Blu Viola Chiaro

Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project

The Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project records and preserves the voices of women visual artists in Iowa reflecting on their lives and their artwork. In 1998, creator and director Jane Robinette began interviewing Iowa women artists about their experiences and art practices. The interviews cover family and personal history, education, development as an artist, artwork, creative process, influences, and more. The Daily Palette is pleased to present excerpts of the Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project's 2008 updates that Robinette collected from the Project artists who were interviewed nine or ten years ago. Visit the Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project's website.

Blu Viola Chiaro, acrylic on canvas, 36" x 36", 2008

Laurayne Robinette was born in 1928, in Blockton, Iowa. She grew up on a farm west of Blockton with her two older brothers and her younger sister, artist Vicki Adams. After graduating from Drake University in the summer of 1952 with a B.F.A., she taught school that first year, during which she also married. She has three daughters and six grandchildren. She has taken numerous Des Moines Art Center classes, concentrating mostly on oil painting. At times, she has taught students in her home studio. She continues to paint and work in mixed media.

How has your artwork changed in the last ten years?
Hopefully it has progressed, but if so I can't tell! My methods for painting non-objective work have changed somewhat, as I haven't done scraped painting for a while. Instead, recently I have started dripping the paint on canvas, which is exciting and exasperating, since drips are very hard to control. ( I shouldn't try to control, I guess.) Most recently, I did a painting using the side of my painting knife to make short vertical lines on a colored ground - also hard to control. I will probably go back to the brush very soon! Actually, I have stayed with a varied process including scraping, blotting, smearing, scumbling and dabbing, as well as using the brushstroke to define image as well as abstraction.

What motivates you to continue making art?
I keep thinking I perhaps should slow down and not keep producing art, but then I decide I should "stay with the program" as long as I'm able. I enjoy painting as well as exhibiting, selling, and renting my work. These things keep me working.

Continue excerpt at the Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project

This page was first displayed
on April 16, 2008

Find us on Facebook