“Impending Motherhood”, 24×18, Oil, Collection of the Artist. This painting was chosen as ‘Best of Show’ at the 2014 NOAPS Best of America Exhibit
The portrait is a powerful genre for artists. As humans, we connect closely with images of other humans, and as artists it is our task to communicate both the physical and emotional essence of our subject. “Impending Motherhood” by Elizabeth Robbins is a painting that imparts both the physical presence and a spectrum of emotions. Robbins combines her highly refined skills of composition, color harmony, drawing and paint handling and infuses the painting with the elusive nature of heartfelt emotion. The viewer is able to at once recognize the story, and identify with the deeply felt human emotion.
“Ruby”, 20×24, Oil, Collection of the Artist.
Elizabeth Robbins has achieved many accolades for her artwork, not the least of which is the designation as a Master Artist with the National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society. She is also a Signature Member of the Oil Painters of America.
“Gifts from the Garden”, 28×30, Private Collection
Creative interests were always a part of Elizabeth’s life; even as a child she was interested in art, and flowers in particular. As a child she sold delicately pressed flowers that she framed in shadow boxes to her neighbors, one of which remains in her personal collection. She never strayed from her interest in art, and studied in college courses, with decorative artist Mary Jo Leisure, and with other artists whose work she admired. Robert Daley and Dan Gerhartz were also influential teachers for her, especially Gerhartz for imparting to her the theory of temperature, which is a distinguishing element of her work. She continues to be inspired by other contemporary artists such as Nick Alm and Quang Ho, and finds enjoyment in searching for lesser known artists who inspire as well.
“Roses and Peonies”, 20×24, Oil, Private Collection
Elizabeth’s work today is mostly still life, and flowers in particular. Nature provides her with ample subject matter, much of which comes from her own garden where she grows over 80 roses, several peonies, day lilies, sunflowers, fruit trees, and berries. As she states, “My garden is my oasis.”
Though she started out in watercolor and acrylic, she found her favorite medium in oil. She finds the richness of color and body in oils to be unmatched by other mediums. She uses a variety of paints, and her palette consists of Cadmium Lemon, Cadmium Yellow Pale, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Red Deep, Yellow Ochre, Indian Yellow, Raw Umber, Transparent Oxide Red, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine, Cobalt Blue, Viridian, Ivory Black and Titanium White. Her brushes consist of brights and flats from Royal Sabletek, as well as hog bristle filberts. She uses Claussens 12 linen mounted by New Traditions, a medium to smooth surface which is mounted to Gatorboard.
“Indian Summer”, 20×24, Oil, Private Collection
Her day often begins by getting office and administrative work completed, and turning to her artwork after left brain work is completed. She usually works from life, particularly in the summer when her well-tended garden is accommodating her need for subject matter. Her long experience precludes the need for thumbnails, and she begins on the canvas painting in the Alla Prima style. She most enjoys painting the flowers she has grown herself, as she finds a personal and emotional connection with them. Her work is mainly in the studio where she can control the environment, though she at times will work en plein air.
“Home Grown”, 24×24, Oil, Collection of the Artist
Though life has presented struggles, Elizabeth has been able to make a living through her art. She has accomplished another milestone by opening Bella Muse Gallery in Odgen, Utah, with her good friend and artist, Shanna Kunz. Elizabeth also has produced many instructional videos through Bella Muse Productions, which features her own tutorials and those of other well-known artists.
Elizabeth teaches workshops both in her hometown and around the country. As an instructor, she is giving and encouraging, and many artists have benefited from her expansive knowledge. And to our readers, her words of encouragement are “Paint what you love. Don’t listen to negativity. (There’s plenty out there.) Be generous, be kind. Paint from your heart.”
Galleries that represent work by Elizabeth Robbins are: Highland Art Gallery, Lambertville, NJ; Legacy Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ; Montgomery Lee Fine Art, Park City, Utah; Wilcox Gallery, Jackson, Wyoming; Wildhorse Gallery, Steamboat Springs, CO; Illume Gallery of Fine Art, St. George, Utah; Bella Muse Gallery, Ogden, Utah; Beartooth Gallery of fine Art, Red Lodge, MT; and Dick Idol Gallery, Whitefish, MT.
To view more work in NOAPS Exhibitions, visit www.noaps.org/events.
Written by Patricia Tribastone, NOAPS Blog Director