Art Shaped: local painter Robinson moves on to new techniques | News
Owensboro residents have seen the works of Rex Robinson for decades.
From 25 years designing Christmas cards for the town to community murals and commissions for local museums and organizations, Robinson’s work has captured the essence of Owensboro over the years.
Upon entering his Visual Arts Center at 425 W. Fifth St. in Owensboro, visitors are greeted by a colorful assortment of paintings and other works in a variety of mediums. His latest title, “Hollyhock Hills,” a colorful landscape, sits on an easel near a spotlight.
“I thought I did it in a day, but it didn’t let me stop,” Robinson said.
Robinson said that even looking at what appears to be a finished and framed painting, he can see where he could add a few more brushstrokes.
Originally from Muhlenberg County, Robinson said his mother and two talented older sisters inspired him a lot as he took his first steps as an artist.
His father, however, left a lasting impression by sharing his love of nature with his son.
“He took me on all kinds of hunts growing up, and it was more of a nature walk,” Robinson said. “He was very knowledgeable about natural living and the benefits of being in nature. I see that now as a major inspiration to me.
After gasping for everything from stunts to life scenes, like the last time Bluegrass icon Bill Monroe performed in Owensboro, Robinson decided he wanted to focus his time and attention on what he calls biblical truths.
“I don’t care about history as much anymore, I don’t respond to it as much in my work anymore,” he said. “It’s not American history, but it’s biblical history.”
Robinson said he was struck by the natural beauty of the American West, having spent six weeks there last year painting.
“I have focused on national parks, and this is one of the most brilliant acts of man, to preserve some of the rarest landscapes,” he said. “It’s very impressive and it’s kind of recent history. I think America has woken up the world.
Robinson said that when painting historical events and scenes from life, he spent a lot of time conceptualizing the piece, going over every detail in his mind. He describes his Bible truth paintings, which may be inspired by the Bible, spiritual experiences, or dreams, as more relaxing to paint.
As for the medium, Robinson said he prefers working with acrylic paint.
“I think and it suits me better to work in acrylics,” he said. “Acrylic is probably becoming more popular.”
Robinson said acrylic paint originated in the early 1950s and is known for its bright, brilliant colors because paint pigments are suspended in plastic.
Over time, Robinson would like to become more involved in visual ministry, where he paints live for youth groups and churches.
This new style of painting without much preparation is something he is still adapting to.
“I have an urge to paint and when things in life get in the way, it frustrates me, so when I have the opportunity to do something, I have several things in mind that I really want to do” , Robinson said. “I try not to think about it too much. If I don’t know what I’m doing, I’ll put it aside and I’ll start.
Robinson said he would also like to be able to display all of his Bible truth paintings and is okay with selling some of his completed works to make more room for the gallery.
“It was a challenge for me to work with nothing in mind, although before I knew it I was doing what I always wanted to do, and that was loving to paint,” he said. . “I had put so much work into it, I forgot.”