Sheila Robinson was a marvellous artist and member of the Great Bardfield group. Her lino cut print of 'The cat' from 1961 is full of colour and design that makes it unmistakably "Bardfield". Indeed the background to the work is in fact printed from one of her own wall paper print blocks.
One of the interesting things about Sheila Robinson is her acquired love of gardening. This is something that she had in common with both Edward Bawden and John Aldridge who in turn were great friends with other artists sharing the same passion, such as Cedric Morris and John Nash, who both lived nearby. I am a fan of all of these artists and there must be something in the eye of an artist and gardener that shares an ability to work with colour to produce beauty and balance to the viewer. She also had a love of cats which again Bawden and Aldridge shared with each producing many images with the creatures centre stage.
However , it was Bawden that she was closest and this stems from a similar nature both quiet,reserved, hard working and with a high sense of moral code. Neither thought themselves better than the other and despite their generational difference in age maintained a close relationship for over 40 years, not just professionally but as friends, Bawden would look after Sheila when she was unwell and ensure that she had food to eat delivering it to her door. She had originally been an outstanding student , progresssed to being his assistant and then onto a professional equal. Certainly her work is of equal to Bawden and I think her lino cuts possibly better. She used Japanese paper and her printing was done without a press as her cottage was too small. She would stand on the blocks and walk up and down to produce an image on the paper. The technique was so time consuming that the editions were small and done in batches. She was also highly skilled in other printing methods including the use of cardboard cut out to produce the picture and used this in conjunction with lino print to build up an image.
Sheila Robinson was also a fine illustrator and was commissioned to produce work for the BBC and in then 1975 an edition of the book 'sons and lovers' . Like Bawden and Aldridge she was able to share her skills and ability with the next generation of art students when in the early 1960s she taught at Walthamstow College of Art where she also experimented with more abstract printing and a few years later she took a post at the RCA teaching in the illustration department until her death.
So she was a talented artist , role model to her children , and loyal friend to Bawden. Sheila Robinson does not get enough recognition for her amazing work and we here at Blondes Fine Art rate her very highly indeed. If you happen to have one of her prints or indeed anything that she produced we would love to hear from you and to acquire a larger representative collection of her work , so drop us an email .
Work by Sheila Robinson is always WANTED by Blondes Fine Art !