Robarts uses interlocking to produce over 200 paintings

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By KARI MUTU

This has been a difficult year for many creatives as the art industry reels from the Covid-19 pandemic. But, artist Geraldine Robarts took care of and produced “over 200 new paintings during the lockdown”. A selection of his latest pieces is currently on display in his Nairobi home studio and gallery, in an exhibition titled Meditation.

As a colorist painter, Robarts, 81, is known for her shameless use of vivid colors. Throughout her career, which spans over 60 years, she has covered an astonishing array of styles, themes and media.

“I paint every day, sometimes eight hours a day,” says Robarts.

As you walk through her garden, you can see where she gets some of her environmental-themed illustrations. The butterflies spotted in recent weeks have produced beautiful, vividly colored images of nature with a generous use of typical Robarts oil paints. There are watercolors of seascapes created in a semi-realistic and sentimental way characteristic of her early works when she first moved to Kenya. There’s even a photo of a Cape Dutch house inspired by scenes from his childhood in South Africa.

Over the years, Robarts’ work has grown more and more intangible, larger, and at times incorporating spiritual themes. A human figure is noticeable in the painting Meditation, created in soft acrylic colors.

“I am like a hollow reed through which paint flows,” she says.

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In addition to the large paintings, there will be dozens of small pieces in cheerful colors at knockdown prices, the kind of artwork that can brighten up any wall.

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