Expressive Brush of Robin Baratta

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Sunday, January 24, 2021

December 2020 Newsletter


What's On Robin's Easel This Month?

Problem Child


Some births are easy...
Some just don't wanna...

Pastoral  has been taking waaay too much time and brain power. I think maybe I finally have it, it's sitting in a quite corner thinking about it's behaviour, then we'll see if we agree that it's ready to go out into the world.  The cow's started out as Holsteins, but I just couldn't get mostly white cattle to work in a high Chroma  painting, so now they're Angus. They 'fit' much better, but that change brings it's own challenges, I didn't want black holes, they had to still be cows.  

Fortunately all of the other 'births' this month have been easy.

Kettle Valley 12x16, glazed acrylic, $240.00 Buy now

We walk with our extra large pup, along the Kettle Creek almost daily, unless there's a monsoon and the valley becomes a lake. This is the view from the crest of the hill, just before the trail head. It's our happy place.

You may remember me saying that I was planning on doing several smaller works, potentially for both the STEPAC gift shop, and the Art Emporium?  Here are a few that are finished, and there are more on my easel!

Stalking the Marsh, 4x4, glazed acrylic, $60.00 buy now

The  coastal salt marsh of the South Carolina Low Country, is the birth place of much of the ocean's life. It's also home to many who feed on the creatures that are born, and live there. The magnificent herons, and their kin, are a constant presence-stalking the marsh.

Junction, 6x6, glazed acrylic, $75.00 buy now

Junction: A place of meeting or joining. Once, all was forest, then came the colonizers, who took down much of the forest. Pockets remain, and as it is the will of nature to grow and also to colonize, the junctions where field and forest meet are the site of a subtle battle.

Donnybrook Island, 6x6, glazed acrylic, $75.00 buy now

Pockets of life, islands of diversity, home to many, safe haven.

Happy Almost 2021

I've heard this week between Christmas and New Years called the limbo week, the week when the year is over, but it's not. I prefer to think of it as the week of anticipation, a time to rest, and plan, and even dream of what the new year will look like, and how we'll live in it.
I think many of us this year in particular, are anxious to move forward. Living through a historical event has been interesting to say the lest, and something most of us have no desire to repeat. It gives us greater perspective though, on what previous generations have endured, much of it far far worse than this. So here's to a better year, lets kick 2020 to the curb and move forward into 2021 with a smile in our hearts.

I would like to thank all of you for your kind words, and purchases this year.

Spring Tree, posted in last months newsletter found a new home, and my covid pivot with my business Expressive Brush has been slowly but surely building momentum, Project Packs are available for creatives of all ages, on my teaching website  

I truly appreciate you all, and wish you the best for the New Year, HERE'S TO 2021

and yes this is a Project Pack  (shameless self advertisement)  

Until next month

Friday, December 25, 2020

November Newsletter

What's On Robin's Easel This Month?

the messy studio 

Ok where do I start....

My Solo Show at STEPAC has been moved up to coincide with the women's exhibit the Art Centre is putting on, July 24-September 4 2021.

So the countdown, has sped up, a lot! I have lots of work, but I decided to change up some of the smaller pieces for larger sized ones.  Pastoral-above, is almost done and is going to be one of those. I guess its a good thing (she says through her tears) that we can't go south to our snowbird getaway this year, I can work on those larger works instead... 
I'm also working on a bunch of small works, 6x6 4x12, and 4x4. If you follow me on either instagram (robinbaratttaartist) or facebook (Robin L Baratta) you'll see them as they come. I also post a lot of work in
progress...if you want to watch paint dry with me lol. 
This little guy is Spring Tree, 4x12. $145.00 buy now

Also, many of you know that for many years I've presented Art/Horticultural programing in Long Term Care. With Covid turning our world upside down, independent contractors aren't able to work in LTC. It's going to be a Loooooong time before that changes.
Meanwhile our seniors are under stimulated, and bored. The rec staff are trying their best to replace all of those services, but as one of my contacts said, it's a lot of work, and they just don't have the time and often the experience to come up with specialized programs. 
So, over the last few months I've been developing Project Packs, complete with all supplies, and instructions.  So far the response has been encouraging! I may not be able to see the smiles on the faces of my 'art peep's' but I can at lest know they're happening.   
if you'd like more info on this endeavour please go the Project Pack website  and take a look.  All feedback welcome, and orders too!

The Miniature Show is still on at St Thomas Public Art Centre  I still have work available there.
And... all three of the pieces that I had in the Westland Square Foot show have found new homes, Yay!


Until next month, stay safe, stay well!

Monday, October 19, 2020

Newsletter Oct 2020


What's On Robin's Easel This Month?

Pastoral, Early Stages

This is going to be a 24x30, which is just about as big a painting as I can comfortably do in my tiny studio.  Once upon a time I did a lot of animal paintings, wildlife, dog and cat portraits, even a bull once, but that was in a much more traditional style, so this is both a trip in the way back machine, and a stretch outside of my comfort zone. I'm on day three of building the relief image, and then I have to give it time to dry completely before I start to glaze.  It's a process. 
I promised you show news, yes there are a couple coming up for all of us art show starved folk! I have three going into the Westland Square Foot Show...
Yorke Line                             Spring Runoff                    Rill

all 12x12, glazed acrylic, on wooden cradled panel. That show opens Wednesday, November 18th and runs until Dec 24th, you'll need to make an appointment to see the work, and it'll be online too.

Also I have work going into the St Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre's Mini show November 14- Dec 19 at STEPAC  
301 Talbot St St Thomas

Spring Bouquet                    Take The Long View          On The Fence
all 4x4, on cradled wooden panel 
I seem to be into squares this month! also just finished is... 

Along Old Vic. 16x16, glazed acrylic on cradled wooden panel, CDN $295.00 buy now

Old Vic (Old Victoria Rd S) is one of those forgotten rural roads, mostly used by farm equipment.  Home to falling down barns, homesteads and gently rolling landscapes, the patterns of the land speak to me of things past. GPS 42°53'35.0"N 81°07'40.6"W

Stay Safe, Stay Happy
Until next month

Monday, September 28, 2020

Newsletter August 2020


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What's on Robin's Easel This Month?

Barely begun, working title Yorke Line, and half done-as yet un-named, do you have a suggestion?

First, thank you for being here!

You possibly got a message in lue of a newsletter in August.   Unfortunately someone choose to report my newsletter as spam, and well....I'm back but it took some jumping through hoops.

It's also been an interesting month on other fronts. 

Yup yours truly had a little storm damage... The  tornados in June and July missed us, but as they say three's the charm, and our gazebo ended up on top of our sunroom. We're still working with the adjusters, we're getting a new gazebo, and probably a new sunroom. I'm not sure how I feel about that.
Because it's 2020 we also found out the hard way that there's a back order for refrigerator parts, and new fridges. 

To the ART news!

Most of you know that I present Art/Horticultural programing in Long Term Care.  With the ongoing Covid Crisis, I'm not able to work in LTC and I miss my 'art-peeps' dreadfully. I know from my friends who work in recreation/lifestyle enrichment that the residents are suffering from the lack of programing too, the staff do the best they can, but they hire people like me to fill in the gaps. 
So I'm pivoting......just like every other small business lol, and putting together project packages, for the staff and family caregivers to purchase and use with the residents.  The website isn't live yet, but a link will be here 
as soon as it's ready. I'm aiming for a Thanksgiving roll out. 

Westland Gallery's square foot show is going November 18-December 24 and I have three pieces going in.

Spring Runoff, 12x12 glazed acrylic

Rill, glazed acrylic, 12x12

and the barely begun Yorke Line, in the first  picture above, on my work table.

Also completed since we visited last is 

Drumlin, 16x20, glazed acrylic, $360.00 go here to purchase

There will also be a mini show at the St Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre, November 14th to December 19th, that I'll have a few pieces in!

As always check out my website, follow me on FaceBook, and Instagram @robinbarattaartist and we'll keep in touch!
Stay safe, stay strong and above all, stay healthy!


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!

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