robin lee makowski NWS, FWS, NMWS, WFWS
fine artist | illustrator | author | instructor
robin lee makowski
Chicago native, Robin Lee Makowski, was ten years old before she realized not everyone saw the world the way she did. What appeared to be daydreaming to some people was actually an intense study of line and tone, light and shadow, by a young, budding artist. She could draw well by the time she was four, but it was not until into her teens that she became passionate about the natural gifts inherited from her father and her maternal grandfather, both artists.
Robin focuses on nature for her subjects in her award-winning work, but is inspired by anything “with the right light and lots of color.” Working exclusively from her own original concepts, she captures nuance and personality in all of her work. The viewer realizes that the subject is something the artist knows well and loves, by the handling of the media, the composition, detail, and the play of light and color in the image. Robin’s subjects range from her first love, fauna, to the collection of native plants in her own garden, to her creative still life set-ups, to figure studies and portraiture. Her current series, Happy Hour, is a “spirited celebration of our cocktail culture.”
Illustration and writing have been means of creative expression for this artist, as well. Not only has Robin illustrated more than thirty published children’s books, but she also authored half of them. Her illustrations have appeared in publications such as National Geographic Magazine, The Cousteau Society’s Dolphin Log, Surfer, and New Yorker Magazines. She has worked as the illustrator for the Wild Dolphin Project in Jupiter, Florida, and has original artwork on permanent display in San Pedro, CA, at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium’s whale exhibit. Robin was a volunteer at the Aquarium for sixteen years before moving to Florida, working with the Whale Watch program there in conjunction with the LA School System, and even teaching the Whale Watch class at UCLA for twelve years. Robin holds signature status with the National Watercolor Society (NWS), Florida Watercolor Society (FWS), the New Mexico Watercolor Society (NMWS), and the Western Federation of Watercolor Societies (WFWS).
Robin has taught workshops on drawing, colored pencil, and her specialty: watercolor - most recently, watercolor on Aquabord. She’s lectured on artists’ issues such as marketing, framing, and Giclée printing, sharing her vast experience and knowledge with many artists. Robin had the position of artist-in-residence at Blue Water Editions at Southeastern Printing in Stuart, FL for nine years, until she moved to New Mexico in 2008 with her husband & artist, Marcos Lee. They returned to Florida in 2012 when Robin accepted the job of Art Studio & Exhibits Coordinator at the newly rebuilt Elliott Museum in Stuart, FL where she worked for seven years before retiring and relocating to north-central Florida.
Robin has received many honors for her artistic merit. Her work has been featured on the annual posters for several prominent art festivals, and she has received numerous awards in juried shows and art festivals. Her work can be seen in Florida at Lost Art Gallery in St. Augustine where she is represented, and in juried and gallery shows.