July 1, 2020

The Colosseum From Mixed Media to Mural


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
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:

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"
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.


abstract mixed media painting by robie benve
"Circle of Life"
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.

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!

March 16, 2020

For the Green Challenge: A Wish of Love and Good Luck

Two things happened today in my world.
1. I started a Corona Art Challenge with a weekly theme, and this week the theme is GREEN.
2. I painted a small, very green painting.

Not bad for a quiet day indoors, uh?

mixed media painting of clover by Robie Benve
A Wish of Love and Good Luck
Paper and acrylic on panel
available on my website

Now, the people that know me, are aware of my unbelievable luck at finding four-leaf-clovers. Yep, I'm one of those people that just look down and see one.

Some people, like my children (lol), are very bothered by that. I have literally looked at a patch of clovers with them, I could see there was a four-leafer, asked them to find it, but they kept looking, and looking, but could not see it. Oh, they hated it. But, hey, what can I do? I guess my eyes catch the different pattern of the leaves or something, I don't know what it is, but some people seem to have it while others...  hate it.  lol

Anyway, this particular one was on the edge of the street at last year's Columbus Arts Festival. It had just finished raining, and I was walking home when I saw it.

I took a photo and left it there, hoping it would make someone else's day, sooner or later.

I started the painting with a paper base that included a paper heart - that's why the title includes love. Then I painted with acrylic paint using a painting knife.

The starting ground for the painting above: paper and acrylic medium.

Since the Corona Art Challenge is a week long, I hope I can manage to paint a few more green pieces.

I'm going to make this my personal challenge of mixing green from many different colors, without using any green straight from the tube.

BTW, when I say that I started a Corona Art Challenge I really started it, it was my idea and the President of the Dublin Area Art League, my friend Dawn Petrill, liked it, so I started it.
It's so exciting to know that there are artists out there that are going to paint something new inspired by my idea. So cool!

Thanks for reading.

Blessings, and best wishes of good luck and love!

March 6, 2020

Colorful Mixed Media Birch Tree Triptych

Birch Trees I
Birch Trees II
Birch Trees III

I made this trio a few months ago as a way to experiment with mixed media and color.

The texture and the orange sky colors are created by some fancy special papers that we artists like to splurge on.
Then there is paint, more paper, and some patterns created with my hand-cut stencils,
In short, they were a fun experiment, and I really like the outcome.

The three paintings, which could be purchased individually or as a set, are currently on view at the Marcia Evans Gallery in the Columbus Short North, 8 E Lincoln Ave.

March 5, 2020

Natural Wonder - A Colorful and Textural Small Painting

Small Mixed Media Painting by Robie Benve
"Natural Wonder"
Mixed media: acrylic, paper, markers, and fibers.
Available on my website

This little guy (20 x 20 cm) is part of a small series of mixed media landscape painting done from my imagination, with no reference photo, all very similar in composition.

I started creating the composition with paint and paper on a wooden panel, then I added several layers of tissue paper and paint. I also added some fibers to create the tree trunks.

Below is an mid-stage photo of the process.

Mid-stage work in progress creation of Natural Wonder.

In this particular piece I wanted to preserve the pattern of the confetti tissue paper, so I added several layers of transparent acrylic fluid paint from Golden.

The final result is very textural and has a lot of interesting marks.

To apply the paper and the fibers I use acrylic soft gel medium from Golden. It serves as a glue, but it's a high quality acrylic binder, pretty much it's like acrylic paint but transparent, with no pigment.
I love using it in different capacities, also to increase the transparency of the paint.

March 4, 2020

Colorful Mixed Media Still Life Painting: Sweet and Sour

Sometimes I need to step out of my usual body of work of landscapes and city scenes, which I usually paint from photo, and dive into the fascinating process of painting from life using mixed media.

So, here it is, Sweet and Sour, an example of such a case. It came out colorful and fun, and I'm really happy with it.

I used acrylic paint, paper, and water soluble pastels. I did not use my stencils in this, I feel like it has enough interesting marks as is.

mixed media still life painting by Robie Benve
"Sweet and Sour"
10" x 10"
Acrylic, paper, and water soluble pastels.

From An Abstract Start

I started on a wood panel that I had primed with gesso, and created a base using paint and tissue paper. Some of the paper had patterns on it, you can still be see some of the polka dots.
I really like that touch of whimsical :)

With An Abstract Way of Seeing Things

I added paint to created the forms of the different objects, focusing on one shape at the time,  looking at things in an abstract kind of way.
As I paint, I don't see strawberries, lemons, and utensils, I see lines, triangles, semi-circles, and so on. I try to replicate those shapes on the flat surface of the panel, paying attention to how they relate to each other in shape, color, and tone.

To A Representational Painting

I keep comparing and adding and changing until all the shapes make sense in relationship with the rest.
When I step back and look with "normal" eyes, voila'! I see the objects that I have just painted. It's like magic every time.  :)


Thanks so much to the collector from Maryland that purchased this piece. I know it is going to look great with some other paintings that she bought in the past, I hope she'll send me a photo of how she hung my paintings and gives me permission to post it.
It is always a blessing when someone loves my work so much that they decide to pay for it and see it every day in their home. 
My heart is full.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts