Water-loving artist Robyn Ladwig conjures coastal works of rolling blue waves by using resin, ink, paint and beach sand. Many of her large paneled pieces are custom-made, but her work also can be appreciated in a handful of Michigan galleries in Alden, Boyne City, Harbor Springs, and at the Art and Soul Gallery in Traverse City where she was the featured artist for its 2018 Art Walk.
Originally from southern Florida, Ladwig now resides in Jackson, but she never has forgotten her roots. “I was always a water bug; I spent my childhood fishing and boating with my grandfather and father and at the beach with friends. I think I was always creative in some way.”
“It’s my goal that each piece of art I create produces a powerful visual emotion or a special memory for someone. I cannot put into words how much that memory means to the collector, only they can.”
After years as a proud homemaker raising three kids, Ladwig’s husband gifted her an easel and acrylic paints. The results were life-changing. “Once I started painting, I never stopped,” explained Ladwig. “Because I’m self-taught, my approach took a few years to perfect. Today I specialize in epoxy resin artwork that often has real sand, and I sometimes incorporate found items collected along Lake Michigan.”
The artist also gains inspiration from her home studio that overlooks Browns Lake in Jackson and visits to Lake Michigan and other Great Lakes. It’s during these trips to the water’s edge that Ladwig gains a renewed sense for what she creates in her work. “So many of our treasured moments are on or near water,” she said. “It’s my goal that each piece of art I create produces a powerful visual emotion or a special memory for someone. I cannot put into words how much that memory means to the collector, only they can.”
During winter months, Ladwig often travels south to seaside towns in Florida, visiting the shops that carry her jewelry line of “miniature paintings in a pendant.” Mainly sold in Michigan waterfront towns from New Buffalo to Mackinaw, boutiques across the country now carry her delicate “Beach Memory” necklaces.
Another opportunity to enjoy Ladwig’s dreamy art soon will appear on new wine labels for Sandhill Crane Vineyards. And the artist is proud to have been commissioned to create work for the University of Michigan’s pediatric ward in Ann Arbor.
In her spare time, Ladwig enjoys teaching art classes at ESSA Arts in Jackson where students can take basic art classes, enjoy artist receptions and purchase unique gifts. When asked what type of audience she enjoys teaching most, Ladwig laughs and says, “Teenagers are my favorite because they’re kind of fearless and don’t overthink their work.”
To learn more about Robyn Ladwig and her artistic passion, visit coastalcustomart.com. ≈
— Dawn Williams
* Photography Courtesy Laf Lines Photography Inc