Hi all to those who thought I had disappeared.

I’m still here and if you look at my flickr photos posted on this site you’ll see I have been working on art. I have also started another painting that sits and awaits decisions before it can be finished.

Since I now work at the Art Institute of Chicago, and loving it by the way, I do get the perk of taking classes for free. So yay to job perks!  I recently started taking a continuing studies class at AIC that inspires artists to think outside the box. I’m finding this class inspirational as I have been rethinking my artwork. I’ve come to the conclusion that it needs a “face lift” of sorts; I have been experimenting with painting surfaces other than a clayboard for my egg temperas as well as incorporating various mediums.  I am leaning more towards using wood veneer sheets. The graining of the wood veneer adds challenging structural interest to my painting as it tends to warp with water color application. I do like the depth I can achieve by watercolor absorbing into the wood, while the egg tempera sits on the surface of the veneer.


Struggling with my creation and career, I found myself looking for words of encouragement.  I found the following quotations to be most helpful:

“Nothing worthwhile ever happens quickly and easily. You achieve only as you are determined to achieve…” (Robert H. Lauer)

” Walk to your easel casually, but with a dollop of arrogance.” (Harley Brown)

“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do. (Edgar Degas)

“Confidence is the hinge on the door to success.” (Mary O’Hare Dumas)

     Robyn Mertel was born in 1963 to different parents other than whom she was

raised by. She was blessed and listed a successful infant adoption story

on the books.


    Her early years were spent living in a rural area of Jacksonville, Illinois.

Robyn was encouraged at an early age to explore her artistic talents.

Her mother always had ample art supplies available to her

daughter. Art of Robyn’s pre-school years focused on barnyard animals

and what she viewed around her. Sheep was a themed favorite.


     In 1973 her family moved to Michigan. In 1981 she graduated Albion High

School early in the spring. Already accepted by Albion College as a fall

freshman, she signed on to attend a couple art college courses in the

meantime. Her plans to major in biology soon gave way to a brighter

dream – the love of art and being fine arts major. She enjoyed creating it

as well as learning the history of it. She graduated magna cum laude with

a B.F.A. degree in painting, drawing and printmaking in 1985.


     For a large span of years, 1985 – 2007, marriage, children and

administrative jobs overran her artist career dream. Her paintings were

non-existent and her artistic creativity hung on only by the yearly design

of the holiday card, occasional pencil portrait drawings done as gifts, and

pastel drawings created/donated for school fund raiser auctions.

As they say, “Life” happened in June of 2007; her father, after losing his

wife seven years before, passed away leaving a small inheritance. Robyn

decided this was her chance and possibly a sign for a career change. It was

time to concentrate on her long lost love of painting, hoping fame and

fortune will be around the corner. She was accepted into the Society of

Egg Tempera Painters in September 2007.


     Robyn paints exclusively in Egg Tempera. She had great success with this

medium in college and she found it best suits her style of detailed painting.

Her artwork is architectural in theme. Many of her paintings include projected

positive and negative shapes that occur from light sources interacting with


Concept #2 – The other day I was playing with my Picasa2 software. I went into the effects and started adding different effects to this painting. Then it struck me. I always paint my paintings with daylight themes; what if I change the time of day to night and apply moonlight instead of sunlight. The negative shapes of the shadows would certainly take on more interest as well as create new artistic challenges for me. This would truly be painting outside my box! At this point, I am still on the fence. Does anyone have any comments to share?Columns

My newest work in progress has changed significantly since my first idea conception. Initially it started off in the most simplistic form- Columns in the distance casting shadows across stone. It has a nice interesting composition drawing the eye downward and also back into the distance. Recently reviewing my painting, I discovered I want more!

Concept #1 -Now that I have started painting it, I’ve found the foreground lacking in interest. I have decided to add the element of water reflection to add detail and focus on the foreground and add further connection to the distant columns. I like how this is initially playing out.


So here it is- my works in progress finished. I entitled it Arches.



Arches- Works in Progress I.

Currently I am developing spatial relationships within the painting and adding detail.

Arches WIP -I