R O B E R T A A H R E N S Studio
Roberta Ahrens’ career as a Fine Artist began 37 years ago when she arrived in San Francisco and immediately leaped into the world of creative decorative painting and finishing. She began her career with commissions for work in high-end, corporate locations such as the Westin St. Francis Hotel, Fairmont Hotel San Jose, Harry Denton’s and major design work South of Market at Club DV8.
In 2005, Roberta began to develop her unique style of Fine Art painting. She works on personally handmade cracked linen canvases, seeking universal themes of beauty, nature, and peace in and through the world. Her life-long love of horticulture brought her to focus on botanical subjects, diving into what she calls the architecture of nature. Roberta paints primarily in acrylics and watercolors and then carves the pieces, etching lines into the plaster. Through these works, she seeks to call attention to the beauty inherent in the natural world.
Recently Roberta has become intrigued by the forms and structures that manifest themselves in bodies of water. Using her same cracked linen materials, her most recent work is an exploration of these forms and expresses a feeling of elemental power. The movement of nature, of creation pushing forward, is empowering in a way, and at a time, when such an expression of natural elemental power is both a personal and a cultural imperative.
Working in a large format, I focus on structure and balance in nature, channeling the
spirit and power of the botanical world and of the divine feminine. The flowers burst
forth with energy and strength, mirroring the internal strength of women, capturing
the full glory to inspire and empower the feminine spirit in the viewer. Seeking
universal themes of beauty, nature, and peace, the works, on handmade cracked linen
canvases, speak to us to encourage the viewer’s spirit to blossom and the true self to
Plaster & Fiber Sea Series / Water Series
My most recent work is an exploration. I started by pushing my most familiar materials
of plaster, applied to fabric, to the limit. What I found, working large scale, was the
form in its simplicity, expresses a feeling of elemental power. Standing before it
evokes that feeling. There is a sense of movement. The form in its simplicity feels like
nature. And the movement of nature, of creation pushing forward, is empowering.
Rising up requires power. To rise up we must find our source of elemental power.
I stretch fabric, linen, muslin, canvas, or burlap then embed several layers of a plaster
mix into the fibers of the fabric. Each layer building the desired thickness for the
desired effect. Each piece is rolled and cracked. Sketching the chosen floral subject,
paint, sometimes gild then ultimately engrave the final details with a Dremel tool.
Most works are then applied to a wooden box frame then varnished with UV strong
layers of varnish.
Artist; Roberta Ahrens (American, born 1962)