Robin Swennes
Arundel, ME

As a child, I was obsessed with horses and would make chalk drawings of them all over my neighborhood streets. I didn\'t know how art would transport me into another world until I was sent to my room for some infraction, and forced to stay there for a few hours as I pondered my wrong-doing. Sequestered alone, I leafed through a book of Walt Disney characters and found myself compelled to draw the vividly colored characters. When I emerged, I had in my hand several crayon and marker illustrations that amazed my parents and even moved my young, entrepreneurial friend Stacy to attempt to sell them to our neighbors for 25 cents apiece. (I got my first taste of how hard it is to sell art that week!) I moved to Maine in 1977 from Long Island, NY, in the middle of a crazy snowstorm with another family after my father and his friend purchased a small grocery store in Cape Porpoise ME. During highschool, any artwork I did got shoved under the bed or occasionally given as birthday or Christmas gifts. When college rolled around, I still aspired to be some sort of artist but, fearing the risk of becoming a \'starving artist\', I got a 4 yr Liberal Arts degree (at The University of Maine at Orono) with a concentration in Clothing, Textiles, Interior Design instead of a straight Art Degree. After college, I found employment in Graphic Arts with Advertising and Design companies. In addition to my job in Graphic Production which consisted of computer work, I did some freelance illustration for clients like Toms of Maine, Public Cable and Heinle & Heinle Publishers. Later, I designed high-end tile layouts and concepts for homeowners’ bathrooms, kitchens etc, as I continued to draw and paint. Eventually, I left the tile companies and began painting and freelancing in Graphic Arts. Since then I continue to pursue painting and various freelance Graphic Design work because I have finally realized that I can\'t deny my need to create. In 2016, I designed a house in which my husband and I now live.