“I have a magpie-like attraction to bright, colorful, decorated objects, but an orderly mind, a love for the grid, and a strong schooling (from my architectural design studies) to mistrust the superficial,” writes Heather Robinson in her artist statement. “These contradictory urges come together in my paintings.”
In Pattern Seeking, a series of atmospheric abstract paintings, the San Francisco-based artist combines geometric and organic shapes with pops of bright color to visualize the feeling of optimism. “Pattern Seeking is about optimism in the face of evidence to the contrary,” she says. “In an increasingly chaotic and uncertain time, I paint to evoke positive emotions, even if I’m not always feeling them myself.”
Pairing orderly patterns and evocative color brings Heather’s architecture and environmental design background into her painting practice. “I work in many layers of acrylic media, starting with a piece of fabric at the base and adding elements both rigid and loose,” she says, describing the delicate balance between stiff, stenciled shapes and unstructured washes of color. “The result […] is a representation of my mental state while creating—a push and pull between order and disorder.”
Though Pattern Seeking represents Heather’s mental dissonance, her process expertly weds austere architecture with freeform expression. Using repetition as a meditative exercise, Heather contemplates her small but unique place in the world. She says, “Striving to create a harmonious whole and a beautiful finished object, putting down colors and patterns that interact with and weave into each other in a satisfying way [..] affects me for the better, as I hope it affects the viewer.”
“In an increasingly chaotic and uncertain time, I paint to evoke positive emotions, even if I’m not always feeling them myself.” — Heather Robinson
All photos published with permission of the artist(s).
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