The Room Illuminated

Room 52 – Robyn Rich’s dining room/studio (Frankston, Victoria)

Robyn’s gorgeous dining room, which doubles as her studio.”It is my favourite room in the house, filled with beautiful natural light and all of my favourite things. It’s a place to be creative and to have friends over and talk about creating over afternoon tea. It’s where I feel like me the most, where my thoughts come to life in my art work.”

Robyn’s talents know no bounds. Not only is she a skilled and talented painter, her love for creating is also represented in her passion for dress making. “I love my dressmakers dummy. My husband Jonathan and daughter Abbey surprised me with it for my birthday many years ago. The dress that the dummy is wearing and the old tape measure sitting around it’s neck has featured in a number of my paintings.”

The self portrait was painted by Robyn last year during a period when she was very ill, fighting golden staph. While she was home trying to recover, she sat in front of a mirror and painted this portrait from life. “It was a finalist in The Portia Geach memorial portrait awards in Sydney which was very special, but the main reason this piece means so much to me, is because it is a reminder of how sick I was and how bad things were, which shows me how fantastic life is now.”

chair 7

“I have been studying art for six years and I will be finishing in a couple of weeks. My teachers have been such amazing mentors and have become lovely friends. I am so thankful to them for all of their support and encouragement. I wanted my last art school painting to be of them, so I am trying to capture each of them in a pose that has become very familiar to me. It’s a bit of fun and will hopefully remind them of the student that never wanted to leave.”

The image on the left is a photo of one Robyn’s paintings which she donated to be auctioned to raise money for the Alice Sloan Trust. “Every two years we have a luncheon and art auction to raise money to send young women on outdoor expeditions that wouldn’t normally have the opportunity, and to help homeless youth stay in school. The theme for this luncheon was friendship, so my model was my daughter Abbey and our cat Pumpkin, who had a beautiful friendship.”

“In 2005 and 2013 I was part of an exhibition at The Johnston Collection Decorative Fine Arts Museum in Melbourne with a group of artist friends. It is a Christmas exhibition and every piece has to be inspired by the museum. I wanted to create food to go on the beautiful dinner settings in the house, I couldn’t use real food, so I wanted to make artificial food that looked realistic. We are all fascinated by food, but sometimes we take it for granted, to me it is not only a necessity for life, but a thing of beauty, so I just keep trying out different food in fabric to see how real I can make it. The baguette is made out of bamboo and cotton fabric, cotton threads, craft filling and hand painted. It is a bit of fun and confuses a lot of people when they come to my studio for the first time.”

“These are cameo intaglio’s I made for The Johnston Collection exhibition last year. I reproduced a couple that are in the collection at the museum, then I decided to do one of Mr Johnston from a photo of him. I then took it further and decided to do one of each of my group of artist friends that were working on the exhibition. Each one is first carved out of clay, using a photo as inspiration, then I make a mould and pour a plaster cameo. These sat on the table in beautiful old bowls which we called cameo soup.”

“This is one of my favourite bowls in my collection of old china. I love searching for pieces in op shops and at garage sales. It has featured in quite a few of my paintings recently, the latest one I painted the bowl with an old tape measure laying in it. This piece is all about the pressure on women from society and the media to be thin and how when we sit down to a meal we wonder how many centimetres this will add to the hips. Each piece I collect helps to tell a story in my paintings.”

More of Robyn’s amazing artificial food that she contributed in an exhibition for The Johnston Collection Decorative Fine Arts Museum.

I love the idea of combining mediums, so when my daughter was sitting knitting, which is a favourite pastime of hers, it gave me the idea of combining both stitching and drawing to create this piece. The stitching gives the piece a beautiful texture and adds interest. I am so lucky to be able to use my daughter in so many of my pieces as it creates a wonderful visual diary of her life and her interests. The drawing is worked on bamboo paper in ink, charcoal and pencil and then all the knitting is stitched into the paper in DMC cotton stranded thread.

“I think it is a happy room full of stories and memories, a room that draws you in.”

“I was very lucky to be given this print by my lovely friend Kristina Davidson, she is a very talented print maker.”

Robyn’s husband made the large dresser for her out of packing crates.”It holds all of my art materials, boxes of threads, wire, fabric, buttons, threads and coloured pencils sorted into colours and my collection of old china.”

The oil painting titled ‘In the Clouds’ once again has Robyn’s daughter, Abbey as the subject. “It is one of my first paintings and it has captured a beautiful moment in time. This is a piece I won’t let go of, it will stay in my collection.”

“Jonathan built the window seat for me. It’s a place where I spend many hours reading, sketching, thinking, drinking tea and sometimes even napping. The sun comes streaming in that window making it a very happy place to be.”

Click here to see more of Robyn’s beautiful art.

This entry was published on October 30, 2014 at 8:00 am. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Room 52 – Robyn Rich’s dining room/studio (Frankston, Victoria)

  1. Liza Fox on said:

    Love every inch of this room!! The artwork’s amazing, and as for all the fabric food…absolutely fabulous!! xx


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