Tag Archives: exhibitions

A catchup, and what’s coming up!

Hello jolly sailors!

Yet again, it’s been a little while- hasn’t it been a summer and a half!? Not only have I been busy, probably like you I’ve been battling the sizzlingly un-sportsmanly temperatures that have been beating down from above throughout June and July. With cool breezes arriving just in time for the school holidays, I can finally breathe again- and update you on what I’ve been up to!

Back in May myself and my partner went to Malta to celebrate the wedding of two friends (and to acclimatise ourselves to the 30 degree heat!) It was absolutely gorgeous there and we had so much fun catching up with lots of our friends who live spread out across the globe!

Malta cove - Aug18.jpg
A Malta Cove – at the very beginning of our trek over the clifftops from Xlendi to San Lawrenz (home of the tragically collapsed Azure Window) – I still can’t get over the shade of this water!

On one beach we spotted some funny little fish popping their heads out of the holes in the rocks as the waves broke over them!

Being surrounded by water for most of this trip inspired me to start thinking about the SWLA annual “Natural Eye” exhibition again- it’s something I missed last year, but was at the top of my “to-do” list for this year. I know I can be pretty bad for shying away from big competitions, but since I was long-listed for the Templar Illustration competition in April I thought I’d give it a go!

After exploring three or so separate avenues I could go down for this project, I chose to circle back to seals as my muses (they seem to have crept into most of my other work over the past year or so!) My partner, along with his parents and I were planning a trip to Skomer anyway so I thought I could get some serious research done there (and have a proper go with some most excellent binoculars I was kindly bought for Christmas!)

Sadly, despite our early arrival, (we left the house at 4:30AM!) balmy conditions and fair shipping forecast, an ill wind was set to blow up in the afternoon so the boats were cancelled- it wouldn’t have been safe to get back, so they said. (I’m not upset, honest- even though it was our last chance to see the puffins this year!) We did see some seagulls through the binoculars- not really the same, but they worked very well!

This means I did have to turn to different sources to research seals on this occasion – below are some of my development sketches from working towards the final composition!

^ Exploration of on-shore behaviours of seals- interactions with friends and family! This would form the core inspiration for the final artwork.

Seals progress v2© 2018 Carina Roberts Illustration
Colour test, and playing with composition!
SWLA seals - final design progress v2
Sketching out the final piece… Hello you chaps!
Haul-out (Final) - 72DPI
The final piece- “Haul-out”!


You might remember that at the start of the year I set myself the goal of exploring more varied lighting, tone and shapes within my artwork? You also might remember that I’ve been using a personal wordless picture book project (which I’ll eventually enter into the Bologna Silent Book comp!) to practice these principles (click here to read a previous post about this project!)

Well, coupled with the artistic motivation that comes from of a long weekend trip to Dublin I returned from yesterday, this project has come on in leaps and bounds! I’ve been delving into the various environments of the story, as well as using my research from the SWLA competition to explore a seal’s reaction to a human habitat… But more about that next time!

For now, enjoy the autumn breezes, and hope you don’t have too many sneezes!

P.S. I’m involved with a couple of shows over the next couple of months where I’ll be showcasing some of my artwork (dates and details below) – with the slow makeover of this blog I’m hoping to introduce a separate section of the website to show upcoming events in the next couple of weeks, so you don’t have to go trawling through posts to find them.

For now though, here is where you can come and visit me, and maybe buy something too!

Upcoming events 

Cafe Lido exhibition with Portishead Arts – 27th-30th September 2018 

(Cafe Lido, Esplanade Rd, Portishead, BS20 7HD)

Made in North Somerset Showcase – 14th October 2018 (10AM-4PM)

(Court house farm, Church Road South, Portishead BS20 6PU)


The AutumnHobbit

© Carina Roberts and AutumnHobbit. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carina Roberts and AutumnHobbit with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.




On a soggy summer morning…

A very good, though slightly soggy summer morning to all!

There are exciting changes going on all around at the moment, in real life and in digi-world: some of you more avid readers may notice the blog is under maintainence, or becoming more organised, with lots more interesting things to look at! I’m in the process of uploading a digital version of my portfolio that’s accompanying me to the New Designers Fair in London in the first week of July, along with a feature I’ve called “My Recent Sketchbook”- a monthly update on some highlights from my personal sketchbooks and recent ideas. This is really just an excuse for me to share more new, exciting stuff with you each month- and hopefully leave you inspired!

As promised, this post contains some wonderfully crisp photos (courtesy of one wonderful Matthew Otten- who can be found at http://matthewotten.co.uk/) of my exhibition space from the degree show (signed to increase security!)

Carina Roberts Graduate Show full space
Detail of shelf- left to right, children’s book concept, leather sleeve to protect and decorate book, snowglobe containing 3D realisation of Erik character (making of which was detailed in last month’s post!)
Detail of original framed artwork- “Welcome home Erik” – Carina Roberts

Finishing my degree has brought a set of new challenges- namely, how on earth will I be spending the rest of my days? Going from having a very strict programme of working around the clock to get everything finished to not necessarily HAVING to do much has brought on a definite feeling of flux and indecision. But this hasn’t been all bad- I’ve had time to try out a few new things- characters and processes, which I’ll touch upon more later on.

I’ve had some time to mull it over now, and I’ve decided: It’s going to be a hard and competitive road, but I ultimately want to stay on the Illustration route: working towards something based in children’s publishing. And as the wise ones say, the successful road is not always the easiest option, but it will be worth it in the end. So, as a promise to myself and to all you lovely readers, I will not give up: as long as you all promise to do the same. If something is important to you, fight for it!

Also as anticipated, I have (whenever I have a spare evening) been participating in a virtual plein air painting group with some friends- which above anything else, has provided me with a bit of structure in this greyish time. Without sounding patronising, for those of you who haven’t heard of plein air before, it’s basically just painting outside- on location, great for studying colours and the ambience of a place. Virtual plein air is pretty much the same principle, except it’s fantastic for soggy weather: you don’t have to worry about your paper getting wet or catching a cold, and you study locations on Google maps or views rather than face to face. If this sounds great to you (which it is!) you can find the group we’re part of on Facebook, by searching “Virtual Plein Air.”

About 99% of the entries in this group are digital paintings, which I am sadly awful at. So while my friends sit there flicking away at their tablets, I’m surrounded by paints, inks and water- and try to keep away from the electrics! Anyway, here’s some of the highlights so far from these sessions:

Norway- Snowy Scene
Mousehole in Cornwall
Þvera, Iceland
Scottish lake/rapids

In other news, I’ve had a request from some of my Facebook fans for my method of microwave pressing flowers- something I’m experimenting with for a small competition piece. It’s a great alternative to traditional pressing simply with the timings involved- the flowers I experimented with were fairly small, with the stem and leaves still attached, and it took only around 2 minutes for them to completely dry!

Basically, imagine this process as a sandwich construction- you will use two sheets of fairly thick cardboard as the ‘bread’, with several sheets of kitchen or blotting paper in the middle to soak up the moisture, like the ‘fillings’- the flowers go right in the middle of these sheets. So, in order, it goes- cardboard, sheet sheet sheet, flowers, sheet sheet sheet, cardboard. That’s exactly how I constructed it. Then secure the cardboard together using elastic bands round the outside to fix it all together (number depending on how big your cardboard is- my sheets were around a5 size and I used 6 rubber bands.)

I was paranoid about my flowers bursting into flames, so I put the microwave on with the sandwiched press inside for around 20 seconds at a time, on it’s highest heat. Just keep having a peek and a poke to check that they’re completely dry.

Have fun!

Once again, a big thankyou to all readers- we’re now nearing the 900 views readership, and I am very chuffed! Keep checking in each once in a while- each month now there will be new additions!!

Have a great month, and enjoy some sunshine!

– The AutumnHobbit.


© Carina Roberts and AutumnHobbit. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carina Roberts and AutumnHobbit with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.