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Layered, Textural Abstracts by Robert Nairn

An abstract painting on two canvasesEvolutio IV (diptych), oil on canvas


Drawing inspiration from a variety of sources including literature, the environment, and relationships, Robert Nairn creates layered, textural abstracts with a blend of bright colors and earthy neutrals. The variety of shapes and geometries that appear in these works give the paintings a great sense of depth.


An abstract painting made up of earth tones and neutralsOld Dogen, oil on canvas

I find Robert’s method of organizing his works in his portfolio to be quite interesting. He groups his paintings by subject matter, or more accurately, concept – seeing as most of the works are heavily abstract. This results in an interesting experience for the viewer, where we are left to discern the connections between these paintings rather than having it be obvious.


A screen capture of the front page of Robert Nairn's websiteThe front page of Robert's portfolio website


Robert’s painting style seems to oscillate between a number of distinct appearances – he has paintings built out of dark but voluminous shapes that snake across the canvas, clean paintings with splashes of color and neutral negative space, and paintings built on bright colors and hard-lined geometric forms. Each is an interesting take on someone cryptic subject matter. 


A painting of a heavily abstract faceNever Let Me Go, oil on linen

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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