Tag Archives: daily inspiration

Art is Not a Thing

Rocky Mountain Skyline
Copyright 2014 by R.A. Robbins

“Art is not a thing, it is a way.” ~Elbert Hubbard

I love this quote by Elbert Hubbard (June 19, 1856 – May 7, 1915, American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher)..  What a simple, yet elegant way of stating a truth by which I live.  I often like to say art is not what we do, it is who we are.

Art is a way.  A way of seeing, a way of self-expression, a way of changing the world and a way of life.  These things all apply to both the artist and the viewer.

Something to think about the next time you look at a work of art.

 

Living a Life

The World’s Gone Crazy but I’m Okay
Copyright 2016 by R.A. Robbins

“I am interested in art as a means of living a life; not as a means of making a living.” ~Robert Henri’

Today’s featured artwork is The World’s Gone Crazy but I’m Okay.   

All My Life’s a Circle

You don’t have to look far to find circles in daily life.   From the bowl you eat your breakfast cereal from to the clock on the wall, to the sun and the moon, circles are everywhere.  Life itself can be seen as a circle from birth to death. We even talk of coming “full circle”

I think the circle is a symbol that is embedded in our spiritual DNA  there for us when we are ready to remember. I believe that spiritual art and music incorporating circles are a way of helping us to remember.  Some of the songs written about the deeper meaning of circles include The Circle by Harry Chapin to Circle Game by Judy Collins to Circle of Life from The Lion King written by Elton John and Tim Rice.

 

I love to play with sacred geometry in my artwork, especially circles.  My first attempt at this was with the form of the Rose Window for Rose of Sharon.

Rose of Sharon
Copyright 2010

Then I explored the labyrinth with my ‘Walker” series.

 

Firewalker
Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins

I created another round quilt based on the song The Circle Game by Joni Mitchell to honor my mother’s life.  It hangs on my gallery wall in my home.

Carousel of Time
Copyright 2014 by R.A. Robbins
Original quilt based on the song Circle Game

 

A few years ago I even devoted a day to working with a mandala.  The day began with meditation on the courtesy dock which actually extends over the water.  What a wonderful way to begin, sitting silently listening to the birds and feeling the gentle breeze on my face.  Then I went inside and did a bit more study on the history and process of the mandala. I wanted to work outside so I loaded up a couple of tote bags, walked back down to the lake and set up on a picnic table by the water.

I thought I had an idea of what I would do, but Spirit had something else in mind.  Instead of the extremely intricate flowing lines of the typical drawn mandala I ended us with very basic circles full of personal meaning and symbolism.  It may not seem like much to others, but to me it is a gentle, encouraging message from the Creator and exactly what I needed on that day. I am not posting a photo here because this is a very personal piece. It is hanging in my studio and is not for sale.

When we begin recognizing our connection to nature, Spirit, symbols and other people life starts to open up to us in all it’s glory.  The mandala is one tool we can use to help facilitate this. More than just an art form, Spirit will speak through it if we just listen.

To view or buy more of my artwork go to The Espirational Gallery.

For more information on  the mandala see:

http://www.mandalaproject.org/

http://peopleof.oureverydaylife.com/history-mandala-7424.html

http://www.creativedreamincubator.com/journaling-2/art-journal/how-to-draw-mandalas-and-why-you-w

Listen to the Art

Rocky Mountain Skyline
Copyright 2014 by R.A. Robbins

“The whole culture is telling you to hurry, while the art tells you to take your time. Always listen to the art.” ~Junot Diaz

Today’s photo is one of my original works of fabric art called Rocky Mountain Skyline.  It is available for sale with more of my artwork in the Espirational Gallery.  There is a 20% discount during the month of June with the coupon code:   celebrate-6/2018

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Don’t Miss the Party

Copyright 2017 by R.A. Robbins

“I have never created anything in my life that did not make me feel, at some point or another, like I was the guy who just walked into a fancy ball wearing a homemade lobster costume. But you must stubbornly walk into that room, regardless, and you must hold your head high. You made it; you get to put it out there. Never apologize for it, never explain it away, never be ashamed of it. You did your best with what you knew, and you worked with what you had, in the time that you were given. You were invited, and you showed up, and you simply cannot do more than that. They might throw you out – but then again, they might not. They probably won’t throw you out, actually. The ballroom is often more welcoming and supportive than you could ever imagine. Somebody might even think you’re brilliant and marvelous. You might end up dancing with royalty. Or you might just end up having to dance alone in the corner of the castle with your big, ungainly red foam claws waving in the empty air. that’s fine, too. Sometimes it’s like that. What you absolutely must not do is turn around and walk out. Otherwise, you will miss the party, and that would be a pity, because – please believe me – we did not come all this great distance, and make all this great effort, only to miss the party at the last moment.”
― Elizabeth GilbertBig Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

We Guess

Unraveled
Copyright 2016 by R.A. Robbins

“The artist never entirely knows — We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark” ~Agnes de Mille

The photo today is one of my original works called “Unraveled.”  It is available for purchase in the Espirational Gallery.  Remember during June only there is a 20% discount on all purchases.

Epiphanies

Have you ever spent days, weeks, months or even years searching for something, or wrestling with ideas that just won’t fall into place?  This pretty much describes me as I have been trying to figure out and develop my identity as an artist.

I have struggled with everything from what to call myself,, to whether I am a “real artist” or just a “wanna be,” to whether my technique is proper or good enough.  And it has kept me from creating my art.

Then I began having a series of epiphanies.  First the river/lake where we live froze and I was aware of texture all around me.  I took pictures which I shared with others and they began to see textures around them.  I realized this is what my work as an artist is all about — helping people see things they have never seen or see things in a new way.

Several weeks later I was talking to a neighbor and she mentioned the word texture in reference to clouds.  As I walked and continued to think about that I realized that I am a mixed media artist and the materials I use, which include textiles, fiber and found objects give me the perfect opportunity to create and convey texture in my work.

I had recently been reading articles on business for artists.  In article after article I read that real artists don’t wait to be inspired, they find out what will sell and they work full-time turning it out.  Anyone who does anything less is at best an “amateur.”

Well I guess I am an amateur then.  I also guess I will pretty much stay that way.  At first I was offended by those remarks and started questioning whether I really was an artist, but there is no denying it.

I have always been and will always be an artist.  People may call me what they want but I have the eyes, mind and heart of an artist.  Being an artist is who I am not what I do.  Attention to detail and the ability to see things in different ways and develop new ways of doing things serves me well in my daily life as well as in my art.

Artists have a tendency to create their own little worlds and take up residence there.  That has scared me a little as I have often feel pressured to stay grounded and present in the physical world.  At times I have felt that perhaps part of my calling is to be an “interpreter” of the physical world, but I get world-weary and sometimes long to retreat into my own personal art world.  Now I am beginning to feel the call to at least visit that other world artist’s come from more often.

For many years I was led to believe that I had to constantly “work on” myself.  That I had to deal with all the bad stuff and get things right before I could have a real life.  While I am sorry for the years that kind of thinking cost me I am grateful that I did finally realize how wrong that was.

Answers don’t always come by focusing all our attention on and struggling with questions.  Sometimes answers come while we are going about our daily life.

These words from the song You Will Do Amazing Things by Megon Mc Donough and Jana Stanfield say it all. “Sometimes deepest answers come when you’re out there having fun.”  Please join me in listening to this beautiful song.  You will do amazing things.  Be open to it.  Believe it.