Profile picture of Robert McClelland

Robert McClelland

About Us

About Our Art

I call St. Louis home. It’s a great place to paint. I love the Midwestern sense of reality which, in art at feast, avoids the elitism of East Coast art on the one hand and the faddishness of West Coast art on the other.

I believe painting is a primal language. Tribal song and dance are also primal but they leave behind no artifacts to take us beyond the moment of their expression. A painting, on the other hand, seeks to freeze a moment of eternity in time and give it a continuing life. The cave paintings of Neanderthal artists, for example, seek to transcend the limitations of time and the boundaries of death. They leave behind a testimony to the artist’s experience of ecstasy long after the artist has gone. As such, they are expressions of Spirit reaching for Spirit.

For this reason, fine art — as opposed to commercial art — is always spiritual. It has no utilitarian value. It seeks only to articulate the ecstasy of the unutterable. Fine Art is the attempt by the artist to capture a vision of that Spirit, It never quite succeeds, of course, but sometimes the Spirit uses the effort to touch another person. Fine art always seeks to engage the viewer in a spiritual conversation.

Because I bring to my painting the experience of a clergy person, college professor, writer, television weatherman, and talk show host, I like to create this conversation — non religiously. When a painting “speaks” to a viewer the Spirit, which has spoken to me as an artist, is now speaking to the spirit of the viewer. It is experienced as aesthetic satisfaction but it is, in fact, a continuation of the spiritual conversation and the circle is complete.

I like working with watercolors. I used to paint in oils but they were a very “macho” medium. Oil paints do what you tell them: no more, no less. You bend them to your will. It offers the artist no surprise.

Watercolor, on the other hand, is very “feminine”. It has a mind of its own. You don’t control it, so much as you learn to dance with it. And unlike oil paint watercolor is full of surprises.

In the last analysis, I want my paintings to look like watercolors. I don’t want them mistaken for a photograph… I can use a camera. And I don’t want them mistaken for
an acrylic or oil painting. Rather I want them to exhibit that “juicy” look which is the unmistakable look and unique genius of a watercolor painting. I am pleased and

humbled by the attention that my work has achieved both nationally as well as locally.


Juried Artist/Studio:

Robert McClelland

Short Description:

Transparent Watercolor

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