Reflection painting, Siren Nation


Reflection, acrylic on canvas, 10″ x 10″ © Robin Phillips Studio
1. the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it. “the reflection of light”
2. serious thought or consideration. Synonyms: contemplation, pondering, mediation.


I created this painting for the Siren Nation Reflections show, and is my sixth year showing with this great organization that supports local women in the arts!
The concept of reflection embodies both a spiritual and a more common meaning, and I tried to capture that in my piece. In fact, I would say that the two meanings are actually intertwined. This piece speaks of meditation and Buddhist teachings but on a broader level it’s really about the power of quiet reflection. It’s about the power of taking the time and clearing a space to see and feel.  In those moments that we take to enjoy the wonder of life, just one ray of light is so warming and so profound. On a more surface level, I would say the very presence of light and reflections are pretty symbolic of spiritual insight.  And finally, I consider that the act of painting itself is a form of reflection and mediation.


This is my first piece using Golden Open acrylics, which are slow drying and I really like them! It felt perfect to use them for this piece because they helped me approach it more slowly and meditatively. Typically I do paint in either oil or acrylic, but I think my ideal is somewhere between the two.  🙂


The show opens tomorrow on First Thursday, November 2 from 5-8 pm at Portland’5 Centers for the Arts, 1111 SW Broadway, Portland, OR,
Portland friends, I hope you can make it!  Many fabulous women artists share their vision of what Reflection means. It will be on display through November 30.



In the studio creating Reflection….


I usually start with a rough sketch, and for this piece I decided to play around with color possibilities! As you can guess, I chose the palette on the upper right. But aren’t some of the others sweet? My close second was the gold Buddha with purple pot… but I wanted to convey a deeply calm and clear feeling so I went with the blue/black.



After adding subtle color to my rough sketch, I measured lines for the window and table. So I could achieve the correct angles to create depth, I used the one-point perspective technique.



Deepening color and beginning to add reflections…  I often use photographic or found object references for light/shadow. A fabric remnant (from curtains I altered) was the perfect model for draping.



Framed and hanging at the show! The light isn’t quite as harsh as the photo depicts, but it’s fitting to be placed next to a glass door. 🙂