Published: 30 June 2020
We have been exhibiting Roberts paintings for over 25 years, however it has been some time since we last held an exhibition of his beautiful landscapes and observations from Scotland, Cornwall, East Anglia and London here in Aldeburgh. Robert has built up a very strong reputation and client base over the years so we are really looking forward to a major exhibition of his work here in Suffolk.
When Robert graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1970 he had a fairly free and expressionistic style. This developed from an admiration for a number of artists including Joan Eardley RSA and Sir Robin Philipson RA, RSA, RSW along with the more gentle style of Alexander Goudie RGI which were large inspirations at the beginning of his career when his style was borderline abstract. Lots of slashing palette knife impasto and atmospheric skies and jagged bushes thrust from the lower corners of his paintings of stark winter fields or seascapes. As the years progressed he became more interested in the works of the Scottish Colourists, F C B Cadell and S J Peploe who frequented the Scottish Hebrides looking for inspiration and it is evident that he still takes great inspiration from this group of artists and looking back you find views of islands such as Iona, painted in violet, ochre and pinks and of course the cold turquoise green of the shallow water he grew to love. This New Scottish Colourist approach has been his constant style for the last couple of decades.
In this exhibition he has included paintings in the more expressionist style as explored in his youth and to emphasise colours and to create stronger atmospheres. He has always enjoyed using light and capturing its effects on water and land, twilight being his favourite time of day and watching skies change as nightfall comes in. One of his early themes as a young painter was exploring the design elements of driftwood on a beach against a backdrop of sea. He has returned to this theme in some of his oils for this show. In these paintings, the point of the composition is to create an almost sculptural effect from the shapes made by the driftwood.