M. Robinson is the collaborative artwork of Mary Ann and Michael Robinson Holmes.
Michael Holmes grew up in Glidden, Iowa, and began drawing and painting at a very young age. Michael attended Kansas State University, where he studied interior architecture. He was drawn to interior architecture by the furniture design and color theory. While at Kansas State, he was introduced to the rendering styles of Mike Lin, which largely influenced his later artwork style. In 1990, he took an internship with the world-renowned interior design staff of Leo A. Daly, where he was taught invaluable lessons of the proper use of color and textures.
After graduating from Kansas State in 1992, Michael took a design position with a bank in Des Moines, Iowa. Although his job fostered the engineering side of his degree, he was missing an outlet for expressing the color and creative side of his abilities. He began drawing with pastels and his artwork career was born. He was noticed by a local gallery and worked with James Navarro, who allowed Michael to use his frame shop and gallery for his work. After several years of messy framing projects, Jim convinced Michael to transition into painting. It was an opportunity to include texture in his pieces. With the assistance and guidance of Jim Navarro, he began his first acrylic paintings, which evolved into Michael's other body of work, under the name of Michael Holmes.
Along the way, Michael was developing an abstract line of work, utilizing the same technique, but with abstract images. In the spring of 2014, Michael was inspired to add two steps to the process and modify another step, thus creating the current process for this art. This second line of artwork is known as M. Robinson, from Michael Robinson Holmes, a family name on his dad’s side.
Mary Ann grew up in Kansas City and got her B.A. in psychology from Arizona State University in 1993. She began working as an artist in the San Francisco area in 1997, under the tutelage of Beatrice Vandervoort, a wonderful French artist. Mary Ann learned a wide variety of faux finishes and painted hotel lobbies, restaurants, show homes, offices and homes. Upon returning to Kansas City, she continued painting decorative finishes. When Mary Ann met Michael in 2009, he introduced her to his painting techniques and they have been collaborating ever since.
Michael and Mary Ann begin their work by tinting lightweight modeling paste and applying it to the canvas or masonite box. Then, they press objects or draw images into the modeling paste…lines, circles, etc., leaving impressions. After the paste dries, they paint it with a coat of black gesso and allow time to dry. Next, they layer vibrant, high viscosity paints onto the piece. After the piece cures, Michael deconstructs the painting by sanding layers off, revealing the tinted modeling paste and gesso in selected areas. Finally, a two part epoxy is carefully applied in stages, utilizing a torch to remove bubbles, thus creating the glasslike resin finish.