Rhythm, harmony, melody and mood are all brought together in a rhapsody of colour in the paintings of Maggie Robinson.
Music has always been a large part of the artist’s life and so it seemed natural that she would relate those elements essential for composing to the landscapes she paints – she even gives each painting a musical title and an Opus number.
“It’s great fun – but it has also become quite challenging now, as I have reached Opus 305, after seven years creating the body of work I have called The Music of the Landscape,” she said.
Growing up as part of a large artistic family in the North Yorkshire Moors, Maggie, a sister to four brothers, spent much of her childhood outdoors or playing and listening to music.
“I played the piano and as a family we were always making music together. The windows of our home would be open and I remember the music soaring over the moors and the smells of the moors coming in.
“Everything I create is centred around these memories of the past and my life now walking in the Peak District.
“I don’t worry about my landscapes being an exact representation; they are more about movement. One could be peaceful and another excitingly energetic. A lot of it comes from how I am feeling inside that day.
“I work with acrylics, charcoal and collage, building up layers until I get to the point where I feel it has a truth about it that makes it mine. I know it’s worked when I know it’s worked,” she said with a smile.
It is clear that Maggie is a woman who works hard to achieve her goals and won’t let anything get in her way.
She originally trained as a PE teacher and taught that, with music, at secondary schools until she had her family.
At one stage in her life she bought a viola with the aim of learning to play well enough to play in a string quartet. I needn’t have asked if she achieved that – of course she did.
The same determination came to the fore when about 22 years ago Maggie switched her ambitions from music to her other passion – painting – and she set about researching, learning, studying and above all practising.
She completed courses and studied with some renowned tutors but essentially she has found her own path making mistakes along the way and overcoming frustrations as they emerged. One of her proudest moments early on in her career as an artist was having three paintings accepted into The Society of Women Artists’ exhibition.
“I was so excited because back then it gave me hope that I was on the right path as a serious artist.”
Maggie and her artist husband Brian, whom she describes as her “greatest admirer”, moved to Sheffield from Essex eight years ago and it was then that she made another important decision, which was to find her own voice and give her work a theme.
Until then, together with Brian, she had been devoting a lot of time to teaching other artists both in their home studio and on painting holidays in Europe, but she decided that this didn’t allow her to develop her own projects.
“You get to know yourself better as you get older and I knew I wanted to focus more on my own work. Since we moved here I have almost started from scratch with my work and I am delighted with the opportunities I am getting to exhibit in several prestigious venues,” she explained.
One of the most positive developments for the couple, who share a studio at their city home, was being accepted as members of the Peak District Artisans.
“It is a great group where we all share the same passion for what we create and it has provided us with many opportunities to exhibit as well as helping us find our feet in the art world when we first moved up here.”
Maggie’s work can be seen at the PDA shows as well as at St John Street Gallery in Ashbourne, Cromford Studio and Gallery, Tarpey Gallery in Castle Donington, Paul Tavernor Gallery in Cheshire, Old Courthouse Gallery in Ambleside and Zillah Bell Gallery in Thirsk.
For more details about her work go to http://www.maggiesart.co.uk