Monday, November 2, 2015

Old Beach Cottage painting + Siren Nation show

So, I've finally placed the finishing touches on The Old Beach Cottage, inspired by the beautiful Oregon coast! It will be on display in 'Paths to the Pacific Northwest' Thursday, November 5 (more on this below).

I started this small piece (6" x 8") a few years ago, but then put it aside in favor of larger pieces. Finally, our trip to Newport this past summer moved me to finish it. At the coast, you can feel the pure essence of nature and its vastness- the power of the ocean, the majesty of overhanging cliffs, the longevity of weather-beaten trees and rooftops which have been there for generations. Kites fly in the sky, and dogs run and play gleefully. Cozy cottages are nestled next to one another in the hills. My vision was to capture this warm feeling of timelessness, nature's beauty and joyful moments.

Old Beach Cottage and Coyotes Under the Moon will be available for sale in 'Paths to the Pacific Northwest', and I'm excited to be part of this group show featuring 30 local women artists.  The show opens Thursday November 5,  6-8 PM at Albina Press, 5012 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR.

'Old Beach Cottage' prints are also now available in the RPS shop!
Plus check out the special value print set - 'Old Beach Cottage' + 'Joyful Spirit'. These two pieces would look beautiful together in a beach-themed room, don't you think? Save $5 on the set. :)

Old Beach Cottage + Joyful Spirit print set

Every year we rent a charming old beach cottage in Newport for a family weekend (If you're looking for rentals one of our favorites is Here are some of the scenes that inspired me  the most....

Is anything happier than dogs (or little ones) playing in the ocean? Phantom and Kiva are in dog heaven- especially when grandad brings frisbees!

Yaquina Head lighthouse with prairie in full bloom.

 Endless water and sky ♥

"Smell the sea, and feel the sky,
 Let your soul and spirit fly,
 Into the mystic...”
― Van Morrison

♥ Robin

Monday, June 22, 2015

Soulmates + Spirit Bird Paintings

I've just finished two new oil paintings, Soulmates- 11x14 and Spirit Bird, 8x10. You may have seen glimpses of these in progress before, and I am proud to say they are now finally complete.

Soulmates captures the union of two hearts in a moment of pure bliss. Bluebirds and an idyllic landscape symbolize this delightful happiness that we call true love or sometimes first love. In every relationship, there is give and take, and thus the ying yang symbolizes perfect balance. Originally, I envisioned this piece as a possible Lovers card for a tarot deck. Perhaps it will someday be so! Soulmates prints are now available in the RPS shop.

Spirit Bird represents a moment of connecting with the divine. Birds are revered in many traditions as living close to spirit or as messengers of spirit. This piece doesn't focus on any one tradition in particular, but rather celebrates the importance of spirituality in our lives. Whether it is a hopeful thought, prayer, meditation, reading, ceremony or song, it is like a moment of magic, possibility and upward flight. Spirit Bird prints are now available in the RPS shop.

And... both of these original paintings will be on display in Portland's Siren Nation Paint Your Art Out show opening next Saturday June 27, 6-9pm at Olympic Mills Building, 107 SE Washington St. It will be a fun evening with live painting demos, art auction, wine bar, music and more. Over 40 NW artists will be featured. If you live in Portland, stop by!

In the studio.....
Both pieces were painted with Holbein Duo Aqua oils from Japan. Water-soluble oils don't always get a good review compared to long-standing traditional oils, but these are remarkably high quality and are also compatible with traditional oils, acrylics and mediums.

UPDATE: Framed and hanging at the show.....

See more pics on Instagram @robinstudio :)
♥ Robin

Monday, May 18, 2015

Dragon Boat Art

I'm excited to reveal my latest painting, Fire and Water.....

I created this piece for a special show, Fire on the Water- Dragon Boat Art, curated by fabulous Alea Bone of Bonewerx, which will be held at Portland 5 Center for the Arts during the Portland Rose Festival in June. Dragon boat races are a longtime festival tradition and the gorgeous handcrafted boats were donated to Portland from Kaohsiung, China. If you live in Portland, this will be a fun show, check it out! My painting will be for sale along with many other unique, dragon-themed works of art.

UPDATE:  The original has now sold, but Fire and Water prints are now available in the RPS shop :)

Behind the scenes - painting
Inspired by my previous Japanese garden series, I chose the same circle motif with Sashiko pattern background to represent water. (In the background is a new piece Siamese Parlor and a quilt for Gina cat, stay tuned!)

First, I transferred the background pattern which I created in Adobe Illustrator.

 Then started the center with a quick sketch....

Filled in areas of color and created spiral waves....

Roses on the oars symbolize the Portland, the City of Roses :)

Finished and framed for the show!

Dragon blessings ♥

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Design, Branding and Color Psychology

Time for some color inspiration! What colors best describe you or your business and attract the audience you seek?

From The Complete Book of Color (a long time favorite on my bookshelf):

Red- active, passionate
Orange- creative, joyful
Yellow- positive, uplifting
Gold- wisdom, abundance
Pink- love, kindness, hopefulness

Green- nature, comforting
Blue- tranquil, peaceful, trustworthy
Purple- spiritual, creative 

White- classic, spiritual, expansive
Black- serious, professional
Brown- stability, supportive
Silver- balancing, sensitive

Pastels- soothing, caring
Brights- vibrant, creative
Earth Tones- grounded, eco-friendly

There's no question color has an effect on us in everything from gift and paper products to interior design, fashion and advertising. Notice how you feel when you wear different colors or which colors stand out to you when shopping or surfing the internet.

According to Pantone, "Colors can stimulate, excite, depress, tranquilize, increase appetite and create a feeling of warmth or coolness. This is known as chromodynamics." The first thing I usually ask my design clients before selecting colors is what feeling do you want to convey? What color descriptions above match that feeling?

For the web, managing eye fatigue is an important consideration when selecting colors too. It's slightly harder to read light-colored text on a dark background than dark text on a light background. Bright-colored text is also harder to read on a screen. Try a light or bright color as a subtle design accent on a neutral background paired with dark text to achieve the same color effect.

For art, design or handmade products, it's important to allow your work to be the main visual image. Use color as a subtle accent in advertising or packaging. For example, I placed a light teal in the header and a red stripe in my logo to bring in a hint of color. Vibrant one-color logos and product tags work well for designers as well.

Here's a fun online tool for designing color schemes: Paletton. Choose one color and see what it looks like paired with shades, complementary colors and more.

And more of my favorite color resources :)

Color Marketing Group
Pantone Color Trends
Psychology of Color

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Crafty Design Ideas: Wedding Scrapbook

Album: K & Company
In honor of our anniversary, I put the finishing touches on our wedding scrapbook album this past weekend! Jeff and I were married two yrs ago on the Oregon coast and it was a magical day.  ♥

My vision for our album was to combine elements in nature with a touch of elegance and romance. Since we were married at the ocean, I used a combination of sheer and embossed wedding papers, shell and sand papers, hand-cut flourishes, stamps and embellishments.

I chose ocean blue as our wedding color along with a spiral motif to symbolize eternity...

I arranged the book chronologically, and created a unique border for the page spread in each section.
Thanks to the lovely Sarah McAllister Photography, we have so many gorgeous photos from our special day. On each page, I combined three to four photos in collage style.

Of course, I had to make my dress! I based the design on Simplicity 1909...

To create scalloped edges on many of the page elements, I used a variety of Fiskars paper edgers. Love these scissors. I've had them a long time and I use them for everything!

For the ceremony pages, I used the ocean paper with rhinestone spirals and hearts. I printed a verse from our ceremony for each page in this section which we wrote together...

I chose Jolee's Boutique sticker embellishments (bells, birds and flowers) as accents throughout the album.

And the trim around the photos are hand-stamped flourish motifs accented with Holbein silver glitter paint at the points. The bottle has a super-fine tip, and their paint is saturated with glitter which is nice for fine detail.

Leave it to Iko cat to help me too.... :)

Photo corners and flourishes were made with a stamp set using Brilliance Dew Drops silver ink pad to create an old-fashioned look.

Added sheer ribbon edging on a few photos for a romantic effect...



Follow RPS #craftydesignideas on Instagram for more inspiration!

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