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James Robie: The Journey

Updated: Feb 29

Art for me is a journey, a never ending journey of wonder and discovery.

I was educated as a painter, studying first with Richard Diebenkorn at UCLA in the sixties and later at the Yale graduate school Art and Architecture where I studied with Al Held and Lester Johnson.

While an undergraduate at UCLA I worked as an apprentice wood pattern maker working along side skilled craftsmen from around the world. There I learned the art of woodworking. That knowledge would later be put to good use when I began carving wood in the early 80s.

Both nature and the urban environment inspire me and each finds its way into my work. Nature in the form of fallen branches and palm fronds that I have collected over the years and the urban environment that supplies me with the geometry that is such a big part of my work.

The process of making the art is most important. I constantly try to challenge myself in what I am creating.

I don’t want to be bound by rules, that I am free to experiment. I love the mystery of the unknown, of what might and can happen if you try something different.

I’ve recently introduced myself to the art of ceramics. It’s wonder and mystery has opened up a whole new world of possibilities in my work. It has been the perfect extension of what I consider the next part of this never-ending journey I’m on.

photo by Mark Hanauer

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