Robin McClintock is an abstract painter living in rural West Virginia. She relocated from lower Manhattan to the Potomac Highlands on the Allegheny Plateau in the Appalachian Mountains to focus on making works on paper using graphite, watercolor, wax, and coal ash. After graduating from SUNY Purchase with a BFA (1981) McClintock worked as a printer with artists and was invited as a master printer to participate in the Atelier Project at SUNY Purchase, a collaborative project producing limited print editions. She received a Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant (1987), a West Virginia Commission of the Arts grant (2002) and a travel grant from the Mountainmade Foundation and West Virginia University partnership program (2006) to Jingdezhen China. McClintock has received Tucker Community Foundation grants 2009 & 2015. She has exhibited throughout West Virginia including the West Virginia State Museum of Culture and History (2001), the Huntington Museum of Art (2007) and the Clay Center for the Arts (2008).
McClintock lives on a farm within the Monongalia National Forest and continues to make works on paper in her studio. A recipient of professional development grants has allowed her time and access to explore using industrial CO2 lasers to burn her drawings onto paper and wood.
As a member of the Tucker County Planning Commission she toured the last remaining active coal mine in the county traveling 1.5 miles vertically underground and 7 miles horizontally through tunnels to see a long wall mining operation. Traveling subterranean for one hour each way was like traveling through the New York City subway tunnels without the trains. “This was an experience of deprivation of light, sound and fresh air. The density of the atmosphere was everything I seek to create in my paintings. Underground miners go to work everyday with a different sense of time and weather. My studio work has always been influenced by time and weather and that journey into the coalmine has reinforced the ineffable space I seek to create 2-dimensionally.”
“My life had always been within an urban grid and the evidence is entrenched in my work. I start each work with a grid. This inherent structure can be controlling or disregarded. Living on a farm has nothing in common with my urban life other than it is as extreme. My work has evolved to reflect the wildness of the landscape and the unpredictability of the weather. Since moving to rural West Virginia the sense of place has entered my visual iconography. I am acutely aware that I am a New Yorker living in a rural landscape. I am not “of here “ but choose to be here. Exploring my new community and landscape led me to considering how the 19th century industrial revolution affected the landscape and was entwined in the economy. I am aware that I am looking at is what isn’t there, what has been altered by industry and what has been disregarded.”