Deep Woods Artist

Monson, Maine. from “Maine on the Way,” by @northwoodsaerial

Roberta Jarvis‘ art mediums and ideas have varied over the years. Nothing unusual there. Lately, however, her experiments are more radical with a few new and exciting works. In a recent Thanksgiving trip to New England, I got together with her and husband Bob Jarvis. She and Bob have been living Monson, Maine (shown), pop. 686, deep in the Moosehead Lakes Region for about 20 years. Bob is a Bible teacher and former pastor of Cape Ann Bible Church, Gloucester, Massachusetts. He is currently preaching at Greenville Church of the Open Bible, Greenville, Maine.

Earlier work of trees (typical)

Roberta has served as pastor’s wife and music support at these churches, but is lately finding more time to experiment with her artwork which seems to have made a maturity leap over the past couple years. In particular, Roberta is using spatial techniques learned long ago from her art school days, specifically the use of fewer objects and incorporating more non-objective elements. This gives her art a greater sense of freedom and a bright, new color expression, breaking aways from darker views. Roberta is a BFA graduate of the Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, Massachusetts, and formally trained for six years in art history, drawing, painting, graphic design, illustration, realism, and non-objective art techniques.

Artimusi. How would you describe the artwork you do?
Roberta. If one needs a word—Expressionist Landscapes. Tree, branches and patterns, mainly because I live in the woods. Often familiar shapes—people, animals, food. 

Artimusi. What tools do you use in your art from concept to finish?
Roberta. Paint brush, canvas or wood, Masonite, paper, wool, ink, watercolor, casein, oils, and all the different mediums that go with these products. I may draw an idea for a painting on anything from an index card to a piece of Strathmore.

“Sides: Fresh-picked Fiddleheads with Salted Vinegar,” 20”x16,” Oil

A frame finishes the painting. I’ve learned to get any painting, that I’d hang in my own home, professionally framed. If I could afford a fancy frame, I’d get one. I’ve undersold many a painting because of cheap frames. It’s not worth it now. I’ve a lot of unfinished pieces and a lot on paper.

Artimusi. Who or what helped you the most to get to this point in your career?
Roberta. My son, Allan, daughter Rebecca, and husband, Bob. Their encouragement kept and still keeps me from giving up.

Artimusi. Where do you do your artwork?
Roberta. In my home studio. I typically use watercolors and inks in winter; in warmer weather, oils and/or acrylics.

“Sides: Pickled Fiddleheads,” 20”x16,” Oil

Artimusi. On average, do you create art daily, weekly, monthly?
Roberta. In my senior years, I create art daily. 

Artimusi. Do you sell your artwork?
Roberta. Yes.

Artimusi. How many pieces would you estimate have sold over the past five or ten years? 
Roberta. I’ve sold hundreds of artworks and have had repeat customers/clients. 

Early version “Sides: Pickled Fiddleheads,” 20”x16,” Oil.”

Artimusi. What is the highest-priced item sold?
Roberta. I sold a personal painting to renowned collector/author, Jerry Weist. The painting was mixed media on student-grade Strathmore paper, 22”x28,” framed for $1200.00. 

Artimusi. Do you use a website to display your work, such as  Zhibit, WordPress, or Facebook?
Roberta. Occasionally I will post a new work on Facebook. 

Artimusi. Are you a member of any art associations?
Roberta. Not at this time.

Artimusi. Are you also a musician?
Roberta. I sing and play a 12-string guitar. If the mood and songs are right, I sometimes switch off to the harmonica.

Artimusi. How would you characterize your music?
Roberta. Most would say folk music. I like most any music if it’s simple, stirring, and singable, and have words that inspire me.


Artimusi. Do you play anywhere?
Roberta. Yes. My primary and favorite place to play is church since all my motivation for even learning the guitar or raising my voice in private or public was in my direct response to God in worship.

Outside of the church, I participate with small groups of acoustic musicians in jam sessions. Out of these sessions, small groups spin off to a fair, fundraiser, funeral.

Artimusi. What are your future, long-term plans?
Roberta. Survival. It stands to reason that God has given us life, allowing ways for us all to survive this life in countless measures.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to Roberta and Bob in 2021!

Roberta and Bob Jarvis

From now through February 2021, you can catch Bob Sunday mornings via Facebook Live. Just search and follow services at Church of the Open Bible, Greenville, Maine. You might hear Roberta singing, too. For art, music, and preaching inquiries, call (207) 997-3244.

Illogical | Illusion Exhibition begins tomorrow

Abstract painting
“The Neighborhood,” oil on canvas, 11″x14″, signed, framed.

“The Neighborhood” will be unveiled for its first showing at The Atrium Gallery, Ventura, CA, at the Illogical | Illusion Exhibition tomorrow 8am-5pm, Fri, July 12th—Tue, August 20th 2019.  Sixteen or more other artists are scheduled to be showing using this theme.

“Please view Illogical | Illusion as your opportunity to broadly challenge the viewer through manipulation of elements in the picture plane, intriguing composition, content or process and bold choices”  — Ventura County Arts Council.

“The Neighborhood” was conceived in imagination using the fertile class notes of my non-objective teacher, the late Paul M. Scott, himself a student of legendary abstract-expressionist, Hans Hoffman.

“As reality and abstractions intersect, and colors mix on the canvas, the painting begins to take shape, but is transformed into a new work. Specific techniques toward spatial, mostly non‐objective elements are introduced. While things can get a little chaotic, I know the painting will be successful when all the elements work together” — C.W.

“The Neighborhood” was a two-month project, spanning May 3 thru July 8, 2019.  Price is set for $1500.

Reception & Awards Ceremony

The Atrium Gallery
The Atrium Gallery

I invite you to join me and the other exhibition artists for a reception at The Atrium Gallery on  Friday, July 26, 2019, 5:30 – 7:00pm, Ventura County Gvt Ctr, Hall of Administration, 800 S. Victoria Avenue, Ventura, CA. Cash prizes will be awarded and refreshments provided.

Map to the Atrium Gallery
Map to The Atrium Gallery, Ventura County Government Center, Hall of Administration, 800 S. Victoria Avenue, Ventura, CA
Viewing Hours: Mon. – Fri. 8:00 am – 5:00

Spring Art Festival

You are invited to the 7th Annual Spring Art Festival and Sale at Le Chêne French Cuisine Gardens, Sunday, April 28th , 10am-4pm, for one day only. Forty-five artists, including this writer, will be represented. With warmer and drier weather on the way, the event is expected to be a smashing success. I’ll be there the whole day to greet guests so come keep me company, enjoy Sunday brunch, meet some people, and pursue your artistic curiosity.

Le Chêne, or “The Oak” in French, located on Sierra Highway, is host for the show and has been a French cuisine fixture in the Santa Clarita Valley area for 30 years. With a prior business history going back to the early 1900s, film star Clark Gable is said to have frequented the bar with friends during his motorcycle years. The restaurant has been host to countless weddings, anniversaries, and other celebrations when only first class will do.

While no prior registration for the show is required, a reservation for brunch is recommended (661-251-4315). Be sure to request your 15% art festival discount when settling your brunch bill.

The Santa Clarita Artists’ Association (SCAA) comprises local artists of varying genres, meeting together monthly for demos by other artists. The SCAA also creates and manages events year round including hotels, hospitals, libraries, and other restaurants. Membership is a reasonable $50 per year. For more information about the SCAA and this show, visit the SCAA website or on Facebook.

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