Robert Attrell explores the physicality of painting large abstract works in oil and cold wax medium on wooden panels. There is a certain freedom enjoyed by making large, gestural shapes and densely viscous textures with little concern for precision or realistic detail. Most of his work is done on the floor of his studio, located on his farm property in rural Ontario, Canada.
Through the convergence of colour, shape, texture, line and movement, Robert seeks to build something from nothing. He energetically constructs, then deconstructs, using scrapers, spatulas, large brayers and soft cloths, until an abstract image is achieved. By scraping, rubbing, layering and rolling, fresh layers are playfully added or subtracted until a personal connection emerges. The practice of submitting to deliberate choices or to whimsical arbitrariness plays an essential role in creating a meaningful work.
For over three decades, Robert has served as both a formal educator and advocate for the Arts. Over the many years living in a rustic Canadian rural setting, Robert has had no lack of inspiration or of opportunities to connect with nature. Changing seasons, weather patterns, cloud formations, rivers, streams, fields, forests, wetlands, and other such visual environments have each contributed conceptually to his unique style. When Robert is not cooped up, wrist deep in paint, he enjoys cross-country skiing, cycling, camping, hiking, tree-planting, tending to his farm, and being involved in community service.