With her first solo show ‘Colours within Nature’ planned for November this year, Lara Robinson (M 07-12) has travelled a long way since her time in the Art Schools at Bradfield.
Lara spoke to The Bradfieldian magazine in October 2019 about life after Bradfield and what it was like studying in both Florence and Barcelona, before returning to London to carve out her career in Art. Lara says “I am so lucky how my life turned out. Leaving school and deciding you want to go into the art world is terrifying, but having the opportunity to train in those two cities was incredible”. Still wearing her apron from a morning in her studio in London and surrounded by brushes, palettes and multiple painting at various stages of completion, Lara speaks fondly about her time at Bradfield, crediting it as the place where her passion for art truly began.
“I loved being in the Art Schools and I certainly received a well-rounded education. The teachers helped me not only to find a passion for painting, but pushed all the pupils outside their comfort zones and to think more conceptually.” Inspired as a youngster by her Grandpa, an architect with a passion for painting, Lara spent days out learning how to use watercolours and paint the natural surroundings. Her parents encouraged her to apply for Bradfield’s Art Scholarship and there is no doubt that she made the most of the creative and academic offering at school.
Leaving Bradfield, Lara got her first taste of living abroad on a gap year including a ski season in Switzerland, climbing Kilimanjaro, working in schools in Tanzania and travelling with her Bradfield peers. Afterwards, a Foundation course at Oxford Brookes University left Lara at a crossroads for what to do next as she felt uninspired by the art courses in England. A chance conversation with portrait artist Nicky Philipps, who has painted The Queen among other members of the Royal Family, confirmed that studying abroad was the right thing to do and encouraged Lara to consider Florence, where she could learn how to paint with realism. Lara looked around some of the top Art Schools and instantly fell in love with the place.
Lara spent two years studying at the Charles H Cecil Studios, learning the disciplined ‘Sight Size’ technique which is so integral to portraiture and still life painting, but wanted to continue evolving as a painter. She then studied at The Barcelona Academy of Art, which continued her traditional training and taught her to paint in a contemporary style too. Having completed her Diploma in 2019, Lara returned to England to rent studio space in west London and begin experimenting with bold colours and brushstrokes for herself, inspired by the biggest names in British art including David Hockney, Phil Hale and Justin Mortimer. Lara says “I naturally see colour quite vibrantly. I have recently been practicing on smaller projects such as painting fruit for experimentation. Several times I have found myself stopping to appreciate the variety of natural colour and beauty.”
While planning her first solo exhibition and taking on commissioned portrait work, Lara has also helped to set up an Art startup called MasterPeace. It is a new venture combining mindfulness with creative inspiration where she is one of ten artists leading sketching, painting and calligraphy workshops aimed at improving personal wellbeing with 90 minute classes in Eccleston Yards in Belgravia.
If you would like to meet Lara and see her work first hand, we hope that you will join her at her Solo Show from 16 to 21 November 2020 at Coningsby Gallery, London W1T 4RJ. A private view will be held and for further details please see the poster below or contact Lara at firstname.lastname@example.org