Tag Archives: hand-painted

Morgan’s Sunset

Sunset For A Surfer

Morgan's Sunset Front
Morgan’s Sunset Front

Morgan’s Sunset is an art guitar I was commissioned to paint for a beautiful man who is fighting cancer, a very ugly disease that has touched us all.  His wife Rita wanted to surprise this once wild, crazy surfer with a big wave, or a sunset for his love of the ocean. Rita told me they get to the ocean as much as they possibly can, and enjoy the sunset together.

Close To My Heart

Elmer & his painting
Elmer & his painting

I put a whole lotta love  into this guitar because Morgan’s fight is something I know all too well. I was my fathers caregiver when he was 83 and going through the same battle as Morgan.  Changed me forever… both beautiful and sad…watching from the front row the circle of life.  Elmer was both the best Dad ever, and my best friend. An amazing teacher, artist, philosopher…a true Renaissance man.

Water, Waves, Sand And The Sun

Morgan's Sunset Full
Morgan’s Sunset Full

I was slightly daunted at first as this was my first attempt with water and the sun. Using my guitar stains, my black ink pen, and a lot of acrylic white I eventually saw Morgan’s Sunset coming to life.

Morgan And His  Sunset Guitar

Morgan with his guitar
Morgan with his guitar

As you can see I think Rita and I brought a little joy and a big smile to the man with the guitar in his hand. God bless with light and love…MT

Elvis Art Guitar Gets A New Home

Elvis Presley was a huge influence in my early musical life. So recently, I decided to honor him by creating an Elvis Art Guitar.

It is such a blessing when someone purchases one of my hand painted guitars. It is even more exciting when they share a photo of where my art is on  display in their home.

Thank you Derek for giving me this peek into your world. The guitar looks great in your tribute to Elvis corner. My sincere appreciation!

New Home for Elvis Art Guitar
New Home for Elvis Art Guitar

Elvis Art Guitar Sold At The Joshua Tree Trading Post

I also want to thank the beautiful people at the Joshua Tree Trading Post, Xihomara and Steve, for selling my piece in 4 days! What a wonderful store just filled with magic and a great addition to this community! Music, art and love… MT

Click Here For the Complete Elvis Art Guitar Story

Space Dreamer Hi-Speed Video

Before

 

Space Dreamer Before Stickers |MT Robison Art Guitars
Space Dreamer Before Stickers |MT Robison Art

After

Space Dreamer Full View Front |MT Robison Art Guitars
Space Dreamer Full View Front |MT Robison Art Guitars

Space Dreamer Time Lapse

Here is my latest hi-speed time-lapse video of  the Space Dreamer guitar commissioned by Spencer Kaiser. This artwork took about 5 days, but the entire process of customizing and refinishing a guitar takes a few weeks- depending on the project.

Zebra Wood Guitar Client Testimonial

OMG. There are no words to express my gratitude for my Zebra Wood. She just arrived, and I am over the moon thrilled, with what you created for me…Thank you again from the bottom of my heart….I am honored to have such a beautiful piece of your work to treasure for always. ❤️❤️❤️ Cynthia

Cynthia’s Zebra Wood

Cynthia with her MT Robison Art Guitar
Cynthia with her Zebra Wood

See More of the “Zebra Wood”Guitar Here

Zebra Wood Art Commission

Had I ever done a zebra wood finish? Could I? No, and absolutely Yes!

After seeing some of my art guitars online, Cynthia contacted me, and we talked about customizing her Ibanez Artwood acoustic guitar. She wasn’t playing it like she used to, and she wanted to display it more like a piece of art, but didn’t like the generic factory finish. She wanted a faux zebra wood finish. I looked at a thousand zebra wood photos and made my plan for this particular cedar top.

She shipped the guitar to me, and in no time, all hardware was off, I stripped the top down to bare wood, and then started this hi-speed time lapse video while I created the faux zebra wood art. With mostly tape, guitar stain, and denatured alcohol, and a few finger smudges here and there, you can see in under 3 minutes what took me several hours to create.

After the art was done, I finished the top with several coats of Tru-oil, replaced all the hardware, strung it up, and viola! Here’s a video of me playing the guitar before giving it a kiss goodbye and sending it home with love and hopes, that it will inspire Cynthia to pick it up and play…thank you darlin, it was such a pleasure! MT

Lafayette’s Last Dance

Blues For Megan

"Lafayette's Last Dance" Before & After|MT Robison Art Guitars
“Lafayette’s Last Dance” Before & After|MT Robison Art Guitars

When Megan saw some of the guitars I had been refinishing, she asked if I would do some dark, bluesy art on a little guitar she nabbed at an Oakland  California swap meet.

I agreed, and after some thought, I had an idea what I wanted to do with it. But as I began removing thick, ugly, enamel-like black paint, I uncovered the date 1967 carved in the wood. How cool is that!?

A Little History

Lafayette's Last Dance, 1967 carved in the back, probably from the maker.
Lafayette’s Last Dance, 1967 carved in the back, probably from the maker.

And as the beautiful maple wood was exposed, the guitar seems to breathe a sigh of relief, and in that breath I heard it whisper…put Bourbon street on the front, a cemetery on the back, mardi gras magic on the side, and a Raven on the head stock. Dark and mojo bluesy.

Lafayette's Last|MT Robison Art Guitars
Lafayette’s Last|MT Robison Art Guitars

Searching for reference images, I came across several of Lafayette Cemetery, and was so inspired… I knew I had to paint it on the back of this magic guitar.

After Lafayette’s Last Dance

Lafayette Cemetery graces the back of "Lafayette's Last Dance" by MT Robison
Lafayette Cemetery graces the back of “Lafayette’s Last Dance” by MT Robison
The side of Lafayette's Last Dance, complete with Mardi Gras mask and beads
The side of Lafayette’s Last Dance, complete with Mardi Gras mask and beads. Art by MT Robison
Headstock of Lafayette's Last Dance by MT Robison
Headstock
Tru-oil finish on Lafayette's Last Dance by MT Robison
Tru-oil finish

 

Zebra Wood Time Lapse

Zebra Wood Before And After

Before & After- Zebra Wood Art Commission
Before & After- Zebra Wood Art Commission

The Magic Of Time Lapse Art

Several hours of work in under three minutes, as another MT Robison Art Guitar is created!  This is a faux zebra wood finish on an Ibanez acoustic guitar. It was created with a tape and guitar stain technique applied with paintbush. See more photos and the full story of this zebra wood art guitar here.

Space Dreamer For Spence

A Special Guitar For A Space Dreamer

If you’re money poor and guitar rich, let’s talk!

This guitar was commissioned by a Joshua Tree musician, who traded 3 guitars he wasn’t playing in exchange for me turning his favorite guitar, a Gibson Epiphone into a MT Robison Art Guitar, and Space Dreamer was born. This was  good deal for the both of us.

Spencer wanted the guitar to reflect his original music which is very ethereal. He asked for an outer space theme with the planet Saturn on the front. He told me the rest was up to me as the artist. This guitar was a completely new style of art for me, but I just let it flow and had a blast!

I’m learning so many new things about my process every project. Thank you Spence for making me stretch with your beautiful new Space Dreamer!

MT with Donated Guitars
MT with Donated Guitars

 

Piper’s Paisley Guitar

I have been trying to build up my body of work on a very limited budget, as this is a brand new business journey for me.Thankfully my beautiful music friends have come to my aid in supplying me with old guitars they had hanging around in their attics, corners and closets. With this guitar, I created Piper’s Paisley.

Gene Evaro Jr. donated the first electric guitar he ever owned, a Sledge Hammer Stratocaster copy and I had another canvas to paint. A little saddened by the fact it was a laminate body and not solid, I proceeded with enthusiasm to make this guitar beautiful and playable again.

I wanted to try a colorful paisley design and I just dove in. This guitar pulled me in, and after adding my stain I spent hours with the pen and ink getting the paisley just how I wanted it.

After a few coats of Tru-Oil my daughter Piper saw the guitar and offered to buy it back from me. She just fell in love with the design and colors. So I set it up for her as her slide guitar and gave it to her as a Christmas present.

Old and forgotten from Gene’s attic into the hands of a musician who appreciates her…this guitar get’s a new life. The real beauty of what I do.  Love n Light MT

 

The Echo Guitar

Girl Trapped In A Guitar

10-echo-guitar-sold-wSo I had this crazy idea… kinda like a musical muse peeking out at the world from inside a guitar, the Echo Guitar.

To get a better idea of how that might look and how I would want the lighting and shadows, an artist friend suggested I set the shot up with a model.

10-echo-photo-inspiration-wWe made a cardboard cutout of the body of the guitar, and I asked my daughter, Echo, to pose for the shot. I never really intended for the finished portrait to look so much like Echo, but it did, so everyone around me just called it The Echo Guitar.

10-echo-Guitar-whole-wTruthfully, and much to my surprise, before it was even completely finished and re-strung, a woman saw it, loved it, and said “If that guitar plays well after it’s all set-up, I’ll buy it.” And she did.

And I am truly grateful for that sale, because it’s one thing doing art guitars for friends and family, but when a virtual stranger validates our art as having real world value, it’s so encouraging and inspiring to me as an artist. I’ve heard many artists of all kinds express that sentiment; Visual artists, musicians, photographers, etc.

It’s not that it’s about the money, but I think most of us have an ingrained measuring stick, and no matter how much we do our art out of love, being able to pay our bills with our art is truly a blessing. So many great artists never make a dime. I know this all too well from my forty years in the music business. That being said, the Universe blessing me drives my creative engine…bahrrroooom! MT

The Journey Bass

Seemingly simple and primitive, the art on The Journey Bass is profoundly symbolic of an artist’s travels and trials, juxtaposed with that of the man.

The desire to refinish a beloved instrument, revealing the beautiful layers of wood that gives us it’s tone and resonance- without losing, discarding the wear ‘n tear, scars, memories, and lessons of the past…

And the desire to grow, reinvent, rediscover one’s self as a man who is an artist, through an introspective process like peeling back the layers of an onion, and nurturing, cultivating the tender new shoots within~ without losing one’s roots, history, family, fans in the winds of change…

Gene Evaro Jr, of Gene Jr & The Family, wrote “Life Is A Journey” around this same time. The art created here represents his whole journey- so the journey bass is inspired by his rich past and his bright clean future, which is ever unfolding before our very eyes… Love ‘n Light, MT

 

Resurrection

Resurrection Before
Resurrection Before

After making music with me for more than ten years, this beautiful blue Compass series Yamaha acoustic guitar I call Resurrection, was heading for the ancient burial grounds of musical instruments. After years of being dropped by inebriated band mates including myself, the dry desert air, and abuse had made cracks and holes all over the top this sweet Yamaha! She had seen better days.

Talking to a luthier I quickly realized I could not afford a new top so instead of tossing the guitar in the trash, I thought why not get creative with this guitar, customize it, stain it and make it a piece of art. Then pray it still makes music. A little meeting of the minds with my nuts and bolts partner in crime Steve Shrader, and we were off!

Cutting holes, shoring up the cracks with popsicle sticks and making sure we had a steady guitar top to make some guitar art magic. I said “Let’s make it look like a grenade was dropped inside a metal guitar.”  Steve laughed at me, smiled and said “Yea!!” After days of work, staining, inking and layers of Tru-Oil for a glossy finish, we achieved our goal… “Resurrection” The real miracle is that she plays and sounds sweeter than ever! Love and Light… Mt

Stars Guitar Under The Sea

After seeing my guitar artwork on her uncle Mark’s guitar and her Dad’s bass, my God -daughter Starlin asked me to make her half-size child’s guitar pretty so I decided to paint Stars Guitar. It doesn’t play well but she thought it would look good on display in her room.

Star Guitar Upright
Star Guitar Upright

My business just started with family and friends wanting their guitars refinished and painted. This gave me many chances to learn and grow without the stress of a client to please on a commissioned guitar.

Stars Guitar Front
Stars Guitar Front

I thought an underwater scene in my style with a starfish would be cool. I let the stain and denatured alcohol do most of the work on this one. The magic seemed to happen by itself, and Star was thrilled. Her smile when I was finished was priceless.

Shipwreck

A Shipwreck of a life…

Ever since I can remember a rusty old shipwreck and the mystique of the buccaneer and the rebel pirates have fascinated me. I have always viewed the musicians, poets, writers, painters, and scientists as a different kind of pirate. Questioning the status quo, fighting to be free and believing in the treasure chest filled with art and answers.

This Yamaha is my go to guitar I play all the time. So I thought why not reflect my sentiment for the pirate, the artisans and the thinkers with this guitar. The scene is dark, under the water, the flag is torn…success historically has had a way of eluding many great minds. So…it’s a pirates life for me baby and how about you? MT

Garden Guitar

This really old nylon I bought for my friend L Shrader at Schafer and Sons more than 30 years ago. It still plays like a dream. Sweet tone, great action, just one of those magic little guitars.

I was honored to do something special, artistically on this garden guitar for my oldest dear friend Linda, who is an amazing artist herself. You can see her work at www.largerthanlifemurals.com.

04-linda-guitar1-w

Getting Started On The Garden Guitar

Knowing Linda’s love for her garden, I decided to paint a garden guitar for her. I had an idea for a floral effect so I used torn tape to make my shapes. The guitar I sanded down smooth as glass which is unusual for acoustic tops. Using a very limited color palette I laid down the stain, and removed the tape. Actually it was my easiest project to date. As it was one of my early projects I was amazed at how the guitar stains had blended and mixed in the voids. Art making itself I call it.

I use denatured alcohol to really make the guitar stains move around. A drop here, a drop there, and magic happens. I finished it with ten coats of  Tru-Oil  and a few years later it still looks shiny and beautiful. Thank you Linda, this guitar is still one of my favorites:-)