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




Time To Enter The Giveaway! Let's Face It With Robin Laws

There is still time to win a free seat in the class Let's Face It. Click this link to go to my blog post telling you all about how to enter your name. Someone has to win right?! :) I will draw a winner this Monday, October the 26th. That is only 3 days from now!  

I'm going to be teaching you all about drawing the profile and it isn't going to be as difficult as you think. Honestly if I can do it so can you! I'm going to demonstrate my process and provide you will detailed instructions for drawing an accurate profile.  I'll give you plenty of helpful tips along the way and I'm even going to provide you will a bonus lesson that will help you learn more quickly. I hope you will join me and all the other amazing teachers on this year long journey of learning to draw faces!

In The Company Of Birds

As an artist I have consistently been all about the birds. I've welcomed them into my art from the very start. In fact my near constant companion for the past 18 months is a bird. Lovely Duck is of course a bird even if less elegant than a dove nor as graceful as a swallow in flight. He's still my daemon, carrier of our red thread and dearer to me than any other bird could be. He accepts me unconditionally and he's always on my side.  

A much as I love my sweet companion I am about to enter a deeper exploration of birds in general, in art, in symbolism and in storytelling. I'm already under the enchantment of birds in my art and over the next several weeks it will turn into a full scale state of of bird madness!  Believe me when I say I intend to fully embrace and make the most of my insanity. I plan to create a lot of art and to explore the red thread connection that seems inextriably bound to my birds in art as a symbol and my life as a point of navigation.   

   Ivy's class Flight and Feather opens on Monday next week and I am very excited to have a community to go bird crazy with! If you want to take the class she has a waiting list and will have another one before the end of the year! I have a lovely Pigeon story to tell but I'll save that for when I create my next bird painting!


Let's Face It - Open For Registration!

Hello Friends,

The Let's Face It online workshop is OPEN FOR REGISTRATION! I hope you are as excited as I am about this new class on drawing and painting portraits.  The class will be hosted by Kara Bullock of Kara Bullock Art. I will be a guest teacher along with 15 other amazing artists! There will be an amazing amount of content so If you want to improve or learn for the first time how draw and paint faces with confidence go to Kara's registration page to find out the details and to sign up at the early bird price!

Don't forget about my GIVEAWAY Go find out how to win a free seat in the classroom. The winner will be announced on Monday October 26th.

I hope you will join me on the exciting journey of learning how to paint the wonderfully unique and complex form of the face! 

xoxo robin

I'm Teaching In Let's Face It! An Online Workshop

Hello My Friends!

There is still time to win a free seat in Let's Face It!

**Here is where you can read more about the class. 

To enter…just leave a comment here on my blog letting me know why you want to win a spot in Let’s Face It 2016 and subscribe to my blog.To increase the number of times I enter your name, you could do any or all of the following to spread the love. (Be sure to pop back and let me know in the comments all the ways you have shared so I can add your name again and again)

* Share about the class on your blog, twitter, pinterest, google, facebook page or other social network platform.

* Like my facebook page or invite friends to like it.

* Follow me on Instagram.

I will announce the winner on Monday October 26th!

I am so excited to announce that I am going to be a part of a brand new, awesome online course titled “Let’s Face It”!

LET’S FACE IT is a course created and hosted by Kara Bullock from Kara Bullock Art It is for anyone that wants to practice creating faces and portraits, but is especially designed for those of you that have felt scared or intimidated to do so at some point in your life.   I'm teaching alongside a fanastic group of artists and together, we want to share with you our strategies, tips, and techniques that we use in order to create our faces and portraits.  You will leave this course feeling confident enough in your skills to never feel intimidated again.

Since I will be teaching along side the amazing artists you see above you will have an opportunity to explore the many styles and techniques unique to each of them. Pretty cool I'd say! You can find out a lot more about Let's Face It here

I love to draw and paint faces so I'm excited to share my lesson. I will be teaching you how to create a face in profile which is not near as difficult as you may think! Plus I will include a mini bonus lesson that will help you speed up the process of learning how to draw a profile.

Registration is not open quite yet but on October 15th, you can register and If you sign up by December 1st, you will get a great discount on the price! 

Guess what else!?  I get to give away one free spot in this course to one of you!!

To enter…just leave a comment here on my blog letting me know why you want to win a spot in Let’s Face It 2016! To increase the number of times I enter your name, you could do any or all of the following to spread the love. (Be sure to pop back and let me know in the comments all the ways you have shared so I can add your name again and again)

* Subscribe to this blog.

* Share about the class on your blog, twitter, pinterest, google, facebook page or other social network platform.

* Like my facebook page or invite friends to like it.

* Follow me on Instagram.

I will announce the winner on Monday October 26th!

I look forward to seeing you in class! In the meantime here are some examples of profile faces I have created. 

xo robin

Student Work from Paint & Pixels Class!

This post represents the work of 27 different artists and we haven't even scratched the surface yet of what we have to share! Come and see the beautiful and imaginative art work that our students are creating in my and Ivy Newport's Paint & Pixels class! We are just 2 weeks in to this unique learning experience with an equally steep learning curve for the classically trained artists and those who are just beginning to explore themselves as artists. They are all truly pushing themselves past their comfort zone and reaping the rewards!  I respect and admire every single student who is posting their work, asking questions and offering help to one another. Come see what you/they have done! It is all quite wonderful!  All of the artist's names can be found within the post.


Look at the beautiful color work! The compositional balance, the unity of the elements, the imaginative themes and ideas! Beautiful and unique, each one reflecting the artist who's work it is. They are all working from the same lessons and yet interpreting them in their own individual ways. We am amazed and so impressed! Hard workers all and I really respect that quality as a teacher!!


Artists who's work is included here are: Marilou Cadiz-Marshall, Janet Reid, Cindy Travis, Tricia Dewey, Alexis Rotella, Sanna Friedner, Kathryn Delany, Colette Tradd, Monique van Bekkum, Christie Drahnak, Suzy Norris, Susanne Leusman, Angel Myerscough, Wanda Judd, Gillian Bowditch-Cooper, Ashley Haering, Cary Cutler Scholes, Roxi Gramlow Hardegree, Christa Thomas, Geraldine Deleuze, Erica C. Brothers, Robyn Jenkin, Michelle Gilmer, Courtney McPeak Mervine, Lynne O'Neil, Ida Glad, Roxi Gramlow Hardegree, Geri Centonze. For those whose work is not yet included in this particular post know that I just went crazy here and wanted to catch my breath before overwhelming everyone! You'll be coming up next! Thank you all! Keep up the great work! Art is effort, but the results are worth gold!!


So Much Excitement Around Here!!

I have so many things I want to blog about that I can't figure out what to blog about!😏 If you  are new to my  blog...👉honestly everyone is since I just started it👈..... you should know that if emoticons are available on my keyboard I will use them to express my full range of emotions. So please, try not to be overly annoyed at this child like behavior. 

  If you haven't signed up for this class yet be sure to consider doing so. It is rich with content, wisdom and great teaching.

 If you haven't signed up for this class yet be sure to consider doing so. It is rich with content, wisdom and great teaching.

First up is that I am having a major creative breakthrough in my art practice thanks to the uber talented and most excellent of teachers Annie Hammon . I signed up for her Worshop  Creating Soulful Art With a Story just days before our own class, Paint & Pixels launched.  I had time to watch a total of two videos; Annie's intro (which I found endearing)  was equally amusing and  informative but her one on composition just stopped me in my tracks. By the time I finished I had so many feelings at once I had to jump up out of my chair and run around the block before I could think straight.😱 

In Annie's video about composition she describes  her  process for developing a painting with a soulful story which is very much like my own process. She uses an intuitive and open approach as she begins each new piece of art which is similar to how I do everything in my life including art. Annie knows there will be a story because she sees things in story form and from my viewpoint all of life is a story so I naturally paint in stories. Another similarity is that neither of us begins with a preconceived story in our minds. We have storytelling and soulfullness in common but we  approach our artful discoveries in significantly different ways.  

The concepts Annie is teaching are the very same concepts I use in my own art but with one crucial difference. Annie creates a framework for her piece before she begins. I haven't used a framework of any kind ever. My paintings follow a meandering and sometimes convoluted path of trial and error until a piece begins to speak to me. Only when the painting is complete will I discover the hidden story within. Magic is eventually created to be sure but the process is also very very time consuming and fraught with doubts, frustrations and many blind corners.

I truly feel I discovered  compositional gold within Annie's video! I am aware I've had the same information in my head but it sometimes takes a new perspective to see what is right in front of us. When I heard her talk about her ideas my brain just went all calm and the crazy tangled threads in my head relaxed and melted into a beautifully familiar brilliant red thread that led me to a fresh way of seeing and doing things.


Annie uses a collaging technique rather like the storyboarding approach used by creative writers and film makers.  She has a magnificent store of collage elements that are kept in notebooks. Hundreds of elements are neatly organized so that she can relax and focus on her compositional choices while listening to her intuitive heart. She  select her main subject, a symbolic creature or element will  be chosen, a background that feels right and the additional decorative elements such as patterns or forms become naturally incorporated as the story blooms into a painterly reality!

Above you can see how I did a bit of backwards engineering practicing Annie's approach with a painting I had already completed using my convoluted meandering approach. I pulled all the original elements onto my Procreate canvas and arranged them to see how the elements would have looked had I tried bringing them together ahead of time. I'm really excited to try this storyboarding technique in my next painting.  I'm know my heart  will continue to connect to  my paintings revealing their stories bit by bit just as we have in the past.

 I love that we are all a community of artists who love to share our secrets and gifts with one another! Each and every artist has their our unique artistic magic that no one else can replicate and when we can share our processes to help one another grow the whole world benefits from the glow of beauty and happiness in our hearts. Thank you Annie Hammon for sharing your soulful storytelling!

xo robin bird