Help! I’m surrounded by creativity…..

A few times previously, I have extolled the artistry of my wife ( here, here and here) and my late mother (here).

Now it’s time to introduce you to another very talented member of my family, my sister-in-law, Robyn Bailey. But she is more than that. She is the real sister I never had growing up. She was only nine years old when I met and married her sister. Essentially I got to watch her grow up while being a part of her family. It was such fun having a little sister to tease. If you ever meet her, she will gladly regale you with stories of the tricks I played on her, especially the time I got her in trouble with her dad at the dinner table.

But I digress. The purpose of the this writing is to show you what a masterful gift she has in working with hand-built ceramic. Robyn has always amazed me with the incredibly original and beautifully crafted pieces she makes.

However, on a recent visit to her sculpting den, I saw a piece which I knew right away needed a lot more exposure than she would likely give it. In the revulsion of the recent spate of mass shootings, “Rapid Fire” stands out as a corporate image of the feelings of sadness of the entire country. At first glance at the front, though forlorn, it appears to be another of the refined and delicate images she produces with such seeming ease. But as you walk around the back, your emotions are quickly assailed by the shock of what you are actually viewing. Here sits the victim in all of us. The fear and abhorrence we have that someone could, on a whim, take the lives of several innocents anywhere, anytime. Funny how words can pale in comparison with just one artist’s concept of how easily our spirits can be crushed, yet surely born again.

Robyn has always been slow to take a compliments, but quick to cite how others of her craft are the real artists. Enough, I say! It’s time for others to see what a true artisan we have among us. She was asked this past weekend to display some of her creations in a local show. Pictured below is the piece featured in this article, along with two other fascinating pieces she had in the show, as well as “li’l sis” herself. I hope you enjoy the beauty in them as much as I take pride in showing them.

“Rapid Fire” (Front)

“Rapid Fire” (Back)


“Waiting for a bit of hope, and a seed to flourish”

The artist in her studio with more of her friends.


26 thoughts on “Help! I’m surrounded by creativity…..

  1. Hi Al. How are you? What stunning pieces of art. The piece that your blog talks about is really both beautiful and shocking. The face of the image has such sadness. Your words really highlight the true meaning of the piece – it would be nice for your explanation to be featured alongside the piece…
    Anyway, just checking in. I hope you are well.
    Your blogging buddy, Carly

  2. i absolutely love that you did this story on our lovely Robyn!!! Every thing you said about her and her art are right on.! She and I met in college… VWC… her mother’s college… we were adults returning to academia for degrees that let fall by the wayside as we rediscovered the artist inside.. we meet in 1995 in the fine arts building and became fast friends. I knew at first meet i wanted this woman to be my friend. I have had the pleasure of watching her discovery of the artist voice that is distinctly hers. Thanks Bro….. for shining a light on our amazing Robyn!!!

  3. Oh Al, how talented Robyn is and her pieces ‘speak’, just as you do. ‘Waiting for hope to grow’ really caught me. Thank you for sharing your Little Sis’s artistry. Hugs and much ❤ for you all. Xx

  4. Thanks for sharing Robyn’s wonderful spirit- I’ve been so lucky “Gabby” is my aunt/older sister, and now my girls get to enjoy her fun love and art!

  5. Al, Thanks for sharing your sister-in-law’s ceramic artistry. She certainly is talented! What emotion her pieces evoke! I enjoyed your interpretation of rapid fire also. Didn’t know what to expect as I scrolled to the picture of the back. Keep up with your writing! Arlene

    Sent from my iPad


    • Thanks, Arlene. It’s always a pleasure putting up pictures of the artists in the family. I must modestly admit that, I, too, have a bit of drawing talent. You should see my stick figures!

  6. What beautiful. powerful and arresting pieces these are. They bring you back to the horror that man can inflict on man and the often innocent victims of one man’s violence against another. Clearly she is a very talented woman and it is a delight to make her acquaintance through your blog

  7. Wonderful blog, Al. I met your sister-in-law a few times, one of which when we played that vocabulary game and laughed all the way through it, but I never saw any of her art. Thanks for sharing them. They need to be seen. Her pieces are unique and thought provoking to say the least.

Your turn to write, but please don't be wittier than me. My ego is quite fragile.

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