Artist StatementIt’s not photoshop, it’s McClintock ! Robert’s McClintock’s artwork is created in one of the newest mediums in the world. His work is a hybrid mix, combining his original photographs and hand manipulation and painting using a digital palette and a digital brush while working exclusively in Adobe Photoshop on an Apple Computer. His lively and loose brush strokes and choice of colors are not computer generated, there is no computer effect that can produce his style in this way. Robert feels very strongly that the automated filters in Photoshop can be a lot of fun to play with but are just too heavy-handed, too random and too easily recognized as a canned digital effect. He takes great pride on the originality of the work and the hands-on workflow is integral to his process in creating the vibrant and lively quality of his art. Remember too the artwork is first and foremost created from Robert’s original photographs wherein his choice of subjects and strong composition skills are unique and exclusive.
Robert was born in Brattleboro, Vermont in 1958, the son of a hairdresser, actor, artist, musician, singer, dancer father and a Arthur Murray dancer, fashionista mother from Brooklyn NY. His parents met in New York City and moved to Vermont. He grew up in Wilmington, VT not far from the Mt Snow Ski Area where skiing was second nature to him. He was always attracted to the arts and photography, his grandfather was a amateur photographer in New York City and two of his aunts were fashion photo stylists. In the summer he would go to Manhattan and hang around at the studios of big time photographers Jon Abbott and Ray Kellman loading Hasselblads and gratefully assisting the ladies underwear photo shoots for Sears and Macy’s Catalogs. He grew up in Wilmington, Vermont but graduated from Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, Vt then briefly went to the University of Vermont where he had a dream of being a doctor, but after one year of serious college partying he dropped out and hit the road and worked in the restaurant business as a bartender and waiter. Robert lived in Denver, Colorado for 8 years, where he had his first warehouse studio and was a spray paint artist and where he discovered Polaroid Art in 1978, he then tried Los Angeles for a quick year then back to Denver and finally returning to Vermont in 1985 after his father’s death. After 17 years in the restaurant scene he cleaned up his act and left it behind 1988. He declared himself a “professional” photographer, printed business cards and opened a small studio in Brattleboro, Vermont which proved very successful and provided on the job training. He “specialized ” in whatever the next phone call asked for and photographed numerous baby and family portraits and over 100 weddings and eventually shifted to commercial advertising work in which he quickly proved his ability working for over 15 years as a professional photographer in advertising and for magazines in the northeast and in Washington DC and Baltimore . He has always had a strong inclination towards the fine arts and is entirely self-taught. Both parents were very supportive. Starting 1978 while in Denver McClintock’s art work mainly consisted of manipulated and hand colored SX-70 Polaroid illustrations which eventually appeared in many national and regional magazines as well as galleries and shows in the U.S. In 1992 his work was accepted into the prestigious International Polaroid Collection, a touring exhibit which features artists who use Polaroid products. As digital photography emerged as a new medium McClintock became interested early on. He purchased his first digital camera (an Apple Quicktake) in 1996 and quickly got to work. He immediately enjoyed the instant gratification and spontaneity while shooting. Over the years he has shot with Nikon cameras, from the Coolpix 990, 995, the D100, D70 and currently the Nikon D200. He has shot over 40,000 digital pictures and created over 500 “Photo-Digital Illustrations” wherein he paints and colors directly onto his photographs in Adobe Photoshop on a Macintosh using a Wacom Tablet. Robert is adamant that his work is not computer generated and NO stock photoshop filters are used! His experience with Photoshop was not extensive but he learned quickly while freelancing at a busy digital photo studio in Baltimore and after many hours of experimenting at the computer he developed this distinct and new style wherein each image is worked on inch by inch as a traditional painter would do. His strong composition skills learned as a commercial photographer go a long way in making a great image. In 1999 he began selling his work at many local outdoor street fairs and festivals including Baltimore’s Artscape and The Fells Point Festival, as a money making venture and somewhat as a market test to see how the work would be received by the public. His success in capturing what the people wanted led in November of 2002 to his opening a studio and gallery in Baltimore’s historic Federal Hill at50 East Cross Street featuring over 150 images from his “Baltimore Seen Collection” plus his unique Cat and Dog images. The retail gallery proved to be a success again leading to an expansion to a second space on Charles Street. He kept the Cross Street gallery open as the “showroom” and the Charles St address turned into his working studio and production space. After a short search he found a great new location in Fell’s Point on the waterfront which was actually 10 times larger than the Fedral Hill locations. In April of 2006 he opened a new space at 1809 Thames Street near the Anne St wharf. The new space has proven to be a great move and has introduced his work to a much wider audience both locally and to tourists visiting Baltimore from all over the world. Robert lives with his wife Sue and their 4 cats in the Charles Village neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland.