By Mary Bass, Art Critic
If you’ve ever been to the Art Institute of Chicago, you may know that sensors protect many of the artworks. Invariably, I will get at least one stern warning from a security guard because my nose inched a little too close to a valuable work of art and set off an alarm. This usually happens in the impressionist wing of the museum, because the great draw of the impressionist artists is their ability to capture the beauty of light, nature and people. I’m always amazed by the swirls, blurs, smudges and dots used to compose a painting.
While visiting a show of Brianna Robertson’s impressionism paintings at the Paper Street Gallery in Momence, Ill., I again found myself inching closer, trying to catch all the interesting details and textures of her work. Like the impressionists’ work at the Art Institute, Robertson’s work is beautiful when viewed from a normal standing distance, but the many interesting layers, textures and colors invite the viewer closer to inspect the surface of the painting. Fortunately, there weren’t any sensors to trigger at this gallery, and I interviewed Brianna about her interest in art.
Brianna is an Olivet alumna. While at Olivet, Brianna majored in psychology, but she took some art and painting classes as well. She likes to paint with acrylics as well as oil. While she loves the vibrancy and texture of oils, acrylics offer speed and interesting techniques.
Though she enjoyed her painting courses, Brianna chose to keep art a side project or hobby rather than a major. Brianna loves making art to unwind and de-stress; she never wanted the activity to turn into a job or task that forced her to paint.
When asked about any favorite or inspiring artists, Brianna hesitated and said, “I have to say Monet. I know everyone likes Monet, but every time I see his paintings they are just beautiful and inspiring.”
It’s easy to see how Monet would be inspiring to an artist like Robertson. As in Monet’s pieces, nature is the subject for many of Robertson’s paintings: her works feature animals, flowers and trees. The images are truly breathtaking.
Brianna’s artwork is the type that draws you in close enough to experience it – even at the cost of setting off an alarm.
If you’re interested in seeing Brianna Robertson’s artwork, check out the Facebook page under “Brianna Mae Paintings.”