Master Manipulator of Mixed Media

(or: My Aunt the Amazing Artist :))
I am a huge fan of people who are skilled in the arts – be it music, drawing, painting, sculpting, carving….famous, infamous, or those who just ‘perform’ for close friends and family. To be an artist of any sort, one has to be comfortable with who they are – able to express themselves in whatever fashion they wish – knowing that as soon as they put the first stroke of a brush to a canvass, the first word of a song to a sheet -whatever it may be, that they are opening themselves up to scrutiny by just about anybody and everybody.
Artists have to be brave – very brave. Reality dictates that if a hundred people scrutinize your work, and therefore YOU, some will love it, some will hate it, some will be indifferent or not understand it at all. And as all art is personal and a part of those who create, each and every resulting opinion – good or bad – will be taken to heart. Artists by nature, are sensitive people – though they might deny it. They see things differently than others, feel things more deeply than others. This allows them to create things that make us think, look, laugh, consider, stare, turn away, feel peace, or anger, perhaps – feel nothing at all. By being true to themselves, artists are able to reach out to the world around them and thereby allow us to SEE things in a way we might have never have seen them, assuming we saw them in the first place.
I am fortunate to have several artists in my family. My grandfather, skilled with pen and ink, my great aunts – skilled potters, painters, needleworkers. My mother – a natural at piano, my daughter who can play guitar and possesses an incredible voice that can do justice to any song be if from Phantom of the Opera or Pink Floyd. I myself, love to draw wildlife and am a particular fan of drawing wolves.
This of course, brings me to my next observation about artists – many of us, at least in my family, (and the rest of you know who you are) tend to leave our talents on the back burner. Something to get to another day – once we’re done with work, finished raising children, once the house is clean, when we can find the time, maybe when the hubby builds us a studio – which is why my level of admiration for those artists who are able to rise above the excuses, the apathy, the procrastination, is somewhere up in the stratosphere.
My aunt, Marilyn Robertson, is one of those people I hold in such esteem. I do not recall a time, even as a child, when she was not creating something. Painting. Drawing. Photographing. Weaving. You name it, she’s done it and is still doing it. She has raised children, worked, ran a household – she has stayed true to herself, true to her creativity, true to her art in whichever form it has taken, and where ever it has taken her. She has done abstract mixed media canvasses that need an entire wall to display, drifted into drawing incredibly detailed works that keep you transfixed for ages, and illustrated books. It would likely be easier to list those things she hasn’t done, medium she hasn’t worked with – and at the moment I can’t think of any, which says alot about her talent. Her greatest passion for the past several years, has been photography. As of late, she has been focusing her lens on the finest of details of the most ordinary things we have around us every day, and turned them into the most extra-ordinary subjects – again, doing what all artists do best – allow us to see something where we might not have, feel something we might not have.
In closing, I would like to encourage all of you out there who have like myself, let life get in the way of being an artist, to make yourself a promise to set aside some time to start working with your talent. Whether you stash your work away in a closet, give it away to a friend, or find it in yourself to be brave enough to just lay it out there for all to see – do something – anything. You won’t regret it.

Following are some links:
You can find Marilyn Robertson’s work at


About valbjerke

Farmer, Transmission Rebuilder, Self Sufficiency Nut. Like the old school way of doing things. "Fast is fine - accuracy is final" (quote by some way back famous gun-slinger - likely just before he got shot dead)
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3 Responses to Master Manipulator of Mixed Media

  1. marilyn says:

    😀 Wow- thank you – you are awesome, and I am humbled by your praise! I think, for me, it is that I have been touched, and often changed by, words in a song, a book, a blog ; by something intangible in a photo or painting – and know that the person who created it will never know the impact it has had on me So I feel like it is my responsibility to just put it out there, because I do not know who might need to see or read it Not because I think I have anything stupendous to say, but because I am human and suffer the same trials and tribulations as others Beautiful things make me smile, and the more smiles in the world the better it is

    (that and the fact that I get really crabby with people if I’m not creating something ) 🙂

    • What a marvelous raison d’etre for artists: Share because we have been shared with so generously by others! You say it so beautifully, just as Val offers such excellent motivation to use *whatever* skills we have and not let them lie dormant or die of neglect. What a terrific inspiration from both of you for today…bet neither would’ve thought your words could have such impact on a stranger four years after the fact, but here I am, basking in them. Thanks to both!

  2. Pat Lee says:

    Great post!

    I have been blessed to receive a piece of art by both these lovely ladies. One balances on a shelf, one takes up approximately three feet in length of the wall above my stairs – so that my eyes grace talent every day. A world without artists is a world without air – unlivable.

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