What I like best about watercolor is also what is most challenging about watercolor. It's unruly. The truth is, a lot of my life is that way. Our forty rural acres are big and messy and vulnerable to the caprices of nature. I spent years photographing and blogging about our life out here but I could never quite express the feeling of all that sky meeting all those trees meeting all the rest of rural Indiana until I started painting it. In my work, I put the beauty of rural life in its natural context. Kids ride the bus to a home surrounded by cornfields under a sunny sky. Haybales sit in a field shrouded in golden mist, autumn trees and a pale morning sky. Fields of goldenrod bloom between thickets of trees under a cloud studded sky. Everything that happens in this world happens under that sky. We ought to look at it more often. I love it when folks look at one of my landscapes and say, 'Oh, that reminds me of home!' I try to put as much home as possible in every painting. Things may not be tidy out here, but they sure are interesting. That's what I paint.
People are often curious about where I got the ideas for my logos. It's a good story. Three good stories, actually.
The logo for my yarn business came from my studio. When we built it, the four doors/windows in the front were supposed to be identical all the way across. The builders didn't do it that way for...reasons. I was really bummed, but my step-dad point out that the front of the studio was a lot more interesting this way. He was right. I painted the doors dark red and not long after, when I was searching for a new logo idea, I realized the studio doors would be perfect.
The logo for the blog came from a site that was harvesting antique typeface from old books under the public domain. The scans were messy and it took hours on photoshop to clean up and finesse the image, but I love the way it turned out. I've always been fond of Rs.
The signature logo for my art site is a direct scan of my own signature, cleaned up a bit on photoshop.
I have to say, I'm pretty proud of this signature. When I was in grade school, I was often told how horrible my handwriting was. I took a typing class as soon as I could and avoided writing things by hand. Decades later I took an online lettering class from Joanne Sharpe and one of the things she says is, 'Your handwriting is beautiful and you can make beautiful letters with it'. I decided to believe her and in retrospect that one idea was a real turning point for me artistically. I stopped hating my writing and started loving what I could do with it. It wasn't as beautiful as my great grandmother's, or mom's or sister's, but it was quirky and fun and all mine. Thank you, Joanne! Once I embraced that idea, I started trusting my drawing and painting. I decided I was going to just Do the art, not Judge the art.
Robin Edmundson is a rural landscape artist whose goal is to record the regular, everyday places and happenings of rural life in a way to celebrate those places, tasks and the people involved. She puts as much 'home' in every painting as possible.
After earning a Ph.D. in linguistics and teaching at Indiana University for 26 years, Robin turned her full attention to weaving and dyeing. She has won awards for her fiber art at such prestigious shows as Bloomington, Indiana’s, 4th Street Festival of the Arts and Crafts. She is a recipient of an Indiana Artist’s Grant. In 2014, she began to work with watercolor, first as a way to stay sane during Hoosier winters, and then as a personal challenge, to master this tricky medium. Her work was quickly accepted into juried exhibitions.
As a primarily self-taught artist, Robin did an intensive study of color theory on her own, using that knowledge to inform her work as a dyer and fiber artist and later as a painter. Her artistic mantra is, ‘Don’t paint the thing, paint how the light hits the thing’ and she spends a lot of time working out how to use color to best effect to do just that. She has been teaching color theory since 2003.
She was born in Michigan, went to college in Utah, but has spent the vast majority of her life in Indiana, which she loves. Her home is in rural southern Indiana, and she paints the woods, fields, marshes, farms next door and the clouds in the sky. Everything that happens in this world happens under the sky. We ought to look at it more.
Shows & Exhibits
- 2016 'Clouds over May Pasture', Watercolor Society of Indiana, Juried Member Exhibit, Indianapolis Museum of Art
- 2016, 'T C Steele's Studio', Award: Honorable Mention, September Plein Aire Event, T C Steele State Memorial
- 2016 'Storing the Jars', Bloomington Watercolor Society Member Exhibit, Monroe County History Center
- 2017 'Last Dance of the Night', Bloomington Watercolor Society Member Exhibit, The Vault at Gallery Mortgage