Artists of Note | Robin Caspari

From abstraction to plein air

Robin Caspari, Sunrise on the James River, oil, 9 x 12.

Robin Caspari, Sunrise on the James River, oil, 9 x 12.

This story was featured in the November 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art November 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

You might say that Robin Caspari’s fine-art career began in an art class when she was 16 years old. The class was chaotic, filled with students who weren’t interested in art—but Caspari was, and so she expressed her frustration with the environment by “letting go” and creating abstract paintings. “That’s when it really started,” she says. “I just had a natural gift for [working in abstraction]. And I was an abstract painter for quite a long time.”

Caspari studied painting at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO, but she wasn’t terribly focused until one of her professors advised her to concentrate on her passions. She then focused on horses for the next 15 years, until her children were born and a shift occurred in her thinking and style. “I became interested in alla prima painting and plein-air painting because my time was so constrained,” she remembers. “I got a lot of energy out of having to complete [each piece] so quickly. And plein-air painting had a little bit of an abstract flare and feeling to it.”

Now Caspari challenges herself in her plein-air painting. And she continues to grow while staying true to what she loves. “I want to feel what I’m painting and have my subconscious guide me through it. That’s a tricky thing to accomplish with something as technical as plein-air painting,” she admits. “Maybe that’s why I’ve been so interested in it, trying to find that balance between the two.” —Joe Kovack

Caspari’s work can be seen at Fine Art Firm Gallery, Louisville, KY, and

Featured in the November 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art November 2014 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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