Robin Young celebrates return to Shepherdstown with art show
SHEPHERDSTOWN — For Robin Young, leaving Shepherdstown 13 years ago was a difficult decision. But, aware of her aging parents’ need for her to live near them, Young sold the home she had built in Shepherdstown and moved to Arkansas.
At the time, Young was an award-winning watercolor artist and talented teacher, and her students never forgot her influence on their art.
“I was a student of hers, and she taught me everything I know,” said Judy Kernek, of Shepherdstown, as she held two paintings, which she had bought on Friday evening.
Kernek was one of many of Karen’s former students and friends who stopped in to see and buy some of her paintings at the reception for her homecoming art show at Evolve on Friday. The show, Young said, was a combination of artwork she had kept from earlier in her career, and more recent artwork.
“It was so much fun to put this up,” said Young, as she mingled with reception attendees. “Last December I moved back here. I missed it so much.”
As Young thought about her move back, she mentioned one of the most challenging parts of the move, was making two 20-hour drives with a horse trailer to-and-from Arkansas. Young, who had 19 rescue animals at one point while living there, said she brought two horses and two donkeys in her first trip, and five dogs and three cats in her second trip with the trailer. The animals are now living with her at her new home in “the middle of a hayfield” on the outskirts of Shepherdstown.
Her paintings reflect her love for nature and fascination with humanity, with each painting having a different theme inspiring it.
“The painting aspect is just fun. I’m really introspective, and so I think a lot about what I’m painting,” Young said, before pointing out one example–a watercolor of a little girl, with the shadow of a taller girl hanging over her, titled “Shadow.”
“I had an older sister. She and I weren’t close, but she was always telling me what to do,” Young said. “It’s nice making art that somebody else relates to. Sometimes people will connect with a piece, and they’ll tell me a story behind it.”
According to Young, although most of her paintings are in watercolor, she recently decided to experiment with oil painting, as well.
“Nothing’s going to take me away from watercolor. You don’t have to work so hard, because the paint does that for you! In teaching, I learned that painting with watercolor is the whole process of letting go,” Young said. “After I moved back, I started using oil, and I like it a lot. I didn’t know if I would.”
Young’s show will continue today from 4-7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.