Since the summer of 2020 when The Psychedelic Furs released their first album in 29 years, I have explored color, line, form, and pattern on used field book paper. I began working with field books after a hurricane blew my tree and treehouse onto a neighbor’s property, exposing a trove of material. She had boxes and boxes of these old books. I was enchanted. The paper is stormproof. It’s infused with resin. The original code-like markings make for dynamic and romantic springboards of compositional play. These papers range from the 1890’s through to the 1980’s. I react to them. My son tells me these works are treasure maps. I say treasure chests.
Because the field book paper is resistant to moisture and decay, it need not, for the sake of conservation, be protected behind glass. I hand-craft open-faced frames that underline, enhance, and maintain the objectivity of each painting and provide a convenient platform for display. All have a thin cleat for installation. Due to the resin, the paper maintains its shape indefinitely.
As an artist, a husband, and a father, I live and work in SW Louisiana. I graduated from CalArts and UCLA before taking the helm of Art Department Chair at my high school alma mater. You can see more of my work @robbieaustinstudio and www.robbieaustin.com.