Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Japanese Garden, Koi, and Crane Paintings

I'm excited to reveal my newest series: Japanese Garden. Each of these originals will be available in the Big 500 show. opening this Saturday, Dec 13, for just $40 each plus prints are also now in the RPS shop.  These pieces make a unique gift for a garden lover!
View all Japanese series prints and print sets in the shop.

This series of eight small paintings (8" x 8") celebrates the constancy and beauty of nature amidst the changing cycles of the year. I believe we can learn a lot from nature. The first four pieces reflect the special energy of each season. For each piece, I drew the same basic scene on all panels and added a Sashiko pattern background to match the energy of the season. See more pictures from the beginning of this series in my last post. In the garden, certain things endure such as trees, ponds and stones while other elements change gracefully through time like light, plants, flower and leaves. Each season has a purpose and a unique energy.

Winter is a time of rest, nurturing and stillness, a time to admire what beautiful qualities still remain in our core. Seeds underground begin to gestate which will bring new life in the spring. In the winter garden, trees hold majestic forms swaying with the wind, glistening with ice and dew.

Japanese Garden- Winter © Robin Phillips Studio

The spring garden sprouts new life! The days are lighter and brighter. This is the season of re-emergence and beautiful new beginnings. Birds chirp happily and possibilities abound now.

Japanese Garden- Spring © Robin Phillips Studio
In summer, the garden is abundant, decadently filled with fruits and flowers. The lush, green grass is soft and warm under our feet.

Japanese Garden- Summer © Robin Phillips Studio
The fall garden withers gracefully with jewel tones in it's final days. As the earth winds down to rest,
the wind blows, and seeds scatter for the future.

Japanese Garden- Spring © Robin Phillips Studio

In various Asian traditions, Koi are known to symbolize happiness, wealth, long life and good fortune. Their vibrant colors and enthusiastic feeding bring me great joy :)

Koi Pond I © Robin Phillips Studio

Koi Pond II © Robin Phillips Studio

Koi Blessings © Robin Phillips Studio

Red-crowned cranes are known in many Asian traditions to also symbolize longevity, happiness, good luck, and peace. I think they are the most stunning birds. Many cranes have become  endangered species due to loss of wetlands. Learn more at International Crane Foundation. 20% of sales from my print Crane Blessings will benefit this Foundation from my home state of Wisconsin :)

Crane Blessings © Robin Phillips Studio
Print sets are also now available for the first time in the RPS shop!  Japanese Garden is a set of 4 and Koi Pond set of 3. Buy the prints together for a special price. Don't they look nice displayed together? Choose from 6x6 or 8x8. :)

Japanese Garden print set of 4

Koi Pond print set of 3
We expanded our own Japanese garden bed (one of the several beds in our garden) this year with more asian plants, a hand-tied bamboo fence (yotsume-gaki), a waterfall, flagstone patio, stepping stones, solar-powered entry lanterns, and a new koi pond! And most recently, we added 20 fish this fall. Now that it's December, they are deep into their hibernation time. Koi rest and do not eat all winter when it gets below 50 degrees. The overall design is modeled after the traditional hill-pond style Japanese garden. It took a lot of work, but it was a joy as artists/craftspeople/gardeners who love nature!

Winter.... (before expansion)

Spring.... (adding the pond, removing weeds, adding new soil and new plantings)

Summer... (growing, growing!)
Some of the main plants in the garden are japanese maples, black lace sambucus, pieris japonica, peonies, azaleas, dwarf spruce, mondo grass, japanese painted ferns, crocosmia, japanese spurge grass and japanese iris.

West/main entrance to garden with patio

A golden Buddha with healing Lapis stone sits above the pond...

North entrance to the garden

Fall... (with new Koi pond)

South entrance to the garden
To deter herons and raccoons, we put up a net and cover for the pond... it works pretty well!

"There is meaning in every stone, reason in every plant and tree, and in every shadow a story"
-Portland Japanese Garden 

If you are in/around Portland, OR, do visit the Portland Japanese Garden! This 5 acre garden is beautiful in every season and offers a pond garden, stone garden, teahouses, waterfalls, authentic stone pathways and more.

Winter blessings to you!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Art on sale! Black Friday - Cyber Monday

It's officially the holiday season, and I'm celebrating with a special sale today thru Monday 12/2.

20% off all art, patterns and gifts in the RPS shop! Use code holiday20 during checkout :)

Original Paintings and Prints, many themes: nature, inspirational, whimsical, mythological.
Read about the inspiration behind each piece in the shop.
(Browse all paintings , Browse all art prints)

Art Jewelry (Prints from my paintings with sterling silver wires. Browse all jewelry)

Angels and Dolls  (Each doll is one of a kind. Browse all Angels and Dolls)

Quilt and Sewing Patterns (Make your own special holiday gift. Follow RPS on Twitter or Facebook for all holiday pattern latest releases, more are coming!
Browse Quilt, Embroidery and Sewing Patterns)

Ornaments  Hand painted Oregon ornaments and 2x2-inch inspirational art prints, perfect for the tree. (Browse all ornaments)

P.S. This will be my only holiday season shop sale, so now is the time to grab your favorite item!  I am also still accepting custom art orders through 12/5 for the holidays, contact me for details And stay tuned for an update on my Japanese Garden painting series which is almost finished and new holiday pattern releases! These items will be available in the shop in about a week.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

30 Days of Painting- Birds, Japanese Gardens and beyond

Lately I've been painting a lot, preparing for local holiday shows including the Big 500 and Wild Arts Fair! In the next month, I will be posting new pieces as I finish them, with behind the scenes/progress photos exclusively here on the RPS blog. If you're in Portland, follow RPS on Facebook or Twitter, for the latest holiday show/sale news.

Family Tree © Robin Phillips Studio for Audubon Wild Arts Fair
My original painting, Family Tree, will be available in the 6x6 Art Sale at the Wild Arts Fair November 22-23 as a benefit for the Portland Audubon Society. 100% of the painting sales go to Audubon. Come early, the paintings sell fast!   

Family Tree prints are also now available in the RPS gift shop, and I will also donate 20% of each print sale to Audubon. This is a show I've participated in for five years now, and the previous years  prints are also available in the shop. Each print is 6x6, and these make a nice gift for a bird/animal lover.  Browse all bird art prints!

In the studio, making Family Tree...

The theme of the Wild Arts 6x6 show this year is yard birds, which prompted me to think of home and family. I chose the concept 'family tree' to symbolize how birds often flock together and tend to their nests. Much like a traditional family tree chart, this piece illustrates three generations of various Jay family members including the Stellar Jay, Blue Jay and Scrub Jay. Blue Jays are one of my parent's favorites, and I often see the male or female when I'm about to hear from them! So, this piece has a personal meaning for me as well. :)

I start each canvas by sketching an outline that I have drawn out on paper. Next, I add in washes of the background colors. Finally, I begin layering on the shadows, highlights and details.


Here's a sneak peak at a series of 10 paintings I have started for the Big 500 show opening December 13! Each piece is 8x8, and the originals will be available exclusively at the show. Prints will also be available in the RPS shop, stay tuned for updates!

The initial inspiration for this series came from my love for Japanese gardening and Sashiko patterns. Drawing on my background as a fiber artist as well as a painter, these pieces combine the symbolism of the patterns along with the Japanese landscape. This series also celebrates the circle of life and oneness.

Backgrounds finished for (left to right) Koi Pond 1,  Japanese Garden: Summer, and Koi Pond 2.  Next I will start the main imagery in the center....

I will be posting the complete series here on the blog as I finish each of the pieces along with the latest pictures of our Japanese garden and koi pond!

As always, I welcome you to contact me re: a small custom work of art (6x6 - 9x12) for the holidays. I love making personalized gifts for someone special to you. Place an order by Dec 1 to allow enough time for painting and delivery. :)

Friday, October 31, 2014

New Fall Sewing + Embroidery Patterns

New fall pattern designs are now in the RPS shop! Previously released patterns are also available in the shop as PDF downloads.

Pumpkin Patch Cross Stitch

Robin Cross Stitch Potholder  

(pattern also includes sewing instructions for vintage-style potholder)

Halloween Pumpkin Table Mat - FREE download!

If you follow RPS on Facebook, Twitter, or Craftsy you may have seen or downloaded this freebie already... It's a quick, last minute sewing project for your Halloween festivities this weekend. I finished piecing and sewing in about 2 hours. Enjoy!

~Update, 11/21/14: Thanksgiving Pumpkin & Leaf Table Mat is now available!~
This is a quick and fun fusible applique project. The pattern includes an easy piecing technique for the leaves and full-color diagrams.

Behind the scenes in the studio.... :)