Winsor & Newton is a proud supporter of The Fine Art Collective (TFAC), a global network committed to educating, connecting, and empowering artists the world over.
In this series, we talk to international members of the TFAC network whose passion for art materials and wealth of knowledge enables other artists to push the boundaries of their creativity.
A key member of TFAC, Robert Rost currently resides and practices in the Netherlands. His work with TFAC has taken him all over Europe, where he facilitates workshops and creative clinics. We gathered some of his top tips for aspiring professional artists and learned how he gets the most out of his Winsor & Newton art supplies.
Tell us a bit about your practice as an artist.
I must have created many hundreds of paintings over [the course of] my career. I love the process and the act [of painting] and always have. Nowadays, I take more distance from my subjects, letting the paint speak for itself.
At the moment, I’m creating a Crowds series, and the paintings have turned out to be figurative as well as abstract. As the viewer comes closer, crowds and packs of people fall apart on the painting as brushstrokes and daubs of paint. The subject and textures seem increasingly similar. It’s a great subject to explore.
With my company, Rostudio, I produce commissioned artworks. I focus on collaboration, idea generation, meditation and training.
Why do you paint?
The act of painting allows me to focus on creative construction. All my life, the process has been growing, and it seems to coincide with my development as a person. It is another way to identify my vision and thoughts; it allows me to express myself.
What materials do you work with most frequently?
I’ve been crazy for art materials since I was a kid. I still remember the smell of freshly sharpened pencils in a shop in France 15 years ago, and still have the Winsor & Newton watercolours I bought when I was 12.
I’ve always been keen on trying out new tools and experimenting with mixing it all up. Oil paint and acrylics are currently my most used paints.
Why do you use these materials, and how do they inform your practice?
I appreciate the pure, natural and deep qualities of Winsor & Newton Artists’ Oil Colour. You just cannot have the same experience with any other type of paint. Its consistency, blending, [depth] of colour and mixing perfectly fits in with my painting process. I’m in love with Oilbar [now discontinued]; it has such beautiful, direct qualities.
On the other hand, I work a lot with Winsor & Newton Professional Acrylic. It allows for rapid painting, layering and finishing. They have a high-quality pigment rating, which gives you the most professional painting experience. When working outside, visualising or illustrating, I grab my Professional Acrylics.
As a teacher and working artist, what advice do you have for fellow artists wanting to establish a career?
Follow your own path and let yourself be inspired and motivated by other artists. Learn as much as you can about the materials you use and techniques you want to work with. Then you can focus on your strengths and hone your concept and process.
Share three surprising facts about yourself.
- I have a guilty pleasure for little furniture with nice drawers.
- My children, Ravi and Ral, have the same initials as me: RR
- I find it hard to say goodbye to the day, so I stay up until late at night.