The Ramblings of a Creative Soul

Monday, June 28, 2010

Inspiration Series - Part 15

I have an eclectic art collection in my house. I like that. One of my favorite pieces is a watercolor of a cow. There is a story connected to my cow. Years ago, my uncle (the one I pass the clock back and forth with) came home for a visit and brought a friend. She had never been "to the country" before. She was in awe of the dalmatian cows that were all over the countryside. We found her description hysterical and inspiration for future presents. The funny thing, we can't remember her name but we remember the dalmatian cow. My kids grew up thinking they were called that and now find it funny that up the road, we have Oreo cows. Several years ago, a large box was delivered. Inside was the cow painting. My uncle was traveling and had stopped at an art show. He was taken by the cow and figured I should have that. It now hangs in the room I spend the most time in and smile when I see it.

Today's featured artist, Robert Joyner, first caught my eye because of his cow paintings. When I explored his shop more, his countryside paintings reminded me of where I grew up. Having had a lifelong love affair with horses, I was really drawn to his horse paintings. I also liked that he told a story with each of his paintings. I have a weakness for storytelling and love to know what inspired the piece or the feelings of the artist. I think it makes it even more personal. I decided to ask Robert the question,

What inspires you?

Expression is the key to my creative process. Subjects vary, but the sense of expression stays the same. Watercolor was my first medium. The magic of transforming blank white paper into colorful paintings brought me back to the easel day after day. I soon began to add other mediums such as crayon and charcoal to my watercolors. This form of mixed media gave me a sense of personal style.

Having loved the outdoors all my life, I decided to start plein air painting. This experience opened other avenues of creativity and techniques. It also brought me back to the subjects that I enjoy the most. Having grown up in rural Virginia and with a background in commercial fishing, I was quickly drawn to the coastal harbors, fishing boats, and the Virginia country side. Plein air painting gives me a more personal connection with the subjects. By being on site, I’m able to capture and omit certain nuances that give the viewer room to use their imagination and allows me the opportunity to include certain features that add character to the scene. Plein air paintings will often lead to larger studio works which are fueled by time invested on site.

One of the toughest things for me to do is to throw away unwanted paintings and brushes. Many of my favorite acrylic paintings on paper are completed with recycled watercolor paper and well worn, or frayed brushes that many artists would likely discard. It seems like painting on inferior works is less inhibiting. The strength of my art is allowing each painting to have a life of its own. Even though I do not have a methodical way of painting, there are always certain techniques and methods I use throughout my works. Therefore, finishing a piece is always a unique journey.

You can find Robert's wonderful work at

Thanks so much for sharing, Robert.

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