Kathleen Robison: Plein Air, Impressionist Oil Paintings

By Cassie Rief in Featured Artists > Oil Paintings

If southern California’s balmy, sunny weather gives you the impression that people are always outdoors, then that certainly rings true with California-based impressionist painter Kathleen Robison. Kathleen oil paints in plein air, driven by her determination to identify and create particular scenes like the beach or a soccer game all in one, well-spent sitting.

Loose, quick brushstrokes are also the name of her artistic game, and she’s found limitless inspiration in just about everything. Look no further than the perfect breakfast, Spreckled Donut, which has it all—a jolt of much needed caffeine, a generous sugar fix and enough brightness to start your day off on a sunny note!

spreckled donut

Orange and lemon-colored swirls in the foreground give that teal background some extra “flavor” and zesty cheer, while the shadow on the coffee cup and blue shadows underneath all those delicious looking sprinkles tie everything in the painting together, making for a complete—dare I say—breakfast.

In her next painting, Sausalito Boat, Kathleen is able to perfectly re-create a soggy day spent at sea, using vague, scumbled lines for both the furled sails and their watery reflections that drip uniformly down the entire canvas.


By not perfectly placing every detail in this painting, Kathleen gives my eyes the honor of putting together the scene in its entirety, allowing me to engage in the painting and form relationships with its elements until I’m sure I’ve been there, myself.

And don’t worry, I’ve saved The Dance for you—and for last. I think this final painting is the perfect example of Impressionism—capturing a very specific moment, but in a way that allows others to connect with it no matter what.

the dance

With its old-timey look and feel, The Dance truly is a tribute to the agelessness of marriage, not to mention a well-made suit and tie alongside the ever-classic white wedding dress.

If you have a chance today, I’d highly encourage you to see the rest of Kathleen’s wonderful oil paintings, which blend the feel of classic Impressionism with new and modern compositions.


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