Robin Denevan - Room 121

My work is about process with an emphasis on the organic properties of the materials I use and how they mimic nature and landscape. With my encaustic paintings I use a vocabulary of techniques to create a space. Ink and acrylic stain and bleed on the canvas creating a sketch. The splatters and glazes of oil fluidly represent the effects of water and reflection. Lines and gouges in the wax form trees. Beeswax blends and diffuses creating atmosphere. I do not render a landscape as much as I allow the materials to naturally create one.

The steel series developed from the same approach. I began to notice the buildup of residue on the inside of the buckets I use to wash my brushes. The patinas of paint created a beautiful gradation of color and texture. Concurrent with these observations were my walks along the inlets of San Francisco Bay. My painting studio rests on the shores of India Basin in San Francisco. The low tides create patterns of kelp, and earth that blend into the tranquil waters.

I use steel sheets so that I can work on a smooth and consistent surface. The sheets are sanded, sometimes primed and submerged in several gallons of mineral spirits. I pour oil paint into the solution and mix it until it is cloudy. Over the period of several days the particles of oil color precipitate and leave sediment on the steel. After the oil has completely separated from the mineral spirits I repeat the process with another color. I will sometimes sand or manipulate the surface after the bath. The painting is sealed with a protective finish and mounted on a wood substrate.


For more information about Robin Denevan, please visit his website.