Artist Profile: Robin Okun

Focusing on the female form, Robin Okun creates a thoughtful and stunning portfolio of work. She talks about her background and inspiration.


"Mirroring in Red" charcoal and acrylic, 30:" x 40" by Robin Okun. See her artist profile at

“Mirroring in Red” charcoal and acrylic, 30″ x 40″


ABI:  The theme of your work revolves around women’s bodies. How did you come to focus on this subject?               

RO:  The theme of women and their bodies has its roots in my experiences as a movement psychotherapist. Many women struggle with body size, shape and weight. I became very sensitive to the challenges of being female in our society. With patience, layers of pain can be revealed while engaging in a process of healing.


"Sitting" charcoal and acrylic, 24" x 18"

“Sitting” charcoal and acrylic, 24″ x 18″


The layers of material and drawings in my paintings are metaphors for these layers carried in the body. Women often tell me that the paintings speak to their deep desires to feel the sense of beauty they experience in my pieces. It is an honor to create paintings that move the viewer and perhaps beyond.


"Curiosity" charcoal and acrylic, 24" x 18" by Robin Okun. See her artist profile at

“Curiosity” charcoal and acrylic, 24″ x 18″


ABI:  How do you feel your figurative work connects with the viewer?

RO:  It is always an honor to witness how viewers connect with my work. Feeling drawn to the colors is a prominent reaction and usually described as calming and relaxing. The colors, gestures and expressiveness of the figures tend to evoke emotions, sometimes strong, and projected stories.


"Laid Back" charcoal and acrylic, 30" x 48" by Robin Okun. See her artist profile at

“Laid Back” charcoal and acrylic, 30″ x 48″


People frequently look to me for reassurance that their stories are the “right ones” or the ones I intended to convey. In truth, there is never one story or emotion and certainly not one I have in mind while I’m painting. When viewers feel at ease, their contact with themselves and the paintings allows their personal stories to unfold, which is always the most gratifying for me.


"Reflections" charcoal and acrylic, 36"x 36" by Robin Okun. See her artist profile at

“Reflections” charcoal and acrylic, 36″x 36″


ABI:  Color is a defining element in your portfolio. How do you make color choices?

RO:  I have always been moved by color. While my color choices derive more from intuition and feeling than a technical approach, over the years I have spent countless hours with the “color mixing bible” by Ian Sidaway. It is a wonderful resource for mixing all kinds of paint. I can find myself mixing colors, from Sidaway’s suggestions or my own, and gasping with surprise when I discover one that moves me.


"Wrapped" charcoal and acrylic, 20" x 20" by Robin Okun. See her artist profile at

“Wrapped” charcoal and acrylic, 20″ x 20″


With excitement I might apply the color to my canvas and immediately wipe it away, only to discover another color that feels just right. For me, color choice is really a process of experimentation, risk taking and comfort with mixing, applying, wiping away, and reapplying material.


"Wall Flower" charcoal and acrylic, 24" x 18" by Robin Okun. See her artist profile at

“Wall Flower” charcoal and acrylic, 24″ x 18″


I have come to love this process rather than fear making a mistake or ruining my piece! Another layer seems to add more interest and engagement.


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