Robin Cole Smith

United States 1985

Nature Art

Robin Cole Smith
Robin Cole Smith
United States
March 30, 2016
Ok, I know it's so damn corny to quote somebody just to describe yourself, let alone Confucius, but this quote says all about my relationship with Widewalls, so forgive me for doing this: Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Am I forgiven?

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!

Work inspired by Smith’s native Colorado and its landscapes

Robin Cole Smith - Instinct III, 2013 and Fox, 2014, images courtesy of 1261 Gallery
Robin Cole Smith – Instinct III, 2013 and Fox, 2014, images courtesy of 1261 Gallery

Natural Scenery in Cole’s Artistic World

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.

Immortal essence of nature is underlined by a monochrome palette

Robin Cole Smith - Microcosmo, image courtesy of 1261 Gallery
Robin Cole Smith – Microcosmo, image courtesy of 1261 Gallery

Visual, Metaphorical, Natural, and Spiritual Boundaries

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.

Robin Cole Smith lives in Colorado.

Featured image: Portrait photo copyright © artist

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2017Robin Cole SmithGallery 1261, Denver, COSolo
2015AfterglowLora Schlesinger Gallery, Santa Monica, CASolo
2013Instinct (MFA Thesis Exhibition)Arena 1 Gallery, Santa Monica, CASolo
2010Still PointBoom Gallery, Denver, COSolo
2009ElementsEron Johnson Architectural Antique Showroom, Denver, COSolo
2009GenusBurren College of Art, Ballyvaughan, IrelandSolo
2013Carbon: Elemental ExperiencesFirehouse Art Center, Longmont, CODuo
2012Nature | NurtureExhibit [A] Gallery, Long Beach, CADuo
2016Large WorksGallery 1261, Denver, COGroup
2016SpacesGallery 1261, Denver, COGroup
2015Renaissance of RealismGallery 1261, Denver, COGroup
2015Collector’s ChoiceLaguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach, CAGroup
2015PostscriptRussel Gallery and the Burren College of Art, Co. Clare, IrelandGroup
2014In Search of the RealFaculty Show, LCAD Gallery on Forest, Laguna Beach, CAGroup
2014Inner Journey/Visual ExperienceGallery 1261, Denver, COGroup
2014Small WorksGallery 1261, Denver, COGroup
2014Group ShowGallery 1261, Denver, COGroup
20145th Annual Drawing DiscourseUniversity of North Carolina, AshevilleGroup
2013Cross PollinateWalker Fine Art, Denver, COGroup
2013Group showLaguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CAGroup
2013Emanation Linus Galleries, Pasadena, CAGroup
2012ConnectionsLynn J. Gallery, Buena Park, CAGroup
2012ShadowsLinus Galleries, onlineGroup
2012Group ShowWalker Fine Art, Denver, COGroup
2012Into the WoodsCapitol Christmas Tree, traveling exhibition originating in COGroup
2012Group showSt. Croix National Scenic Riverway Headquarters, St. Croix Falls, MNGroup
20121942Orange County Great Park, Irvine, CAGroup
2012Group showLaguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA (curated by Peter Frank)Group
2012Group showArena 1 Gallery, Santa Monica, CA (curated by Peter Frank)Group
2012Out of the GrayManifest Gallery, Cincinnati, OHGroup
2011Triggered MomentumWalker Fine Art, Denver, COGroup
2011Black and WhiteLinus Gallery, Long Beach, CAGroup
2010Group showRED Contemporary Art, Steamboat, COGroup
2010Group showEron Johnson Architectural Antique Showroom, Denver, COGroup
2009Place, Placeness, and PerceptionBurren College of Art Gallery, Ballyvaughan, IrelandGroup