May 2, 2021

Being Fully Vaccinated Feels Good!

 I'm Loving My Newly Found Freedom!


After 14 months of avoiding close contacts, crowds, meals with friends, gatherings, and more, I am finally vaccinated for Covid19 and I am back to doing a few things that I was greatly missing.

Yay!!


I Went to Art Class

I've been going to the Open Studio painting class at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center since 2011, and during the pandemic it was closed, then it reopened at limited capacity, then it closed again, and finally reopened again in March. I missed it, but I was not feeling comfortable attending until this session.

The session started two weeks after my second shot, perfect timing! 

I eagerly signed up, afraid that with the limited capacity it would get full before I had the chance to join, and last Thursday was the first class. 

Being back felt like seeing family again. I love the place, the people, and the energy in the studio. Ahhhh, so nice!

Robie Benve at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center


I Went to an Art Opening

A local gallery had an art opening in person, and two of the three artists in the show are friends of mine, so I wanted to go to the artist reception to support them - it felt great.

I found out that we were all fully vaccinated, though we still kept our masks on. I embraced the thrill to trust buddies to take pictures with my phone. How long was it since the last time I allowed people to touch my phone?

It's crazy the little things that became taboo during the pandemic.

We are finally, slowly getting out of it.


Robie Benve and Lynda Guenther at the opening of artist Todd Camp

Robie Benve and Rod Hayslip


I Even Went to Happy Hour With a Friend

I don't have photos for this outing but believe me, that glass of wine tasted wonderful. I haven't been to a bar or restaurant since February 2020, woohoo!!


If everyone does the right thing, we'll get out of this tunnel.

I hope people will keep getting the vaccine. I hear that the availability of the vaccine is high, but there aren't as many takers as you would hope.

The more people are getting infected, the crazier variants of the virus we get. C'mon Americans, roll up your sleeve and let's beat this thing.


February 27, 2021

Author Writes a Poem Inspired by My Painting

My painting Xmas Time at the Ohio Theater is one of those that for some reason resonate with a lot of people at a deeper level.

Not only I received great feedback from viewers, but it also got accepted into two juried shows: the 2020 Ohio Art League Fall Juried Show and the 2021 Bryn Du Art Show.

Moreover, a few weeks ago, Brenda Layman, a talented writer, surprised me with an email telling me that she was inspired by my painting to write a beautiful poem!

When I read it, I felt so honored and humbled that I started thinking on how we could present them together. I ended up creating a video featuring both images of my painting and Brenda's voice reciting the poem.

Below is the link to the video.

Brenda Layman and I are both members of the National League of American Pen Women, a wonderful group of professional writers, composers, choreographers, and visual artists.
You can learn more about our NLAPW Central Ohio Branch on the website



Click on the image above to watch the video.

In the video (above), author Brenda Layman reads her poem "Cities in Winter". The poem was inspired by one of Robie Benve's paintings representing a view of the Ohio Theater in December when the Nutcracker, one of the most popular winter shows, was performing in Columbus, Ohio. In this video you can see Robie's painting while listening to Brenda reading her poem.


Below, the featured painting by Robie Benve.

mixed media painting by Robie Benve
"Xmas Time at the Ohio Theater"
30"x48" mixed media on canvas
Sold


November 27, 2020

Positive Attitude Is My Friend - My Thinking Process

Keeping on the "Think-Positive Path" Pays Off

2020 has been a challenge under many aspects.
However, as far as my artistic happenings, I can't complain. I've been lucky.

Robie Benve painting
Me in my studio painting  The Scioto Deer 



I received many blessings this year. 
How comes? Why me?

I think most of the opportunities that came along in this crazy pandemic months have found an open door with me because I strive to look for the positive in people and in situations, and I am always ready to deal with the unexpected.

Thinking Positive Helps

One thing that really helped me stay sane during the pandemic is that I make an effort to entertain only positive thoughts. It's not always easy. It's a process that involves choosing to avoid negative thoughts and then catching yourself while thinking about bad things or bad outcomes and consciously changing gears.

I Trust the Process

When I am worried about something, I have two courses of action: 
  1. If I can do something about it, then I choose to work hard to make things work out.
  2. If it's out of my control, then I chose not to worry about it, and work hard for what I can control.
When I have an important goal in mind, I learned that the how I get there is not important. There are things that happen in ways that we would never imagine, but they manage to bring us exactly the results we wanted.

I always try to do what feels right, for me and for others. 

Doing Things Right One at the Time

One day at the time, one action at the time, with some positive goals and outcomes in mind, but keeping an open attitude about how to get there.

My path is not clear and in focus at all times, but I don't care.
When my guts tell me it is a good thing to do, even if I work a lot and don't get paid, I'm going to do it. It will pay off in ways that I can't even imagine.

So, here is my advice to you.

Set your goals. Write down your dreams in the short, medium, and long term.
Then work on them, do what is needed, one day at the time, make progress towards one part of your goals.

But don't forget to live your life in a way that makes you proud and happy. 
Always make time to do what you enjoy doing, things that make your heart full, things that are not only for your benefit, but help others as well. 
Enjoy the little things.
Learn to discern from what is necessary and what is superfluous.

Spread the joy and the good vibes, it's not a competition, there is enough abundance of to share with the world.

If today I can make someone smile, if I can support a fellow artist or a cause dear to my heart, it has been a good day.

I hope this makes sense.

Thanks for reading. :)





July 21, 2020

March Sky - Colorful Painting of Columbus' LeVeque Tower


March Night by Robie Benve
March Sky
Mixed media: paper and acrylic on wood panel
8"x10"
see on my website

I'm a big Harry Potter fan, I've read all the books several times, and of course watched all the movies, even more times.
I love the fact that the Hogwarts March music score (from my kids' practice sheets... shhhh ;) is still visible under this night view of the LeVeque tower in Columbus, OH.

There is a lot going on in this little painting, and it reminds me of the busy night life of the city.

I really enjoy the challenge of creating semi-abstract mixed media painting using layers of paper, paint, and creating unexpected patterns with my hand-cut stencils.




July 1, 2020

The Colosseum From Mixed Media to Mural

OMG, MY PAINTING IS ON A MURAL IN THE SHORT NORTH!!


This year, with all the gloom and doom of the pandemic and the social injustice, I have been blessed with my art on a billboard (see  previous post) and now on a mural. Wow!

My excitement might be slightly visible in the photo below...

You know those times when you see other people accomplish something and you think, yeah, but they are amazing, I'm not even hoping for that. I'll do my own little thing.
And then BOOM! it happens to you? Right, wow.

I'm enjoying every moment, don't wake me up yet, please.


Robie Benve Mural Painting
I'm very exited to that one of my paintings has been made into
a mural in the Short North Arts District in Columbus, OH.

The Colosseum
Installed at 685 N. High St.
on the South side of ROOH restaurant, facing Chase Bank.

The Colosseum Painting
The Colosseum
Mixed Media on wood panel
12"x12"
Available through gallery


Thanks so much to the Marcia Evans Gallery for submitting my painting for the mural! And thanks to the Short North Arts District for sponsoring this wonderful program.

This year is the seventh rendition of the Short North Temporary Mural Series is sponsored by the Short North Arts District and 11 partner galleries and art institutions. This year's theme is One World, which showcases the diversity of global artists and their experiences.

For more info about the mural project and to see who the other artists are click here:
https://shortnorth.org/oneworld/


Join Me at the July Gallery Hop

It looks like it's on, with a twist on time and date.


Sunday, July 19, 2020, 1-4 pm

I'll be at the Marcia Evans Gallery, wearing my mask, with the original painting of The Colosseum, a 12"x12" mixed media on wood panel.

Looking forward to safely seeing art lovers, having great chats, and spend a nice day celebrating the arts in the charming Short North.

Marcia Evans Gallery
8 E Lincoln St
Columbus, OH

June 12, 2020

A Busy Studio With a Lot of Paintings Work-in-Progress


image group of wip
I like to have several pieces at different stages of completeness 
and switch from one to another according to the inspiration of the moment. 

My Home Studio Has Always A Lot Going On


I took this picture a couple of weeks ago, while I was assessing 17 pieces that were all at different stages of done.

I like to work on several pieces at the same time.
It allows me to switch to a different painting any time I get stuck or my attention span is gone, and I need a break. Believe it or not, changing the painting on the easel feels like a break. 
It gets my brain to rewire, start fresh.

Placing a new image in front of me presents a new set of problems to solve and decisions to make.
What would look good?
What would enhance this picture?
What colors should I mix and where and how can I apply them?
How can I use my stencils in a way that is unpredictable and makes sense at the same time?

Usually I have 3-4 pieces that are work-in-progress, but lately I have started many paintings, and it's getting a little crazy.


Most Are Heading to My Solo Show in October


I guess there is no rush in finishing them because I need them in October, and yes, that is procrastinator me talking. 

The other side of my brain, the business and efficient one, is saying get them done, call them finished, sign and move them out of the way.

I think both reasonings bear some kind of truth.

The fact that they will all be in the show at Marcia Evans Gallery opening on October 2nd, means that they should look as a solid body of work, with some common traits in style, colors, and presentation.
And that is the main reason while procrastinator me wants them all around, to compare and develop them as a group.

It makes some sense, right?
This week though, I am committed to get some D.O.N.E. 
It's time to start a few more.

A Couple Sold Already


I'm very happy to report that a couple of the pieces in this group were finished and they sold already. Those were not meant to be in the solo show, they were experimental pieces in which I tried some new techniques, and I am so grateful and happy that they found great homes.  Wow!

I'll make a post about them with individual photos soon.

Thanks for reading!



June 8, 2020

I've Been Selected for the 2020 ArtPop Street Gallery Columbus - My Painting on a Billboard!


Photo of Robie with Billboard
Happy me in front of the ArtPop Street Gallery
billboard featuring my painting "It'll Be Grand".

Oh my, there are times when you hope for things, you want them very hard, and everything goes wrong.

But there are other times when you think "that sounds interesting, I'll give it a try" and you get the the best results. 

The first time I applied for the ArtPop Street Gallery Columbus, in 2019, I thought I had a strong piece, but did not get selected. It was a little disappointing.

So, this year I applied again. Even if I had very low expectations, I tried to do it right. I chose a piece I really liked, I cropped it just right, and I made sure I followed all the technical requirements of the online submission. 

Then I moved on and kind of forgot about it for several weeks.

The Advantages of Submitting for a Juried Art Competition

I think submitting for any juried competition is a win-win, especially when, like in this case, there is no submission fee. It takes a little bit of work and technical skills, but hey, you never know who is going to see your work because of that submission, and just that could open some future opportunities.

Just the submission process itself got me to do things that I would not have done, and those alone were positive outcomes:
  • I finally loaded Powerpoint on my computer, and I know I will use it - it's an old version, but it gets the job done.
  • To fulfill the upload format requirements, I had to learn some things on Powerpoint that I had never done before, hence new skills.
  • My art was going to be seen by a committee of judges that probably had never heard of me or my paintings before, and you never know how and when they might think of me for in relations of other opportunities.
  • The whole process got me thinking proactively and positively about my work and my career.

Photo of Robie Newsstand artpop street gallery
Here is a photo of my painting on the newsstand
at the NW corner of West and High in Columbus, OH

About the Fear of Rejection

In ten years of being an artist, I got many rejections.
I am finally at the point where I understand that a rejection is ok, judges can only choose a certain number of artworks. Getting a rejection email does not mean my painting was bad. It only means others matched that exhibit's focus more. Maybe my painting was deemed good, but did not fit the needs of that particular show. It's ok, I'll find a better match next time.

Easy to say, right? but don't be fooled, it took me years to process and fully accept that.

In truth, a rejection still stings like a killer hornet, but I choose to focus on the positive aspects of the submissions, things like the four bullets above, acknowledge that this time my submission was not, for whatever reasons, among the top ones, and move on.

The Joy of Being Selected

Of course, all that positive thinking of "getting a rejection is ok" goes out the window the moment you receive an acceptance email. ;D 

For the 2020 ArtPop Street Gallery, getting chosen came as such a surprise that I had to read the email three times before it sank in. Wow. My art on a billboard!  
Then I realized that it was also going to be on a huge newsstand downtown, plus some kind of feature at the Columbus airport, and at the convention center. WOW.
Not to mention a monetary retribution of $500 and some truly amazing marketing support.

The fact that we were all on lockdown and people were not traveling or going to conventions has not dimmed the light of this wonderful honor.

Announcement image
The announcement post I had on social media after being chosen.



I Am Super Happy and Super Thankful

In 2010 I started painting every day just for myself, following a personal passion. My initial bliss has now grown into a true, huge blessing.

Who would have ever imagined that people would pay to own my paintings, and some collectors would want to own several of them? Who would have thought that I would be even writing articles about art?
 
And here I am, ten years later, being featured on a billboard,  100+ articles published, and with a solo show on the way.

AMAZING stuff!!

About the Painting


The painting "It'll Be Grand" sold last year at Marcia Evans Gallery, prints of this painitng and other sold pieces are available on my Print Shop on my website.

April 11, 2020

Music for My Heart - Abstract Mixed Media Painting

"Music for My Heart"
10"x10"
paper, fibers, marker, water-soluble pastel, and acrylic on wood panel.
See it on my website

I love to use music and patterned paper in the starting layers of a painting and then use transparent paints in the areas where I want to keep them visible until the end.

Music for My Heart has music paper and starred paper still showing through.
I also used yellow tissue paper to create the yellow circles, and I love the energy they emanate.
It was a fun project. I love the process of observing where I am in the different stages and add things as they seem needed. I also enjoyed the challenge of balancing the abstraction of the piece with the realism of the heart drawing.

Blessings to you, thanks for reading.

May your heat be always strong and pure.



April 10, 2020

Circle of Life - Abstract Mixed Media Painting

April 2020, what a time in our lives!


To all that are stuck at home waiting anxiously for the end of the social isolation, I wish you good health, love, and peace. 
I hope you get many opportunities to enjoy the little things. 

Some aspects of what we are experiencing now will make us better people, we might even miss parts of these days once it’s over, who knows.

But for now, stay healthy, stay home, and stay positive.

To those that are worried or mourning for a loved one, I empathize with you. May you find peace and serenity soon.

Blessings. 



abstract mixed media painting by robie benve
"Circle of Life"
10"x10"
paper, fibers, markers and acrylic on wood.
Available on my website


“Circle of Life” is one of those pieces where intuitive painting meets experimentation. 

There are lots of layers of paper, fibers, markers, and acrylic paint. As I worked on it, it kept changing, and as usual I liked several details of each layers, I just had to pick where to stop. 

I found this stage to be filled with hope, a great time to stop. 


PS: Let me also add stay away from that refrigerator... I know mine might need some maintenance on the hinges by the time this is over, lol.


March 30, 2020

Lucky - Another version of the same 4-leaf clover

Here is another version of the 4-leaf-clover from the last post.

"Lucky"
6"x 6"
Paper and Acrylic on panel
Available on my website



I started this one with way more paper than the previous, and at times it was hard to cover the starting ground with extra layers because I really liked some parts of how it looks in the beginning stages.

First, I used some red tissue paper, and then I covered that with some fibrous green paper that I got from the art store.





Then, I cut shapes out of another special paper (that I bought from the art store as well) all along using soft acrylic gel medium as gluing agent.





After this, it was layers upon layers of acrylic paint, trying to keep it transparent in some places, so that you could still see what was underneath.

A fun challenge!



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