Robin McClintock brings her unique blend of problem solving, landscape, industry, and form to the art she produces.
Although she is adept in multiple forms, painting is her main one. “I think that, for me, painting is problem solving,” McClintock shared. This problem solving is evident in her stylistic approach to plotting different elements of her painting on a grid, and then dichotomizing that pattern by overlaying the grid with layers of abstract textures.
“Some of the things that motivate me are understanding why things are the way they are and how things work,” she said. These interests include natural resources, architecture, archeology, landscape, and industrial objects, all of which play a role in her art.
She is currently working on a series called “Tell Me a Story.” The series was inspired by photographs from the early twentieth century of extraction sites in Tucker County. These mining and timbering images, and her subsequent art, help McClintock “understand the landscape that I’m living in,” she said. “It’s become evident to me that a lot of what I’m looking at wasn’t there originally.”
Birds are often a prominent feature in the works that constitute this new series. “In researching the landscape, I learned that during that period of extraction a lot of birds became extinction,” she said.
Where industry meets nature is a central focus of much of her work. “I think that whatever we have has been affected by industry, it’s been made, decisions have been made. I think that you can’t have beauty without industry. Everything is interconnected,” she said. “It’s my obsession with understanding how things work.”
This series and the ways in which it has enriched her connection to the local landscape are important to McClintock, because it is relatively new to her. “I grew up in an urban environment, so this rural stuff is a completely different point of view,” McClintock said.
Prior to West Virginia, McClintock lived in New York City where she owned a construction company that focused on adaptive reuse and renovations.
In addition to her painting, she also produces textiles that are for sale at Thomasyard. The images printed on the textiles are influenced by the history and landscape of the area. “Those images are also based on remnants of industrial landscape here in the county,” she said.
She and her husband, Michael McClintock, run an architectural millwork firm, Mozark Mountain Works that makes historic windows and doors. According to their website, “We make handmade, utilitarian objects and take on custom design, build and restoration works around the country.” The duo recently completed the Cottrill Opera House storefront in Thomas.