Thursday, September 9, 2010


Storm at Sea by Radcliffe Bailey. I love the sea of piano keys! Read article here.

According to The Phrase Finder, plain sailing is a nautical phrase that has the literal meaning of 'sailing that is easy and uncomplicated'. It is now used to describe any straightforward and trouble-free activity.

Boat sculpture by Jonny Mahoney. Click to enlarge, here.

As I mentioned in my last post, creating a new website was not plain sailing but the response from the blogging world made the whole process most enjoyable. Now enough about the website ..... just enjoy all the boat art I've found.

Fe Installation by Laura Tabakman. See Flickr Photostream here. Website here.

Textile art boat by Jacque Davis. See story here.
Boats by Rowena Brown . See Website here.

Pocket Noost by Douglas Robertson. See more intriguing work here.

"The wide river firth of the Tay had a major part to play in my upbringing. Not only did it provide a workplace at the docks for my father, but it was another great source of ideas and images. Strangely enough, many lot of these stem from the futility of fishing with homemade drop lines from the pier at Broughty Ferry as a young boy. Hours spent dangling a line into the water hoping that something would bite. Most of the time the hooks were baited with nothing more than homemade milk bottle cap lures, sparkling in the water below the pier. What I didn't know was that what I was 'catching' was a love of the coastline. The stories of the old fishermen, the history of the river in the Castle Museum, and the colour and mood of the changing river that would be a main part of my artistic vision." - Douglas Robertson

Repository by John Whalley. See more of John's recent work at GREENHUTGALLERIES, here.

Bog Boat from the Deirks by Joe Hogan. See more here at the Kenny Gallery, here.

Eastern Boat. Bronze by John Behan. See more here.

The Collectors by Abott and Ellwood. See more wonderful whimsies here.

‘Our work comes from the places and things we like – the beach, coastal walks, a paddle on our boat, a trip to far off lands… the things we see around us that trigger responses - a piece of coloured paper picked up, an old scrap from a junk shop, plastic washed by the sea, the colour of a wall with sun on it.' - Abott and Ellwood


  1. I always come away from your blog with an upbeat feeling, inspired to carry on with my own things with renewed purpose. You always bring fresh inspiration with your finds xo

  2. robyn, several of this morning's artists can float my boat, but todays fav is abbot and elwood! delightful critters! as ever thanks. as to the expression here it is used often as a "conversation stopper" just do it dont tell me about it!


  3. This morning my boat is in full sail due to the fact that we are receiving some much needed rain. Yay!!! All of these boats are fabulous.

  4. I love feathers, stones, driftwood, leaves in fact natures litter!

    Love your new website!

  5. You got a new website! Congrats. I like it. It's nice to see prices and available inventory.

    I love this post. The boats are delightful. One thing that floats my boat? Reading all day while being stormed in.

  6. Carolyn, I feel the same thing about your blog. Thank you.

    Lyle, I have since had an email mentioning a different connotation so I have changed the post slightly. Abott and Elwood have amused me with their whimsical pieces ever since I started blogging. I love their dogs!

    Lisa at Greenbow, glad you have received rain! We've had mizzle but really need a day of rain.

    Thanks Blu. Yes i have to agree with you. Love all natures treasures.

    Shayla, reading all day while being stormed in ..... nothing like it!

  7. Enjoyed sailing through all the boat art!

  8. Another post that swept the cobwebs out of my foggy brain! Love the fresh, evocative look at boats.

    Congratulations on your new website! Doesn't it make you feel organized?

  9. Another post to keep returning to. What a great set of links. Thanks for collecting them. I will return and enjoy a long browsing session later. By strange coincidence, I'm just about to post with some shots of boats as well!

  10. beautiful post I like the installation with the nets.Congratulations with the web site.

  11. très beau choix.. la boite à sardines et les installations me plaisent énormément!..

  12. Robyn, what Happened to the butternut soup (woke up wanting some before i read your post) and the walking on the beach, the finding delightful treasures, the weathered wood with a hole in it and a rope tied around? The funny movie ...

    I vote for all those!

    love laura Tobakman's oat grass like floor. That's so nice!


  13. Really love the installation by Laura Tabakman. Ethereal and evocative...

  14. I'm with Carolyn..this site aways inspires me.
    A boat is a symbol of the soul by the way. (i'm sure you already knew that) but these little boats are very spiritual.

  15. Thank you for sharing
    This fabulous work with us
    Good creations

  16. My heart aches from the beauty whenever I visit your blog~

  17. luscious art associated with the beach and this as I grew up sailing and spent all my summers on a brings back warm memories of the smell of salt water and days spent on the water..there's nothing like it!

  18. I really want to thank you for finding the most wonderful work and sharing it here.

  19. I love boats, the shape, the thought, but they dont love me, I am almost always terribly sea sick, even when I sailed, ok if moving, sick if not, diving with a tank was always a nightmare! first in, last out.
    John is off fishing this morning, more boating!
    Off to wander blogs.

  20. I like your new blog look. Thanks for another fascinating post with unusual artworks featured. Love them all. How fun that two people make art together. I wonder what that would be like!

  21. you've SET ME SAILING into a beautiful weekend this morning....what a wonderland to explore here....the high tides of piano keys to the portable BOAT IN A BOX...!! now to your new website...clear sailing ...

  22. what a wonderful selection of boat art, most inspiring!

  23. of course, you did not just find plain old boats, but some very creative, unique wonderful visions of 'boats'-- the idea, the imagination flies with these fabulous interpretations.

  24. all this boat art has me grinning. Just this morning I decided to use the boat analogy for some of the difficult spaces we find ourselves. sometimes moments in a day. sometimes years. The smooth sailing parts. and the baling out of too much water when we feel the drowning begin.

    Thanks for the pictures. The only place I see boats is in storage along side a road. These are wonderful views!

  25. These are DEE-LIGHT-FULL.

    Being no where near the water, the only place I see boats is in storage, up on awful looking trailers, along the roadside.

    Grinning as I sail off. Thank you! Love the 3 people in a boat!

  26. "The Collectors" is indeed a wonderful whimsy! Thank you for sharing all your finds, as always.

  27. I am amazed at the number of wonderful works you are able to collect for readers and still be able to find time to produce such unique carvings.

    I have recently acquired a piece of land with interesting natural materials and plants, and some gum tree logs lying on the ground just waiting for inspiration. I know I will find that inspiration here. Thank you so much.
    Cheers Joan

  28. Oh, I love all things boat-ish, both real and symbolic... they capture my imagination and spirit of adventure! All of these are wonderful; I especially like the installation piece. Thanks so much for sharing them!

  29. Beautiful collection. I think there is something so deep within humans and boats. They protect us from the great vastness and transport us to a another place.

  30. It is like I meet good old friends from around the world.
    I like this post!
    The boat sculpture of Jonny Mahoney asks for more.

  31. Your website looks fabulous! It's so good to see your artwork so beautifully showcased and I really like that you have the prices posted alongside your available pieces... I always assume (although I appreciate this is not necessarily true) that if I have to ask about a price, it's probably out of my reach and am less inclined to do so.

    This post is great too - something so lovely about boats as a motif and all the associations they bring up for me. I went across and had a browse around Laura Tabakman's Flickr stream... how gorgeous is ALL her stuff?! Wow. As always you find the most delicious artists and pieces to share with us Robyn - it's a real gift - thank you!

  32. Robin you have introduced me to so many wonderful artists over time with your fabulous posts. Being a sailor, this post excites and inspires me greatly. Thank you.

  33. oh Robyn, was thinking of you the other day, when I decided to nuke my old web site... and will go with Weebly... we shall see how it goes!
    stunning works as always, the Hogan basket is yum and I adore the Tabakman piece amazing and how fun is the boat in the box? hope all is plain sailing from this point on for you!!

  34. Loving the boats here...the bog boat has captured me! Wonderful artists!

  35. What a cool post. I especially like the whimsy of the last image.

  36. Thank you for all this wonderful creativity. The boats are fantastic, really beautiful and fun. I especially like the installation.... but I like them all.

    I had another little peak at your website and I think that it is inspiring. I hope it works well for you.

    best wishes

  37. Dear Robyn-no-it's certainly not smooth sailing but you make it look like it is!! Your website looks super fantastic! I also had a thoroughly wonderful time reading all of your interviews this morning (in your side bar). It was so interesting to read about your inspirations, how you stared carving always, your work is simply stunning! You are self taught? Amazing!! xxx

  38. Can't wait to go investigating these wonderful finds further! Thanks Robyn, you have such a knack for putting together such inspriational posts!

  39. ,,the top picture looks like my living room floor when the bookshelves collapsed under the weight!!

    Beautiful always.

    x Chris

  40. Thank you so much for sharing these boats, I love especially the one like a paper hat, so childlike and fun, and the boat in the box, as if the artisist is forever saving the journey through blue waters and beach stones. roxanne

  41. Hi Robyn
    What fun to come over to visit and to find that everything is new over here...lookin' so good too.

    Funny just the other day I posted my favorite...
    "row row row your boat gently down the stream...merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.
    That's three rows and four merrily's and a gentle stream...down the stream.

    seems as though each of these artists has that kind of feel to their wonderful works.
    Love them all.

  42. ArtistUnplugged, glad you enjoyed the boats.

    Collage whirl, you are so right ! I do feel more organized.

    Annie, your photos are great!

    Maya, Laura's installation is beautiful and calming. I think of soft breezes for some reason.

    ELFI, glad you enjoyed the installation.

    Mansuetude, lol..... they all floated beyond the horizon. Thanda.

    Valerianna, Laura's work is magical!

    Jackie, yes boats in art do have a spiritual feel.

    Thanks Skizo.

    Crystal, thanks so much. So much of the art I find has that effect on me too.

    Janet, my pleasure.

    Penny, I hope John came home with plenty of fish.

    Sukipoet, two people making art together .... it could be very rewarding. Abott and Ellwood have been creating these wonderful pieces for quite some time so they must be doing something right.

    Neva, clear sailing ....thank you.

    Crafty Green Poet, glad you enjoyed the post.

    Donna, wonderful indeed!

    Renee, yes life is like that ....some smooth sailing and plenty of baling when life swamps the boat.

    Heather, I enjoyed ending off the post with Abott and Ellwood to send people on their way with a smile.

    Joan, enjoy exploring your wonderful piece of land. I had a peep and am quite envious.

    Sharmon, I was surprised at how many artists are using boat imagery in their work.

  43. Rebeca, thank you.

    Don, I thought you might enjoy Jonny Mahoney's boat sculpture.

    Wim, I knew you would relate to Jonny's sculpture.

    Kendalee, the fascination for boats stems from childhood..... peach box planks with canna leaf sails .... and folded paper boats floating down the stream.....

    Zappha, so glad you enjoy the art I post.

    Cat, looking forward to seeing your weebly website.

    Mary Ann, the bog boat is just so tactile you want to hold it.

    Seth, yes the last one keeps me smiling.

    Thanks so much Robyn.

    Soraya, as you know you were my inspiration :-)

    Caroline, enjoy the links!

    Chris, I often wonder when my shelves will do the same.

    India.... there's a song along those lines....

    Roxanne, the folded fiber boat took me back to my childhood.

    Thanks Donna (merci33).

  44. Peach boxes and canna leaves... great boat-building materials! :)

  45. Hello Robyn. Firstly I must say I am very impressed with the new website. It is beautiful and very professional looking and will act as a great advertisement for your work. I have had a brief look but will pop back later for a more thorough look at things.

    As for boats - love them. My favourites are Abott and Ellwood, Joe Hogan's Bog Boat and the boat installation. A lot of artists seem very drawn to boats - not just the actual floating on water bit but the fascinating symbolism too. Crossing the River Styx always comes to mind when I think of boats.

  46. Robyn
    i am taking up my son's school pants hem ( school term starts tomorrow) and reading your blog inbetween. I love what you post - it is such an inspiration. Thank you.