Like many of the featured artists, I have know Robyn more through the internet groups for mosaics, however, I have had the pleasure to meet her in person years ago at a SAMA event. Robyn is someone who when meeting in person, was exactly the way I thought she would be from my preconceived ideas drawn from internet interaction. She is kind, gentle, classy, talented, warm and friendly. In other words, a joy!
Learning more about Robyn and her creative journey into mosaics will take more than a single article, however I believe her spirit comes through in her answers nonetheless. If you would like to spend some time with Robyn in a creative environment, and get to know her a bit better, sign up for one of her classes and be prepared to enjoy!
LMA: How long have you been creating mosaics?
Robyn: My love affair with mosaics began twelve years ago at Unicorn Studios in NYC where my best friend Joy and I attended classes. We had always wanted to learn the basics, so that we could offer exciting and colorful mosaic pieces to clients, in addition to the murals and painted wall finishes we were creating. Soon, I set up a home studio and began working with many different types of materials.
LMA: What are your favorite materials to use? What do you enjoy about using them?
Robyn: Life became a treasure hunt, finding different things to incorporate into mosaics…china plates, stained glass, beads, shells, brass findings, crystals, pearls, vintage jewelry. That was part of the fun! I really enjoy the wildly creative and endless possibilities of mixed-media mosaics. My unique 3-D fans are the perfect substrate for this type of mosaic. After a few years and lots of trial and error, I am excited to be sharing my FAN with the mosaic community.
LMA: Tell us about your single greatest learning or “ah-ha!” moment in your mosaic journey.
Robyn: I would like to share the story of my AH,HA moment since it relates to the creation of my fans. Three years ago my husband and I spent four months living in London. The museums are free, so I happily surrounded myself with art, history, and all things Victorian. The idea to create a mosaic fan was hatched after visiting the one and only FAN MUSEUM in Greenwich, London. To make the mosaic fan special, it had to be 3-D and have folds. After lots of trial and error, the solution literally came to me in a dream. Early one morning, I awoke with an inspiration and bolted into my studio to build my first 3-D fan using Wedi board and wire.
LMA: What is one of your favorite quotes or sayings?
Robyn: "If you DREAM it, you can DO it!" I really believe this applies to all things in life, so never stop dreaming!
LMA: Tell us a little about your creative background and the things you enjoy in using it…
Robyn: Teaching comes very naturally to me since taught in elementary school for many years. Marble Jam Kids and Art Smart Academy are two places where I continued to share my passion for art with children. I'm really excited to teach mosaic artists how to build and decorate my FANS and other dimensional substrates. I have created an exciting new substrate that will reveal during my classes.
All the years I spent painting did not prepare me for the challenges faced while learning to paint with glass. For those who claim mosaic is a craft and not an art, just let them try to paint with glass and they will surely change their mind! I love creating mosaic portraits and flowers with this technique. Capturing light and shadow, creating dimension and movement are difficult to achieve with glass, but I love it!
Personally, I LOVE the “perpetual student” quality Robyn shares with others. Life, in my opinion, is all about learning on a daily basis and growing in the knowledge gained. It has been my observation that whether it is knowledge of a personal nature, (learning about ourselves and our fellows), or adding skills and techniques to our artistic repertoires, the desire to move forward, to advance in the multi faceted, day to day experiences that comprise what we consider life, the desire to learn never leaves us.
Life unfolds very much like Robyn’s fans to reveal a larger image, day by day, choice by choice, lesson by lesson. It does not surprise me that Robyn’s “ah-ha” moment and solution to creating her fan substrate came to her in a dream. Like a gift from above, it seems so apropos to me, as Robyn gives of her own experiences so freely. How fitting that she would be the featured artist during a month that is know for gifts and giving!
May you all experience the absolutely priceless gifts you receive through the holidays and everyday, that come in the form of learning.