Creating from the Heart: Introducing Artist Robyn MacLarty
I discovered Robyn's artwork through Instagram, my favourite social media platform/digital art platform.
Her images popped with colour, offering sensual spirals made from natural elements like petals, rocks, and swathes of ferns and twigs. Cleverly edited, each piece showcased bold hue overlays and kaleidoscopic filters to further manipulate the experience of the Seer.
I was intrigued by her captions, which often read "Journey back to the heart..." accompanied by a slew of hashtags.
She posted often, daily from what I could see, and was always presenting a fresh idea – a whimsical detail, a unique colour combination, a sophisticated design.
It became clear to me that the artist, a resident of Cape Town, carried a sensitivity and grace that belied further inquiry.
I reached out to her to ask if I could use her work to accompany some of my poetry, and ended up exchanging a passionate dialogue over email about creativity.
"I've come to realise that very little on the outside inspires me... It all comes from the mysterious wellspring that lives inside me." – Robyn MacLarty
I knew I had to feature her work and words.
The bells in my heart resonated with every word she wrote in response to my brief questionnaire.
Mega truth bombs wrapped in glitter. I love this woman.
"Living beautifully and creatively is a choice. I didn't used to like hearing that, because it meant I had to take responsibility for everything in my reality. But now I see it for the blessing that it is. We're not helpless. We're creative supernovas." – Robyn MacLarty
Like, what? #POWERFUL. Am I right?
Heart River x Eternal Spring
Below are the selections from Robyn's watercolour artwork that felt right to include in ETERNAL SPRING, my latest themed body of work, including photography by Hilary Van Dyke, and original poems I'm debuting on Instagram.
When I asked Robyn what "eternal spring" meant to her, she said:
R: "It's beautiful because that perfectly describes creative inspiration for me... An eternally flowing spring of life-giving energy whose source can be found in the heart of all beings."
Time for some personal truth:
Spring has never been my favourite season.
I subconsciously associate it with transition, and discomfort. The "blossoming" and "blooming" of fairy-tale fame have only now taken on a meaning for me that rings true with Robin's sentiment. This is the first year of my adult life where I've ridden the waves of transition with my feet on my board, and I'm feeling the deep reverence of understanding that the source of that navigational power and steadfast focus on the positive change ahead comes from inside me.
Inner power. Truth. Confidence and clarity; purpose, direction.
The light of the soul; the original sun.
Budding, and alive.
Just beneath the surface – invisible perhaps – and alive.
I'm craving sunshine, travel, adventure, change – the juicy experiences of being alive – and all these things are on the horizon. I can taste and see the colours and patterns in Robyn's work as reflections of the butterflies and birds and creatures of all kinds fluttering in my ribs with delight in whatever fresh joy is here in this moment.
The story of our constant rebirth, our daily dying to our concept of ourselves, fascinates Robyn as much as it does me.
R: "I want to start a blog that shares the stories of ordinary people who have decided to live differently, and who have found a path independent to the understanding of reality we're taught by mainstream society. I am particularly interested in personal stories of paradigm shifts, since I experienced a MASSIVE one two years ago."
Speaking for all of us living in the context of social digital integration into human life, experiencing paradigm shifts (or changes in the way we view reality) can be an isolating experience, especially with so much contrasting information out there to tempt unnecessary judgement of your own experience.
In other words, changing the way you live your life, or the perspectives you've held throughout your life, necessitate painful experiences of transition that we sometimes don't have a point of reference for – until we meet someone who says "I've gone through that," and can relate with their own experience.
Robyn's describing a platform that she's developing that will invite those stories – your story, my story – of paradigm shifts, to illustrate and enlighten the spiritual journey back into the heart, where all great creation comes from.
With no words of my own, I share what inspires Robyn. I asked her: how do you feel when you create?
R: "Colour. I crave vivid colours, like vitamins. Other than that, I've come to realise that very little on the outside inspires me... It all comes from the mysterious wellspring that lives inside me. I can see beautiful things in the world and they move me, but ultimately, the inspiration just bubbles up inside, often unexpectedly, and I have to be very careful to let it flow without judgement (which is probably why I favour abstract art - it lives in a place beyond words and beyond judgement). It just happens on its own, if you let it. I think that's the big secret. So many people talk of discipline when it comes to art, and 'discipline' is so often interpreted as forcing yourself to do something you don't want to to get a desired outcome. But discipline is a natural side-effect of passion, I think, so it will just happen if you're passionate about something. I don't think you should ever have to force yourself to do anything when it comes to creative expression. If the right conditions are created - namely: intention, curiosity, passion, unconditional love and acceptance - creation just happens."
The power of a blank canvas
As her daily creative explorations with spirals and watercolours lead her to a renewed understanding of herself, Robyn's work invites us to remember that we have the opportunity to re-create our lives at any time; to cull and prune the relationships and expectations we shoulder for the sake of external validation, and turn over fresh soil with the acceptance of getting dirty in the process.
It's about creating the conditions for the life inside you to thrive. What needs to go? What needs to change? What inner decorations can be taken down; what new bridge can you build?
I was once getting rid of the dried collection of roses an old flame had given me. I was attached.
I told my friend Michelle I was going to burn them ceremonially.
She said, "Honey? Yard trimmings."
I threw them out that day. It is okay to be new at any time.
xo, Jessica Raven
To support Robyn, please follow her on Instagram and like your 3 favourite posts of hers. Make sure you tag me @jessicaravenlittlestar so I can see which ones inspire you.
Remember: you can also, always, invest in artists you love. Show your patronage through donations, hiring them, or commissioning work for your own enjoyment or professional purposes. Supporting the artists in your world is an act that gives far beyond what you can see, touching many more hearts than you will ever know.