The Art of Robin Baratta

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Friday, June 19, 2020

I've been Acquired!

I'm very pleased to announce that Chester's Lament has been Acquired by St Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre  for their permanent Museum collection, and will be part of their re-opening show (stage 2 of the Covid-19 pandemic)

Friday, June 12, 2020

What's On Robin's Easel June 2020

What's On Robin's Easel This Month?

New Work, & Exploring Edges 

Ok, so technically this is on my work table, not my easel. 
This is on my easel...

So much has changed since we spoke last. 
Hubby, Studio Dog and I were just about to leave for our snowbird, which was lovely by the way. 
I had made my goal of 16 works for my solo at the regional museum and we had the world by the tail.  It turned into a tiger though.
H., S.D. and I got home just ahead of the boarder closures. I participated in the St Thomas Art Crawl, then...the world shut down.
We've all been healthy, I truly hope you have too, but I know this has been a hard time for many, and I thank God that I've had art to sustain me. 
 At first I thought my show might go on, so I did a few extra pieces.

Donnybrook Green and Gold, 24x30 $600

detail from Into The Distance 12x16, $230.00
To view them all go to my website there's too many to put up here. 
When it became apparent that it wouldn't, for a few weeks I felt paralyzed.  
A funny thing though, it actually gave me time to think, and to grow.
For some time I've been wanting to celebrate to edges of my paintings.
I was often reluctant to cut off the painting's edges when I mounted the work, the intersection of the painted and unpainted are fascinating and beautiful in their own way.
As I started to paint again I allowed the edges to creep inward, and to become part of the story. 

Ready, 12x12 $215.00
As I proceed the edges are becoming more and more important, and more and more a part of the story. 
My solo show has been rescheduled to November-December 2021.  I have a feeling that it's going to be much more experimental than the show I had ready to hang.
Perhaps, that's exactly what I needed.  
I hope the last few months have allowed you too, the chance to discover, exactly what you need.  
Until next month

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Mask Tutorial

Mask Pattern

  • Cut 2 poly/cotton pieces for the top layer
  • Cut two cotton pieces for the liner

  • Sew centre seams of each set
    • Use ¼ inch elastic, cut two 15cm pieces
    • Sew elastic to the corners of the top layer to create ear loops

      • Right sides together, and with the elastic sandwiched inside, sew top and liner layers together. IMPORTANT leave 4 inches open at the bottom so you can turn the mask right side out. 
        • Cut 10cm of padded gardeners wire
        • Centre wire at the top of the mask
        • Using zigzag stitch sew wire onto the top of the mask

        • Turn mask right side out
        • Top stitch around mask, make sure to turn raw edges on bottom inward as you go.
        • Congratulations you made a mask! Please note these masks are not medical grade, but can be used to help prevent the spread of disease.

Saturday, November 16, 2019


What's On Robin's Easel This Month?


Barely Begun

The working title for this one is 'Zoned Industrial'  while that maybe depressingly accurate, I'm afraid that it may be simply too dire a title for a work of art...what do you think?
This is along the Commissioners Rd Industrial Park where a new factory is being built. The day I was sketching this, there were bulldozers in the field, preparing it for 'development. I'm always sad to see another area of prime agricultural land go under concrete.
This month I've been working on larger pieces, so my insta account @robinbarattaartist has been quiet. I don't like putting up wip (work in progress) shot's that all look the same. The building of layers is often a slow process, not easily seen by the camera lens.
This is Donnybrook Undulation, also 24x30, She is very close to done, next step is to take her off the plascore board and mount her onto the cradled  board which will be her permanent support. Then let her proof for a while sitting on my living room easel, where I can look at her in various lights, and let her talk to me.  
The next several layers will be the ones that fully bring her to life, and they can't be rushed.

That's the stage Coming Back From The Beach is at. In fact since this pic was taken a few days ago there have been a few tweaks to create a better sense of distance.
The sketch for this was done a couple of years ago at Huntington Beach SC where we go for a winter break.
For the fourth year in a row, this area has again been hit by a hurricane. 
The dunes are like a living sculpture, after every storm, they shift, and reassemble into a different pattern.
Unfortunately hurricanes often remove much of the sand, leaving the areas they protect vulnerable. 

Did you know I was interviewed on What's Up London? It was a very interesting experience, and I'm appreciative of being recognised this way. Jenna was a very congenial host and well prepared, we got along so well that I forgot to plug my upcoming solo at STEPAC, and the Art Emporium. It was also very interesting to stand in the control room when people were coming and going from the stage, and listen to them talk about my art, when they didn't know I could hear them... If you'd like to see the interview here is the link This letter is a tad late, as I was waiting for the link to go live lol.
You'll be happy to know that Manitoulin Spring found a new home at the St Art Guild Show, she went with a lovely lady that spent many summers on The Island, and has very fond memories of them.
Also, I won't be writing to you until the end of February, as I'll be taking my annual social media fast. I'll be back on time for the St Thomas Art Crawl though and I'll let you know where I'm going to be stationed, it's always a fun event!

Count down......

Weeks to solo 17, weeks to self imposed deadline 4
works completed 16 3/4 of 15-20! 

Happy Dance

May the best of the season be yours, have a joy filled New Year, and may your 2020 dreams come true.


What's On My Easel?


A couple of bigger works underway.

The one in the front is the path to the beach at Huntington Beach, one of our favourite vacay spots, and the larger one is just up the road from where I live here in Elgin County SW Ontario. I'll tell their stories in my next post, when they're done.

Corn As High As An Elephant's Eye, finished this month is 12x16. You can usually tell what month I painted something in by the subject and colours used, and this is obviously September,  The tree's were just beginning to colour up, the corn was mature, and as always I found the abstract patterns in the land irresistible.  The same is true of Hamilton Rd Pump-house, also 12x16.

I fear for the future of this wonderful rolling land. Subdivisions are springing up all around it. The displaced deer and wild turkey have moved in but the' for sale' sign is up, it's only a matter of time before this refuge is gone under the leveling bulldozers too.
Finally finished is Chester's Lament 24x24. It's been Almost There, for several weeks, the last tweaking has at last satisfied my inner critic...she can be quite demanding!

I apologize for the glare on the pic, it looked good in my phone, argh!
Chester was my mentor, I wrote a post about him here, He passed earlier this year, a loss I feel.
After the visitation I did  a few plein aire pastels in our favourite spots, and this painting of an intermittent stream bed is the end result. 
I called it a lament for a couple of reasons, the obvious one being the when, but the less obvious is the subject matter. The now invisible stream bed is choked with Phragmites, beautiful to look at but definitely an environmental lament.
The Culture Days opening at The St Thomas Elgin Public Art Center for In View Of The Artist was amazing, they always put on a great show. Here's moi with Along Carriage Road.

And here's the invite for the St Thomas Art Guild show and sale, which is fast approaching.

You'll be happy to know that Eye of The Iris has found a new home, Thank you Art Emporium,
and  Flight Path will be up for auction at the STEPAC annual fund raiser.
Now For The Count Down

Weeks to solo show: 24, weeks to self imposed deadline:11, works completed: 15 of 15 to 20. Yippee!!

It's not time to snooze though, I'd like the security of having 20, so I can pick and choose, and I have to make sure I keep replacing work that sells. Also I've applied to a few other places for shows that would run after my Solo is done in June. I've developed a really good rhythm and I don't want to lose it. to work!

Medium Size Fish, Tiny Pond

Like a lot of artists I waffle between thinking I'm the next great thing... and utter conviction that I totally suck. 
I had an interesting experience at the recent St Thomas Art Guild show that has me thinking that I can up grade my status from minnow to medium size fish in our tiny pond, maybe. It made me feel good either way lol.
I overheard my name, someone was saying that another artists work reminded them of Robin Baratta's work... WOW.
I introduced myself, and had my picture taken with the someone, who was trilled, so was I for a moment it was like being a rock star. 

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Realism to abstract, it's a journey

Watching people walking around the gallery it's interesting to watch people and listen to what they say.
Some are very certain that only photo realism is 'real art'. In fact recently someone left a comment to that effect for one of our photo realism artists. Some think that our folk art potter's work is a delight, others that's junk. 
I often wonder what it is that has formed their opinions.
Is it exposure, or lack there of, to various arts and artists? a conservative nature in general? or conversely exposure to other cultures, places and ideas that have lead to their opinions. 
I know my own opinions have evolved with time and exposure.  I spent 4 years studying the old masters, and learning the basics of composition and technique, it took exploration of my own to really 'get' the modern masters and abstraction.
To be honest I still don't get all of it, but I've learned that seeing art 'for real' makes a huge difference. A Jackson Pollock seen in a book is NOTHING like seeing it in a gallery, the same with Calder, or Warhol.   
Seeing the progression of an artist's work and learning about the world they lived in also  makes a difference.  I recently saw a slide show of Piet Mondrian's  body of work and the progressive simplification suddenly put everything in perspective.  The work he is most know for didn't just suddenly spring into being.
For most of  the famous abstractionists  the same holds true, Picasso was classically trained, as was Roy Lichtenstein and many others who trained in the classics used them as a spring board to explore art making in the abstract. 
I too started out doing photo realism, leaning slowly into expressionist work, and now into somewhat abstract work. It's a journey that many artists take. Learning what is important to tell the stories that are important to them and what can/should be discarded so that, that story is clear and resonant.
What do you think?

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

September Newsletter

Newsletter September

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What's On My Easel?

Working titles are Hamilton Road Pump House, and Corn As High As An Elephant's Eye.
The sketches have been transferred, now it's time for the work to begin, the barely begun sky is for another that I'm still developing a sketch for.

So what's going on in my life...
 Along Carriage Road  was accepted into the STEPAC In View Of The Artist Show, opening Saturday September 28, 1-3. I'm in some pretty prestigious company with this one!

I also have a much revised version of Don's Dang Hill,
and new this month Morganstern Line, both 12x2 going into the Art With Panache Square Show. opening September 19th.
Where The Road Dips,and Memories Of Summer both found new homes this month. Fortunately for me the collector who has purchased both Where The Road Dips, and Elgin Panorama, has promised to let me borrow back the works for my Solo at STEPAC, opening May 2 to June 13 and of course I'm working furiously on new work for it .
 Corn and Beans, 12x16 is another addition to the collection, with a larger version of Morganstern Line (Memories of Chester) also almost completed that makes my countdown...

Weeks to solo 30, weeks to self imposed deadline 17
works completed 13 of 15-20!

Since a lot of the work is on the smaller side, lets just say...


13 of 20 completed.

See ya next month


Monday, August 5, 2019

Newsletter July, August 2019

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What's On My Easel This Month?

Almost Done, Memories Of Chester

Chester Anderson was the guy who introduced me to both the Dorchester Artist's Network, and to Port Stanley Artists Guild, he had a profound influence on me that you can read about here. After his recent funeral I went back to a few of the places we had both painted and did some sketching, this is the result of one of those sketches.  It's not quite done, it's given me a bit of a hard time, kind of like Chester himself, lol, but it's a whisper away from finished.
What makes this especially poignant, is that the centuries old maple in my painting has fallen over in the ensuing weeks, another fallen giant.

On a cheerier note I've had a successful run at the Westland Square Foot Show, Antler River Spring, and Mow Lines have both found new homes, and the show's not over until Aug 9th, so if you get a chance get to Wortley Village and see the show. Don's Dang Hill is still there,
it would be nice to have it find a home too. Thank you Westland.

Sumac Lace #3 has also found a new home, thank you Art Emporium.

This month I have submissions to make to both St Thomas Elgin Public Art Center (STEPAC), and Art With Panache in London. Chester will be going to London and Where The Road Dips will go to ST Thomas.

Also on the easel -I work on a couple of paintings at once, drying time being what it is-
sketches transferred to terraskin, and Plein Aire initial sketches. add to my tally, Going Down The Line


Solo Show Count Down 

Weeks to self imposed deadline 21, Weeks to opening 33,

Works completed 11, Works needed minimum 15-20 (more if smallish)

Back to work for this girl!!!

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What's on my easel this month...

Barely begun, I've just started to build sculptured layers on this one. The sketch is one of an old disused farm lane, that I've painted several times  Each time it's told me a different tale, and each painting is completely different from the others.  I often make the human habitats inconsequential to the land it's self, and the ruined farm house this lane leads to re enforces the feeling I'm striving for, which is why I think I find this scene so appealing.  

I also have a start on a larger and very different view of the same lane. Funnily enough when I was choosing a sketch to work up it didn't even register that I was choosing the same lane from a different perspective!  

News, News, News

All three of my submissions for the Westland Square Foot Show were accepted.
  Don's Dang Hill, $190.00, I think I told you how within two weeks on me completing the sketch for this, the county filled in the hollow... disappearing landscapes my friend, disappear.
Mow Lines, $190.00, it's haying season!
Antler River Spring. $190.00 Delaware after the spring floods.

And here's the info...

Also you'll be happy to know that Elgin Panorama, Skyward, and Tropical Vacation have all found new homes, thank you Art Emporium.

Disappearing Landscapes Solo Show count down...
Goal 12-15 paintings, Finished 9, time till self imposed deadline 25 weeks, time till opening 42 weeks

Recently finished:

Rural Geometry, 12x16.  Early summer along Carriage Road, the land is flat as a pancake in this stretch, and the farrows created perfect geometry.  Now just a few weeks later corn has popped up, creating a totally different look to the fields.
Along Carriage Road 12x16. the other end of Carriage Road is completely different, Delaware Creek has carved the land.  It's just a trickle now, but the story is told in  undulating land of a much mightier stream in times long past.  I've added another couple of glazes to this one since I took this photo, I'm allowed...

Truman and Highbury, this one might still get a few glaze layers.  I keep coming back to it.  We'll see.

Time for me to get back to work!!!   See you at the Westland Show.

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

May June Newsletter

What's On Robin's Easel?

This is the much anticipated  Port Stanley Guild Show weekend.

And of course I have several works in the show, but first lets recap the month... The Lambeth Art Association Show was a wonderful booming success, you'll be happy to know that both Mother Tree, and Sparta Line Spring found new homes.

As I had anticipated it was a crazy 4 weeks, but not for any of the reasons I had thought, you know the old saying ' If you want to make God laugh, make plans' yup it was kinda like that... Complications in elder care, an accident-me, and heart surgery-hubby. We are all alright and ready to resume our missions, this was just an interlude. I still managed to get work ready for both the Port Stanley Show, and the Art Exchange Square Foot Show.
Here's my line up for the PSAG Show

I apologize for the glare on Yarmouth Center Swale, I almost forgot to take it's picture, and took one as I was handing it over for the PSAG Sale.
I drive Yarmouth Center on a regular basis, this swale  always fascinates me, it's an anomaly in an other wise flat field. I wonder if glacial run off caused this impressive depression? Or if a chunk of ice was left behind and slowly melted as soil was deposited around it by melt waters. It's a welcome oasis for the deer, turkey, and other creatures I see using it for shelter and food. 12x16  $210.00

Manitoulin Spring, 9x12, $190.00, There is a reason it's called God's country, and is one of my favorite places on Earth. I know most people would have painted a lake scene, but I like the bones of the land.

Just Outside Of Town, 8x10, $140.00, The vista just south of our village always stirs me, I've painted this a few times, at various times of year, and with the fields in different crops.  There is a proposal in front of the village council to put a gas station/variety store/drive through here :(

Fruit Ridge Line, 8x10, $140.00, another glacial formation, the bank of an inland sea, creates an impressive up slope as seen from Dexter Line.

Also at the show will be Farm Gate, 16x12, $210.00  
The thicket, 9x10,$190.00 looking very washed out here I might add...

and Hello Anole, 8x10 $140.00

I must dash, I'm working this afternoon at the show.

See you there!!!!

My Mentor, Chester Anderson

When I first moved to Belmont one of the first people I met was Chester.
I'd spoken at the horticultural club and in the conversation I mentioned art, no surprise, most conversations eventually get there, lol.
Dinah Lee consequently introduced her husband  and I, and a mentorship was born. 
Some mentors are teachers first, there is a long tradition in the arts of the teacher/mentor, others are more of a guide, introducing the fledgling to people, organizations, and concepts. Chester was of the latter type.  He was a bit crusty, but I've always liked crusty, it keeps you on your toes.
Chester introduced me to the Dorchester Artist Network, a small group that met in the basement of  Thelma, it's founder. We had a show each year, and encouraged each other, but that was about it, which for a group of about 15 people was good.
After a while Chester took me with him to a Port Stanley Guild meeting, where a much larger group of about 40 were doing educational programs, as well as a show, larger and grander than Dorchester, though not as large and grand as it is now, but that after all was over 15 years ago...
The thread of life unspools, first Sandy, then Thelma passed, and the Dorchester group disbanded.  Chester, already elderly and not well, eventually stopped going to art groups, and I'm ashamed to say I didn't stay in touch. a couple of years ago he went into long term care.  This spring they held an art show just for Chester, I didn't go as I was teaching that afternoon in another long term care facility. I hope he received my well wishes, I truly regret not being able to deliver them myself. 
I never told Chester how much he meant to me, how his faith in my abilities, and support changed my life, now, it's too late.
I stopped in to his funeral today, gave Dinah Lee a hug but I didn't stay.  I didn't see any of the art crowd there, but  then again most of the Dorchester group are gone, and I'm not sure how many of the current Port group would remember Chester.
I for one will never forget him.
Afterwards I took my pastels and revisited some of the places we had sketched and painted. It seemed the most fitting way to remember him.
I think that when I work the sketches up into paintings, one will have to be named for him, my way of memorializing a kindred soul, Chester. 

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