Nestled among the treetops, in a space better defined by windows than walls, is the second-story dwelling that Robin Wethe Altman calls home. It is light and bright, featuring seamless integration of living and work space. Paints and pantry are mere steps apart; dresser and drawing table peacefully coexist. It is here, in her Laguna Hills nest, that Robin hatches her artwork and nourishes her creativity.
According to Robin, it all comes down to choices. The self-described idealist chooses to paint reality “the way it should be”: heartfelt, moment-in time scenics characterized by happy colors and a childlike, whimsical style. Feel-good works that elicit miles of smiles. A little slice of Heaven on earth.
Although it looks easy, Robin’s comfortable, effortless style belies a requisite level of control and skill. She tapes multiple reference photos around her work surface to integrate different source elements into a single composition. She skillfully blocks out a preliminary drawing, applies the critical watercolor wash, and then prepares a luscious feast of detail using a traditional light-to-dark technique.
Robin’s name and artwork have become synonymous with Laguna Beach over her 30-year art career, from the scores of familiar surroundings captured in her works, to the massive 4’x16′, city-commissioned banner that virtually overtook her studio during production, to the popular art blog she currently writes for the Laguna Beach PATCH. Her works have earned critical acclaim and are well-loved by countless clients, including a wealthy patron who purchased several original works simply to “provide a happy place for his children to grow up”.
Robin’s own happiness is enhanced by her relationship with (and ongoing support of) her partner, violinist Paul Rene McIntire. Perhaps it was fate that the two first met during his musical performance on the Art-A-Fair grounds. And, speaking of the Art-A-Fair grounds, you can view and purchase Robin’s work Summer 2016.