Fresh Air

Fresh Air

Thursday, November 12, 2009

As the end of the year draws near...

I can't beleive that it's the middle of November already, and that I haven't had a moment to write any new ideas or comments on my blog in almost 5 months! It's always been one of those things that I kept meaning to get too, but something that kept getting pushed back down to the bottom of the list. So here goes then!

It was a very different sort of summer this year and not just because of the weather (which was wild and scarey at a few of the shows!!). I did seven this time around and it was a bit of a roller coaster ride for me. Some shows I did extremely well, while others I didn't sell anything really. It seemed that the few shows that were a combination of art and craft together just did not work well for me at all. And also not for most of the other participating artists either. But even so, I had the great fortune to meet so many wonderful artists over the last few months that I consider all the shows to be a success in that respect. Art shows offer artists the opportunity to meet each other, and exchange ideas, technique tips, and also show information, so they are an exceptional way to network.

The general feeling this year though, was that attendance was way down at almost every show, and some seasoned artists even said that this has been the worst year they have ever had in terms of sales and commissions. The advantage for me is that I am so new to this that I don't really have much to compare it too. I actually sold more paintings this year than last, but I only did 4 shows in 2008, as compared to the 7 this year, so that right there gave me an advantage. I guess the one great thing about starting this new carrer in a recession is that for me, it can only get better!

Applications for the 2010 shows are already surfacing, and arriving in my mailbox and I'm already getting excited (and a little overwhelmed) about next year! I've been pouring through my sketchbooks, and photographs, for ideas for next years paintings. I am still so intrigued by old stairways and doorways, as well as old windows, and since I don't have any of those paintings left, it appears that people really like them too, and I need to do some more! New ideas are rushing forward and I have started some already, and hope to have some new and exciting pieces to show in the spring.

Although this may not have been a banner year for anyone really, because of the recession, I still feel so lucky to have been able to show my work and sell a few pieces along the way. It has been hard for most people, and even devastating for some, but the fact that people still came out to the shows and made a point of stopping to chat, even though buying a painting from me or any other artist just wasn't a possibility this year, they still always had kind words of encouragement, and took a moment to appreciate some of the beautiful work that was being shown at these great art shows. And I hope that by doing so, their spirits were lifted a bit and they left the shows feeling a little better and brighter after taking an hour or two to just be surrounded by beautiful things and kind people. I can't speak for other artists, but I do know that I am so thankful that people took the time to visit the shows.

I'd like to also just take a moment to offer my sincere gratitude to all the wonderful people that did purchase some of my paintings and cards over this past year, and to say how truly grateful I am to you all. There is no greater compliment to an artist than to have someone love a painting that much that they want to own it and have it in their home. So, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart!

I am looking forward to a great new year of showing my work and meeting new people, and hopefully seeing old faces too. I know it's a little early for new years wishes, but I probably won't get back into this blog again until after Christmas, so may I please say to anyone who visits my site, that I wish you a safe and happy holiday season, and a new year full of wonder and great things.

Peace,
Robbin

As show dates and times become available for 2010, I will be posting them on this blog.
If you wish to contact me you can do so at innerspiritartworks_byrobbin@yahoo.com

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Three Days until my first show.......

I am now officially in panic mode!! I have just three days left until my first show in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and I am so excited and nervous about it at the same time! It seems like just yesterday it was cold and (dare I say it "snowing"!) outside. And I was thinking, that there's lot's of time to get ready. Well time as we all know , has a way of getting away from us, and now I am down to the wire.

I started packing everything up, and making a list so I don't forget anything, and I am a great list maker. Unfortunately, I seem to lose my lists, and it makes me mental!! I don't know how I do it, where they go, or why they disappear, but they do..... Only to show up weeks later,(months even) after the planned event that the list was made for in the first place!

So now, with several partial lists in hand, I am trying to get myself ready for this show. I hope I haven't forgotten anything (like the TABLE I forgot last summer!!!), Oh and I just remembered that I need to get change too from the bank, so before I forget to write that down on my list, I should probably do that now, and head back to painting some more. Wish me luck, and fingers crossed for good weather, but just in case, I better put "bring umbrella" on my list too!

A complete list of upcoming Art Shows and Events can be
found by scrolling down through the site a little farther.
I hope you have a moment to check some of these events out,
Thank you

If you wish to contact me, you can do so at innerspiritartworks_byrobbin@yahoo.com

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Showing Artworks

I was glancing at my calendar yesterday and suddenly realized that my first show of the year is in 8 weeks, in Niagara-on-the Lake! I could feel the panic rising up inside of me, because I started thinking "ONLY 8 WEEKS AWAY? BUT I'M NOT READY, I HAVE ALL THESE PAINTINGS TO FINISH, AND NEW ONES TO START.......and what if no one likes them when I'm done, and what if, what if, what if....." and I spent the better part of the rest of my day in panic mode about not being ready! It was pretty awful.

I decided to go far a walk (actually two walks, because my dogs are each about a hundred pounds, and because I need to use a cane to walk, and don't do that very fast, I have to take them one at a time!). But that not only makes me get outside and get moving, it sure helps to get rid of some of the "noise" in my head. Once I get going, it's quite lovely to just walk. I used to walk everywhere, and for hours with my dogs before I became partly dissabled, and I missed it immensley when I couldn't walk for quite a while.

I live in a very,very old neighbourhood, with tree lined streets, that have a vast and various assortment of houses, all different shapes, sizes, colours, and some that are quite old and quirky (like mine!). But it makes the walks interesting, and I love to see the changes these properties go through as the seasons change. My dogs love it too. One of them is 10, and isn't moving as fast as he used too (which makes it easy for me!), and he wants to smell EVERYTHING. But that gives me a chance to really look around, and see things that I may not have noticed before, because I walked by too fast. It gives me a chance to perhaps see something that is an inspiration for a future painting, or an element that could be added to make a work in progress a better composition.

It also helps me realize that we all seem to live our lives in "fast forward" most of the time, and don't get to just stop and be "quiet", and see or hear the world around us. I live in the middle of the city, with buses, and cars, ambulances and trucks racing all over the place, but surpisingly it's quiet, once I'm a block away from the main roads. It's wonderful. There's not a whole lot of any noise, except maybe the birds singing, ( and that's beautiful) or the occasional lawn mower going a block or two away. Being "quiet" and just letting your mind wander is a wonderful luxury, and I am getting better at doing that, and getting better at appreciating it when I do. It's amazing how much stuff can get trapped in your mind and get you so bogged down that you can't see or hear, or accomplish much of anything.

I realized after both my walks, just how much energy I wasted on thinking that I wouldn't be ready for the show, or good enough, or accepted, or any other negative thing that popped into my head while I was panicking. WHAT a WASTE of time! It's hard not to get caught up in it, but I am so glad that I have these two big wonderful dogs that make get outside and get myself together. I also realized after a while that I will be ready, that I'm sure my work won't be awful, and that everything will be just fine (for now!!!)
Anyway I better get painting , got to get ready!

Upcoming shows are listed further down in this site.

If you would like to contact me, you can do so at innerspiritartworks_byrobbin@yahoo.com

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Inspiration

Inspiration can be an elusive thing at times. Somedays, it seems no matter where I look, I see a painting! Other days, I can't seem to get inspired no matter what I do. Thankfully, those days are few and far between! I probably have about 5 accordian style file folders with all the different pockets in them (seriously!) crammed full and bursting with pictures and ideas, scribbles and notes that I would like to be able to paint. That doesn't include the numerous sketch books I also have filled with sketches and ideas. I call them "My Paintings in Waiting". When I first got injured and was flat on my back for months, I was still able to sketch and write for short periods of time in my sketchbooks. This really helped to fill some of the hours in the days and helped me to realize just how much I had missed this part of my life. I keep teasing my kids that I'm going to live to be 100, because I'm going to need the next 51years to even make a dent in what I would like to accomplish!

It's hard sometimes to not jump around with my paintings. So many things inspire me that I end up with all these paintings floating around in my head. I actually work on several pieces at a time, because I find if something is not working for me, I leave it, and move on to another painting. If I don't do this, I get more and more frustrated, and end up making things worse. Moving to another piece for a while switches gears for me, and then when I return to to the other painting, I see it with fresh eyes again. I also like to "live" with my paintings for a while. I put them up on the walls around my home. In that way I see them in different lights, at different angles, and I get a better feeling for what some one else may see or feel if the painting was up on their wall.

Sometimes when I look at something, an old house, a pair of shoes, or a beautiful landscape, what ever it is, there is a feeling that comes over me, that somewhere in what I'm looking at, there is a painting there. It's not always obvious right away, but I know it's there. It's hard to explain, but something has connected with me, and I have to figure out what it is that is so intriguing, and how to portray that on canvas. I guess it's kind of like being an author trying to tell a story, and trying to figure out what you would like to say.

If I could paint everyday, all day, I would be over the moon! And I still don't think I would be able to get all these paintings out of my head and on to canvas. I am incredibly lucky that I have such a wonderful family who constantly encourage me, and truly believe that I am talented, and really want me to succeed. That is not always easy for me to accept because I think most artists (myself included) have these little eggshell egos, and we are so incredibly hard on ourselves, that compliments and encouragements are not always easily accpeted. I'm working very hard to change that feeling, and learn to accept a compliment//encouragement at face value and take it in the good spirit that it was given. My artwork has been in my heart and soul all of my life, but because of other obligations, had to be put away for so long that I never thought I would be able to pursue it. But now that I've been given the chance to actually work on it again, I hope to be able to paint, and paint, and paint some more! And that being said.......I think I'll go paint!

If you would to contact me, you can do so at innerspiritartworks_byrobbin@yahoo.com

Saturday, February 21, 2009

UPCOMING SHOWS

THESE ARE 2009 SHOWS that I participated in throughout the year.

This is a list of comfirmed shows that I will be participating in this year. I have applied to a few others that I am just waiting on comfirmation from, and then I will add them to the list as I hear about them. I try to make sure that they are listed in the correct order by date, but I hope you'll take a moment to look at them all just in case I've printed one of them in the wrong order!
Thank you!

The Art Gallery of Hamilton
February 22nd to March 22nd 2009
Group Show, Women's Art Association Of Hamilton
Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton Ontario

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22nd Annual Artistry by the Lake
WEDNESDAY July 1st, & THURSDAY July 2nd 2009
10:00am to 5:00pm both days
Queens Royal Park
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

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7th Annual Art in the Yard
Saturday July 11th and Sunday July 12th 2009
10:00am to 5:00pm both days
Elora Centre for the Arts
75 Melville Street
Elora, Ontario

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Friends of Bon Echo Park
July 24th 25th &26th 2009
10:00am to 5:00pm Friday and Saturday, Sunday 10:00am to 4:00pm
Bon Echo Provincial Park,
Cloyne, Ontario

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Oakville Art In the Park
MONDAY August 3rd 2009
10:00am to 5:00pm
Lakeside Park (Right at the bottom of Bronte Road beside the lake)
Oakville, Ontario

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Uxbridge Art in the Park
Saturday August 15th & Sunday August 16th 2009
10:00am to 5:00pm both days
Elgin Park
Uxbridge, Ontario

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Grimsby Art Festival
Saturday, September 12th, 2009
9:00am to 5:00pm
Over 200 Artists!
Nelles Blvd.
Grimsby, Ontario

Friday, February 20, 2009

Reproductions

This is to clearly state that any of my artwork that I post on this site, cannot be reproduced in any way, shape, or form without my express permission.
At this time and point in my art career, I do not make prints of my work. I do however keep a photo journal of all my paintings so that I have a record of what I have accomplished so far. I have mixed emotions about prints and reproductions. To me owning an original piece is very special and uniquely yours. No one else will have the same painting hanging in their collection. I do understand though, that sometimes the only way to own a particular piece of artwork, is through the purchase of a print. I also must say that I myself, have several prints by various artists that I have purchased over the years, and I love them!

There may come a time as my career moves forward, that I will consider having prints done of my work and offer them for purchase. But right now, I very strongly feel the need to promote the creating of and selling of original pieces. I think because I am just starting out, and I am having so much fun at being able to express myself through my artwork, that my wish is that when someone does purchase a painting of mine, that it is because it is so special to them and they know that they are the only one to have it. There is not a greater feeling in the world to me, than to have someone look at something that I have created and have it touch something inside them. When someone lingers a moment or two, and gazes at a painting of mine, and then they want to know about it, and then buy it and take it home, I know that I have done my job well. Art should touch a personal spot in you and intrigue you. I try extremely hard to convey feelings and emotions from my paintings because, for whatever reason, I have been touched by a feeling and inspiration from the many subjects I have chosen to paint.

I guess the bottom line is that if a person sees a beautiful painting, whether original or in print, and it touches them in some special way, then they should buy it. If it brings them great joy everytime they gaze at it in their home and it makes them feel special, then that's the best feeling of all!

REPRODUCTIONS

This is just a quick note to state that any of my work shown on this site cannot be reproduced in any way, shape, or form without my permission.

At this point in my art career I do not make any prints of my work. Once the original painting is sold, it's gone. I do keep a photo journal of all my work though so that I have a copy and record of what I have done so far. I have mixed feelings about prints of work, because I feel that owning an original piece of art is exciting and is uniquely yours. No one else has that painting but you. If there are a few hundred ( or more) prints of that piece out there in circulation, it doesn't feel as special to me (although I do own several prints by various artists myself!). I also know too, that sometimes the only way to acquire a beautiful piece of artwork is to buy the print because there is just no other way to own it. So, I go back and forth with my feelings about prints. Perhaps as my career goes forward I may consider having prints done of my work and offer them for purchase, but right now, I really believe in promoting original work.

I guess the bottom line is that if you really love a painting and it touches something in you, and you can't live without it, then you should buy it wether or not it is the original. That way every time you gaze at it hanging in you home, it makes you feel special, and that is the best feeling of all!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

This blog is a new adventure for me. I am not very computer savvy at all, and I am MORE than a little intimidated by them! But thanks to my wonderful sister, who got me started with this, I 'm ready to give it a go!! The main reason for this blog is to promote my artwork, but I also realize that it is a way to get feedback as well about what I'm painting. I don't try to paint something I see exactly as it is, but rather as HOW I see it and feel it. And then I like to offer it for viewing. It can be very scarey to do this at times because it's like offering a private piece of myself out to the public. I put a lot of time and energy and passion into my artwork, and sometimes letting go of that can be very hard.

It was always a lifelong dream of mine to be an artist, but it was never a possibility before. I had a busy family life with a husband and four children, a physically demanding job, and it was a busy time. It was hard to find the time to paint. But in 2006 a serious spinal injury, and subsequent surgery, made it impossible for me to return to work. So, even though it was very hard at first to accept this huge change in my life, it has given me the chance to actually turn this dream into a reality. My family has been behind me all the way, and I have been painting like mad for a little over a year now, and it has been absolutely wonderful! I hope anyone who visits my site enjoys my paintings as much as I have enjoyed creating them.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Contact Us

To contact Robbin, please do so via
innerspiritartworks_byrobbin@yahoo.com