Tag Archives: yucca valley

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

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
Tru-oil finish on Lafayette's Last Dance by MT Robison
Tru-oil finish


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

09-piper's-guitar-whole-w 09-piper's-guitar-front-w

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



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.


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.


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