Monday, October 8, 2012


There was a time 
before I started selling my totems.... 
(before I was brave enough to put them out there) 
when I created solely for myself. 
The walls of my little studio were lined
 with totem after totem
stacked one against the other
their weathered faces watching over me.

I discovered a quote by Wosene Kosrof
which was an Aha! moment for me
He said "The more I go to the studio, 
the more I create my spiritual crowd".
I felt strongly that I had created
my own spiritual crowd. 

After my first exhibition my studio emptied
It was a time to rejoice 
but I also experienced feelings of loss.
Thankfully my work sells quickly.
I am grateful that people feel a connection to my work
and I wouldn't have it any other way.....
but I do miss my spiritual crowd
filling my studio
with their silent chatter.

Setting out on a road trip. Weaver wondered about my neck of the woods, KwaZulu Natal. Click here and scroll to get a general idea of where I live.


  1. I love the idea of silent chatter. I think at the moment I need loud chatter! Love those totems.

  2. Can you carve a few pieces for yourself - guardians of the space?

  3. ah love your spirit crowd Robyn!

  4. I too love the concept of the spirit crowds Robyn. Lovely to sell work but sad to see 'the children' leave home. I had a look at your Natal photos and became quite homesick. I was born in Pietermaritzburg but spent a great deal of my time with family on a farm out of Underberg, at the foot of the Drakensberg. My heart still warms at the thought of the beauty around there.

  5. No wonder you create such beautiful work Robyn with all of that wonderful inspiration around you, you live in a beautiful part of the world.

  6. I remember a lady telling me her paintings were like her children. She didn't want to part with any of them. I imagine this is what she meant. The 'silent chatter' is encouraging. Good to not be totally alone. The top totem looks very wise, owl-like. Have a great week.

  7. I am enamored by your work.. your artistic expression...I completely agree with your post, Robyn... we get very attached to our creations... they become part of us... they are 3-d proof of our thoughts.. they become real. they become friends.

  8. Robyn - I love this post! Happy that your work resonates so deeply to others - but I also love that your work continues to resonate so deeply to you long after you've carved it --
    That's why is sells so quickly -

  9. Penny, hope you are finding the chatter you need :-)

    Annie, after Christmas I intend to create my little tribe again. Guardians of the space .... i like that!

    Mo, it's a good feeling isn't it?! A spirit crowd.

    Susan, of all the tiny villages in KwaZulu Natal you have a connection to my most favourite. I grew up in Underberg and guess where this totem is at this very moment.... Underberg!

    Thanks Ro, there are a lot of things about South Africa and Australia that are similar.

    Lisa at G, yes the silent chatter is certainly encouraging. One totem leads to the next. Having them around for a while feeds my creativity.

    Gwen, thank you so much. The 3-d proof of our thoughts .... I love that idea!

    Thanks Judy, it's a lovely quote isn't it?! The idea of creating one's spiritual crowd in the studio is a comforting concept.

  10. Sometimes you have to be ready to let the pieces go, love the expression silent chatter, I think of my pieces sitting in the cabinet as my children ones that are not ready to leave home yet.

  11. It's hard to let go of things you've created. I love this totem...he looks surprised and peaceful at the same time. It is wonderful (and no surprise) that your work moves quickly.

    I was looking at your photo in the last post...sunbeams on a stack of books and coffee...a great way to spend the morning.

    Have a great day!

  12. Robyn, you are so blessed. How I wish my crowd would find their homes, unlike you, my work does not sell quickly, hardly at all and I have been wondering if people just don't connect with what I do, still I must stay true to my heart, even if they never sell. I would however miss some of them it they left me. beuatiful photographs. xoxo

  13. I meant Beautiful :-),too early in the morning.xoxo

  14. Thank you so much Robyn for those wonderful photographs. The sun is shining in every one.
    As to your silent chatter - yes, anything one creates becomes part of one - and parting with it takes a little bit of oneself with it. Your totems are wonderful too.

  15. Definitely hard to part with one's spiritual crowd... for me, its a landscape story, or a spiral story, all hard to part with, but so, so important to do so. But there are some that I cannot let go.

  16. That's painted a lovely picture in my mind...and no wonder they fly out the door.

  17. I love the idea of a spiritual crowd. There are times when I strongly miss the connection I had with some of the pieces I created and then other times I feel that they have made their way to the right person at the right time.

  18. The Totem is lovely and it would be get to have them all around you, but also how wonderful to have them go out in the world to keep others company.

  19. it is a special gift you have and are sharing with us Robyn - and how lucky are we your spiritual crowd walks among us...

  20. I love this post, but indeed, know that your totem is happily hanging on a wall here in far away Kansas and is keeping me company with its chattering!

  21. I understand the "silent chatter" studio walls begin a hum or a murmur around early evening with dim light, a reminder of the days of creating.
    The photos are spectacular...enjoy your road trip in all its glory!

  22. Part of makes a work resonate I think, is that connection between the creator and the piece. The special hand-made element that develops from the artist's soul/mind/heart and through the hands speaks to us, even if we don't directly discern it.
    I love the idea of silent chatter - like a bunch of chicks around their mother....

  23. I like the "Aha" quot :-)
    It works fot me too.

  24. Its difficult to part with work but I've learnt to balance what's for market and whats for me ( my amulets and memories). My scarves for market are growing into a little pile and I'm hoping for that time when it will all be gone - poof! and I can start creating the next pile.
    The road trip sounds promising, have a wonderful time.

  25. ... Imagining all your spirit people "out there" singing a song of you Robyn and protecting and spreading joy ... As do you!

  26. I am so inspired by this post as I am longing for my Spiritual Crowd.......time to get back into the studio for some chatter! Your land looks amazing....I'm thinking another stop on my Spirtual adventure....

  27. As I look about me in my little cramped space full of my finished works, works in progress and those still in elemental form I know of what you speak. I hear the chattering behind my back. And yet all this time I thought it was in my head! The works apparently speak for themselves;Separate and complete within themselves. Like beach rocks, of mother earth, but whole in itself.

  28. Linda, sometimes we need to wait until the time is right. I can't tell you how many times I've held onto a piece for months and after a little tweak I've been ready to let it go. Something was telling me to wait.

    Thanks Lisa G, the sunbeams, the books and the coffee put me in such a good mood that day.

    Annie, you are right to stay true to your heart. There are so many other galleries besides the one you are showing your work at the moment. Sometimes a change makes all the difference.

    Thanks Weaver, it is a beautiful country.

    Valerianna, indeed it is important to let them go... and I don't have the space to keep them all :-)

    Thanks Jo :-)

    Kathryn, it is such a good feeling when all the pieces fall into place and the right person comes along at the right time.

    Cathy, it is almost mind boggling to think that we create art and send it out into the world..... to countries we might never visit ourselves.

    Thanks Kim S, that's what it's all about. We create our art and send it out into the world.

    Heather, what a lovely thought! Thank you!

    Mary Ann, I like that ..... the studio walls humming happily after a day of creating art.


  29. Leslie, yes it's almost like seeing or sensing the invisible fingerprints of the artist .... feeling the connection and the magic..... that makes a piece special.

    Wim, it's a good thought .... creating one's spiritual crowd.

    Maya, you have created a lovely picture in my mind.... a pile of soft diaphanous scarves... a magic wand and...poof!... they're gone :-)

    Thank you Mansuetude, Kosrof has certainly given us something to think about.

    over the rainbow, so glad you enjoyed the post. Have fun in your studio!

    Karumina, thank you!

    Jan W, :-) like beach rocks, of mother earth, but whole in itself .... exactly!

  30. Such a lovely expression Robyn - silent chatter - I often feel like there's a gentle hum in the background when my pieces are around me. Maybe books talk quietly amongst themselves? There is definitely an energy that comes from the pieces we have made - and I'm so glad we have some of your energy here in our home! Go well.

  31. R-I love the concept of having a spiritual crowd around one in the studio. There are times I make a piece or a pro type and know that it needs to stay with me. I don't keep a lot and Fiona keeps a few - but I think it is a way of keeping the creative and spiritual energy of some of the pieces with us.Go well. B

  32. So that is what I feel when I go into my studio!
    I love your description of your spiritual crowd. But I think it is always there, in your books, in your tools and on your tables.
    I hope you have a lovely road trip... take care.

  33. The reason why your work resonates with so many others who want to own a piece is because your connection to your work in such a spiritual way sings out to everyone.

  34. The beauty of parting with your artwork is that so many others get to experience the chatter!

  35. Yes... like!
    Like the notion of your spiritual crowd
    and like your country!
    very much!