THE ARTISTS: Robin S. Hart, graphic artist/designer |

THE ARTISTS: Robin S. Hart, graphic artist/designer

What is your career and your current job title? I am a graphic artist/designer and the owner of a graphic design business – Starbird Graphics. I have been in the graphics field for over 20 years and have been in business for myself for almost seven years, two of which have been in Nevada County.

Describe in a sentence or two your art. I am creating art in two different disciplines. One is astronomical (space) art, translating the wonders of the cosmos; and the other is doing digital photography, capturing the beauty of the Sierras in all seasons. I am a surrealist and photorealist in style.

How long have you been working in this discipline? I have been creating space art for more than 25 years, and I have been doing landscape photography at least as long, but have been involved with digital photography for the past three years.

Why do you do it? Art moves me. It is like breathing the air. It has always been a fundamental part of my life, from the age of 3, and is the major way I express myself.

What do you hope to accomplish? I hope to create a body of work that incorporates my vision of the world around me and beyond to the depths of space.

Do you create your art with an exact message you want the viewer to receive and if yes, what is that message? I am fascinated with the beautiful surroundings in which I live and the amazing macrocosm of our surrounding universe. I try to translate this to the works that I do, to share my hope and vision of this beautiful planet and universe beyond with the viewer. With so much sadness in the world today, I want to give out a positive message of hope and wonder.

Where do you want to be with your art, in terms of part-time versus full-time status, art positions and where your works are seen? I would like to devote more time to my fine art; it’s one of the goals I have set for myself since I moved to Grass Valley. I have become involved in the local art community, Pioneer Arts and the Nevada County Camera Club. I do give priority to my graphics business, which is creative, as well, and is my “day job.”

What kind of special training did you take? I have had a diverse art education over the last 30 years. I am always in the process of learning and reinventing myself, and I am a technology junky. Give me the fastest computer, program or gadget to create with and I am in “pig heaven.” I graduated from the University of Southern California; Bachelor of Fine Arts, Art Major (cum laude) in 1977. Over the years, I have attended professional courses and trade seminars in computer graphics, web design, desktop publishing, prepress, airbrush, general design and illustration at the Art Center, UC-Santa Barbara, UCLA, Santa Monica College, Valley College, Learning Tree University and Sierra College.

What’s your favorite part of your endeavors? When I have an epiphany and come up with the creative inspiration for a new work of art or see something special that I want to photograph.

What’s your least favorite part of your endeavors? Framing my artwork. I’ve done two one-woman shows and the matt cutting on all those paintings took me to the limit of my patience.

How many hours a day or, if more appropriate, a week do you spend on your work? It depends on what project I am working on and how much graphics work I have.

Do you consider it hard work, and could anyone do it? For me, creating art has always come naturally and has been a joyous part of my life. So it’s always felt easy. All people have some creative talent, especially when they are young. A lot of people lose that sense of wonder when they reach adulthood.

Any other comments you’d like to include? In light of the tragic events with the space shuttle and how dear to me space exploration is, my next painting will be a memorial to the Columbia and its crew. I created something similar in 1986 when Challenger was lost.

Robin S. Hart has digital photos and space paintings on display through March at Grass Valley City Hall (125 E. Main St.).

“The Artists” appears each Friday. To suggest a person to be profiled, call The Union newsroom at 273-9561.

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