Artist Statement of Robin Stearn

After graduating from MIT, Robin Stearn started a publisher's production company, and worked as art director/manager. In 1998, she created her first large scale interactive art environment for an award-winning early-education centre. In recent years, she has focused her energies on classic oil painting and the fine arts. She both teaches and produces two dimensional art pieces. 

"Each of my paintings is a poem that addresses a social, political or cultural issue, with a sense of optimism and hope. My figures are generally focused on beautiful people facing ”challenges.” The beauty of the subject is always challenged by the underlying “problem”, but the strength of the subject perseveres and the message becomes one of hope.

My cityscapes capitalise on the same heroic instinct. In these images, the city itself is the protagonist, faced by it’s own incongruity. I deconstruct my cityscapes using rollers and knives, scrapers and sponges, to blend ugly into beauty, until each piece becomes a story about the light and the motion and the energy of the city.

There is something magical that occasionally happens, when all the stars align, when the paint does the work and and makes the image appear. When I create my cityscapes, I’m not so much painting, as setting up opportunities for the paint to make magic. Using cradled wood panels, gessoed three times and sanded smooth, I measure out and delineate the geometry of the street scene I’m recreating. I start applying layer after layer of resist and paint, using rollers and palette knives, then scraping the excess away with a squeegee. Each application carves out more structures, darkening shadows, enhancing the geometry, eliminating as much of the unnecessary information as possible. When the piece reaches a density, a solidity, that feels true, I add in the characters, the cars, the trees, painting these details with a brush, then blending them into the background with a roller."