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West Allis - Inspired by color, words, puns, metal objects, images, other art forms or social causes, Rosalie Robison of Milwaukee offers a unique exhibit titled “Watercolor Ease & Metal Mania” at Inspiration Studios, 1500 S. 73rd St., West Allis.

An opening reception with the artist is scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12. The reception will be free to the public and light refreshments will be provided. Two original works of art will be raffled off during the opening reception.

The exhibit will be on display from Nov. 10 to Dec. 4.

Gallery hours when visitors can meet Robison and discuss her work in person will be 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 16, 22 and 30; 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 19, 20, 27, and Dec. 3.

Art from pain

As a child, Rosalie Robison painted pre-outlined botanical drawings. In 2000, she lost her career as a librarian, due to a permanent back injury. During the five-year recovery period, she began to paint again -- as therapy -- to work through the pain. Today, she draws the botanicals and then paints them, allowing her to combine right brain and left brain, creativity and analytics, in her work.

Attention to detail is sure to capture the eye when viewing Robison’s art. Whether it is a colorful display of flora or a metal sculpture created of re-used materials, the details will stand out.

“I am inspired by social commentary and the ideas they contain, but I am intrigued by the playfulness of geometrics and collage," she said. "Often I find my subconscious will take over, allowing me to build from there and create new meaning where there may not have been any."

"When I allow surprises to take over and happen spontaneously in my paintings, the results are often so much more intriguing and fulfilling than if I were to plan out every detail in advance," she said. "It’s fun, creative, and I can let a work create its own path and go wherever it’s headed.”

Watercolors favorite

Although Robison has worked with collage, mixed media, and pen & ink, she proclaims that her medium of choice is watercolor.

“I’ve tried other mediums, such as acrylic and oils. After I’d completed my first watercolor, I knew that was my medium,” she said.

There is great detail in her watercolor pieces. But her art developed further as she explored other options. She has loved working with metal since taking a course in metalworking while studying fine arts, but confesses that watercolors are easier to execute. Metalwork is more demanding physically.

Regardless, there is a strong sense of structure and control in Robison’s sculptural pieces. The mobiles show a marriage of color and structure in free-form hangings. The 3-D works are playful and whimsical, often creating new shapes and patterns from recycled materials that would otherwise fill trash bins.

“My art has expanded from framed acrylic pieces to free-form paintings, hangings, and 3D mobile structures. And I now incorporate watercolor into sculptures when framed work appears to be too restrictive,” she said.

Painting party

For those who may be inspired to create their own art, a watercolor painting party is scheduled with Rosalie Robison from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27.

This will be an opportunity to work side-by-side with Robison to create and take home a watercolor painting of participants' own making.

More information about the exhibit, the painting party, and open gallery hours are available on the Inspiration Studios website: www.inspirationstudiosgallery.com.

Contributed by Erico Ortiz, Inspiration Studios founder

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