Thoroughly Modern Watercolors

Mario Robinson, “Major’s General Store,” watercolor on paper, 9 x 12 in.

Mario Robinson’s work has been described as traditional, but his brushwork defies convention. His work combines traditional methods, but in a thoroughly modern way, as seen through his use of a monochromatic underpainting washed over with vibrant hues.

Mario Robinson, “The Day Before Sandy,” watercolor on paper 22 x 30 in.

Robinson was born in Altus, Oklahoma. Discovered by his fifth grade teacher, he became inspired to further pursue art. At age 12, Robinson moved with his family to New Jersey, and later attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.

Mario Robinson, “Sixteen Broad St., Charleston, SC,” watercolor on paper, 18 x 24 in.

The artist’s work has been strongly influenced by artistic icons specifically known for their expertise and groundbreaking approach to brushwork and awareness of light, including Andrew Wyeth, Thomas Eakins, Edward Hopper, and John Singer Sargent. His work is primarily autobiographical, as he depicts the people and settings pertinent to his life from truthful paintings of the rural south, to ethereal landscapes of his oceanic home.

Mario Robinson, “Grandmother’s Room,” watercolor on paper 14 x 20 in.

Instead of presenting an idealistic characterization of the world, his paintings reflect the inspiration he finds in his surroundings. The paintings in his current exhibition at the Bernarducci Gallery (through September 29) possess atmospheric qualities, seen through his manipulation of light, specifically regarding his portraits. The viewer is confronted with a blunt yet solemn sense of reality.

Learn watercolor painting techniques from Mario Robinson in person at the 2nd Annual Figurative Art Convention & Expo, November 2018, Miami, Florida. And check out his new Liliedahl art workshop video available, titled “Portrait Painting Techniques That Tell a Story.”

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Kelly Kane
PleinAir Magazine and American Watercolor Weekly Editor-in-Chief With more than 20 years experience in art publishing, Kelly Kane has served previously as Editor-in-Chief of Watercolor Artist magazine and Content Director for The Artist’s Magazine, Drawing, Acrylic Artist, and Pastel Journal. She has interviewed many of the preeminent artists of our time and written numerous articles about painting, drawing, art education and art history. She is now the Editor-in-Chief of PleinAir Magazine and the American Watercolor Weekly newsletter. Click here to send her an email.

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