Arte Soleil

Keeping a Promise = A Happy Heart

By Robin Barnstead-Long

Finger painting, drawing, macaroni art, modeling clay-sculptured dinosaurs and pinch pots, colorings inside and outside the lines, story writing, neighborhood talent shows, school plays, and musical instruments… we were encouraged by our teachers and caregivers to create, starting at a very young age.  And we all knew our work was exceptional… how many refrigerator doors did our drawings and colorings adorn?  My mom saved many of my masterpieces.

I learned early on that being creative feeds my soul.  It clears my mind, calms my emotions, and at times, it is the clearest form of communication I can find to describe dreams, thoughts, and ideas.  As my life developed and unfolded, so too did my creativity.  My interests have varied… beads, felt, paper, drawing, paint, polymer clay, fabrics, and mixed media… and it is ever evolving, limited only by “I don’t know what I don’t know”.

At times, I have forsaken that fundamental part of “self”, usually when I have been in the midst of a traumatic life event, when work has been chaotic, or when other areas of my life are overflowing with drama.  It’s my inner-voice crying out for soothing.  This was especially true when my mom was fighting cancer. When I use phrases like, “I’m too busy” or “I’m too tired” to find time to create, what I am really saying is, “I need to art, NOW!”.

Being an amazing artist herself, my mom really was one of my biggest fans.  She loved showing off my work with anyone who would look, often selling my jewelry pieces to her co-workers.  I made a promise to her at the end that I would continue to move forward with that which inspires me and makes me happy.  Enter Arte Soleil.  Since its inception, I have wanted to support Kris and Pete with their dream of creating the space that is Arte Soleil; their space inspires creativity, and the store showcases amazing works of art.  My increased availability has given me the opportunity to surround myself with other creatives and their imaginations, and to re-awaken my passion.  I am keeping my promise.  And my heart is so happy.


  • March 28, 2018

    What a beautiful post, Robin. Thank you for sharing so much with us…especially your creative expression.

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