Robin Denevan

My work is about process with an emphasis on the organic properties of the materials I use and how they mimic nature and landscape. I do not render a landscape as much as I allow the materials to naturally create one. I never work from photographs. I feel strongly about generating images that are personal to me and want to capture the immediacy of the landscape in my drawings. My sketches are mostly done on the move, in a boat, on a plane, or while hiking. It would certainly be easier to paint from photos but I would lose the movement, spontaneity and emotion integral to drawing. I have been been working with encaustic for 20 years. My process begins with drawings of the exotic landscapes I’ve visited which are the source material for my paintings once I’ve returned home to my studio in San Francisco. My daily walks with my dog have been a surprising influence on my work. Deltas, rivers and lagoons have always been my subjects, particularly areas inundated with water. Walking the trails along the San Francisco bay frequently has motivated me to draw the coastline and surrounding foliage. How the landscape changes with the tides and the weather has been my primary interest.

The paintings are on canvas stretched over a wood panel, which provides a rigid and porous surface. I melt resin and beeswax together and apply it with a brush. My paintings have many layers of wax, resin, shellac and oil paint. I continually add materials and then remove them with a torch, solvent, sandpaper, and a variety of sharp tools. Using translucent layers allows the viewer into the history and process of the paintings. The finished work is both luminescent and beautifully textured.

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