Archive for mikel robinson

ACC Baltimore

Posted in About My Work, art, Art Happenings, Festivals and Shows with tags , , , on February 28, 2012 by candlesandghosts

We just returned from the American Craft Council show in Baltimore, and overall it was a very good show for us.  Thought I’d drop you a few photos of the new booth.




I’m doing jewelry as well as mixed media now, and this was the first show where I’ve had it out in force.




It’s off to Atlanta next for ACC Atlanta March 8-11.  Hope to see you there!


The Handmade Market is today

Posted in art, Art Happenings, Festivals and Shows with tags , , , , on April 23, 2011 by candlesandghosts

Happy day before Easter, er, Easter eve, night morning before…oh whatever, you get the idea.  Normally, I would still be asleep, so I’m not exactly coherent, but I just wanted to drop a quick reminder about the Handmade Market today in Raleigh.  If you’re in the area, it’d be swell to see you there.

I’ve finished up a fair amount of new work

small to mid-size pieces mostly

I think this one might be my favorite of the lot

and a few others

Have a good weekend, and if you get the chance


Talk soon,


Victoria Falls and other new work

Posted in About My Work, art with tags , , , , , on April 21, 2011 by candlesandghosts

I’ve started a new commission and it will be interesting to see if I can pull it off.  Seriously.  I’ve never considered myself to be much of a landscape painter, and yet that is exactly what this commission is- a large oil painting of Victoria Falls in Africa.

Its a beautiful photograph that my client shot, and I think that may be part of what makes the task so daunting.  Because I was not there, I have to try and capture the power and wonder of this place using only the memory of a snapped photograph.  The locals call the mist that rises from the falls, “the smoke that thunders.”  This piece will certainly push me out of my mixed media comfort zone, much like I’m sure people must feel when they are actually there; that slightly uneasy but exhilarating feeling of standing at the edge of something so vast, while being held back by only fear, and grace.  Will I be able to capture that using only paint?

Who knows?  But here we go anyway…

I stretched the canvas earlier today, and now it waits only for the first strokes.

First however, I will sketch the landscape out to be as accurate as possible; I feel like this painting will be more of a translation rather than an interpretation.  As it proceeds, I will try to keep you informed as to how it’s going.


This is not the only news however, I am continuing to work feverishly on some new pieces in preparation for the Handmade Market this weekend, and several other shows coming up fast.  Here’s a quick shot of some more of my flying birds.

I’ve got an idea of how I’m going to use these, but that will be for a later time.


Winter Park

Posted in About My Work, art, Family, Festivals and Shows with tags , , , , , , , on April 19, 2011 by candlesandghosts

The last show of the winter season for us was the 52nd Winter Park Art Festival; it ran March 18-20 in Winter Park, FL.  The weather was about perfect, and the location almost couldn’t have been better.  It was a beautiful park in the middle of town, and there was a large area behind our booth where Jeremia could play.

He particularly liked this one tree which was perfect to climb in.

I liked being able to shoot his shadow in the late afternoon.

From our experience- don’t know if it was the same for everyone- the crowds were great, but there weren’t that many people purchasing art. For the show to be located in such an affluent area, and garnering such a prestigious reputation, we were expecting to be swamped.  We were busy from time to time, just not as much as I expected.

So in between, I had plenty of chances to shoot some photos.   Lately, I’ve been beginning to experiment with photographing objects, animals, and such in motion -especially birds in flight- and I think there are a lot of possibilities; especially when combined with mixed media.  Here’s a piece I sold, that I hope better illustrates the point.

“Flight Study III”

My favorite shot of the weekend, at least of the birds, was this image of a pigeon taking off.

J and I had been feeding it crackers, but it would only let him get so close before it would take to the safety of the tree above our booth.

Finally, on Saturday afternoon, a lady came along randomly snapping photos and decided to take a shot or two of us.

Kristina and Jeremia were their usual, beautiful photogenic selves, whereas I was too busy yacking about some nonsense to stand still.   Oh well, at least we’re all in the same photo.  Often with us and family pictures, it’s like trying to herd cats…


On Sunday evening, we packed up but decided to stay an extra night at the hotel before heading home.  This seems to be a theme for us, but we tend to do better with the long drives once everyone has had some rest.  The next day we were back on I-95 heading north, but we quickly found a detour at Washington Oaks State Park just north of Palm Coast.  Not a well known place, but it was beautiful and secluded- we practically had the place to ourselves.

Definitely the kind of driveway I’m going to get when I move out of my parents’ house.

The was a small playground where Jeremia could play, and some nice hiking trails that went around the park, so we decided to check them out.

It didn’t take long for J to find some large palm leaves-

I’m not sure if he was happier carrying them or “sweeping” with them.

He certainly was enjoying trying to whack me on the head with them as he rode on my shoulders.

We strolled around for the better part of 2 hours, but decided that it was probably time to get on the road.

On the way out I shot one last image of this nice large oak.

It might make for a good art piece sometime in the future.

Until next time,


Crazy, Crazy, Crazy

Posted in About My Work, art, Festivals and Shows with tags , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2010 by candlesandghosts

So how are things? As the title implies, things have been a little busy

for us around here.  Since I last posted we’ve done 3 shows:

Festival of the Masters Booth  Orlando, FL

Festival of the Masters Booth  Orlando, FL

I’ve worked on a large commission:

Manaus 1



And I’ve even managed to get a few other new pieces finished,

including a another version of one of my favorite pieces:

“A Series of Minor Distractions” 2010

“Ferris Wheels and Polka Dots” 2010

“Four Dandelions” 2010

“Sanctuary” 2010


Jeremia, of course, has been his usual hip self-still growing like a weed

and cute as ever (if I do say so myself).

-styling for the camera

-being chased by Zombies during the Zombie Lurch in Durham


-going Trick or Treating for the 1st time.

He especially liked where we were staying while we were showing at the Festival of the Masters in Orlando.  There was a heated kiddie pool



where we could swim day or night.  He could even fetch his own towel

when he was ready to go back to the room (well almost).

But nothing compared to meeting the Mouse:




Up next for us is a home studio show this weekend, and I’ll try to get some details up a little later this week.


Tokens and Paper Lace Part 2.

Posted in art, jewelry with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 11, 2009 by candlesandghosts

To begin this new piece, I started with the paper lace image

Heart-Token-1 2

and a 3 foot length of 1/4 craft pine that has been sitting in my studio.

Heart-Token-1 1

I roughly cut out the image and traced its shape on to the wood.  I also traced a larger copycat shape which will serve as the piece’s outer frame.  I then cut the piece out using my coping saw.

Heart-Token-1 3

After much trial end error (and one broken but re-glued and repaired frame later), I ended up with the outer shape of the piece which was painted,

Heart-Token-1 5

then gold leafed.

Heart-Token-1 4

Next, on the top surface of the frame, I used a sgrafitto technique which is the process of scratching or stamping through the top layer of a surface to reveal the layer underneath.  You often see this technique used in traditional Christian iconography to highlight the gold leaf.  I will worry about the sides of the frame later.

For the next step, I cut out a solid duplicate of the frame from 1/64″ modeling wood.

Heart-Token-1 6

I then laid the pieces together to get my first look at what the pendant will look like when assembled.

Heart-Token-1 7

Happy with the results, its on to working on the back side of the piece which I will have to begin in the next post.  Right now, I have a 5 month old who is in dire need of a bottle and a nap.


Tokens and Paper Lace Part 1.

Posted in art, jewelry with tags , , , , , , , on September 9, 2009 by candlesandghosts

For several years, I have been fascinated with Victorian love tokens, and have been making pieces of wearable art based upon them.   In the age before photographs were commonplace, these were often given as gifts of longing from one person to another, much as my pieces are often given as gifts of love.

Examples include engraved metal tokens,


nice calling cards,


locks of hair,


or even pieces of jewelry.


For me, what began as a surprise Christmas gift to my wife several years ago


has blossomed into a whole series of pieces.

As of late, I have also started collecting antique paper lace Holy Cards.


These were also often given as tokens of affection, or to mark special occasions, such as first baptisms or holidays.  Most of the pieces are quite small, say something around 2″ x 4″, but the detail, and variety to be found, is incredible.

I’ve started on a new piece that merges the idea of the love token with paper lace cards, and I began by using the card shown above.  Here is the image as I have modified it for use.  For reference the final pendant piece will be roughly 2.75″ x 3.5″.

Heart-Token-1 2

In the next posting, I’ll begin the process of taking you through step by step.