Robin Wessman

As a classically trained contemporary realist painter, my work is playful, mysterious and contemplative, not usually all at once, but sometimes. My paintings are the result of observation, imagination, experience and continuous development. I paint objects or scenes that have the potential to go beyond the obvious and inspire viewers to see more than an accurate depiction of the subject. Inspiration comes from everywhere, but mostly from my experiences with people and places. Sometimes I paint scenes in nature that I find beautiful and inspiring, other times I paint to express ideas, tell stories or just have fun.

Painting from life is essential to my process to truly understand how to make three dimensional scenes look convincing on canvas. I use the indirect method of painting for all my work, which is basically a slow, step by step process that starts with an accurate drawing. Monochrome paint is then applied as an underpainting with values for the big shapes. Color is then introduced and refined through multiple sessions letting the paint dry between layers. Still life paintings take some time to set up, but are the easiest to control when working from life. Since I live on the outer part of Cape Cod, much of my inspiration comes from the natural beauty of the dunes and beaches that have been protected from development and preserved in their natural state. My landscape paintings originate from plein air studies which are brought back into the studio where I can continue painting until I achieve the desired results.

The one constant in all my work is the exploration of light and how it affects form and creates atmosphere. I enjoy the challenge of examining my subjects more closely through the process of painting and discovering new ways to express my ideas. My desire to push technical craftsmanship along with emotion and implied narrative is what excites and drives me as a painter. Sharing is also part of the process, as I believe we are always looking for ways to connect with others.

Selected Works