Remington Robinson painting the Boulder landscape

What it means to be a prolific artist in today’s world

By Tatyana Sharpton Sep 26 2019

In an age where connection and community drive involvement in bigger themes and higher callings, it’s rare to see someone working completely solo.

Paintings Remington did in conjunction with the Boulder Creek Clean-Up. Image: Tatyana Sharpton

However, Remington Robinson doesn’t see it that way. He prioritizes his paintings and developed a thriving practice over the last few years based completely on his own discipline, focusing on the need to create prolifically and grow as a craftsman rather than basing self-worth off of fitting into any specific art scene.

Growing up playing with colored pencils and drafting supplies at his father’s architecture studio, Remington has always had an eye for form, color, and visual math. Being that these are three of the main components to hyper-realistic painting, it’s only natural that his career evolved towards being a painter.

Remington’s upstairs studio space off of 15th and Pine Streets. Image: Tatyana Sharpton

And by focusing on creating in quantity (i.e., a painting a day), Remington transcends the more emotional blocks that come with a fine arts practice of focusing on a single piece and, having perfected technical skills, is able to be a channel for something higher.

In the case of his small Altoid tin paintings, Remington aims to achieve a sort of visual meditation.

Plein Air Paintings

Remington started making daily plein air paintings a few years ago because he felt like he wasn’t getting enough done in studio.

Hyper-realism painted from life; oil on canvas. Image: Tatyana Sharpton

Originally from Ohio, Remington loved the beautiful Colorado weather and landscape, but all the time stuck indoors felt contradictory to the life he moved here to live. A graduate of Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Remington suddenly found himself painting only twice a year.

For Remington, showing the natural world is capturing a meditation in paint and an invitation to the viewer to slow down and take another look. Take another breath. See a little deeper than a quick glance permits. Trying to find well balanced peaceful harmonious things in nature and put them into a painting.

“It makes people stop and tune out the outside world for just a moment, almost forcing people to meditate.”

A lot of people don’t have the space for big art, and many don’t think they can afford original art at all. Remington wants to break the stigma of art being a separate “other” by making original art accessible without the need to shell out thousands of dollars.

Remington’s travel kit when he paints outside. Image: Tatyana Sharpton

“Anyone can buy them and have original art in their house,” he says of his small Altoid tin paintings, which usually sell for between $100 and $200, or a little more if he spends more time or the specific piece is high in demand.

Right now, Remington is enjoying working small-scale because it’s versatile, and nearly all the paintings can be stored in just a couple of shoe boxes. (Always a plus considering Boulder’s real estate.)

“I can do them all in one sitting, so I can be prolific and just do a ton without feeling afraid that they’re taking up too much space.”

Public Interface

Though he works full time as an artist, Remington has never actively pursued gallery presentation. He’d always just rather make paintings and connect straight to his audience to sell stuff on his own (which he does this primarily through Instagram and Facebook.) He wants to make original art accessible without a middle man.

Close-up of the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, oil on canvas. Image: Tatyana Sharpton

Due to this personal connection to his audience, an important factor in business Remington has had to learn is customer service and self representation. In the world of fine art, when people buy your art, they’re not just buying an object — they’re buying you.

“You can be making great work, but if you’re an asshole to people then you won’t be successful. When people are buying work they’re buying into your persona,” Remington says, “like when people buy a Picasso, they’re spending millions of dollars on the idea of having a Picasso.”

What’s your vision?

I don’t know. I’m definitely into painting the natural world. Trying to cultivate peace through my work. Hopefully when people look at it they feel peaceful or calm. I only recently started thinking that, but now that I look back I realize it’s what it is.

Header image: “Wild Sunflowers at the Flatirons” oil on canvas. Image: Remington Robinson