Robert Joyner: Painting Energy through Abstraction

By Lisa Orgler in Featured Artists > Acrylic Paintings

Have you ever been energized by a painting? Robert Joyner has a knack for creating stunning visual energy through his dynamic acrylic paintings of landscapes, animals, and still lifes.

Born in Virginia, Robert started an entrepreneurial career out of high school, dabbling in commercial fishing, ballroom dancing, then starting a bike shop. In need of reflection, Robert started filling his time with sketching. Diving into the arts made him realize he took life too seriously and he needed to start enjoying it.

As he states on his website, the purpose of his paintings is to give “a sense of effortlessness and playfulness”. . . and they are playful indeed. Working both outside and the studio, Robert is able to give his images a fresh feeling with captivating colors like in the image below. The most intriguing part is that his paintings are always an interesting combination of realism and abstraction.


Robert’s love of the outdoors drew him to plein air painting, and allows a more personal connection to his subjects. In addition, by using “inferior” materials consisting of acrylic paint, recycled watercolor paper, and well-worn, frayed brushes, Robert feels less inhibited.

Put together, plein air painting and worn brushes results in large, loose paint strokes with boundless personality. With this combination of techniques, ordinary subjects like these boats simply become dynamic, abstract reflections in the water.


Even Robert’s own neighborhood serves as inspiration for his art.

The sheds you see below serve as beautiful backdrops to some very expressive lights and shadows. That single wall of red is a great contrast to the greens around it, and (surprisingly, for such an intense color) it becomes a place to rest your eyes.


Glance quickly at it this painting and you may even get the sense that the trees are dancing and swaying with the buildings. Energy is simply everywhere.

I encourage you to take a look at the rest of Robert Joyner’s dynamic, energizing paintings by visiting his website or art blog.


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