16th February, 2016
This month we’re meeting Maggie Robinson
Where are you from?
I’m originally from North Yorkshire but now live in Sheffield.
Tell us about your work:
My work is a complete representation of who I am and the influences I have had in my life to date. I grew up in the north Yorkshire Moors in a large, very musical and artistic family so everything I try to create is centred around these memories of the past and current experiences walking in the beautiful Peak District countryside. Because the subject of ‘Landscape’ encompasses such broad scope for interpretation I felt for me that my way of seeing and capturing the essence of a place should be through my understanding of music- hence qualities of rhythm, melody, harmony and mood are all elemental ingredients that I seek to portray in my work. This is how my series ‘The music of the Landscape’ emerged. I work with acrylics, charcoal, and collage, building up layers of work, always hoping that at some point I will find that ‘essential’ something that completes a piece of work and makes it mine.
What is the greatest benefit of being a PDA Member?
As Brian (also a member of PDA) and I only moved to Sheffield from Essex 6 years ago – it was a completely new start for us up here. We do have family in the area but certainly had to start all over again both with making friends, and finding our feet in the art world, something that for us was well established in the South. So joining PDA has been a fantastic solution and has provided us with many friends, many opportunities to exhibit, invitations to give talks and workshops, and introductions to Galleries around the area. In fact – sometimes there is too much going on! It is a great group and I love the fact that although we work in many varying genres – we all share the same dedication and passion for what we create.
What do you think people see in your work and what draws them to it?
I hope that people find a place that speaks to them, or find an element that they can identify with and that is why I try not to worry about places being an exact representation but more about the level of energy from the very peaceful to the excitingly energetic interpretations. Above all – the most comments I receive are always about my use of colour – but believe me I have studied and studied it for years so I would feel I had failed if they weren’t!
What or who inspires you?
Having grown up surrounded by moorland and having spent nearly all of my childhood outdoors- I am totally in awe of our beautiful landscape in all seasons. From the arts world I love the way Barbara Rae interprets her world with strong defining colours and quirky marks – she prevents me from reverting to the literal! On a personal level my dear hubby has always inspired and encouraged me to achieve my own expression – so many of my paintings are centred around our time together.
What is your typical working environment?
I have always been fortunate to have a studio in our house apart from when we first moved up to Sheffield. In Essex it was the cellar in our old 16th century House and here in Sheffield it is the loft room in our Victorian home. We have always shared our space – it works perfectly. I stand at an easel for hours on end – get in a mess then have a great clear up!
How do you organise your time?
I once said to my accountant ‘Everything is slightly under control’! This sums me up! Everything gets done but in rather a random way. I nearly always end up painting late into the evening – it seems to be my time!
Do you have a favourite or defining moment during your career as an artist? Can you describe it?
Oh Yes! About 20 years ago I was just beginning to really take myself seriously as an artist having made the switch from being a musician. I entered three paintings into ‘The society of Women Artists’ exhibition to be held in Westminster never ever expecting any of them to be even considered. I can still remember opening the post to see that all three paintings had been accepted – it was overwhelming excitement simply because it gave me hope that I was on the right path!