“We do not remember days; we remember moments.”
Watercolor, pen and ink have become an unexpected addition to my ventures as an artist.
I’m not completely surprised by this development. I have always enjoyed the artistic elements of being a luthier and a photographer.
Exploring sound and aesthetics of art when creating flutes and kanteles, I’ve enjoyed the process of selecting the wood and working with the grain and texture of each piece of wood. Woodburning and painting designs. Determining the stains and finishes. Deciding on which birds, crow beads and leather to use to accent the flute. Deciding if a flute’s sound is crisp or breathy.
Then on a hiking trip to the Grand Canyon in September 2017, I was captivated by a range of plein air painters participating in a “Quick Draw” event, having two hours to paint their view of the Canyon on the South Rim.
I was intrigued by the idea of re-creating what was seen and felt in the awe of the Canyon. On that trip, a friend and I started sketching at the edge of the Canyon.
My Barcelona friend talks of “moments,” and I believe she has captured the soul of a day. A favorite quote of mine has always been: “We do not remember days; we remember moments” (Cesare Pavese).
In the sketching and then painting of scenes it is a total immersion in the moment. To reach and capture the moment – not just what is seen but what is heard and felt. The mood. The breeze. The heat of the sun. The rustling of birds in tall grass.
After the Grand Canyon’s call to sketch and paint — to look, listen, and immerse oneself — I began researching watercolors online and stumbled on the concept of “urban sketching.” What an interesting idea — not unlike plein air painting. I painted, painted more, read, painted and took online courses.
A trip to Barcelona furthered my intrigue with sketching and painting. I met urban sketchers while walking through Barcelona, and had the inspirational swirl of a city that is vibrant with art, from Antoni Gaudí and Joan Miró to talented graffiti artists. I filled a book with my own watercolor, pen and ink impressions of the amazing city.
I have traded watercolor paintings created at a blueberry farm for quarts of blueberries. I’ve relaxed on Florida beaches , hiked the Smokes or gone bird watching with my watercolors. And yes, I still carry a flute with me almost everywhere I go, but now I set it down to pick up a brush. And yes, I still make Native American style flutes and kanteles but mostly through direct order.
I’ve been delighted at the response to my art.
People who purchase my art often say what people say when they purchase one of my flutes – “This speaks to me.”
The flute speaks with its tonal texture and voice and aesthetically — with the grain of the wood or the colors of the decorative crow beads.
The watercolor, pen and ink speaks through location, colors, style and tone.
At a local art show, different customers purchased my watercolors of scenes from Barcelona. None had visited Barcelona but found that the scenes spoke to them. For example, one loved the whimsical, salmon-colored house Gaudí created in Park Güell. Another enjoyed the feeling of being on Las Ramblas.
Thank you to many of you who have purchased my art and encouraged my painting at the art shows and in local stores where my work is featured.
In anticipation of returning to Barcelona and creating more from the inspired moments and views, I have my first series of Barcelona paintings available online. They are mailed direct from JudyRobinsonArt.com. You also can purchase my art on a coffee mug or a T-shirt in my Etsy store