Robin Olsen is an artist in Portland, Oregon. She creates abstract art that may contain paper and many layers of paint, as well as removed layers through sanding or painting over. Her paintings sometimes take on a grid pattern with geometric shapes like circles or diamonds. She also incorporates marks and lines, finding an equilibrium between freedom and order. Robin offers her art through galleries or shows, and previews them on Instagram.
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Robin’s website is robinolsenart.com.
She is also on Instagram @robinolsenart
Robin is featured in Issue 51 of Uppercase Magazine. Go to their website to order a subscription or back issues.
She mentioned these artists and the classes she has taken from them:
Here are some great takeaways from our conversation:
- Try different substrates to find the one that suits your art. If you’re adding heavy materials, you might want to try wood rather than canvas. Robin prefers wood because she likes to sand down the painted layers of her art.
- Most artists will work on a few pieces at once. Robin likes to work on ones that are different sizes, so if she’s working on a large abstract piece, she can take a break by working on a much smaller one. Small pieces are also more portable and you can take them with you to work on them anywhere.
- When applying to shows, research them to make sure that your work would be perfect for them. Some shows get so many submissions, that it’s almost like a lottery whether you get in or not. Don’t waste money on application fees if you don’t think the show is right for your art.
- Getting into shows is a way to build up credibility with your resume so that you’re more likely to get into better things. Keep track of all your shows on a CV because some places want to see your CV with your application.
- For smaller pieces, artists have found that announcing a sale of a dozen or so pieces on Instagram or through their website results in good sales.
- Don’t forget the edges of your artwork. Either continue the art around to the sides, or paint a solid color like black to give it a clean, finished look.