Everything Now Says Nothing. ENSO.

Primary finger painting enso.
First experiments. Primary ensos. Dipping my finger in red, yellow and blue and using the breath to create simple circles. Some little lovelies in this collection.

Everything now says nothing.

Enso it goes on.
EN -in….SO-out.
Beginning and ending.

Birthing and Dying.
Each moment unique and different from the last.

Catching a few of them.

In brush and ink.
Let go of perfection,

Let go of comparison.

Let the breath draw out the lines.

And the brushes make their mark

Illustrating only the whole.


It all happened very quickly.
A combination of being around mindful people on a recent teaching course, some long unanswered questions, re-zen, being answered, (in a very zen way, through dreams and sychronicities), a deep need to simplify everything, followed, immediately, by a deep fear of letting go of my illustrative bent. But hey, my housemartins had flown away and my compassionate brave vision stands complete and this idea kept nagging at me, resuIlting in concentrating, focused on INTENTION and the breath alone, simply playing with this ancient intriguing enso form and delighting in every breath.

It is becoming a daily practise for me.

Exploring using fresh plants ‘pickings’ as brushes and enjoying all the shapes and ideas they suggest. I have also been intrigued by the plants own ‘signature’ made by pressing the ‘brush’ into the paper on completion of the enso. Experimenting with making digital mandalas out of those images…leading to some inkblot test style images that always suggest new stories for my work!


bramble signature mandala
I can see great fat cheshire cats lying on their backs….what else!?

I am loving it.

Description of Enso from Wiki.

White rose signature.
peace rose signature in gold ink
Peace Meditation Enso 24 09 7 (4)
peace rose eso, in one breath, with gold ink.

The Peace Rose Enso was painted at the end of a one hour, silent, zazen, meditation as part of the Global Peace Meditation for Intenational Peace Day 2017. In a very immersed, flowing, place as I created this series of ensos. Painted in gold ink, it is sad that they do not photograph or scan very well. Tilt the screen back and forward for more detail!!

peace-rose-gold-ink-mandala GIF
Flickering in the candle light. Emitting golden peace.

It really is not nothing.


My eyes tried to follow you,

Until I was dizzy with turning.

Cadences of expert flight.

Weaving and flipping. Spinning and stalling.

Scimitar wings slicing through the air

Chattering, through out it all, as if it was, really, nothing.




It was nearly impossible with my hand-held, basic , digital camera to ‘catch’ good images of swallows in flight. So I ended up taking 100s of full shots and then zooming in later in Adobe Photoshop and editing the tiny crops into a set of images.
The blurry exposure this gives the images seems to work quite satisfyingly. I experimented with home printing onto watercolour paper and am pleased with the small, monochrome cards I ended up with.

Watercolour paper flight cards. 60 x 80 mm.Watercolour paper flight cards. 60 x 80 mm.

All this ‘swallowing’ has been inspired by my decision to join the 100 days project. a NZ based project that inspired an artist in Edinburgh to see who else would like to exhibit their end product, in Edinburgh, in September. Yay, something real to work towards!

I enjoyed the idea of committing to one small, creative, discipline every day and wanted to find a way to use up some of my ‘collected’ materials.

A year ago I was playing around with turning recycled, pizza, trays (we have two boys, so I have collected ALOT of these over the years!). The process was fascinating and unpredictable and I ended up with a fun collection of ‘shrinky-dinks’ and a mock-up for a mobile.

Then I found out about how toxic styrofoam is and the gases that are released on heating in this way! I ditched the idea.

But the trays are still there. They never biodegrade in refill sites. There are no local recycling options. At least half the fumes are released from the Sharpie pens I used to colour these experiments! I drive a car and my husband is a mechanic. I still use my car despite being in full knowledge of all the toxic chemicals involved in the motor trade. I accept that this process harms the environment, but , in balance, feel that this small harm is nothing to the harm being done in this wall building, people damming world outside. And it will become something more than rubbish.

That people  have become little more than ‘waste’ in todays world is something that haunts me daily and I do my best to support all actions attempting to support refugees in this humanitarian disaster.

When I considered this project I recieved a clear vision of an installation/scupture piece, which could be displayed in very many ways, using wire and hundreds of these small swallows.

I have been searching for a way to deal with the immigration crisis for a while now, as it affects me deeply. Not one for producing overtly political art (although I have always admired it) this idea seems to keep on giving!

I will spend some other studio time playing within the entire theme of ‘Migration’.

Proceeding to play with this concept has now inspired a new poem and another piece I am considering using as the basis for an entry to a major competition. Deadline in 2 days. So much to do so little time!

Time to make like a swallow!

all posts, POEMS

My jester.


I have always identified with the jester.

A kind of accidental quester.

A fuddley, ‘no-fit’, kind of fool,

Who, while not born to carry ‘cool’,

Constantly gets lost in wonder

At her every bump and blunder.

When is it she will actually be

The kind of grown-up others seem to want to see!?

To me it seems illogical to try and maintain

A solid persona in this type of terrain!

No rights, no wrongs, just constant queries,

Thought processes that would make most weary.

Dodging and dancing, pretty much daily,

Tripping herself up, then laughing gaily

“Oh what a fool am I!”

But, then, she’s often treated in ways that really make me cry.

Like every other clown, in life, soon learns,

There are always ‘others’ that see the burns.

The scars from ‘bumps’, that she wears proudly,

In their, voiced opinion, far too loudly.

In innocence she exposes those who seem to enjoy the ‘twist’.

Delighted by her ‘weaknesses’, they try and enlist

the support of the crowd, as they scream

“Fall Over!”.

Then, as she clumsily regains her composure,

“Ha-ha, look at you! Naked! For all the world to see!”

Internally, they smugly crow “Thank Christ that isn’t me.”

Thank goodness for the kinder folk

Who almost get the cosmic joke

Who witness her, practically constant, messes,

And let her know, gently, the reasons, they see, for her lack of successes.

I warm to those that don’t throw stones,

Who seem to care about her bones,

Who make her cups of steaming tea,

Commend her on her honesty.

I see, though, they cannot really gauge

Just why she chooses to take the stage.

Successes do not really matter

When you live in the now and are mad as a hatter!

When that jester shakes her bells,

It shatters other’s hardened shells,

Makes it alright to bruise your knees,

Never thinking of trying to please.

So many times I process her hurt

And turn that into wholesome dirt

And from that grows all kinds of flowers,

through which she bimbles, between the showers.

No point in sharing shiny joy

With those who think that she’s just a toy.

At times I’ve lost the plot completely

Which brings me, neatly,

To.   My.    Point.

Instinct has taught us how to fall.

We’ve learned so much about it all.

While others see that hopeless jester,

That honest fool, that hopeless quester,

We only see a human ocean,

That’s constantly in tidal motion.

She and I are learning, now, to float,

No rubber ring nor crafted boat.

Buoyant based on a real ability

To float about, let it go, just feeling FREE.

She is no conscious, agenda holding, trickster,

I love my jester and have no need to fix her.

Kat Robertson
(A performance poem. March 2017)

all posts, POEMS

What holds me.


I do not experience nothingness.

I do not experience a void.

Whatever it is it supports me.

I float.

It is invisible, but very definitely there,

Which pleases me.

I feel held.

It is not frightening.

It is not dark.

It could be described as love.

It is all that I am not and everything that I am.

I find this illusion of space and freedom,

The not seeing what holds all together,

In fact, something to be grateful for,

For in this space, of not knowing,

I write my dreams of self.


Smoke mandala.
all posts, POEMS

In meditation. 1.



Only, somehow, rotating endlessly.

Tin can can-can.

Foundless concerns.

A window half open.

To a featureless grey.

Expansive as a sigh.

Reverberating, thundering, between the ears.

A singing,ancient, song.

For so long,

Of so long.

Tingling also.

Throat throttled.




Thoughts fly wildly, it was blacker than soot,

then, in meteoric contrast,

flashed before.

Veins on an eyeball strained to capture.


Immediate physical static.

Is that it?

No, again..

BANG! No sound.

An emptiness of missing.

Spirit, so fierce, I see in me.

With so much pleasure connecting.

Reeling in pulsing, photonic, information.