Archive for the 'General Update' Category

Color Palette – Concrete Pavement & Confetti

concrete pavement and confetti color palette

A few years ago I quickly drew out this color palette for my own personal color scheme in the old Paper by 53 app (RIP, for the way it used to be). I called this palette Concrete Pavement & Confetti. The title pretty much sums up my color aesthetic.

Color Inspiration Pinterest board robayre

Even looking at my “Color Inspiration” board on pinterest, you can see the same overall color scheme. Lots of neutrals, but with plenty of pops of candy colors. It feels exciting and unexpected and joyful, like just happening upon someone’s leftover piñata that had exploded all over the street.

After uploading the above images, I just happened to notice that two of the most recent other images I had uploaded…

Happy THURSDAY! #robayrenecklaces
Today is my best friend’s birthday. We’ve been friends and known each other since kindergarten. When we were adults we realized we both had a shared but separate memory of a little store on the south side of town. It would have probably been categorized a

also fell squarely into this same color palette and that made me

SO HAPPY!

(disclaimer – the original palette from the Paper app has been downloaded and emailed and uploaded and downloaded and adjusted and then uploaded again so many times on so many different platforms that the color shifts each time, but whatever. Sometimes I wonder what it says about me for not caring, or even noticing such subtleties, because “REAL DESIGNERS” would supposedly be crawling out of their skin by such inconsistencies, but I will no longer be shamed)

Art-o-mat Series Within a Series

When I first started this latest series of Art-o-mat paintings, I wanted to GO-GO-GO! And just crank out a series as fast as possible, experiment a lot and hopefully develop some as an artist. In the end, it took me SIX YEARS to finally send the series out. I started out experimenting and just trying to be quick and casual, these are only $5 paintings after all.

Whenever I think about these pieces I like to imagine and hope that the purchaser is STOKED and feels like they won the jackpot and definitely got way more than their $5 worth, and I started worrying that if I was going too free and easy that people would be bummed. I definitely went back and reworked a bunch of the early paintings and redid some of them entirely. Halfway through I realized I was finding much more enjoyment working on pieces that may take longer, and in the end looking back I realized that I had 3 mini series within the collection of 50.

Art-o-mat

These grass quote paintings weren’t original to this series, as I’ve been making these for years in many different sizes and mediums even. Though, the very first ever painting in this style was painted on a small canvas, but for the Found Art Tuesday project.

I noted before that as I started this third series for Art-o-mat I wanted to work quickly (didn’t happen) and experiment a lot (happened in the beginning). A third to half of the way through I ended up doing a lot of my standard go-to styles, including gr

Also, not original to this series, I had a number of these grass portrait paintings.

Art-o-mat

Then, in the final 10/50, I returned to my Art-o-mat II series, where I made collages and then made paintings of those. In that previous series all the collages were made from printed and commercially decorated papers. My style has changed now, and I try to stick to my own decorated papers (usually pulled from gelatin prints and my own handcut paper stencils), and I made 10 paintings from those collages. The canvas paintings are above and the original collages in my sketchbook are below for reference.

Art-o-matArt-o-mat

Art-o-mat 41-50

The Fourth installment of 50 Art-o-mat III paintings

And if you are interested in seeing the previous posts:

Art-o-mat Series III

Paintings 1-10

Paintings 11-20

Paintings 21-30

Paintings 31-40

 
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Art-o-mat 42
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Art-o-mat 46
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Art-o-mat 44
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Tiny Sketchbook Project

Tiny Sketchbook Project

In 2009 and 2010 I created year long to-do lists. I loved creating and working towards crossing off things on those lists, but in 2011 when I still had a long list of leftovers (things that I still hadn’t crossed off yet) I decided to halt making new lists until I could catch up. (spoiler alert: I’ve never caught up). One item on my 2009 list (#23) was to send in my Sketchbook Project book. The project was brand new (still under the ArtHouse Co-op) when I purchased the sketchbook to participate. When the book I bought arrived I was SO deflated when I found what I expected to be a “real sketchbook” (ya know, thicker quality paper, possibly even a hard cover) was actually just a literal Moleskine cahier (ya know, super thin, flimsy paper, soft cover). It even had the pressed Moleskine logo in the back. I am not saying that the cahiers are bad, but at the time I was kind of snobbish and narrow minded about sketchbooks and that they were for literally sketching and making artwork in. Now I am more accepting to the idea of “sketchbooks” as being artists books in general. All the same, I spent enough on this moleskine that I felt I really should participate and added it to my to-do list. BUT, I could never make myself actually work in the book. I held on to it for soooo many years before I think I finally just used it for something else. Sadly.

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Fast forward to 2018 and one item on my 2009 list has haunted me… Send in my Sketchbook Project book. Even though that original book didn’t exist anymore, enough time had passed, and I felt like I knew more about what to expect, so I decided to purchase another book. Shortly after buying that, The Sketchbook Project announced a special project… THE TINY SKETCHBOOK PROJECT! To know me, is to know I love everything on a smaller, tiny scale, so I couldn’t sign up for it fast enough.

Both books arrived and they no longer use Moleskine (though they are very similar, they probably just found it more cost effective to manufacture their own version).

To make my tiny book I went with a yellow theme and ended up using Prisma Art Markers, decorating a lot of paper by hand, and then cut and pasted into the tiny journal I was sent. (The top image in the post shows how I worked on my layouts). I had originally planned on doing a lot of the One Staple Collage technique, but it only took a page or two before I realized my book was going to get waaaaay too thick, so I limited the staples and even with just regular collage my book ended up being so thick I was afraid the cover would split when closed, so I had to remove a few spreads in the center.

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I finished and sent my book in by the deadline and so I count that as a HUGE SUCCESS and am crossing off that item on my 2009 list. When I ordered the book, I paid extra for “digitizing” so hopefully they will get it scanned in soon and people can virtually check out my book online, as well checking it out irl at the Brooklyn Art Library and when it travels (by suitcase) to fun destinations.

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Somehow I got the book to fit in the tiny little envelope. I took pictures of each of the spreads, and you can see those and more here in my flickr photo album for the book

While some things change, some things stay the same. 10 years later and I sent in my Tiny Sketchbook Project, but guess what? I stillll have the regular Sketchbook Project book. Fortunately I now know that I can still send it in late, and I’ve made plenty of progress on it. (word to the wise: If I had known that you can send in any old sketchbook project book late, I would never have torn out the label in my first sketchbook project book).

Chalkboard Calendars for Autumn and Winter

I really just post these for myself, and I don’t think anyone that wanders over here really cares to read a looooooong list of the little things I did each season, but it does make me feel good to chronicle it. It’s kind of like journaling, and I don’t ever go back and reread what I wrote years ago. Though, I stopped journaling long ago because I only wrote when I was sad or mad and it was depressing to revisit, and these lists are not good or bad, just facts of things that happen, without any commentary on impressions and opinions. It’s nice when people come over, they seem to enjoy reading down the list. Also, when I can often get down on myself about not being busy or productive enough, it’s nice when I post these and can see visually that it’s just not the case.

Seasonal chalkboards

Seasonal chalkboards

This fall and winter were quite an adventure, where Matt quit his job at NIU after working there for about a decade, and decided to start working in trucking again… Car Hauling to be specific. It’s an exciting time and we are both very happy.

Previous Chalkboard Calendar posts right here!

Art-o-mat Series III, paintings 1-10

#100dayprojectthe#100dayproject

I’m participating in the 100 Day Project again this year, after sitting out last year. I’m doing a similar theme asto what I did 3 years ago, and trying to finish up a lot of big projects that I’ve had in progress for a long time. It’s been about 20 days and I’m still feeling very excited and energized. The first major thing checked off my list was wrapping up Pattern January, which I let drag out for almost 4 months. I also finally ordered fabric samples from Spoonflower with my original designs, which was a BIG part of the 100 Day Project for me 2 years ago, but that I never actually finished. I also want to post more to my blog, AND give it a facelift, but more on those things soon.

In the meantime, I need to catch up on sharing my current Art-o-mat series, as promised a few posts back. Here are the first 10 of 50 acrylic paintings, made on handbuilt and stretched tiny canvases. When I started this (my third Art-o-mat series) I really wanted to go super fast and explore all sorts of things and try different ideas to hopefully develop as an artist. In the end I went through a handful of purely experimental pieces, but with 3 solid mini series/styles (grass quote paintings, blades of grass, and paintings of collages made from my own designed and decorated papers (gelatin prints made from handcut paper stencils).

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Art-o-mat Series III
Art-o-mat Series III
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Art-o-mat Series III
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Art-o-mat Series III

And after I finished all my paintings I had the idea of taking a picture of each piece with a different and unique background.
Artomat series III painting number 1
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Artomat series III
Artomat series III
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Artomat series III
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Art-o-mat series III
Art-o-mat Series III

Thank you for reading! Here is the introduction post for this series.

If you are interested in seeing the paintings from my previous 2 Art-o-mat series, you can click through the Flickr collection and albums here

 

Barn Quilt and House Updates

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Over the weekend Matt was itching to hang up my barn quilt. We had taken down our Christmas decorations on the outside of the house, as he was just about to leave for a work trip, and our house looked naked.

My mom, sister and I took a Barn Quilt workshop today. The class and a talk last night were presented by #barn quilt author #SuziParronSmith. I chose the #starflower quilt pattern. Now, to decide where to hang it. I don't think I'm done, and want to makeBarn quilt house staining
My barn quilt in 2016, and 2019, with color updates
A little back story, as it looks like I never shared it originally here (only on instagram). In the summer of 2016 my mom, sister and I were fortunate enough to attend a lecture and workshop by author of Barn Quilts, Suzi Parron. We each made our own small barn quilt. When I got home I wanted to adjust some of the colors on the barn quilt, and our house had been in desperate need of a re-stain (we have cedar siding) so I delayed on having it hung.

Barn Quilt pattern on bag from Society6

Here is the barn quilt that my mom made, along with the tote bag she ordered from Society6 using the Barn Quilt pattern I made. The pattern reproduced very well and I want one for myself :)

Side note: for the record, the barn quilts were simply 2’x2′ preprimed quarter inch plywood. And the paint was simply house paint. You can buy a few small sample cans for cheap, and they will go a long way, mixing to get other colors inbetween. I honestly can’t remember if we used painter’s tape, but if you do, make sure the layers underneath are dry and I highly recommend this brand, as the bleeding underneath is minimal, compared to other brands. That tip actually came from another artist, Cassie Edwards, after I voiced frustration from leaks with other brands on canvas paintings. At the workshop I asked and Suzi said there was no need for additional protective coating. You can do it, but it’s just house paint on wood, and how many people use a protective coating over house paint?

Barn quilt house staining

Fast forward 2 years, Matt decides to leave his job at the university and has enough vacation and sick time to take off quite a bit of time in between work. We FINALLY take action on the house. Matt’s parents, who also have cedar siding and are very experienced in staining, pretty much directed the show, and taught Matt so much. I was still working during the day, but I did a tiny bit of helping here and there where I could.

Barn quilt house staining

We originally thought it would be a week or two project, but Matt and his folks worked, weather permitting, for a month or so. There was so much more that went into it than we originally thought; power washing and sanding old flaking stain, pulling out old caulk, putting in new caulk, replacing A LOT of old bad boards, and then giving the whole house a fresh new stain. Months later and we are still so pleased at what a difference it made, it feels like a new house!

The things I looked forward to most after the house was stained was that we could put up new lights and street numbers on our house and do final finishing touches.

Barn quilt house stainingBarn quilt house staining
Lights before and after, left looks really bad, but it was after it was pressure washed and sanded AND we ended up replacing all of those boards anyway.

The previous lights always shorted out and frankly were there since the house was built in the 80s. When we started shopping we found that those same lights were still available and only cost $15. I was willing to pay a lot more for something that felt more us, AND fit with the home. We went to countless stores and could never agree on anything. Who decided that lights for the front of the house should be styled inspired by old timey lanterns? I wanted something different, but also, our house is not big or fancy, so I wanted something very simple, but simple usually equated to tacky and low quality. I can’t tell you how many trips to how many stores we went to, even shopping online, before we found what appeared to be probably a super low end light, BUT, the ugly stock glass dome it came with can be removed and replaced with a huge variety of domes in plenty of styles. Yahtzee! I even bought some clear glass domes to try and replicate a mercury glass look.

Barn quilt house staining

Not our address, obviously, but more in line with the style that is there now. Also, this picture was taken last fall, hence the pumpkin. 

The house numbers were an easy fix. I searched online for something more custom, but when it came down to it, I just ended up buying a more modern and popular style which could be found at any local hardware store. They didn’t cost much and when we get tired of them or see something that is more fitting to our own specific tastes, it won’t be a great loss.

I’m grateful to Matt’s parents for helping us and teaching Matt so much. The experience gave him the confidence to tackle other home projects and so now the inside of our house has been getting updates bit by bit as well.

Why yes, we have a barn quilt on our garage, and a rainbow wooden floor mat, festive garlands blowing in the wind, magnetic poetry on our front door, and mirrored garlands that give our front lawn a disco effect. As we finished hanging the barn quilt and we took a step back to look at it I told Matt our house has definitely moved into the whimsical af category. He shrugged and said he liked it. I do to!

 

Series III Art-o-mat is FINALLY out!

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I’ve been in a funk for the last couple days, and the fog has lifted! I’m adding things to my t0-do lists and feeling pulled in so many directions. When updating my list I accidentally crossed off that I had already posted about sending out my third Art-o-mat series, so here I am making it right.

Third Art-o-mat series video

When I started my third series I fully intended for it to be a very fast series. My first series was mostly paintings based on images that caught my eye, the second series was paintings based on collages I made. The third series started at the beginning of a new year and I decided that I was just going to explore and paint random things that came to me at the time, and hopefully it would help me grow as an artist quickly. I even aimed to send out multiple series in one year! Years and years later I finally wrapped up 50 paintings with a few smaller series included (grass quote paintings, grass profile paintings, and paintings based on collages from my gelatin printing).

I finally finished designing (and then printing, cutting and folding) my insert for my Art-o-mat series. Now all I need to do is pack them all up and send them off. #robayreartomat

If it hadn’t taken long enough to build each mini canvas, and then paint each piece, once I was done then I started out on a whole new set of obstacles including photographing each piece with a unique background. For almost a year I carried a bag of a few paintings around with me  everywhere I went, looking for the best opportunity to chronicle each piece. THEN, once that was done I photographed each piece again, and the collection and mini collections and then needed to design the packaging and insert for the series. Then package it all up, and make sure they fit the requirements. To say I dragged the whole process out is an understatement.

Art-o-mat Series III

Each series needs to be at least 50 pieces, and Art-0-mat may send 5-10 pieces to different machines and they can sell rather fast. I won’t know where my artwork sold until I get my coveted little green card. Machine owners can request artists and Art-o-mat will try and fulfill those requests as they can. I’m soooo looking forward to seeing where my pieces sold. I also have a new series that I want to work on already.

I’ve been sharing each painting down one column of my instagram feed, and I’m crossing my finger that maybe a buyer or two will spy the artwork they purchased and leave a comment. I think I’ll share a post for each 10 paintings. Meanwhile, feel free to check it out on instagram and follow me over there.

Also, feel free to click over to Flickr to look through all three of my previous Art-o-mat series.

Chicago Renegade 2018

renegade craft haul

I decided this year I wasn’t going to post a Renegade haul, and just not worry about it. Some of the vendors didn’t give me bags or business cards and so I was going to skip the whole thing. Then I started feeling kind of bad for breaking the yearly tradition that’s been going on for probably over a decade.

Chicago Renegade 2018

I gathered up the treasures, many that had already been in heavy use, and took this quick overhead shot. My sister’s items aren’t included, and neither is the Justice of the Pies pie we bought (but you can visit the last couple years’ posts to see what it looks like, as we bought the same one).

As I said before, I’m not sure the artists of a couple of the items.

Top left and clockwise, spiraling in: Oatmeal ceramic knot necklace, Letterspace stationery cards, Stay Home Club stickers and iron on patch, Muro Jewelry necklace, leather bracelet from ?, buttons (I think are from the same artist as the..) stickers, card and notebook by The Little Red House, A Mano ceramic speckled cup, spirit stones and rainbow brooch, and a skull button from Migration Goods.

Renegade 2018 Chicago - Muro jewelry booth

Rosa was back again and so of course I caught another video of people shopping in front of her booth.

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And we (L-R, my sister Chris, Rosa and Me) took another picture.

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I wear this necklace allllll the time. I love it so much.

Past Renegade Haul posts


Mini Circle Series Little Art Book

Mini Circle Series Little Art Book

In August I got it in my head to make a little art book filled with Circle Series pieces. I hadn’t done any Circle Series pieces for a while, so I thought I’d do some mini ones to get the ball rolling. When I started making Circle Series pieces over 10 years ago, it was meant to be very loose and free, but as more and more pieces have been made, I started to be more intimidated that they had to be perfect, which was the direct opposite of the original intention. Working in a small size would hopefully be less intimidating and I could combine it with another love, small art books.

I went to my studio and grabbed a piece of watercolor paper, cut it and folded so each page was a square, accordion style. The pages are 4″ and I think I just jumped right in without any expectations and somehow it ended up in a blue theme, which is not a direction I would have purposefully gone in. I’m just not normally drawn to blue. Greens, reds, yellows, yes, but not blue.

Page 1 of the mini Circle Series #littleartbook I made last week. I shared the 5 page book of mini #robayrecircleseries over at @littleartbook and will share more close ups of the individual pages over here this week. The pages are around 4” square and yo

This piece was definitely inspired by my stencil stacks, which have been creeping more and more into my work.

Page two of my mini #robayrecircleseries #littleartbook. This piece is the one that feels most like the original pieces of this series. Visit @littleartbook to see the whole book #mixedmedia #bookart #artistsbook #artistbook #watercolor #artistsoninstagra

This piece was definitely a nod to how my circle series pieces first began.

Here’s the first piece I made for the #robayrecircleseries little book. The piece that got the ball rolling. The collage element, features in the process shot a few posts back, was made from vintage men’s magazines from the 70s. If you are interested to s

I had been cutting from a stack of 60s men’s magazines a lot at the time

Page 4 of the #robayrecircleseries #littleartbook. Check out @littleartbook to see the book in whole. One more page to share! #mixedmedia #watercolor #embroidery #circleseries #robayre #bookart #artistbook #makersgonnamake #creativityfound #creativelifeha

and I was working on practicing my embroidery stitches at the time

Aaaaaaand finally, the last mini #robayrecircleseries from my #littleartbook. I can’t remember if I mentioned before but I thought it was so weird that this series had a blue theme when I don’t think of it as a color I am drawn to in my work. You can see

I saved this one for last, as I had a general idea of what I wanted to do

Circle Series Little Art Book

Here’s a little video, to show it in action and give you an idea of size.

Mini Circle Series Little Art Book