Let's Face It 2017 Registration Open & Giveaway Winner

I am delighted to say registration for Let's Face It 2017 is open at the early bird price of $99!

I am a natural storyteller so I am very excited my lesson is all about to painting a portrait with connected figures. When you add more than one figure to an artwork you are able to create a more expressive visual story with depth and feeling.  Plus I will be sharing a special tip and mini lesson too!

When you're ready to sign up I would absolutely love it if you use one of my links.  When a class has multiple teachers each teacher gets paid when a student signs up from a link connected directly to that teacher. That's how it works so of course I would love to have you sign up through me :)  You can go to my class page or use any of the links in this post to sign up.

WINNER OF THE GIVEAWAY!

The other awesome news is that I have a winner for the free seat in the class. Suzanne Sperl is the winner of the random draw. Congratulations Suzanne!

Thank you very much to all of you who commented to enter the draw I have to say I would love to have been able to give you all a free spot. 

Love, Robin


The Latest News

I have a lot of news to share with you.  All good :)  First off I have been completely immersed and in the flow of my daily art practice.  As is always the case with me  it is an "experience" fraught with comedy and drama each and every day. From sun up to sun down I can be found surrounded by paints, brushes and art in the making at any one of the various portable studios I have set up all over the house.  My husband used the word "relentless" in regards to my practice as he was walking by one of the multitude of times he had witnessed me with my head bent down, oblivious to all else but the girl I was coaxing into life. I told him later that was a huge compliment. 


We celebrated my sweet Ivy's birthday by going out for sushi.  She made a wish before blowing out the candle that was nestled within her green tea sundae, 'aka' birthday cake but refused to reveal her wish to me so I have no news for you on that subject. We ended our perfect afternoon at Anthropologie  selecting new coffee cups and fragrant candles to use in our studios. 


The week prior was highlighted by a visit from our friend Janet Reid. We picked her up from the airport on a Wednesday and for the next three days proceeded to laugh, eat good food and learn to paint the tiny tea bag faces taught in Jeanne-Marie Webb's,  class Tiny Bags of Love. The class is divine and the gentle teachings of Jeanne -Marie helped me not only paint the adorable faces  of Astrid and Tilli that you see there on your left but also helped me grasp some larger concepts about painting loose and impressionistic faces of any size.

Working through the class during the visit with Janet added richness to both experiences. I am also lucky enough to be making the sojourn to Janet's home and studio in Southern California next month and I'm sure I will have lots to share with you afterward.

 


The last thing I have to share today is how I happy I am to be a returning teacher in the upcoming all new Let's Face It 2017  class hosted by the amazing Kara Bullock. You can find out more and read all about the new content and amazing teacher lineup by clicking any one of the links in this section of the post  or you can read about it here in the teaching section of my site.  And you will be happy to know that I will be doing a  GIVEAWAY of one free spot in this class on my blog in the coming weeks so be sure to subscribe below to my site in order to stay up to date with what is happening! 

Love, Robin

A Little Before and After Painting

More Oil  Pastels


Magazine pages are pretty amazing to work with. Not only because there are no rules and therefore fun to do but also because I learn so much about the art of drawing and painting each time I do one.  Below you see the before and the after of a recent makeover. I photocopied and enlarged the image 160% then used matte medium to glue her into my large sketchbook. She was already a B&W image from W Magazine Then I used clear gesso over the entire thing, adding black gesso  to all the intimidating white that remained.

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I had already made up my mind I wanted to add collage since all she was wearing was a suit coat that  did nothing for me in terms of imagining a clothing makeover using that. I didn't overthink it. I pulled out the first thing from a pile of collage material and ended up with an Italian math workbook. So she became a mathematician in my mind.  And Italian.  And cool. My color choices were based on the magazine image below done by my initial inspiration artist  Guim Tio'. This complimentary yellow purple isn't generally appealing to me but  I really liked his result so I quickly decided  to just go with it. So now I have violet hair and violet lips. Really? That meant I was willing to use yellow ochre for her skin. I was not too sure about this but I did it anyway. I am keeping the idea of experimentation in the forefront of my mind. I told myself it didn't matter 


So I used the matte medium to change her clothing and put a coat of clear gesso over that. I used acrylic paint for her hair because no way dod I have that color in the oil pastels. So once that commitment was made I moved on without stressing too much. Upon further reflection after the fact I think what I especially had liked about what he had done was the solid abstracted shape of her face and nose.  And i think I wasn't able to let myself go that far. Next time....



I took the opportunity to really focus on the lights and darks as shapes and added umber and dark blue to the areas I could map on her face. The is a fairly high contrast image since it was editorial  high fashion image not a makeup ad. I added all of the colors with a very light handed touch wanting to work in layers and build up a variation of tones. So all of her face is yellow ochre in the middle photo above, just applied in varying layers. I also chose to focus on her eyes since in my mind that was the focal point of the image. The intensity of her look. So her eyes are a combination of oil pastel and charcoal. I thinned the oils pastel and used a fine brush  more or less like traditional oil paint. The background is super thick with three shades of green applied in patches then smooshed around, (not too much) with my fingers. Most of the painting was done with straight pastel, no thinner and with my fingers as the blender. 

I think the red earrings and red marks  in her shirt are key elements to bringing some life and energy to the painting. Otherwise she seemed very subdued and even serious in spite of her having a green nose. Her name is Liliana.


And here she is in her final complimentary color glory! Another lesson learned is that it's just not my palette.

Love, Robin

**If you are interested in learning more about using oil pastels and magazine pages go to my class page and read more

I Am Open I Am Learning

What am I learning from my daily practice of drawing? Remember I committed myself to doing more drawing and painting and less activity on social media after my return from Ghost Ranch. I am happy to report I'm sticking with it and drawing, sketching or painting for long periods every day.  All of it is practice for the sake of practice not for a product or finished piece. One of the commitments I made was to be more open to my inner world of thoughts and feelings as I work and I gently calm and comfort my thoughts when I begin to say things in my head that are not helpful.

Most every practice piece is going through various levels of destruction and reconstruction as I work with my self limiting thoughts. I keep moving, dragging things out of the trash and wiping out layers of pastel or layers of charcoal to look again and see a missing puzzle piece that I need to add or take away. The most important part is that I am doing it. Whether I am working or reworking doesn't matter. Stepping forward into the discomfort rather than backing away with resignation it the nugget of gold. It's not that complicated really :)

Love, Robin

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I Am Open I Am Gentle

Ghost  Ranch Reflections

I created the sweet image above in order to affirm my word for the year which is GENTLE. It is a word I need to keep close at all times in regards to my thoughts and actions towards myself.  I just adore the image and it goes well with the new plan I have committed to in my creative practice. My mantra is multilayered but the main gist is to manifest  a rigorous practice of daily art making that is guided by my own gentle hand. This renewal of my word is a direct result of my recent artistic adventure in New Mexico.

 I've just returned from an amazing week long creative experience that I will not soon forget. The first three days were spent in Santa Fe  with Ivy roaming the epic galleries along the Canyon Road corridor. I am truthfully at a loss for adequate words about what I saw and what was evoked within my mind and the emotions I experienced. Words like "amazing, awesome or gorgeous" fall far short of the multilayered and complex response that I had. That being said it really was amazing, awesome and gorgeous to behold paintings that were larger than life and created with an ocean of painterly colors. It seems to me it is a must do experience for any and all artists who crave the adrenaline high of intense wonder and unimaginable inspiration. All I can say is go and see, feel and experience it for yourself.

My response to the next four days at the Ghost Ranch retreat Call of the Wild Soul  created by Erin Faith Allen was no less intense.  To get some idea of what it was like for me think crazy rollercoasters, phobic fear of public performance and the darkest dark  under your bed.  Yes I know it sounds awful but it wasn't. I learned from Orly AvineriFlora Bowley, Misty Mawn and Katie Kendrick and was offered far more important and personally challenging lessons than how to paint or draw.  Although the painting and drawing were super challenging as well. The overarching theme of the  experience for me is that I need to be open and vulnerable to transformative experiences when creating art. I tend to resist the intense emotions and mysterious shadows that come up when I do art. This sum result is that I severely  limit my growth potential as an artist and stifle the joy it holds for me.

So I am taking action. Less social media, less negative self talk, more art making and self love.  A recipe for transformation. I have written these words in capital letters in my notebook and on my studio wall.  I AM OPEN TO BREAKTHROUGHS.

*** The image at the top  was created by cutting up and laying my own drawing on top of a post card I purchased in New Mexico. I took  a photograph and brought that image into my iPad and painted over the entire photo using Procreate.  The postcard is of an acrylic painting done by Matt Adrian of four seagulls playing charades.

love, Robin

 

 

 

The Storyteller's Art

Class Opens March 4th 2016

So the day has arrived and I couldn't  be more excited! I am excited to share what I've been learning and discovering about the power of using our voice in tandem with our art!

Come join me on a week long journey into the magical realm of storytelling and art! This unique class will focus on developing your storytelling voice so that you can create art that is compelling and rich with imagination! Fun and deep is where we are going in this class my friends!

We will create 3 projects that are tied together with the glorious thread of story. I am excited to watch and assist all of you in uncovering your storytelling voice in the process! You will create expressive paintings that will mesmerize and engage your audience. Storyteller's need and audience so our work need to be dynamic and engaging! 

I am especially excited to gather together as seekers and  storytellers  in our Facebook Group! It is a bit of a dream come true for me to explore new ideas and share the experience of our journey in a safe and supportive little world of our own. Please join me for this adventure if you are even a little bit tempted to open up your heart and mind to a fresh and new way of expressing yourself with your art! 

Love, Robin








Stories For The New Year

Living My Own Story! 

This year I am determined to live my red thread life by letting my mind and dreams wander at will. I'm experimenting, being brave and trying many new things. I have an abundance of projects and ideas just waiting for me to step into my courage!  The painting below is an example and I'm very excited.  It involved very little planning which was intentional. It is collage and acrylic on canvas board. I selected a very simple color palette of manganese blue, vandyke brown, yellow ochre, titanium buff, gesso and glazing fluid. By collaging for texture and mixing those colors I created the abstract background first with no plan for what would come next. When is was dry I let the horizon line guide me towards possibilities. It lent itself to a scene with it's solid ground and lots of potential for a stormy sky.

And what about the story you ask? It's me again, Lovely Duck by my side and some illusive deep dream that appears to be pulling us along through a stormy sky.  I need to leave it open ended  because I don't yet fully understand where we are going. I know it has the theme of opening up to our deepest dreams and following their call. 

The theme isn't really new for me but It became more literal in the  paintings below. In all three of these I'm using the same theme, color palette and materials.  So now it's turning into a new story series.  When I first started posting on Instagram I tended to do a portrait and write a story as though each character were a part of the greater community. I envisioned my  gridded  Instagram feed as a tall apartment building with each new a portrait moving in as a resident and neighbor to the rest of the characters. I enjoyed that form of storytelling very much and so did my followers. So once again, (I never tire of this!) what begins as one thing, (in the case of Instagram it was the commitment to drawing 100 faces along with a group of other artists) becomes something else that we don't see coming.  In this instance I was simply following along over the past two years with that  line of red thread leading me and simply focusing on what presented itself along the way. I could go on and on about this beautiful way of living in the moment and I am sure I will be doing much of that over this next year as I continue to walk through my storied life with my ever present compaion Lovely Duck!

  "Me and Lovely Duck obviously right? The words at the top are the key to this piece. WHAT ARE YOUR DEEP DREAMS? Ive been thinking so much about th  is question. It applies to all levels of consciousness. My hope for the coming year is to claim and continue to live my deep dreams. I do best with a gentle but firm hand guiding me. Lovely Duck is very gentle and the red thread keeps me on my path.   I am so happy to be living my deep dreams along with all of you! xo. "  Oh look! Lovely Duck and I have some creative visitors! First we had a little writing session regarding the question... "What are your deep dreams?" I came up a little exercise to get us started and wow fantastic art and story ideas came out of that! This one is mine.. "I dream of being with a tribe of creatives at the Gathering House. The Gathering House is safe place to connect to our own dreams and support the dreams of others. Then we do art!  This was such a fun little project! That's real red thread mind you and gold leaf too. When our creative companions come for a visit they get royal treatment here in my studio! Spirit animals and cats are allowed in the studio too! *  **The style of these  are inspired by two artists I admire.   Gabriel Pacheco  who is a magnificent artist and illustrator from Mexico who creates very dreamlike art that I adore! I've also been reading the work of  Brian Andreas  who  combines crazy line drawings with ridiculous and heartfelt words. He has long been a favorite of mine for quotes that make you think as well as laugh and cry.

I can't finish this post without mentioning that for us artists the new year is overflowing with inspiration, learning and thrilling art! So many fantastic classes have begun and many more are about to launch! I am thrilled with the start of Let's Face It and honored to have the opportunity to add in my artistic two cents on painting faces:) I have signed up for Misty Mawn's  Make/Do Art Workshop that begins February 14th and for Katie Kendrick' online course Grit and Grace that begins January the 11th.  I highly recommend them both!

love, Robin xo