Rockport Center for the Arts | "Meet Barb Robinson: 2017 Poster Artist"

Barb, how would you describe your work?

I like representational work, sometimes on the edge of abstraction. Some people say contemporary impressionism.

Can you describe your process?

Process – an interesting word. I’ll try. It’s step-by-step work, but interestingly, work that you cannot rush -– which describes a lot of life I guess. I usually start with reference photos I have taken of the area, people, birds, the ocean etc. I’m liking a tinted birch panel, seems to work well with acrylic paint. The tint rather sets the tone of the painting, sometimes the tint is a neutral that colors pop from, sometimes I reverse the layers.

So how do you begin then?

The approach is rather direct –- extremely direct if I paint en plein air -- starting with a rough composition on the support. I know I am ”supposed to sketch on paper", but this has never worked for me. I can adjust and make changes as I paint. Sometimes the painting begins to tell a story of its own, which I must investigate, of course.

What about the particular way you build up your final image?

Okay, applying paint. I guess I break down the composition into bits and pieces, but not so much as to become tedious, putting it back together with light and color in a harmonious fashion. I usually use flat and bright brushes which give a bolder stroke with heavy body acrylics. Charles Movalli said, "It can’t look like you’ve worked hard and long, even if you have. A painting should be done quickly, with both your intellect and your nerves. When they give out, stop.”

I stop often.

Barb is represented by Estelle Stair Gallery in Rockport as well as the Port Aransas Art Center. Her Poster Artist solo exhibition will run from June 17 to July 29, 2017. A reception and gallery talk with the artist is scheduled June 17 at 4:30 PM. On June 30, during the Art Auction Party, the original work of her poster piece will be auctioned live.

Stay tuned for more on Barb Robinson.

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