Some of my earliest memories are of the pungent smells of the eucalyptus trees in the dry river-washes of the Coachella Valley, and the loud, incessant electric-buzzing of the locusts’ humming, thick in the hot, still aromatic air–the relentless heat of the afternoon sun rising like shimmering waves off the red and ochre earth and the sage-scorched dunes. I can remember the blanched-yellow sky of noon with the fire-ants scrambling for cover. I remember the blazing red, magenta-orange light of the desert sunsets; the purple-grey-green skies of dusk, with the coyotes calling in the dark-blue hills; and I can recall the silver-indigo cloak of night reaching out beyond the starry Milky Way, with the echo of a distant train’s whistle floating far off across the lonely, timeless dream of night.
My work is influenced by my interests in philosophy, psychology, and the sciences as expressed through the mythological narratives of depth-psychology, surrealism, magical-realism, illusions, and visual puns. Whenever possible and fitting, I like to incorporate a playful sense of whimsy, humor, and irony into my projects. My tendency is to use bright, saturated colors in opposition to muted tones and textures of both real and illusory elements in my compositions. When appropriate I use trompe l’oeil, or “trick the eye”, painting techniques and the manipulation of scale and perspective to create an aesthetic sense of emotional depth, mystery and visual wonder.
My first paintings were landscapes of the Pacific palisades, the Malibu and Calabasas mountains, and of the Santa Ynez peninsula. Throughout these many years of craft building, I have always returned to the landscape painting for renewal and rest. As my artistic sensitivity matures, I have come to realize that the contours of the figure-study, the light in the still-life arrangement, and the textures in an abstract-composition are all echoes of the landscape: Coyotes calling to the dark-blue hills…where the spirit of the sky and the foundations of the earth come together to dance in the light.
Roberto Quintana, WFA, has been painting professionally since 1980. Working by commission as a conceptual-environmental artist through his mural painting studio, Art and Soul Productions, Roberto designs and executes site-specific murals for private and commercial clients throughout the western United States.
His projects include original works for private estates, large-scale themed and environmental artworks for the motion picture and entertainment industries, site-specific works for casinos and resorts, totems and mascots for schools, and mural installations in nightclubs and restaurants, churches, hotels, hospitals, and other public facilities.