Visitors to the Asheville Gallery of Art will be able to view Robin Altman’s show from August 1st through August 31st. They will be present for a special “Meet the Artist” event on First Friday, August 5th, from 5pm-8pm in the gallery at 82 Patton Avenue.
Robin Wethe Altman was raised in a family of artists and musicians, so luckily there was plenty of support for her artistic leanings. The artist colony of Laguna Beach, California was where she grew up and she participated in the town’s galleries as well as the Summer Art Festivals there. Winning an art scholarship from the Festival of Arts, Robin went on to study art at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. She traveled abroad with college groups to study the art of the great masters as well
as to paint on location. Presently Altman licenses her artwork to several companies that produce her work as puzzles and paint by numbers and such. The artist’s move to Asheville four years ago has proved to be a great boost in inspiration for the artist in her search for diversity and adventure.
Altman’s style of painting is recognizable and bold. Professor James Green, who she studied with at Principia College, would admonish his students to avoid painting “wallpaper”. He said that paintings should be made to stand out from the walls and be seen. Strong contrast and color helps to create such a painting. A well thought-out design is requisite to capture the attention and soothe the viewer psychologically.
In the painting, “Jumping Fences”, Altman makes the point that, in the mountains, nature is pervasive as she climbs and grows around and over man made barriers such as fences. The painting beacons the viewer to see beyond limitations as well, to the ever expanding mountain vistas.
Besides the magnificent landscape of the Appalachian Mountains, there is the charm of its animal life. In her painting of the bear, Altman depicts the quietude of the lumbering creature as her outstretched neck invites us to smell the fragrant mountain air with her as she scopes out the morning view.
Winter need not be a depressing time. To the contrary, in Altman’s painting, “Birch Trees in Winter”, there is a transcendent glow that bathes the whole snowy scene with warmth. The painting illustrates the introspective mood that penetrates a winter’s day. The birds are evidence that life is continuing even in winter. The winter season provides a time of rest to both nature and people in which to reflect on life and what matters the most.
It’s no wonder that sages of all time would go to the mountains to find serenity. This exhibit is about the peace of mind and clarity that comes from an artist making her home in the mountains.
It’s inspiring to think about the first European settlers coming to the Appalachian Mountains. “In the painting titled, “The Highlander”, I endeavored to capture the confident spirit of the kind of men who first dared to make the New World their home.” The Scotsman’s eyes appear just over Grandfather Mountain and his shoulders align with the slope of the mountains. The colors in the man and his clothes are echoed in the mountain colors, as if mountain and man were one and the same. The rugged gentleman’s eyes look directly at the viewer and special emphasis is given to his hands.
Robin’s artwork can be found under “Robin Wethe Altman” on Etsy, Fine Art America and Facebook and her website is: www.robinwethealtman.com