a signal to work.

    Mansuetude, enjoy your half-week. Your poetic words make me smile.

    Collage whirl, hope you've resolved your pesky art issue.

    Cynthia, chuffed - pretty pleased with myself :-)

    Suki, it's all about balance, isn't it?

    Lisa at Greenbow, it's 5.00am and all I can hear is the stream trickling.

    Cerulean, glad you enjoyed the wander.

    Donna, your retreat sounds like bliss. Locked yourself up in the closet while trying to learn a foreign language? ... Lol ....I know the feeling :-)

    Willow, Michel's collages are little gems aren't they?

    Valerianna, I think that is my aim too.... For the work to become a meditation.

    Robyn, no the word stuff doesn't offend .... it sounds like home.

    Renee, peace indeed.

    Ro, challenge is the word!

    Melanie, great quote!

    Lawendula, Michel's work is a wonderful surprise.

    Gaby, so glad you enjoy Michel's work as much as I do. His collages have to be shared.

    Seth, yes, the titles are wonderful aren't they!?

    Mary Ann, I'm having a quiet chuckle over your comment. Small house syndrome!

    Cathy, James Blackwell's words are so beautiful aren't they?

    Gilly, my pleasure :-)

    Lisa, glad you enjoyed the post.

  35. What a beautifull bird the hadeda. Was he a messenger between you two?

  36. Hi Robyn,

    I LOVE Judit Varga's vessels! Wow.

    Good for you - to get your website going and the dreaded artist statement written. I, too, liken the artist statement to a dentist visit. Ms. Stanfield is a treasure. xo

  37. Hello Robyn,

    I have been following your blog for a while now and thoroughly enjoy seeing your new work on here. I too am a woodcarver but of picture frames I find that I like to carve at night time the most as this is the quietest time in my house, though I had not made the connection until reading this post!

    Its great that you are sorting your own website and if you have not sorted your thumbnail to larger image problem yet I have a script (lines of code) that you can have to use if you would like it. I use it on my website.

    Please just let me know :o)

  38. Wim, actually in Africa he is seen as a messenger. They are amazing birds.... with the most raucus calls.

  39. Jutta, I havn't worked out the thumbnail thing and had no idea I needed a code. Maybe that's what I need to look for. I will get back to you if I can't find it. Thanks so much. I would love to see your work if you have a website.

  40. Living on my island, on my cliff, with the large expanse of water view, and tall trees, I am mostly surrounded by silence except for the singing birds and bees humming and occasional distant car motors or sirens. so I have a huge appreciation for silence and love all the works and esp. Dag's quote you have given us.

  41. Another fabulous posting, Robyn! And good luck with the website - your latest posting. I think you should put prices up, but that's just my opinion. Reason being? I can then save for the piece or negotitate terms. :-)

  42. Thank you for posting these. They are moving and inspirational. I just found you on Pinterest. Your work is thought provoking as well as beautiful.