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Art Scene :: Annie Murphy Robinson “Recent Drawings” at Arcadia Contemporary

Annie Murphy Robinson and Linda Wehrli

As an art teacher, Charcoal Drawings are one of my favorite mediums to teach and admire, mostly because of how challenging it is to work with. It occurred to me that I’ve not had the opportunity to meet a contemporary charcoal artist before. Most works I’ve studied were by masters such as Rembrandt and DaVinci. When I learned that my favorite gallery was hosting an all-charcoal drawing show, and had a glimpse of the remarkable work that would be on display, I had to attend, both to see these stunning pieces in person and to also meet this outstanding artist. 

On Saturday, October 13, 2018, my hubby and I did just that. It was an honor to meet the extraordinary charcoal artist, Annie Murphy Robinson. She was lively and gracious, sharing her techniques on paper prep and fixatives as well as stories behind the subjects she “painted” with charcoal. I would def hang out with her. Such an awesome lady.

Annie Murphy Robinson and Linda Wehrli
Annie Murphy Robinson and Linda Wehrli

I’m pleased to share close-ups of these remarkable works. A heartfelt thanks to Arcadia Contemporary for graciously allowing me to get up close and personal with your wonderful artists’ works. It’s an art teacher’s dream to be able to do so. Please note, I did the best I could to avoid reflections from the glass and apologize for images where reflections could not be avoided. That said, I encourage my students and readers to see this exhibit in person. Very inspiring (more like awe-struck!).

"Origin" by Annie Murphy Robinson - Hand Close-Up
"Origin" by Annie Murphy Robinson - Head Close-Up
"Stain (Affect)" by Annie Murphy Robinson - Face Close-Up
“Stain (Affect)”
"Stain (Affect)" by Annie Murphy Robinson - Hand with Cigarette
“Stain (Affect)”
"Casey After the Dance" by Annie Murphy Robinson - Feet
“Casey After the Dance”
"Casey After the Dance" by Annie Murphy Robinson - Hand
“Casey After the Dance”
"Casey and Buffalo Americana" by Annie Murphy Robinson - Feet
“Casey and Buffalo Americana”
"Casey and Buffalo Americana" by Annie Murphy Robinson - Head
“Casey and Buffalo Americana”
"Emily and the Ram Conjuring" by Annie Murphy Robinson - Hand
“Emily and the Ram Conjuring”
"Casey The Visitor" by Annie Murphy Robinson - Head
“Casey The Visitor”
"Casey Waiting" by Annie Murphy Robinson
“Casey Waiting”
"Casey The Damned" by Annie Murphy Robinson - Hand Cigarette
“Casey The Damned”


Casey the Damned
“Casey the Damned”

To find out more about the artist, please check out her website.

If you missed the opening night, no worries; the show runs until October 28, 2018. Here is the link to the complete online catalog.

For inquiries or questions, please contact Arcadia Contemporary:


Old Town Pasadena
39 East Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91105
Phone: 626-486-2018


Tuesday – Sunday: 11 am– 7 pm      


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Pastimes For a Lifetime Art and Piano School is located in Valley Glen, California. 818-766-0614. School is open Tuesday – Saturday year round, except major holidays.

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  1. Frank M. Pelteson

    I was never aware that such strikingly fine detail could be achieved with charcoal. I still had the idea that charcoal is a charred block of wood, and therefore only a blurred image could be drawn with it. It shows that I am behind the times.

  2. Barry Wehrli

    Annie’s work is amazing. I never knew charcoal could look that good! Glad I was there to meet this supremely talented artist and see her work in person. Love the new Arcadia gallery, btw.

  3. Phyllis Pelteson

    I was blown away by these beautiful drawings.I did not know that charcoal drawings could be almost photographic. The lighting and shading are incredible. I found that working with charcoal was very challenging. I tried working with this medium years ago and could not achieve my goals. This artist has achieved this medium beautifully.

  4. Gwen Roberts

    I’m a huge fan of AMR. You mentioned she talked about her techniques. I know she uses sand paper but I’m bemused as to how. Are you able to enlighten me please? I would love to experiment with this in my own work. Oh to be a goddess of charcoal like Annie!

    • Linda Wehrli

      Glad to meet a fellow fan. Sorry, but I do not recollect the details of that convo. You are welcome to reach out to the artist directly on her website. Perhaps she conducts workshops and demos. Best wishes.

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