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Talk of the Town - Garage artist August 24 2005

Robbie Brieske's creative space for paintings and digital artwork

About 20 years ago, Robbie Brieske found his creative spark in a most unexpected place. While waiting for a summer shower to pass by, he watched a puddle of rainwater mix with oils in the ground. The rainbow-colored streaks of current that formed captured his imagination and inspiration.

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He thought hard on how to capture what he saw, but it was a close friend who lit the artistic lightbulb atop his head with a suggestion that he try using a broom rather than a paintbrush. The result was a swirl of color that danced around the canvas.

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Growing up in Decatur, Brieske's parents always encouraged him to explore his artistic side. He now holds a BFA in graphic design from Georgia State University, and has worked both as a freelance designer and at publications including Gwinnett Magazine. Currently working mostly from his Lilburn home, Brieske is working toward dedicating himself full time to creating art. His studio is his garage, and its creative environment is somewhere between a power tool shed and a professional art studio.

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Creative Loafing: What was it about the oil water that you found so inspiring?

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Brieske: I was fascinated with the way the color was created. It's the way nature is.

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What process did you use to put the broom marks on the canvas when you emulated what you saw?

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I took a palette and lined several blotches of color. I then took a broom, dipped it in them, and slowly painted on the canvas. Once the color lines dried, I outlined them with a black ink fountain pen.

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Did you use a particular technique?

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Not really, I just let it flow. It's sort of like a Zen-like approach. Painting is my release, it's where I find my freedom.

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Your work doesn't stop with the finished painting. What comes next?

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Having a degree in graphic design, I knew a whole lot about digital art. I discovered a way to transfer my work to the computer, where I transform it into geometrical patterns of color.

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These finished patterns look like kaleidoscope designs. Have you pitched the style idea to anyone?

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Definitely. I've sent my work to many people — record companies, fashion designers, musicians, surface design companies.

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Do you envision your work being used in any particular way?

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I think these patterns would look amazing on an electric guitar. I've sent my work to people like Carlos Santana, Green Day, U2, the Grateful Dead, Phish.

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Where do you continue to find inspiration?

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Nature. I grew up with 20 to 40 acres of woods in my back yard, and now I enjoy getting to the outdoors. One painting I'm working on right now is a beach scene in Florida.

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What is your favorite part of the house?

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I work from my garage, it's my studio. This is my think tank. This is where I can hang images on the wall and continue to get inspiration from them.

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cityhomes@creativeloafing.com



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