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Robin Tomlinson

02/28/2009 04:00PM ● Published by Super Admin

In a world of galleries, museums, and art in public places, the average person is exposed to plenty of art. But it’s not every day that such exposure moves someone so deeply that they decide to become an artist themselves. Robin Tomlinson, a Placerville artist, did just that.

Four years ago, Tomlinson visited the Navy Pier in Chicago, where over 200 stained glass pieces from all over the world are on display. “The pieces are enormous and beautiful and breathtaking, and when I saw them, I wept,” says Tomlinson.

Upon her return home, Tomlinson knew she wanted to devote her time to learning and creating art. At first, art was therapeutic for her, but it quickly evolved into something more. “When family and friends began to see what I’d made and asked me to create pieces for them, I thought maybe there was potential for me to make a profession of it,” she says. “I thought that if I could love what I do and make money doing it, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Tomlinson’s pieces exhibit skills of a veteran artist as opposed to a woman who is new to the art scene. New though she may be, Tomlinson’s work, also known as “Pieces of Ra Ra,” is capturing some major attention. In fact, she recently sold custom pieces to Red Hawk Casino to display in its High Stakes room. Her art will be permanently featured as part of Red Hawk’s décor.

Tomlinson’s art can also be seen and purchased at Artist Edge Gallery, Sacramento (beginning in April); Mia Sorella, El Dorado Hills; and Rocky’s Art Gallery, Placerville. She not only sells her art, but donates 5-10 pieces per year to organizations such as the SPCA, the Lymphoid and Leukemia Foundation, and the El Dorado County Fair.

Fun, yes. But easy? Certainly not. Tomlinson reveals a time-consuming, intricate creation process. All her pieces are mixed medium, and she hand cuts glass, rope and other materials for each piece.

Her first step is to cover her canvas in clay, which takes 24 to 48 hours to dry. She then must paint the clay, and wait 24 to 72 hours for it to dry again. Next, she lays each tiny piece of rope, glass or beads into her desired design. Finally, she covers the whole canvas with an acrylic material, which can take up to 24 hours to dry. She blow dries the acrylic to smooth out thousands of tiny bubbles, and if her canvases get even the tiniest particle of dust on them while they’re drying, they will be ruined.

“It takes a very long time to create each piece. I always have ideas and I just want to create, but I won’t start a new project until I’ve finished the previous one,” she says. Despite the long process, however, Tomlinson is thoroughly enjoying her newfound passion as evidenced when she says, “I’m having a great time. If I could do this for the next 30 years, I’d be in heaven.”

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