To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV)
From a magnificent vista to sunlight on a leaf, to the texture of bark, my work focuses on the natural beauty I see around me every day. I have always observed with an artist’s eye, but translating my vision to paper or canvas has brought me even closer to the natural world I have always connected with.
My subjects are my own experiences and my own interpretations. My paintings are a piece ofmysoul. InspiredbytheworkofthefamousGroupofSeven,inparticularThomson, Lismer, Jackson, and Varley, I strive not for photo realism, nor for abstraction, but rather for the essence or impression of what is seen and felt in the natural world. Working extensively on location, I strive to communicate what excites me in what I am experiencing.
I am inspired by the flow and unpredictability of watercolour and the individuality of the pigments and how they interact. This medium forces me to let go of control and to understand the behaviours of various pigments and how I can work with them toward a purpose.
Painting with oil has given me another mode of expression. Its buttery texture and the ability to manipulate the paint over a longer drying period gives me more opportunity to experiment and play with my ideas.
Because it is where I live and easily accessible to me, my work focuses on, but is not limited to, scenes in Saskatchewan. From streams and canola fields to rapids and rocky shores, this province provides me with a multitude of diverse scenes to paint. I see beauty in the chaos and the lifecycles of nature. A dead tree, a bird in flight, or a tangle of roots is beautiful to me. Seeing the cycles and seasons of the natural world reminds me that all things have their time and their purpose.
My goal is to paint in every province (and hopefully territory) in the beautiful and rugged country of Canada. Working primarily in watercolour, but also in oils, I strive to paint with intensity, joy and calm while honouring clarity and composition so that my audience can experience the same. My paintings speak of the world as I see it, and are intended as messages to the viewer where reading between the lines enriches the viewer’s experience.
I seldom leave the house without my paints in tow. I don’t want to miss one moment of opportunity when the shadows are amazing or the the light is just right. Sharing my sense of wonder with others gives me great pleasure and a purpose for my artistic pursuits.
Canada is in her blood. Roberta Luchinski (who signs her work as Robbie), was raised as the daughter of an RCMP officer from Fort William ON and a telephone operator from Yellow Grass SK. Her nature-loving parents taught her to love the natural world and to identify birds and plant species. The RCMP life meant many moves around the province of Saskatchewan from prairie grasslands to boreal forests. Fishing, hiking, and foraging were family entertainment. Roberta’s heart lives in the wilderness that is right outside her rural Saskatchewan door.
Roberta describes a bursting sensation when she sees something that stirs her. Discontent to keep it to herself, she uses watercolours and oil paints to say “Look what I see”. The thrill of someone purchasing her art is their implicit “Yes, I see it too!” Soulful connection with the world and with others through her art is what compels her to share her work.
Roberta values the rawness that comes with painting from life, aspiring to communicate the wonder that the scene evokes. From rugged natural scenes to shadows or sunlight playing on a surface, Roberta’s life painting is done on location (en plein air), and in her studio from real objects or reworking plein air works. Her paints are her constant companions whether it is on a road trip, a hike, or just a trip to town (just in case the clouds or light are amazing). Rivers, ponds, and lakes frequently appear in her work and, where possible, she uses water from the scene in her work. Roberta is on a mission to paint on location in every province (and hopefully every territory) in Canada.
Watercolour is a challenging medium which allows continuous challenge. Roberta paints in layers, first with a foundation layer that “paints the light”, and leaves the white of the paper for white areas. This is followed by darkened values in a second layer with a final layer of darks and details. Colours are often mixed on the paper, and glazes used to create atmosphere. Using artist quality 100% cotton paper, including some handmade paper, and artist quality pigments for watercolours, her works will stand through time. While most are ready for matting and framing, some are pre matted and some are mounted on wood panels to eliminate the need for glass and framing.
Oil paintings begin with a colour base and underpainting. Moving from dark to light (the opposite of watercolour) the image emerges in stages with the final light colours bringing the painting to its completion. Using oil paints en plein air is a new and intense challenge. With oil paint, accomplishing colour mixing, blending and hard and soft lines is so different from watercolours. The exercise requires vigorous engagement of planning and thought processes through the painting process.
Roberta’s newest completed paintings sit in a prominent place while she considers the balance of the raw original plein air work and the principles of good art. Switching techniques between watercolour and oil paint requires the ability to completely switch mindsets. The constant between both her watercolours and her oils is the desire for a loose painterly style, pleasing composition, and moving visual impact.
Roberta holds a master’s degree in Educational Psychology. Her art training has consisted of workshops, mentorships, reading, independent study and brush miles. Roberta is affiliated with the International Watercolour Society where she has contributed to the online magazine and to the monthly online galleries, as well as offering a mini workshop within the group. She is listed with Artists In Canada, and participates as a member in the Humboldt Museum and Art Gallery Member’s sale annually. She is a member of the Nipawin Art Club. Roberta’s work can be found in Northern Lights Gallery in Melfort SK. She has been mentored by Cam Forrester and is currently mentored by Doug Swinton through Mastrius.