Artist #3 Erika Robertson

Derbyshire Open Artists: 

Hello, as promised this week we will be introducing you to the artists taking part in this years Derbyshire Open Arts and exhibiting their work at The Smithy Studios.

Erika Robertson

Erika primarily works with oil paint on wood or canvas. Her art is an eclectic collection of images arising from her experiences and imagination. A strong theme in her work is the contrast between life and death.


She explores the beauty and severity of life through colour, abstraction and repetitive forms. Her paintings are representations of images that have stayed with her until she has committed them to canvas. Erika describes the need to paint them as a compulsion, a necessary action to clear them from her mind.


The use of many layers of oil paint, in painstakingly meticulous detail, gives a depth to her work arising both from the weight of the paint and the combination of colours coming through the layers.



Artists talking

During last years Derbyshire Open Arts event participating artists were filmed by student Jack Hoard who spent a day visiting a selection of artists in the town.

Derbyshire Open Arts 2013

We’re excited to once again be taking part in the Derbyshire Open Arts event. As in previous years we have a great line up of artists with new work to show.

We always start our preparations with a big clear up – Philippa has been in charge of the Studios…

P1060748Outside, we have new planters a lovely trailing ivy and these…

P1060730And whilst upstairs work on the gallery shop is still in progress but we can tell you that this year there will be more space for art and craft work. This is our 2013 line up…

Alex Snowdon, original screen prints

alex where thers teaPhilippa Maye, ceramicist

20120526-133349.jpgCatherine Carr, glass artist

Thank You!!Jim Symon, potter

P1060426Erika Robertson, fine art

P1040787Habbah Dodd, Felt artist

P1060744Keep in touch in the run up to Derbyshire Open Arts as we bring you more news, our timetable of events and more photos. We look forward to seeing you!

open arts

Raku firing: process and result

I’m sure that this is not necessarily how everyone thinks when they come across a piece of artwork or a new craft but for me the story of the process is as important as the finished product. It’s the backstory, the how, what, why, when and where that absorbs me and this in turn adds to my feelings towards the work.

So here are some more photos of this afternoons raku firing in the courtyard and the finished work…

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And today has been about more than the courtyard activities – Erika brought in her new artwork. Each drawing has a story and we had a long discussion of the South American magical realism tradition, of the role of personal experience in art, of storytelling in 2D art.




Open Studios

Well it’s the last day of this years Derbyshire Open Arts and we’ve had a great time. There is still time to come along and explore our artworks, talk to the artists and have a look around our studio. Catherine Carr, Ella Jensen & Philippa Maye are at the studios & gallery shop today.

And remember to call in at The Oakwood where you can view the large map created by Philippa and Erika showing all the venues and details of the work you can find there. We’ve had some lovely feedback about the map; not only has it helped visitors find us but they have also appreciated being able to seek out the artists they feel affinity with.

We’re open until 5pm and do hope to see you today.

Spash along

Day 2 of Derbyshire Open Arts is going splashingly! Despite the rain (or maybe because of it – visiting studios is a good dry, inside activity) the Studios are busy, the tea & coffee is flowing and our artists are busy creating.We have been filmed too by a local sixth former who is making a film of all the artists in the Glossop DOA group; in one of the photos Philippa is filmed at work. Hannah has been making felt birdhouse using a needle felting technique. Other photos in the slideshow are of Sue’s ceramics, Cathy’s crocheted glassware and Philippa’s porcelain clay vessels.

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If you’re coming to Glossop for the Open Arts call into Information Centre at The Oakwood on the corner of High Street West & George Street – check out the map (thank you Erika and Philippa for their work), have a coffee or a beer and the lunches are great!

Dead Chickens & The Dark Peak Corset

I’m not too sure what I’m writing about here as Erika’s new work has yet to be unveiled but the one view I have had (which I share with you below) suggests we can expect something different in her exhibition at the Studios during the Derbyshire Open Arts weekend. But the layering and textural finish remains so it’s maybe not too different…


On the corset front (pun clearly intended!) Ella has been busy hand painting and embroidering…here are  glimpses of the work in progress to tempt you…