You know that feeling when you get to a place and can take a deep breath and just be? That's what I love about living out here. Rural life suits me. It's messy, intense, over the top, contradictory and deeply rewarding. Every time I pick up a brush, I try to bring all of that to life on the paper. My current work is focused in two broad areas: rural spaces and rural structures. Luckily, our local landscapes combine the two almost everywhere you look.
Spaces: When I was in college in Utah, I saw a poster for a dance performance entitled ‘Desert Landscapes’. The write-up in the newspaper had a typo and called it ‘Desert Landspaces’. I loved the juxtaposition of the terms. Landscapes are land-spaces that interact with structures, light and atmosphere. An artist is a magician, creating the illusion of light, space and atmosphere on a piece of paper - and if done well, she communicates the feeling of a place as well as the look. I use two primary strategies as I work. First, I often use bold and unusual colors to encourage the viewer to look again at the everyday things around us, and second, I use simplified shapes and lines to emphasize the patterns and rhythms of rural life.
Structures: Rural life is unruly. We try to hide some of that in our barns, sheds, and coops. They are full of dirt, weeds, stuff we need now, old-stuff-we-might-need-someday and old-stuff-no-one-will-ever-need-again-thank-heaven. I love every sagging roof, crooked post, and rust stain because it reminds me of the families who lived here, built it and used it. My great-grandmother was one of these bad-ass farm wives. She was a good neighbor who went to church on Sunday, came home, went to the chicken coop, caught a chicken and then served it up for dinner a couple of hours later. I paint these things because I love her and all the others who serve their families and communities long and well. This is how I tell their stories.
Robin Edmundson paints everyday rural things in new ways with bold & unusual colors, using simplified shapes & lines to emphasize the patterns and rhythms of rural life. She has quickly become noticed in local art circles, jurying into state exhibitions in her first few years of painting seriously. Her first solo show (2017) was enormously successful and she has three more scheduled for 2018 -19.
Robin grew up in northern Indiana in an old farmhouse on a property full of old farm buildings. Her early goal was to learn as many languages as she could. In college, she quickly found Linguistics and earned a Ph.D. in that field. She taught in various capacities at Indiana University for twenty-seven years. Always looking for creative outlets to balance her academic life, she learned to dye and weave and became an award winning fiber artist.
In 2011 she began blogging about rural life in southern Indiana. It took her a while to realize that she was still searching for a language that could express some things she wanted to say about life in rural southern Indiana. Imagine her surprise when she finally figured out that the language she was looking for was one of paint, color and line instead of words. Nothing makes her happier than to communicate through her paintings her deep love and respect for the unruly places and people of rural Indiana.
Select Shows, Exhibits & Awards
- 2019 [Scheduled: October]. Solo show. Robin Edmundson: Recent Work. The Vault at Gallery Mortgage. Bloomington, Indiana.
- 2019 [Scheduled: April]. Solo show. Robin Edmundson: Bursting with Color. Lawrence County Art Association. Wiley Art Center. Bedford, Indiana.
- 2018 'Linton Barn' Award: Merit Award, Good Ole Summertime, Hoosier Salon Juried Member Competition
- 2018 August 30 - December 20. Group show. Robin Edmundson, Michelle Irwin, Kari Rajkumar & Anna Lee Chalos-McLeese: Through Her Eyes. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Terre Haute, Indiana.
- 2018 'Winter White', Hoosier Women Artists: Works selected for the statehouse. Haan Mansion Museum of Indiana Art. Lafayette, Indiana.
- 2017 October 8 - December 3. 'White Roofs, December', Watercolor Society of Indiana, Juried Member Exhibit, Indianapolis Museum of Art. Indianapolis, Indiana.
- 2017 August 4 - September 29. Solo show. Robin Edmundson: This is my Indiana. The Vault at Gallery Mortgage. Bloomington, Indiana.
- 2017-18 'Winter White', Hoosier Women Artists: Works selected for the statehouse. Indiana Statehouse. Indianapolis, Indiana.
- 2016 'Clouds over May Pasture', Watercolor Society of Indiana, Juried Member Exhibit, Indianapolis Museum of Art. Indianapolis, Indiana.
- 2016 'T C Steele's Studio', Award: Honorable Mention, September Plein Air Event, T C Steele State Memorial. Brown County, Indiana.
- Bloomington Watercolor Society. Bloomington, Indiana
- Watercolor Society of Indiana, Signature Member
- Lawrence County Art Association
- Bloomington Arts Alliance
- Hoosier Salon
- Kentucky Watercolor Society
- Upland Plein Air Painters
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.
This is where all the magic happens. I get a lot of action at the feeders. It's common to have eight hummingbirds arguing over the feeder by the window and this year we had a pair of bluebirds in the little birdhouse on the left. You can't see it, but that birdhouse is painted like Boo's Door from Monster's Inc. The topiary by the door is a 20 year old bay tree that I grew from a tiny start. It's very happy spending the summers outside and the winters inside. If you'd like to come visit my studio so you can see all this gloriousness in person, I'd love to make that happen. Email me.