My Artist's Life

Some days my life is quite black and white, on other days my life is full of color.
Some days I'm a little flippant, and on's just all business.


A huge thanks for contributing your thoughts.
Enjoy your visit,

Sunlit Tulips

Watercolor on 300# Arches
17 1/2 x 11 1/2
Original Watercolor

This is one of my most recent watercolors. Spring is in the air...I know it's a bit early to see tulips in bloom, at least here in central Illinois. Yet, I simply couldn't resist. This photo has been in my files for a couple of years now and I figured it was time to see if I could do it justice with a watercolor painting.

I was particularly attracted to the angle of the photo and the way the light and shadows played around on the petals. I will admit, the colors you see here are a tad more vibrant than my reference...but that is our option as artists isn't it?  I felt the title Sunlit Tulips was appropriate.

I always thought I would use this reference photo for a drawing...I'm glad I held off and chose to do a watercolor instead.


Mark 11:24
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Mark 11:23-25 (in Context)

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An Artist Lost a Sale Today...was it you?

"Red Grapes and Crystal"

Original Watercolor - on paper


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I may not purchase enough fine art to be called a "Collector"...but I do purchase original pieces for myself and as gifts.

I found the perfect piece today for a friend. THERE WAS NO PRICE LISTED...I will not chase an artist down to find out the price of their work.

True, the price if listed, could have been more than I wanted to spend and the sale would have been lost anyway...but don't make me contact you and wait for an answer and don't make me embarrass my self if the price is more than I can afford. Pricing your work allows me to make this decision before I contact you.

Think about it. If you were car shopping and found what you thought to be the perfect vehicle...Would you want to chase down a salesman and then wait for him to contact you with the price.

How about those new shoes or the jacket you found at the boutique. Lets just say that the clerk said she would have to contact her boss to find out the price and would send you an email in a day or so.

Tell me, is this the way you would like to shop? The situation here is no different. If you are in the retail business...and want to sell your art...pleeeeease put a price on it.




FINAL THOUGHT: Will posting prices increase your sales? I can only say, it would have increased the sales of one artist in particular. Were you that artist?

Just so you know, I'm still shopping for that gift for my friend.

Website ...Marsha Robinett Fine Art
My Squidoo ...Drawing Techniques

PS...make a "Point"...leave a comment

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Christmas Gem..Chocolate Covered Strawberries

"Chocolate Covered Strawberries"

Acrylic on Canvas

5.5 x 5  SOLD


Do I really need to describe this painting? Chocolate covered strawberries...what a delight.  This was painted during the Christmas season mainly because the colors were appropriate.  Lets face it - we all know at least one person that would just die without their chocolate fix.

I'm posting this here even though it is already sold.  I tried to do a box of chocolates previously as a drawing and as a watercolor. The drawing simply lost it's appeal without color.  The watercolor...well, I'm embarrassed to admit but the chocolates always looked like 'dirt'.  (another case where watercolor got the best of me)

This little painting is my favorite of the little Christmas Gems, at least so far.  Can't you smell the chocolate and strawberries?

If you are one of those people that can't live without your chocolate fix, hang in there - I will be doing more in the future.



1 Chronicles 16:8
Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.
1 Chronicles 16:7-9   (in context)

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A Thanksgiving Day Prayer



We Give Thanks

author unknown


Lord, so often times, as any other day
When we sit down to our meal and pray

We hurry along and make fast the blessing
Thanks, amen. Now please pass the dressing

We're slaves to the olfactory overload
We must rush our prayer before the food gets cold

But Lord, I'd like to take a few minute more
To really give thanks to what I'm thankful for

For my family, my health, a nice soft bed
My friends, my freedom, a roof over my head

Thankful Lord, that You've blessed me beyond measure
Thankful that in my heart lives life's greatest treasure

That You, dear Jesus, reside in that place
And I'm ever so grateful for Your unending grace




Psalms 126:3

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.

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Another "Little Christmas Gem"

"Snow Bound"

5 x 10.5

Acrylic on canvas


Click here to Purchase


This little acrylic painting is a contrast in texture.  The soft billowy snow, the fragile glass Christmas ornaments and the strength of the evergreen branches.

This painting was both fun and challenging. Trying to make the 'mound' of white on the colorful ornaments look like snow almost wore me to a frazle!  In the end, I am happy.  Still getting accustomed to working with acrylics but liking them more and more with each painting I do.

This little gem is mounted on acid free foam core board and could easily sit in an easel unframed.


Psalm 107:29
He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.
Psalm 107:28-30 (in Context)

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Photos of my 'newly' Renovated Studio

My 'newly renovated' work space.



In my last blog post I mentioned that my studio had gone through a major renovation. This prompted several of you to send emails asking for pictures.  After nearly three months packed up in crates, I have everything pretty much back in order.

My studio is an example of creative thinking.  It is my 'den', my 'FASO tech support work station', and my 'art studio'.  As you take the tour around the room you will see what I am talking about.

The white furniture you see are the remains of an old bedroom suite.  It is the 'wall hugging' modular type you might see in a childs room.  The chests are only 19' deep and 29' tall.  The perfect desk height.

I've used glass coffee table tops to create 'work spaces' between the chests for my computer station and my painting area.  I found the glass at Hobby Lobby...quite reasonably priced.  

"My Nest" "My FASO Computer Desk"


I've always had a need for a "Nest".  This is my comfortable chair, with everything I need close at hand.  I sit here to THINK and read.  There are pads of paper and pencils in the basket beside the chair.  I can make quick sketches or even do a not too large lay out drawing. 


The small table is handy for a 'drink' and even has a favorite scented candle on it.  My Bose Radio is on the chest to the right...for playing some 'soft jazz' to stimulate my creativity.  A foot stool for my feet, a glass of wine, some soft music - what more could you ask for.


The second picture is my FASO work station.  For those FASO artists who have spoken with me during a Tech Support call...(I'm sitting in the white office chair right in front of the window).  Here you see how the glass coffee table top works as a computer desk.  Everything is close at hand.  I can reach to my right and grab something from the printer, the drawers to the left contain the usual office supplies and a few frequently accessed files.


"Painting Area" "Close-up of glass top"


The photo above on the left is of my painting area.  This is on the wall opposite my 'nest'.  Once again you see the glass I used to create a work area for the art side of my world.  The coffee table glass is 28" deep and 52" long. Extending out further than the depth of the chests, it provides a nice sized area to paint and draw. 


I do smaller works most of the time, when working on larger pieces I use an easel - but I still try to sit to paint.  I've stood 35 years as a hairdresser...I'm done standing, the body just wont take it any more.


The TV and the books to either side of the work space are sitting on what used to be book shelves hanging on the walls.  I painted the book shelves the same color as the chests, turned them upside down and used them as 'risers' for the TV.  The basket under the shelf on the right holds my most used drawing supplies.


"Work Station"


Directly across from my FASO computer desk  is the Work Station where I do my final lay out drawings.  The table shown is a counter height bar table I picked up at a garage sale for $10.   I had to replace the glass top...but still a steal for the price!  It works perfectly.  Some times I stand others I perch my self on the stool. 


The cabinets on either side of the table were actually made for 'stampers'.  I use them for various painting supplies.  I also have several drawers dedicated to projects I'm working on...unfinished drawings, painting sketches, pre-cut mat boards and probably a few other things I've forgotten about.  Just a great place to stash what you don't want laying out.


Well, I believe that concludes the 'studio tour'...just short of opening the closet doors, (and you really wouldn't want to see that)!



Now I think you should share photos of your studio set up.  It would be interesting to see how other artists have adapted their space.  After all, we are creative people at heart and making something work is part of that.  You'll have to come back and post a link when your pictures are up so others can follow you.



Genesis 9:16
Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
Genesis 9:15-17 (in Context)

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New Acrylic Painting - A Little Christmas Gem


"Hot Chocolate with Peppermint"

It's been way too long since I posted to my blog.  My studio has been a construction zone for months...most everything packed into crates.  I've been almost crawling inside with the need to 'create'.  It would take another artist to understand this feeling. I'm bursting with ideas and the need to 'smear some paint around'.

My studio has a fresh new look.  New flooring and fresh painted walls. It's so organized I can't find a thing!  Such a pleasant place to work.  I almost hate to mess it up:)

This 'Little Christmas Gem' is one of my first attempts at using acrylic paints.  Painting with acrylics is quite a change of mind set compared to watercolors.  I have to say I really enjoyed this little painting and I'm excited to do more.  I wanted to do some small works that could be sold reasonable enough to use for the holidays and pack away until next year.

I can still smell the chocolate and peppermint.  Can't you?



Psalm 23:5

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Psalm 23:4-6 (in Context) 

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Bold Brush Art Competition


The Fork and Spoon Club

Limited Edition Print



I stepped out of the 'box' a little here and entered a 'Painting Contest'. got it, I entered a carbon pencil drawing. 


Not to offend anyone, but I've always wondered why Colored Pencil and Pastel are considered 'Paintings' when they are not a 'wet' medium.  I don't see any real difference between them and graphite or carbon other than the obvious color.  Seems a tad biased to me:)


Anyway my goal was not to win, but to perhaps create some interest and garner some 'facebook like' votes.  Hoping for enough to keep me on the top row of the Most Popular Page. 


I know, it sounds nuts to enter a painting contest with a drawing when you don't expect to win.  Marketing does get my name and my work out there for others to see - and that is what it is all about.


Sooooooooooooo with all the above said - I sure could use your votes.  The catch is must vote from the contest website for it to count. 




If you're inclined to help a 'lowley carbon pencil drawing'

rise to the top of the Most Popular Page 

Click here to go to the contest site and VOTE by clicking on the 'like' button




Job 6:11
“What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects, that I should be patient?
Job 6:10-12 (in Context)

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Thinking Spring..."ok, I know it's a tad early but tired of snow"

African Violets

This is one of the latest from my "little paintbox". Yes, I've been splashing the paint around again. My framer is getting ready to do her Spring and Summer window. I paint and she frames and displays...a great relationship.

African Violets always remind me of my Grandmother. I remember how she would start new plants from a single leaf. I found the whole process quite fascinating as a child. When the plants were mature and had blooms...she would carefully wrap the pot in colorful cloth scraps and present them to others as gifts.

She took such care of them...and of course had all these little secret potions. I never learned what she put in the water and certainly did not inherit her green thumb.
Original Watercolor
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1 Corinthians 3:7
So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
1 Corinthians 3:6-8 (in Context)

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Wishing you a very Merry Christmas

Merry Breanna


I thought I would share the artwork of a budding young artist.  My niece Breanna is just 4 years old and loves her bright colors.  She has given me several of her cherished drawings and coloring book pages over the years. Each one is a treasure.


I don't get to see her as often as I would like but when together we have a really special connection.  She says she is an artist just like 'Aunt Marsha', and of course I totally agree.


She went into great detail to explain that in this drawing she is the figure in green and the circles on the sides of her hair are bows.  I am the figure in purple.  There are presents under the tree and of course the 'bowl' that the tree stands in.  The ornaments each have a little hanger so they won't fall off and there is a bright yellow star at the very top of the tree.


However, Breanna is most proud of the orange and blue 'ceiling'.  Breanna lives in Champaign, Illinois and was quick to make sure I understood that 'orange and blue' were the University of Illinois colors. She comes by this honestly as Dad is an Assistant Wrestling Coach for the U of I.


Good 'artist genes' run in this family.  Mom and Grandma are both gifted artists in their own right.  I'm proud to be one of Breanna's first official 'collectors'.  Who knows...these may be valuable some day.  Just think, how much would a Monet or Van Gogh childhood drawing sell for today?!



Breanna and I both wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas Holiday and a blessed New Year.  Remember why we celebrate and see you next year.



Matthew 11:25
[ The Father Revealed in the Son ] At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.
Matthew 11:24-26 (in Context)

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Christmas Portrait Commission...Finished

This is the finished portrait of Liam.  I'm certain I will do a few more all we artist do.  I will keep it sitting around for a few days just critiquing it as I walk by.  I still need to make arrangements to have it high resolution scanned so I can make a print for Grandma and Grandpa.  The original drawing is a gift for their son and daughter-in-law for Christmas. 

The main reference photo has a lot of light coming in on the left so his hair is reflecting quite a bit on that side...showing much lighter.  I'm not certain..but may add a few more mid tones in that area.  Liam was wearing a gray sweat shirt in the main reference photo and I could see in the drawing that the value of the shirt were so close to his face that it wasn't going to work.  I took my 'liberties' as an artist and made the shirt dark.  The change really brought attention to his 'dancing' eyes.

Grandma and Grandpa said Liam was active and a real clown...I wanted to capture this feeling in the drawing.  I've always felt that the 'personality' of a person is in their eyes.  If you can capture that feeling, you've done your job.  The outgoing personality I saw in the photo references coupled with that award winning smile and those eyelashes...this young man is going to be a real lady killer.  I imagine Liam already has Grandma in his pocket:)

Enjoy...I'm anxious for your comments.



Psalm 34:11
Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Psalm 34:10-12 (in Context)

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Christmas Portrait Commission...WIP

This portrait commission is especially fun to do.  Grandma and Grandpa commissioned a portrait of their first grandson, Brennan, a couple of years ago.  Liam is grandson #2...and again is a Christmas present for their Son and his wife.  I understand there is a third on the way...expected yet this year!

The first photo reference (above) is the one we decided on.  I flipped the two boys would be looking at each other.  In fact, my idea is to hang the portrait of Liam to the left and a bit below Brennan. He would then appear to be looking up at his older brother.

Below are the two additional photos I'm using for reference and a couple of WIP photos.  The latter are not the best...the lighting is a bit off and I didn't spend a lot of time color correcting.  


WIP Photo #1.

You can see here that I started as usual on the left as I am right handed.  This helps to keep my hands out of my work.

I always start on the eyes first.  If I can't get the eyes all is lost.  The shadowing on Liam's face has been done with a Chamois and paint brush.  

The darks on the eyes were applied directly to the paper with the pencil.

(what else but Carbon Pencil!)


WIP Photo #2

Well, things are beginning to look pun intended.  The eyes are done, except for tweaking and the shadows are beginning to develop the shape of Liam's face.

The open mouth was a bit of a challenge..still some work to be done here.

The hair and background are next.  Liam's hair is a medium  blond or light brown.  Even though I am a hairdresser...drawing hair is always a challenge.  An then's back to the drawing board.  Wanted to take a few min to share the progress with you and of course with Grandma and Grandpa.  I will post again as the drawing progresses. 

As usual, I'm open to your comments.


Galatians 3:26
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,
Galatians 3:25-27 (in Context)

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Opening Night

Opening Night...David Strawn Art Gallery

Saturday November 6, 2010


The photo above isn't even a third of the people who came to my opening night at the David Strawn Art Gallery.  There were so many familiar faces...some I had not seen in years.  The evening was very humbling and exhilarating, all at the same time.  There were two main gallery rooms and an entrance hall.  The walls were filled with my Paintings and Drawings and the rooms were filled with people. 


I gave a 'gallery talk' and my niece took the photos below...I never realized that I was this animated when I spoke, but my daughter was quick to chime in with "You certainly are..this is exactly how you talk".  So much for what I perceived as the 'professional me'!

Secondary Gallery room...


The image above is of the smaller gallery room where my drawings hung...a total of 22. You can see a few on the wall behind the people.

I wanted to show you the beautiful hors d'oeuvres table set up by Nick and Jeanie Xamis but couldn't get a clear photo for all the people in the room.  Nick and Jeanie prepared an array of Greek delicacies for the evenings enjoyment.  Everything from beautiful chocolates to savory quiche and meats.

To top the evening off with the perfect atmosphere there was music.  I'm not certain of the instrument shown here but it played the most lovely tone and the song selections were perfect.  My great niece is shown here trying her hand at 'making music'. 

Earlier they had been singing 'Itsy Bitsy Spider' and she was doing the animations.   You can see a few of my portraits hanging on the wall in the background.


I wouldn't have changed a thing about the evening. I was surrounded by friends and my family. I met so many lovely new people and reconnected with others.  I sold several pieces that night.  The exhibit will hang until the end of November.  Who could ask for more!


On a final note:  My art career did not start until later in life and I want to say a special thank you to all those who have encouraged me along the way, (even those of you who 'gently' pushed me).  You know who you are so no need to mention names:)  Please know what a blessing you have been and how much I appreciate you.




Psalm 5:11
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love  your name may rejoice in you.
Psalm 5:10-12 (in Context)

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Coming up for Air

Apples and Cherries

Original Watercolor
7 x 11
Purchase securely through PayPal
$75's certainly been awhile since I've sat here to post on my blog. 
Getting ready for this one artist show has consumed my free time.  ALL the paintings  and drawings are done now, (framed, priced, and cataloged)... ready to pack into crates for the trip to the David Strawn Art Gallery in Jacksonville, Ill on Sunday.

They will be hanging everything (all 63 Original Drawings and Watercolors) this next next week. The show will hang through the month of November.  They are all photographed and uploaded to my Portfolio if you would like to take a peek.

I will be teaching a drawing workshop earlier in the day on November 6th and I still have some preparation to complete for that. Normally my workshops are at the very least a full day, sometimes two days. 

This little workshop is only 4 hours.  Getting my information cut down and still insuring they come away with the basics of what they need has been a challenge.  I don't expect them to complete a drawing but do want them to know and understand the techniques I use.

Getting the Original Paintings and Drawings done for this show and preparing for the workshop has proven to be a huge undertaking and some things just had to be laid aside.  I've missed writing and missed all of you who leave comments and send emails.  I've even been remiss in answering some of my emails.  I've felt as though in some ways I've abandoned my little community of followers and I apologize.

Thus..."Coming up for Air".  The art is ready and it is such a relief.  In order to keep my focus and my creativity channeled I had to submerge myself and allot all my free time to this project.  It's amazing that now as it comes to completion that I still have that adrenalin flow.  I guess I simply have not come down yet.  I just pray it lasts through the show.  November 6 is going to be a long day with the workshop and the opening night!

I then fly out on the following Monday to visit my Daughter in New York for a week.  (I think I will pack my pillow for the plane ride.)

I thank you always for your support and encouragement.

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I would love to have you come to the Opening Reception at the David Strawn Art Gallery on Saturday November 6th, from 6-8pm.  You can access a map at the following link.  Feel free to contact me for additional information.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Ephesians 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Ephesians 1:2-4 (in Context)

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Lemons in Blue

I've been a painting fool of late.  My blog and my newsletter have both suffered.  As most of you know I'm under the gun to get 60 pieces together for my show in November.  The creative juices seem to be flowing and need to make good use of it while it lasts.

Lemons in Blue was painted earlier this summer and framed before I could get a good photo.  Actually, if totally honest I was going to throw it away because I didn't think it was good enough.  Everyone had a fit so I said "fine, frame it and we will see what happens."  Well...guess what, It sold this week and my framer kindly removed it from the frame so I could get this shot. 

As any artist, I'm always excited when a piece sells...but at the moment the word 'sold' has a double edge to it. Between now and November, when a piece sells it means I need to paint another to replace it.

The moral of the story...don't judge your art so harshly.


John 8:15
You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one.
John 8:14-16 (in Context)

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