From Threads to Canvas: Robyn Reynolds' new artistic pursuit

From Threads to Canvas: Robyn Reynolds' new artistic pursuit

Mar 14, 2024Tracy Allan

"Do what's in your heart and don't be afraid of failure" says Robyn Reynolds who after 25 years is selling her namesake clothing business, to concentrate full time on her art.

"I'm 65, and there's things I want to do. I want to see where my art will take me."

Robyn has always scribbled. Although not formally trained, she has studied life drawing classes with Sarah Brock, had lessons with Ronette Pickering, and attended portrait classes but didn't think she was any good.

Now, envisaging her new life as a full time artist, she wants to create a studio space which is for the community a place where people can paint, sew, chat, where she can 'give back'.

When asked if there particular artistic mediums or styles she is drawn to, Robyn says she gives everything a go and approaches painting with a 'let's see what happens if I do that' mindset.

"I learn looking at books but l don't want to learn properly, I like the naivety of it. I'm becoming more critical, which kind of scares me me, which is interesting. I feel like I've been split in two"

Robyn plans to establish herself as a full-time visual artist, both creatively and professionally by continuing as she's always done - talking to people.

"I'm a good getter! I want a run down place, with a street front so I can paint and people can randomly walk in and have a chat. I have an open personality, I'm realistic you've got to be real."

Drawing on her experience as a business owner she sees parallels in her new career as a visual artist. She says it's about dealing with people and building relationships.

Any advice she would give to other entrepreneurs considering a similar transition into a creative field? "Learn from failure, be realistic about your pricing and slowing put your prices up according there is a business side to being an artist minus the emotional attachment to it

It's a day of mixed emotions when we catch up.

"I'm feeling sad and proud" Robyn says "What an achievement I've done with no money. I've made a mark in Nelson, hopefully it will continue and hopefully I can still be part of it in a mentor role for a year so I can gift it to them and continue the legacy of my name".

Her daughter Amelia Reynolds, who gives her full support summed it up with her tribute "So proud of you mum what a boss, an absolute fearless creative leader".