Rob Pollien: Making Thumbnail Sketches

Bar Harbor, Maine artist Robert Pollien earned his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Pollien is represented by Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland, Artemis Gallery in Northeast Harbor, and The Littlefield Gallery in Winter Harbor, Maine. He  has been a Maine Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellow and a Carina House Resident Fellow on Monhegan Island. Pollien is currently the Resident Artist at Acadia National Park. He teaches at the University of Maine and at ArtWaves in Bar Harbor, where he serves as board president.

Artist Statement

My landscape paintings of the Maine coast are generally compact and straightforward in their approach, neither overly decorative or elaborate.

Experience motivates me to paint in a way that feels present in the act of observation. I began painting the Maine landscape while attending Skowhegan in the early eighties. I have developed a deep and abiding reverence for the landscape, a fundamental fact, central to our being that ties us all together.

I paint the simple human experience of Maine’s coastal landscape. The intersection of land and water to me evokes the kind of quiet contemplative state that I try to instill in my work. My subject matter generally eschews the depiction of elements that imply human presence or narrative.

My paintings are based on meditative observation of the beauty of the natural world, yet this thoughtful reverie is tempered by the subtle disquiet of our contemporary alienation from nature.

Pollien shares two of his teaching videos below.

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