Encaustic painting is very old technique known as being highly permanent, thanks to its beeswax binder – heated until molten and then mixed with dry pigments in order to make paint. In the very end, the whole surface is being reheated to fuse the layers, bonding them to the support. This is called burning-in, thence the name encaustic. An American artist Robin Cole Smith is known for approaching this ancient technique a bit differently – she actually creates her work by layering the drawing transmitted onto the wax and suspended at intervals between layers of beeswax. Plus, there is no paper involved in the final product!
Robin Cole Smith was born in 1985, in Denver, Colorado. She received her BA in English at Colorado College with a prestigious Boettcher Foundation scholarship. During her schooling, Smith also studied in France and Ireland, returning to Burren College of Art, in Ballyvaughan for the post-baccalaureate program in studio art. Robin Cole obtained her MFA at the Laguna College of Art and Design.
Smith is mostly inspired by her native Colorado and its landscapes. Her hyper-realistic paintings and drawings carry this artist’s memories of the trees, rocks, herbs and even bird nests she is so used to see in Denver and its surrounding. Cole especially focuses on small details, like a plant bark, rippling water, or falling leaves – highlighting their unique forms and textures and transforming thus the natural scenery into something that comes very close to the portraying. By using a monochrome palette, this artist underlines the immortal essence of nature, not losing sight of its fragility, thanks to the intimate and intuitive characteristics of the black and white medium.
In 2012, Smith received the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation artist grant in support of her unique encaustic work. She currently teaches at Laguna College of Art and Design and Irvine Valley College. As Robin Cole prompted in her artistic statement, her work is always balancing on the line of different boundaries: visual, metaphorical, natural, and spiritual. Fascinated by both light and dark, known and unknown, seen and unseen – Smith often oscillates between familiar impulses and inexplicable presences. Her exploration uses the elements of science methods, combined with those of the spirit that go beyond the visible.
This artist is represented by Gallery 1261 in Denver, CO.
Featured image: Portrait photo copyright © artist
|2017||Robin Cole Smith||Gallery 1261, Denver, CO||Solo|
|2015||Afterglow||Lora Schlesinger Gallery, Santa Monica, CA||Solo|
|2013||Instinct (MFA Thesis Exhibition)||Arena 1 Gallery, Santa Monica, CA||Solo|
|2010||Still Point||Boom Gallery, Denver, CO||Solo|
|2009||Elements||Eron Johnson Architectural Antique Showroom, Denver, CO||Solo|
|2009||Genus||Burren College of Art, Ballyvaughan, Ireland||Solo|
|2013||Carbon: Elemental Experiences||Firehouse Art Center, Longmont, CO||Duo|
|2012||Nature | Nurture||Exhibit [A] Gallery, Long Beach, CA||Duo|
|2016||Large Works||Gallery 1261, Denver, CO||Group|
|2016||Spaces||Gallery 1261, Denver, CO||Group|
|2015||Renaissance of Realism||Gallery 1261, Denver, CO||Group|
|2015||Collector’s Choice||Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach, CA||Group|
|2015||Postscript||Russel Gallery and the Burren College of Art, Co. Clare, Ireland||Group|
|2014||In Search of the Real||Faculty Show, LCAD Gallery on Forest, Laguna Beach, CA||Group|
|2014||Inner Journey/Visual Experience||Gallery 1261, Denver, CO||Group|
|2014||Small Works||Gallery 1261, Denver, CO||Group|
|2014||Group Show||Gallery 1261, Denver, CO||Group|
|2014||5th Annual Drawing Discourse||University of North Carolina, Asheville||Group|
|2013||Cross Pollinate||Walker Fine Art, Denver, CO||Group|
|2013||Group show||Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA||Group|
|2013||Emanation||Linus Galleries, Pasadena, CA||Group|
|2012||Connections||Lynn J. Gallery, Buena Park, CA||Group|
|2012||Shadows||Linus Galleries, online||Group|
|2012||Group Show||Walker Fine Art, Denver, CO||Group|
|2012||Into the Woods||Capitol Christmas Tree, traveling exhibition originating in CO||Group|
|2012||Group show||St. Croix National Scenic Riverway Headquarters, St. Croix Falls, MN||Group|
|2012||1942||Orange County Great Park, Irvine, CA||Group|
|2012||Group show||Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA (curated by Peter Frank)||Group|
|2012||Group show||Arena 1 Gallery, Santa Monica, CA (curated by Peter Frank)||Group|
|2012||Out of the Gray||Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, OH||Group|
|2011||Triggered Momentum||Walker Fine Art, Denver, CO||Group|
|2011||Black and White||Linus Gallery, Long Beach, CA||Group|
|2010||Group show||RED Contemporary Art, Steamboat, CO||Group|
|2010||Group show||Eron Johnson Architectural Antique Showroom, Denver, CO||Group|
|2009||Place, Placeness, and Perception||Burren College of Art Gallery, Ballyvaughan, Ireland||Group|