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Introducing Artist Robin Clonts

By Sandra Clark

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Robin Clonts is a graduate of BYU’s Fine Arts Program, from the class of 2014. An experienced oil painter, Robin spent much of her undergraduate experience working in hyper-realistic portraiture, but since 2013 has shifted her focus to landscape. A native to Long Island, New York, much of her imagery comes from the area’s land and seascape. Her work is recognized today for its meticulous detail, fine craft, and idyllic imagery.

Artist Statement:
I am driven to capture the ephemeral landscape. In painting the land, I hope to preserve and elevate it- ensuring that it can never be altered or forgotten. By immortalizing my subject matter, I am able to combat my fear of its loss and intensify my appreciation of its fleeting appearance.

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Interview:
1) What are your sources of inspiration?
My Father’s passing in May 2013 entirely switched the exclusive focus of my subject matter from portraiture to landscape painting. Dad had a lot of pride in the land. He loved gardening, boating, sunsets, and our Long Island home. Painting the land and ocean have become my way of staying connected to him and reclaiming a sense of home.

2) What do you want others to take or feel from your work?
Trying to see the land through my dad’s eyes has led me to a much greater appreciation of how beautiful the natural world is. I hope that others can be led to a similar experience through my work.

3) How do you feel that your testimony is reflected in your work?
Over the last year and a half I’ve struggled to understand my relationship with God, but I hope that my work reflects my gratitude, effort to connect, and knowledge that I am very blessed. Losing someone close to you rattles the way you view life. I constantly work to understand what death means and why it happens. These kinds of questions never occurred to me before my dad died, but now I live with them daily. I’m grateful that Christ has felt every pain that we endure and that he is patient with me. On some level I can feel that this experience is helping me to understand better the nature of God. That He is more full of love and patience than we know and that nothing means more to Him than the love He feels for us. That all miracles are possible through Him.

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4) How do you find time and space to create art?
By actively making sure that I have something to learn and communicate through my art. If we don’t have anything urgent to say or work through, then we won’t have anything to propel us forward. I am always building up reference material and finding new artists to inspire me. Also, external motivation and validation are key. I access many of these things currently through Instagram. Instagram allows me to connect with an incredible community of artists and a support network that I would not otherwise have access to. I’m able to get quick feedback, see others’ studio practices, and set new goals for myself through viewing others’ strengths. (My username is @robinclontsart)

5) What do you find empowering about being an artist?
Currently, the ability it gives me to connect with my memories, my sense of home, the land, and a sense of belonging and purpose.

6) How do you encourage creativity in others?
Enthusiasm and trust. Sometimes all people need is for others to see their potential and trust in their capability- in order to take a risk and trust themselves. I’m very grateful for the people who have shown me these things.

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Website (coming soon): http://www.robinclonts.com/
Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/RobinClontsArt
Instgram: @robinclontsart

About Sandra Clark

Sandra Clark Jergensen's writing (most often about food) has been published in Gastronomica, Apartment Therapy, The Exponent, and at Segullah, where she was once the Editor-in-Chief, and now as Features Editor. Sandra geeked out on food and writing as a master's student food studies at University of Texas, Arlington. She makes her home in California where she runs without shoes, foster parents, teaches cooking, develops recipes, and struggles to take pictures with her eyes open, and sometimes all at the same time. She is the owner and creator of thekitchennatural.com.

2 thoughts on “Introducing Artist Robin Clonts”

  1. I recently finished one of Wendell Berry's novel (his life's work is about improving our relationship to the land), so this artist's work dovetails into those ideas. What a lovely tribute to her father. Thanks for the interview and the art work.

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