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Art with Erika

the journey of an artist – painting life with purpose

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hippies

“Tree Hugs – Daily Doodle” – February 22, 2017

Trees love hugs, too.    🙂

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“Tree Hugs” – Daily Doodle – By Erika Robertson – 2017 – Photoshop

#treehugger #treelover #hippie #trees

Thank you for visiting my blog!  ❤

“Balance & the LPH Breakdown” – January 26, 2017

The lady in the fur coat…she was my first lady that I sketched out.  She was supposed to be only a test, but she turned into a finished piece.  I call her “Balance”, now.  But, she used to be “Harmony”, and before she turned into a solo painting, she was the first of a trio of paintings.  At the last minute she would be replaced for my first show, back in November 2016.

balance-store
“Balance” by Erika Robertson – 2016 – Photoshop

She is drawn in black and gray and influenced by Erté and Edward Gorey.  The anatomy of the piece was inspired by the yin-yang, by harmony.  Here is the outline:

PLH – my abbreviation for “Peace, Love, and Harmony” – is a collection that started with this yin-yang inspired painting.  “Love” was pieced together using the combination of hearts, diversity, showgirls, and dramatic feathers.  It was the second completed painting in the collection.  Here is a breakdown of the 5 heart outlines (can you see them?):

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“Love” – by Erika Robertson – 2016 – Photoshop

love-red

The last painting in the collection was “Peace”.  I do find that this one is a little harder to comprehend than the other two in the collection.  Many assume that the ladies are lovers, and they very well might be (that is up to the viewer to decide, I am only the artist).  The idea was that their bodies and flowing dresses would create a peace sign.  I am happy with the final product, but do understand that the anatomy of this piece is a lot more abstract than I intended it to be.  Here is the outline for the peace sign:

peace-store
“Peace” – by Erika Robertson – 2016 – Photoshop

peace-red

When I was done with “Peace, Love, and Harmony” I opened the files up, side by side, and felt an instant sense of irritation.  “Peace” and “Love” looked like they were a part of the same collection, but “Harmony” was so dark, she had ZERO color, and she was alone and creepy…I didn’t like that she clashed so much in her solidarity and in her anatomy/color scheme.  So, I decided to re-draw “Harmony”.

I changed name of the black and white painting to “Balance”; she is currently featured as my only solo painting and she is my FIRST painting featuring one of my ladies.  It all started with her:  the lady in the fur coat.  

The new “Harmony” took longer to draw than all of the others combined.  I knew that I wanted to feature two women that were intertwined in some way – one with light skin and one with dark skin, as I wanted to continue the theme of diversity and equality throughout all three paintings.  There were so many overlapping pieces.  The biggest challenge was bringing out the skin tones of each lady against the backgrounds of the skirts.  The hats and feathers helped so that they wouldn’t get lost against the colors of the fabric.  A yin-yang is still used as the base for this piece.  Here is the outline:

harmony-store
“Harmony” – by Erika Robertson – 2016 – Photoshop

harmony-red

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog!  xoxoxo

Tie-Dye with Mia & Karlie – June 22, 2016

The day before yesterday I woke up and drove across town to my sister-in-law’s mom’s house.  Karlie and Mia were preparing the materials that we needed to use for our tie-dye hippie adventure.

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I walked into the backyard and said ‘hi’ to a barefoot Karlie as she filled a miniature army of bottles with hot water and dye.

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Soakin’ it up in the California Sun

Recycled and unloved pieces of clothing were floating around a few bins full of murky soda ash water, awaiting their second calling.  We were joined by their friend, Elizabeth, who, like me, was a tie-dye virgin.

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At nine in the morning the sun was already sending us her rich warmth that would later decorate our necks with glistening sweaty diamonds.  Sunscreen and umbrellas tried to hide us from her overbearing infatuation.  Bottles of dye were shaken and set on our wobbling work table, while Elizabeth and I watched Mia as she swirled up one of the soaking shirts.

swirl process
Rollin, Rollin, Rollin – All the rubber bands!  ALL OF THEM!!!

She fastened the medallion with rubber bands and set it aside.  Elizabeth and I put on some gloves and joined Mia, who taught us variations for tie-dye designs.

Creating tie-dye for the first time was nothing less than mysterious and adventurous.  It was a great way for me to start to break out of my perfectionist shell;  I couldn’t plan anything that was absolute and I didn’t know what the outcome was going to be.

dyeing process

I was so excited when Mia and Karlie invited me over to their house for a lesson.  I had waited for this moment since they first showed me their tie-dye collection a year ago!

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There was no solid rhyme or reason for placing the dye on the twisted pieces, except that the colors needed to soak through all of the layers on all sides.

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Sweeney Todd was here

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The table was drenched with a pool of rainbow dye, our feet turned into an effortless canvas of abstract art, and our carefree laughter carried us through the beginning of the blinding afternoon.

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rubber bands = shooting practice

Our dye-soaked pieces basked out in the sunshine, on plastic mats and in plastic bags, so that they could meditate and prepare themselves for their new lives.

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layed out pieces
Now, we wait…24-48 hours…     …But we are NOT patient, soooooo, 24 hours later…

The next day I went back to help unwrap the blobs of fabric; we were as impatient as small children on Christmas morning.  Each piece of cloth, that was released from the grips of the rubber bands, was greeted into their new world with ‘oooooo’s and ‘aaaaahhhh’s, and the occasional sound of overwhelming excitement.

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YAAASSS!!!  ALL THE COLORS!!!

They were rinsed off, rung out, tossed in the washer and dryer, and our mini tie-dye hippie adventure was over.

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Peace, love, tie-dye, and hugs!  Until next time!

You can purchase tie-dye items or request orders from Karlie and Mia, HERE!  I can’t wait to tie-dye with them, again!

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Karlie and the ghost sheet

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