The watercolors of northeastern Maryland artist Michael Robear would be striking enough in any context — crisply rendered in muted palettes, with intriguing narrative elements bordering on magic realism — but they are particularly arresting in their individualized sculptural frames.
In addition to being a painter, Robear is a sculptural metalworker and also works with wood. His paintings are set in hand-made frames that he creates as an integral part of each work.
Robear teaches watercolor at the Delaware College of Art and Design in Wilmington, where I also teach a class in web animation, and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing several of his pieces in person. They are attention grabbing and involving in a way that’s difficult to convey in photographs.
When viewing the gallery on his website, be sure to click on the small, poorly marked “enlarge” arrows to the upper right of the main image to engage the full-screen mode with larger images. It’s still difficult to show the nature of the frames in photographs — as it is with most sculpture — but you can at least see them, and his watercolors, better than in the small reproductions in default viewing mode.
There is an article on his metalwork process from 2012 on Delaware Online.
Robear’s work will be on display in Dover, Delaware at the Biggs Museum of American Art in a solo show titled New Discoveries: Michael Robear, that opens this Friday, November 6, and continues until January 10, 2016.