The Zephyr Art Review
Darrel Roberts provides viewers a chance to experience paint. He is a painter's painter's. His love of the media oozes from each small canvas. No bigger than 12"x16", but giving the illusion of a pound of paint on each color drenched piece.
Some paintings have eight layers built up over months, some years. Marks of brush hairs and swishes of the palette knife are visible. In places, paint looks as if it were squeezed directly from a tube. The viewer may or may not like the rawness of technique buy one cannot argue with the palpable appeal to all the senses.
Beside the textures made from art tools, the artist also uses actual tactile textures such as pumice in images "Chicago Gravel Pit" and "New Chicago Construction".
There are works with recognizable subject matter, for instance, "Winter Fireplace Series." Others are more illusive such as "Chicago Rubble". Roberts draws inspiration equally from walks around Chicago construction sites and the city's parks. He is not a slave to representation by any means, rather, he interprets, abstractly, his immediate surroundings. What Roberts creates is akin to sculptural relief. The paint wraps around the canvas edges. He claims the works are equally impressive when viewed from a side angle, where the thick paint casts shadows. Each canvas, though modest in scale, is an eyeful of juicy paint and color.-Paulette Thenhaus