Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, Dec. 14


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Updated March 7

Posted Dec. 16


Phil McNeely
Posted Dec. 45 2

Robert Hinchley

Robert Hinchley is a rare individual in many respects. He is not only a native Ottawan but also a successful, local painter.

During four years of intensive training at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD), Rob developed a profound respect for his teachers and those feelings are still with him today.

Nurtured in him is an enquiring approach and open mind to all possibilities within the traditional academic structure, based on the classics and art history. His teachers’ influences are demonstrated not only his approaches to teaching and the structure of his classes, but also in his willingness to share his own work-in-progress as teaching points, whether during studio or outdoor painting sessions.

It was while at OCAD that Rob first experienced ‘plein air’ painting during a trip to Algoma. He was intensely affected by that experience: the land, thoughts of the Group of Seven and what their experiences may have been in that harsh but beautiful environment. Today, many of Rob’s classes are ‘en plein air’ if the course content and weather permit.

Most of the painters that influenced Rob are those who have a direct, "painterly" approach: Van Gogh, Tom Thomson and Cezanne being among his favourites. Among the abstract expressionist painters, he admires Willem De Kooning and others who ‘use the act of painting as the subject’.

Rob now finds himself wanting to learn even more about past artists, including those from the Barbizon School, but he also loves Matisse and Chaim Soutine. His contemplation about those artists includes how they used shapes, forms and negative spaces to achieve the effect they did.

He is also studying paintings of Cezanne, Corot, and Matisse as a comparison for starting points in his own work: including composition, colour, and surface treatment of the boards or canvas.

Rob is also widely known for his printmaking and now finds that his printmaking experience influences his painting and vice versa. In printmaking, he is taking more of a painterly approach: unique images (series of 1/1 only), loving the technical and physical aspects of creating a piece that satisfies his ideas and inspiration.

In his paintings, collaging the surface with burlap, sand and paper, or creating bas relief in wood with various tools are the ways that printmaking is influencing his painting. Rob loves to incorporate found objects: old pieces of wood, bark and other found objects at the cottage into paintings, or for making prints of those wood textures.

Rob’s paintings are now quite large: 4’x5’ which he creates in his home studio, either from ideas or from his ‘plein air’ sketches. To prevent warping, Rob works on framed boards onto which he wraps burlap to create bas relief and textures by adding sand into the paint.

To start, he draws a structured composition from his inspiration on the wood surface and then allows the painting to be developed and be created on its own.

When Rob is not teaching at the Ottawa School of Art (OSA), Algonquin College and the Visual Arts Centre, Orleans (VACO), he studies works in many galleries, including the National Gallery of Canada and researches books in libraries.

Rob has exhibited extensively, both nationally and internationally, since 1991. During his student years at OCAD, he was encouraged to submit his prints to the juried International Print Biennale Congress in Maastricht, Holland and the Kyoto Japan Exchange Exhibition in Kyoto, Japan.

Locally, he has exhibited with the Karsh-Masson, Robertson and La Gallerie d’Art Jean Claude Bergeron, as well as exhibitions in Montreal, New York, Toronto and smaller venues in Ontario.

Rob’s work is held in public and private collections including: the 1997 APEC leaders of Canada, Australia, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papau New Guinea, Taiwan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, & the United States of America, the Ontario College of Art Printmaking, Abitibi Price, and Gallery 39 in Belleville Public Library

Locally, Rob Hinchley’s work can be viewed at Galerie St-Laurent+Hill, 333 Cumberland Street in the Byward Market (789-7145) or online at www.galeriestlaurentplushill.com.

View examples of Robert Hinchley's work

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