Robbie Collins

by Sarah Judson December 31, 2012

California artist Robbie Collins grew up in the San Francisco Bay area, and early on was inspired as an illustrator, painter, photographer, and musician. In his teens, he lived and studied in France, sketching cityscapes, historic ruins, as well as rural landscapes. In the Lake Tahoe region of Nevada, he would sketch and create watercolor paintings, with encouragement from his art professor grandfather. He is inspired by the work of early California painters, like Edgar Payne and William Wendt, contemporary artists, including Clyde Aspevig and Marc Dallesio, and historical greats, like Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth and Claude Monet. Artists of the Bay Area Figurative Movement like Richard Diebenkorn and Wayne Thiebaud are a quieter, but notable influence as well. His blog includes not just current plein air paintings, but also notes about each one. The 8x10 oil sketch shown above is a dredging barge in San Francisco Bay. Here are his comments: "Painting is a funny balance between the mystery of art and the science of craft, and I always enjoy it when something unexpected happens that welcomes both. I found myself with a good parking space at the Marina Green, and an hour to kill before dinner plans with friends, and I decided to spend my time playing around with my paints, with no regard for the outcome.  I just wanted to enjoy the process of painting, without the pressure of doing “good” work that I sometimes put on myself. I 'should' have painted something much more dignified than a dredging barge lit up for the night crew, but in all sincerity it had more eye appeal to me than the glimmers of San Francisco fading into the night. Deserving little credit for forethought, I realized that I had my lights for nocturnal painting with me.  Proper lighting, and my portable setup, gave me an unexpectedly comfortable opportunity to work without needing to rush in the fading light.  I was able to savor the oncoming darkness while painting for paintings sake." He offers introductory plein air workshops, intended for beginning artists and collectors (no experience necessary).

Sarah Judson
Sarah Judson


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