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,  Japanese Garden, and Cosmic Universe.  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!

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

Monday, September 29, 2014

Pets in the Studio

It's no secret that I am a lifelong animal lover. And I love photographing and sketching my sweeties.  I also enjoy painting custom pet portraits! On a typical day, I'm usually surrounded by pets in my studio and office. Whether I'm working on the computer designing graphics and websites or in the studio painting or sewing, they are always nearby!

Phantom, my Lab mix/ Catahoula Leopard is always at my feet.

Kiva, our German Shepherd is usually nearby too.

Iko, my Flame Point Siamese, likes being on top of everything!

And napping with my Sweetheart Lace pillow ....

A new little lady has now joined the studio... meet Gina cat! She's sweet and sassy, but mostly sweet. Doesn't she fit in quite well?

Our old little Jorellis cat passed on a few months ago (she was 18 and had brain tumors/seizures). I am glad she had the chance to sit in my studio sunroom windows in our new house at the end of her life. I think her happiest moments were snuggling on my fabrics in the sun. She was my first princess kitty and she lived with me her whole 18 yrs. Peace be with you my baby...

I've adopted twice from Oregon's Humane Society, if you're looking for a new pet this is a great place to go.

Cassidy the snake (my husband's oldest pet) lives in the library room amongst arts and crafts books.

And finally, a school of Koi fish now live in our Japanese garden pond, our newest animal friends!

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." -Anatole France

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Inspired Design Style: Wildflower

The beauty of late summer meadows, sprinkled lightly with color amidst an earthy richness
brings forth a rustic vibrance that is light as honey, yet rich as wine. There's a unique glow this time of year as the days shorten slightly. In the garden, many plants have now completed their cycle and August wildflowers take center stage.

1.  Rose, Black Eyed Susan and Daisy bouquet, from our garden
2. Claude Monet's "Garden at Argenteuil", one of my favorite paintings!
3. Bleeding Heart and Trillium arrangement, our garden
4. Felt/embroidery flower basket wall hanging, a Robin Phillips Studio pattern
5. Antique basket of lavender from my collection, our garden
6. Kanzashi folded fabric flowers, so fun to make
7. Garden bed inspiration: Lavendar, Pampas grass, Yarrow and Sedum
8.  Floral candleholder, wicker mat and old crochet runner, my heirlooms and thrift store finds
9. Beaded sunflower picture frame,  peyote stitched flower
10. Patchwork table runner, embroidered linens and wood inlay frame, RPS pattern and antiques
11. Arrangement inspiration: Bacopa, Butterfly Weed, Dracaena
12. Sunflower!, my favorite August flower
13. Dahlia, pansy and vinca vine in my old clay pot planter, our garden
14. Primrose printable design (design downloads RPS shop)
15. My grandmother's wildflower painting, circa 1970
16. Our bird garden/wildflower bed: Black-Eyed Susan, Salvia, Penstemon, Crocosmia, Hyssop
17. Old crochet, wicker, shells and silk flowers, my thrift store finds and antiques
18. My painting "Sun Spirit", 6" x 8", oil and mixed media on canvas
19. Flowering Thyme, our garden/pond
20. Etched pewter platter, Violet china, shells, silk flowers, my thrift store finds and antiques

And a wildflower-inspired table runner....

Use your favorite floral prints in 2-1/2" squares. The finished mat is 22" x 22" with 4-inch border sashes. I used Clover's Yo-Yo Flower Maker for the small flowers and the large flowers are based on the traditional Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt block.

More wildflower design ideas:

-multi-color accents paired with earth tones
-small flower motifs
-Impressionist style prints
-old paintings
-wicker and weathered wood
-vintage pitchers and clay pots
-layer wicker mats, crochet and old-fashioned lace
-country plaids
-Gardens: Try a wildflower bed with long stems such as Salvia, Lavendar, Black-Eyed Susan, Sunset Hyssop, Purple Coneflower, Aster or Daisies. Small groundcovers like violets or thyme and grasses are great for borders and rocky areas.

Enjoy the summer while it lasts and happy designing!