Mixed media artist Robie Benve presents a collection of urban landscapes filled with color and texture. Enjoy more of her portfolio by visiting her website.
I grew up in Italy, a shy girl prone to blushing. Being the only red-haired student in my school did not help.
I started working in our family retail shoe business at a very young age while studying. I got an MBA from the University of Venice—the first one in my family to earn a college degree!
At twenty-six, I met the love of my life. That threw all my plans for a future in business out the window. I ended up following him to the United States. We moved twice—first to Maryland, then to Ohio. The move to Columbus, Ohio, which I had deemed undesirable, turned out to be a blessing. It allowed me to discover my true passion and become an artist.
At the age of forty, thanks to my daughter who asked me for a painting, I started painting and I never stopped. My studio became my personal playground, a place of discovery and experimentation. I found my bliss.
Since I started late and with no formal art education, I knew that to get good at it, I had to paint a lot. I kept those brushes swishing. I signed up for art classes, read lots of art books and watched countless instructional videos.
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I’m a very positive person. Even in the middle of a crisis, I choose to avoid negative thoughts and focus instead on the glass being half full. I strive to do the same in my art practice. I like my paintings to spark smiles and happy thoughts, stimulating great memories about places or experiences.
My paintings are an expression of my curiosity about what is around me. I portray cityscapes and landscapes that I love in ways that bring me joy and might just make the viewer smile.
When I start a new painting, I feel like a kid, excited and ready to experiment. I begin with an abstract base and work intuitively, letting what’s on the canvas inform the next layers. I apply several layers of acrylic, paper, fabric, and other mediums and usually end up with a painting rich in color, texture and pattern. It’s mind-blowing and a true blessing when jurors select my work for awards or collectors choose to hang them in their homes. I even have a gallery representing me—Marcia Evans Gallery. How awesome is that?
One of my favorite quotes is, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” Being an artist is just like that. Yes, sometimes it’s hard work. It can be stressful, and you may have to face a lot of rejections, but that feeling you get while at the easel, creating, is irreplaceable. That sense of wonder and being “in the zone” outside of space and time is what rewards me the most. That, and seeing people smile while they look at my work.
When my art makes people smile, the shy red-haired girl inside me giggles in amazement and wants to jump up and down and hug everyone.
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