"AT SOME POINT, THE PAINTING CARRIED ME AWAY AND I WAS COMPLETELY ABSORBED..."
Robin Wellner is a portrait and landscape painter based in Charlotte, NC. She loves the journey of discovery that unfolds during the painting process. The Creativity Spa came across Wellner's recent portrait of George Floyd, an African-American man killed by police during an arrest on May 25, 2020. We were taken by this piece and how Wellner captured Floyd's humanity. To us, his eyes evoke calm, kindness and peace. We (TCS) reached out to Wellner (RW) to discuss her emotional journey while she created it.
TCS: How did you feel as you painted this portrait?
RW: Initially I was angry and very sad, but I tried to honor him as I painted. At some point, the painting carried me away and I was completely absorbed, or "in the zone" as some call it. This state is one of the reasons I paint. It gives me peace.
TCS: Was creating this painting helpful for you?
RW: Absolutely. It started me on a mission to help somehow, if nothing else by honoring some of those victims in paint. I’ve always felt there is something very special about memorializing someone in art.
TCS: In general, do you feel that creating benefits your well-being?
RW: I have to do it, I love to do it, so yes! It gives me peace. I would equate it with meditation - in fact that might be an interesting study, to see if the mind does go into a similar state. I “escape” for hours at a time. Usually I am shocked to see how much time has elapsed. And of course it is a means to express emotions, like journaling or such, a concrete exploration of all those feelings hopefully with a beautiful, visual result.
TCS: After painting this painting, you started a Facebook Group called Artists for Justice. Can you tell us about it?
Yes, I wanted to find a way to help. I don't know if this is the best way, but it's a start. Please join if you're so inclined and post artwork that relates to Justice and Black Lives Matter, to make this country a better place! I'm planning on auctioning my paintings or perhaps making prints, with proceeds going to BLM or a similar group that is helping with our fight for true equality.
June 17, 2020
Say His Name
11 x 14 inches
Oil on Canvas
by artist Robin Wellner