|American Artist Magazine,
Robert Toth Article
American Artist Magazine,
The following is from the article, Cultivating a Series, by writer Christopher Willard which appeared in the January 2000 issue of American Artist Magazine.
Robert R. Toth of Salisbury, North Carolina, asserts he paints everything with the idea that it is part of a series. "I consider myself a creative researcher," he says. "My natural inclination is to follow my interest. When I’m attracted to a subject, I pursue all its possibilities, looking for more and more variations. I tend to compare the individual paintings of a series to what a composer does when writing musical variations on a theme."
"Painting a series is like a journey of discovery," the artist contends. While he may begin following one path, determined by the concept of the series, he almost always unearths a new direction during the painting process. He finds himself "going off on a diversion that takes me somewhere else," he says.
Toth’s vista series ushers the viewer underneath the New Jersey piers, where the artist has explored the relationship between the piles and the misty ocean and hazy sky. To energize himself while working on a body of similar paintings, the artist says that he tries to get himself "into trouble," picking a serendipitous composition, organizing the composition in various ways, using different size canvases, or doing no planning at all. These strategies help him explore every angle of his vision, he says, adding, "Out of this experimental process, I get the winners."
For this artist, "Painting a series is like writing a biography," entitling him to learn everything he can about his subject. As Toth explores his subject through variations, he hits upon a multitude of moods. "Some paintings are tranquil; others are abrupt," he explains. When starting a series, Toth suggests that artists choose a subject they really appreciate, and then focus on the intensity of that interest. "The rest will take care of itself," he says.
According to Toth, a series can also enhance the
viewer’s sense of perspective, altering their perceptions by presenting
commonplace objects in a fresh way. "The works capture things they may not have otherwise noticed," he says.
Courtesy of Fine Frame Gallery
Collection of the Artist