When Strange Dirt’s Marsha Robinson found a field of gouache paints her mother had saved underneath a mattress, the Denver artist had no concept it might be the important thing to her artistic future. Robinson was eager about artwork all through highschool however knew artwork faculty was out of the query as a result of it was too costly. As an alternative, she opted to dive into administrative work however one thing saved telling her it wasn’t the street she was meant to take. “I used to be transferring away from house with my old flame and my mother gifted me the field of paints. I used to be shocked she had saved it however there was a purpose for it and I’m so grateful she did. I had an itch to choose up the paintbrush and see the place my fingers wished to take me. So I opened up that field and the remainder is historical past,” Robinson stated. Utilizing gouache, an opaque water colour, would lead her up to utilizing ink, her important medium at this time. Even after dabbling in artwork exhibits at native venues and promoting items, Robinson felt her work nonetheless wanted a stronger focus. Annoyed with working within the meals trade, she took the leap and determined to pursue artwork full-time.
If you happen to check out Robinson’s work, you’ll discover intricate botanical imagery amid artwork deco design. “Seeing a constructing that was constructed within the ’30s or ’40s makes my coronary heart soften,” she stated. Robinson combines the artwork deco with the fantastic thing about a bouquet of flowers. She believes flowers can imply many issues to completely different individuals and are iconic of many life’s event: loss of life, marriage, love or friendship. “I take a look at flowers as delicate constructions, like clothes. Some petals have folds and ripples, they usually are available many shapes, sizes, colours and textures,” Robinson stated. It was this fascination with Mom Nature that birthed the artist’s inspiration for the identify Strange Dirt.
She started utilizing the identify at her first artwork present at Weathervane Cafe. Lots of Robinson’s botanical illustrations are make-imagine, she takes bits and items of parts from present flowers and creates her personal blossom. She stated, “I wished to consider my flowers as one thing that I created, type of like enjoying God, and that they had been planted in grime that was magical. It appeared becoming to have my work go by Strange Dirt, as a result of they had been magical and unusual and grew out of soil that was particular and completely different. It caught with me, so I selected to undertake that as my persona.”
Regardless that Robinson’s designs are on patches, glassware, textile prints and positive artwork prints, she admits it’s the patches that put Strange Dirt on the map. “Once I moved to Denver I attempted to dwell in collective homes and met lots of people who had been anarchists. I noticed plenty of patches on hats, denim jackets and backpacks they usually all meant one thing essential to the individuals carrying them, they usually had been so soiled and so beloved,” she stated. She won't have utterly slot in however she appreciated the tradition and wished to discover a approach into the lives of many, not simply of a sure scene. “I wished the patches to have a life and last more than a 12 months. I wished my work on clothes however I didn’t need to discover a t-shirt I created in a thrift retailer due to trend tendencies altering with seasons. I would like for individuals to maintain on to the patches so long as they may,” Robinson stated.
The artist toyed with the thought of changing into a clothier and even went as far being accepted into the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. “I lasted about 5 months. I used to be commuting over an hour every approach and I couldn’t sit in my seat and hear for an hour at a time. I noticed I didn’t need to go as far designing clothes for different individuals. So I walked out of considered one of my lessons and dropped out. I attempted group faculty as properly however faculty is simply not my factor,” she stated. Robinson will get actually comfortable when she sees individuals sporting her designs on patches and that they adore it sufficient to show it.
Textile designs grew to become a part of the equation when Robinson wished to see her work blown up to a bigger scale. She discovered a textile printer in North Carolina, obtained her first order and was amazed by the consequence. “I additionally wished my work to be a part of a house, it made sense to have one thing that somebody can grasp over their mattress or sofa and it’s a chunk of material that’s versatile,” she stated. Glassware got here subsequent when Robinson desired a stage of sophistication for Strange Dirt. Glassware might be handed on from household to household, like grandmothers who've teacup collections or crystal glasses they want to cross on to grandchildren. In addition to sentimental worth, she wished to steer into homeware and equipment. Robinson needs her work to be expressed in each which approach attainable.
Denver has confirmed to be a tremendous group for Robinson as an artist and as a artistic character. For her, Denver offers room to blossom and individuals are keen to take the time to give help. “It’s a candy spot for those who’re attempting to be seen. Denver’s been great and I really feel very blessed to have began my profession right here,” she stated. Sooner or later, you’ll see Robinson working her stock of authentic items. Robinson stated, “I like the method of making and would really like to deal with that extra. I’d like to have the option to work with designers, artwork consumers and artwork consultants and see the place my work might go from there. I’d like to see how far Strange Dirt can go on this great metropolis.”
Pictures courtesy of Marsha Robinson.