Tag Archives: joshua tree

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

Joshua Tree Samick Strat

This old lefty Samick Strat, I recently re-finished for Gene Evaro Jr. and turned it into a Joshua Tree Samick Strat.  He thought he was going to get a big paisley design. Instead I decided to surprise him with a Joshua tree scene since he hails from the magic little town of Joshua Tree, in the high desert of Southern California.

Joshua Tree Samick Strat- Back
Joshua Tree Samick Strat- Back

This was an exciting project for both of us because this guitar would be Gene’s very first guitar that would have the hardware, knobs, input etc. in the right place. Gene has always played left handed and upside down so this will be a whole new world for him. He is truly a stellar musician and an amazing person! I am honored to call him my friend and my family. I can’t wait to watch him burn down the house with his band genejrandthefamily , his new guitar in hand. Blessings MT

Samick Strat Before
Samick Strat Before
Samick Strat Sanded and Ready for Art
Samick Strat Sanded and Ready for Art
Joshua Tree Samick Strat Sketch
Joshua Tree Samick Strat Sketch

 

Joshua Tree Samick Strat Front
Joshua Tree Samick Strat Front

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Fun stuff! It’s good to be alive…

Client Testimonial- “Space Dreamer” Guitar

Spencer’s Space Dreamer

This is a guitar that sat for years and just never sang how I felt that It could. I put this guitar in the hands of MT and the beauty that this guitar has!! Earthquake angel of sound is coming of this pure wood covered in the universe that we all share! Just the look alone inspires my heart to play and once I strum a chords it sings right to me!

MT is one of those artists that you can say just get creative and he will put his love and care into everything he does!!! This Space Dreamer guitar speaks to me in new ways and he has brought it back to life! I am so honored and blessed to have this art and love upon the instrument that I express my true heart songs with!! ~Spencer

Spencer with His Space Dreamer Guitar
Spencer with His Space Dreamer Guitar

See More “Space Dreamer” Guitar Here

Client Testimonial Lafayette’s Last Dance

MT, Lafayette’s Last Dance lights up the room like nothing else!  It is bold delicacy, in beautiful harmony… just like you.   Thank you for such a precious piece ♡♡♡ Megan

Proud owner of Lafayette's Last Dance Megan Hutch|MT Robison Art Guitars
Proud owner of Lafayette’s Last Dance Megan Hutch|MT Robison Art Guitars

See More of “Lafayette’s Last Dance” Here

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.

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

 

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

Triple Moon Gibson Nighthawk

A Triple Moon For Piper

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This sweet little Triple Moon Gibson Nighthawk guitar belongs to my daughter, Piper Robison. She plays bass for Gene Jr & The Family, but wanted me to customize one of her electric guitars.

She wanted this guitar very understated in the artwork, three phases of the moon with just a little color magic. Hard for her Dad to do because I wanted to make it super colorful. She also wanted the beautiful wood grain to show through an amber cast.

Sometimes less is more, and for her this was it. Simple but beautiful.    Blessings 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

 

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.

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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:-)

Jungle Bass for Steve

My First Bass Guitar…My Jungle Bass For Steve

My second attempt at staining and refinishing was for my jungle bass player Steve Shrader. He willingly handed over his Ibanez SDGR bass guitar. With little experience and much to learn, I was grateful for the opportunity. I had no clue as to what he wanted so I thought about him always being there for me as a friend and a band mate. Like a warrior he always rose to any challenge so I thought I would paint him a Jungle war bass. Animal colors and stripes, a little blood for the battle, and black.

Jungle Bass for Steve by MT Robison Art Guitars
Jungle Bass for Steve by MT Robison Art Guitars

 

Maybe I learned too much about power sanders on this one! You have to very patient and gentle when using any power tool. I ended up making more work for myself by being impatient, so the word is relax… and let the machine do the work.

03-steve-bass-back-wAfter some tender loving care and hand sanding at the end, I was pleased with the feel of the wood. I stained the bass with red, green and yellow, applied my animal stripes with torn painters tape, stained the entire bass black, removed the tape and voilà! It still looks and plays fantastic, and it’s had some real hard gig time. Tru-Oil does hold up if you are reasonable when you handle your guitar.

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I am honored and blessed to have been a part of this great mans life, and he be a part of mine. Here’s to the great music and the good times we’ve had with his Jungle Bass! Love and Music…MT