Barb Robinson: 2017 Art Festival Poster Artist

Barb has been working hard since being named this year's Poster Artist Back in July of 2016, and the 38 pieces making up the show examine the rich and varied subject matter of our local environs in the mature voice of this local artist.

This is a significant collection of new work on wood panel and canvas and includes several plein-air pieces.

Gallery Talk, Reception & Poster Signing
Saturday, June 17, 2017

Talk starts @ 4:30 pm
Reception continues until 7:00 pm | Sponsored by Gulf Pointe Plaza

Although born in Iowa,Barb Robinson has spent most of her life in Texas. One of Barb's earliest recollections is playing with horned toads in Mesquite,Texas. At 18, she married and moved to Houston with her husband, Bart. 

Returning to Iowa fora few years gave Barb the opportunity to attend the University of Iowa where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education with a specialization in art.  After graduation, Barb and her family moved back to Texas and settled in Austin, where she lived for 15 years. 

Throughout her life,Barb drew and painted, improving her artistic skills through mentorships from artists like Ross Carnes, a watercolorist from Austin. During her time in the State's capital, Barb appreciated the work of Michael Atkinson. After a few years in Cuero, Barb made the Coastal Bend her permanent home in 1999. 

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 breakdown 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.