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2013 October 24

Learn more about Featured Artist Robyn Thompsoneyes
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Hurray!  Our first featured artist since August comes from August & September entries to the Featured Artist Contest. I needed something new, something uncommon, or maybe just to revisit something with a different eye… like flint corn once all the summer ears have disappeared.  Guess what? I got exactly that…

This month’s artist works is a an intentional painter that developed, almost by accident, into a photographer. I appreciate the exuberance and optimism in this work –an opportunity to look with a new perspective, fresh eyes, if you will.

On behalf of, I am proud to announce the Featured Artist chosen from the August & September entries is Robyn Thompson. I find this work to be…a nod to a little something different.

Learn more about Featured Artist Robyn Thompson! AAAD FEATURED ARTIST:
Robyn Thompson


RoByn began her journey as an artist by being a face painter. She soon sought larger canvases and has been exploring the world of body painting for over a decade. She very much appreciates the support of her wonderful body painting models because without their bodies she would have nothing to paint on!

She initially painted bodies for several prominent photographers before picking up the camera herself.  Now she enjoys the creative control of the process from initial sketch of the body paint design through the painting process culminating in capturing the images on her trusty Nikon.

Body Painting by Featured Artist Robyn ThompsonRoByn’s artwork has been seen in such diverse places as the cover of Time Out New York, the Tyra Banks Show, HBO’s Flight of the Concords and Time Magazine’s website.

Are you self taught or formally instructed“I have a BA in visual arts. I barely graduated and didn’t really get much out of school. I was young and single parenting a toddler on the autism spectrum so it really wasn’t my priority. My areas of concentration were ceramic sculpture and paper making. I haven’t touched either in a couple of decades. I didn’t take a single drawing or painting class but really wish that I had. The things I learned aren’t relevant to my current work and I learned not a single thing about the marketing of art.”

Why paint bodies, such a temporary canvas?  And, was the photography a way to have a more permanent format to exhibit?  “I’ve never had a formal painting class. I was initially intimidated by the idea of painting on canvas. It’s such a permanent thing. I really embraced the temporary nature of body painting and found it very freeing. It was ok to take chances because it would all be gone tomorrow.

Body Painting by Featured Artist Robyn Thompson“I initially worked with photographers as a way to document my work. I learned photography as a way to get the images more like I wanted them. Exhibition has never been the focus. I just do what I do because I have a need to do it.

“Body painting is actually a very, very small part of what I do these days. I’ve just finished shooting an inclusive nude tarot deck using light painting. The 81 cards have models ranging from 18 to 76 and from under 100 to over 300 lbs.”

Your work is both fantastical AND oddly organic.  Talk to me about your inspiration.   “I like transformation.  I like ambiguity.  I like magic.  Body painting got its start as a magical religious thing.  I want to bring that back.”

Why the objection to touching up you work in Photoshop?  What would this technological aid change for you about what makes you work your own? 

Body Painting by Featured Artist Robyn ThompsonI think that Photoshop is often used as a shortcut or as a cheat.  When I was working with photographers, I had my body painting Photoshopped several times without permission.  I’ve seen body painters use it to fix blotchy spots or shaky lines.  I think it compromised the integrity of the work.  It is easier to fix something in post rather than do it right the 1st time. 

“My strong anti-Photoshop bias but me in the minority, but I am not alone on this.  I’ve seen instances of photos being disqualified from competitions because of unscrupulous Photoshopping.  In the light painting world, Photoshop is pretty much frowned upon.  That said, I think it’s an amazing tool.” *Editor’s Note: Since my work is dependent upon photo editing, I clearly disagree. 

What style or school of art do you think your work fits into and why?   “I don’t know where my work fits. It’s a problem for me with trying to get my work out. I feel like our current system encourages artists to be pigeon-holed within a specific medium or genre. Life is too short. I want to explore and play.

“I think doing what I’m doing feeds my soul
and likely hurts my pocketbook.”


Body Painting by Featured Artist Robyn ThompsonYou know we have to talk about food. What is your favorite?  I’m a chocoholic who is trying to go sugar-free so I’ve cut out chocolate among many, many things. I think for the shear sensuousness of it, nothing beats eating a mango naked. Smoked Gouda also rocks my world.”  A life without chocolate isn’t worth living, Robyn.

What about snack foods?  “Chocolate.  Hands down.  Chocolate pudding.  Ohhhhhhhhh, warm chocolate pudding with just a dash of milk.”  Either she gave up her sugar ban already or she’s snackless.  Let’s hope for the former.

So, what’s coming up next for you?  “I’ve just finished getting the tarot deck ready for publication, and I have 4 new series that I’ve just gotten the necessary supplies for. Two of them involve 3d constructions of dreams. The 3rd is a photographic series that is my take on the classical vanitas or memento mori.  And, there’s also a project that I just worked out the concepts for that involve stuffed animals from one’s childhood. Body painting and painting with light photography both continue to interest me, so I’ll keep doing that. I also remain fascinated with fractals kaleidoscopes & glitches so you can expect them to pop up somewhere.  And because, I am a madwoman, I try to do a painting a day. ”

Robyn, thanks for sending me something newI needed it.

Learn more about Robyn Thompson online!

Learn more about Featured Artist Robyn Thompson!



19 Responses
  1. Terri Lloyd permalink
    October 25, 2013

    Yay RoByn! She’s also a Hag!

  2. December 8, 2013

    Really cool works!! and I have a serious chocolate problem too!

  3. December 28, 2013

    I LOVE Robyn’s work!! Having modeled for her, I have to say she is incredibly talented and outs all her heart into her work.

  4. December 28, 2013

    I’ve known RoByn for almost 10 years now and have seen the progression of her art… it just keeps getting better.

  5. Sue Wolfsong permalink
    December 29, 2013

    A thoroughly competent artist, the thing that gives RoByn the edge she has is that she retains the child that’s not so very well hidden in her adult form. Never knowing what she’s going to be up to next keeps her fans continually interested in her latest activities. She’s always looking for the next delight that’s just around Life’s corner!

  6. Wendy Frye permalink
    December 29, 2013

    RoByn’s work is as interesting, beautiful, unique, as she is.
    There’s passion and a story that you get from ever piece. Her body painting stops me in my tracks!

  7. December 29, 2013

    This is all kinds of awesome. The tradition of body painting is prehistoric, and transformation is indeed what it’s all about. RoByn’s art takes it to a wonderful photo-modern level.

  8. James W. Fry permalink
    December 29, 2013

    RoByn Thompson’s work is terrific. The designs are colorful and clever. Must see more of this artist’s work.

  9. Jazmin Frye permalink
    December 29, 2013

    I am in awe of Robyn’s work. It is something fresh and so different from what I’ve seen before. I also appreciate that she doesn’t touch up her work in Photoshop. I think it takes a lot of strength to be comfortable with leaving your mistakes and imperfections for everyone to see. I know it’s hard for me in just about any art I do. I can’t wait to see what Robyn does next!

  10. Racerxphoto permalink
    December 29, 2013

    Robyn,s works is fantastic, some of her bodypaint is so lifelike I had to look twice to see that it was a painting.

  11. Crystal permalink
    December 29, 2013

    Just fabulous Robyn can you paint me plzzzzzzzzz :}

  12. Henryne permalink
    December 29, 2013

    Your art is amazing. I shared it with my daughter who is an artist and about to pursue it as in college. I love your advice about learning how to market art which I also shared with my daughter. It’s important for young artists to see more experienced artists and how they promote their work. Keep it the good work. Your passion will inspire others to be as brave as you are.

  13. Darryl permalink
    December 30, 2013

    Your work is incredible. I’m always amazed by the creativity and talent displayed.

  14. Ebeth permalink
    December 30, 2013

    Exciting work. Activates the imagination.

  15. ashanti permalink
    December 30, 2013

    Your humility, your philosophy, your art…simply inspiring

  16. Irene permalink
    December 31, 2013

    Wow! Nice images.

  17. Pinkee permalink
    December 31, 2013


  18. January 2, 2014

    Robyn’s Work is beautiful, even if she’s just warming up during breakfast with some Acrylics.

  19. Arthur Nichols permalink
    January 3, 2014

    If you haven’t seen the artwork of Robyn Thompson, then get ready for an epidermal thrill ride of colorfully bold proportions.

    Robyn’s work on the human body makes the human design seem even so much more interesting when she takes a form and makes it into a symbol of something, of anything: unity, fun, mystery. Whimsy. Sensuality.

    The colors she applies to bodies – through whatever medium strikes her fancy at the time – takes you to another level of the exterior form. She at times paints worlds within worlds onto the human contour. And she is painting more and more with… light? Awesome. I have to learn more about that!

    Also, she gives the human body an extra flair that we all wish we had from time to time. Makes you get in touch with new perspectives on life.

    Always intriguing. Never boring. Certainly attention-grabbing. Wonderfully adventurous.


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