I write every day. I write to discover who I am, to note special things that happen, and for guidance from my own inner wisdom and from the universe.
I have several books in the works, one of which is Healing Through Art.
As I begin yet another self-portrait, this one with my beloved trees, as I photographed my progress for the third day in a row this week—while on vacation and spending lots of time in the studio—I thought, "Robin, why wait. You have been waiting all your life for so many things. Why don't you simply transcribe your daily studio writings and post the progress on this piece through images and words.
I had a retrospective at my local private high school in 2016. As part of being granted this one-person show, "An Artist's Life: Healing Through Art," I was required to give a talk to the entire student body and faculty. In response to what I said and to the show itself, one student asked if all of my work was self-portraits. I looked around the enormous room filled with a sampling of work from over my lifetime, and I realized that abstract or realistic, concrete, wood, paint, or pastel, yes, every piece in that huge space was in some way a self-portrait.
I guess I create self-portraits as a way to claim myself, that I am alive, something I was not allowed to be during my childhood. I need to SPEAK that I exist and who I am at that time in my life and I do that through writing and art.
Trees have always been incredible healers for me. In the Guided Autobiography (GAB) Instructor Training that I took, for the Family theme, I wrote a piece about the Seven-Trunk Tree that I would go to during my childhood. Seven trunks from one tree grew together, and I could step up between two of these into a little room to lick my wounds. As part of our assignment, we were also asked to draw a room that was special to us. I drew my Seven-Trunk Tree.
I don't live near that tree anymore, and the tree itself is only a stump now. But when I moved here to western Massachusetts in 1984, I discovered near the Lake close to my house a five-trunk tree that is shaped like the palm and five fingers of a hand. I call her my Great-Grandmother Tree, and she has become very important to me.
Self-Portrait with Trees
This is a piece I envisioned five years ago. I had started a new relationship, but it wasn't working out. It became very difficult, even traumatic, and trees helped me through it big time.
I live in a very rural area, on a dead-end, dirt road. Down the road from my place is an area of woods I call the Fairy Woods. After this challenging time happened, I envisioned a self-portrait with my face very large, peering through tree trunks from the Fairy Woods. I wanted to create this to honor all the help and love trees have given me over the years.
Today I decided to begin a blog of my daily progress of this piece and the writings associated with it. I think taking the GAB class gave me the courage to do this; I learned that people appreciate what I share. I am SO excited to be doing this, to no longer be waiting.