A native of California, Robert McBride was educated at the University of California at Berkeley .where he received a B.A. in painting. He moved to New York City where he earned an M.F.A. at Hunter College and was a founding member of Painting Space 122, an alternate art space on Manhattan’s lower east side. In 1995 he moved to Bellows Falls, Vermont, full time and founded, the Rockingham Arts and Museum Project (RAMP) www.ramp-vt.org, whose purpose is to integrate artists and the arts into the economic and cultural development of the community.
The predominant focus of Mr. McBride’s work is color — color as painting, color as sculpture. “Creating the work allows me to translate much of the stimulation (visual, audio, emotional) that I constantly absorb into tangible forms. Often people respond to my work as landscape, with a topographical perspective or as interiors. The texture of the colors and the groupings of marks add a strong narrative sense to the work. I compare creating my work to engaging in a conversation. I approach the blank surface with a vocabulary (line, form, color). I have no set idea (sketch) of what I want the completed work to look like. As I commit myself to the work (by applying color), the conversation evolves between the painting and me.”
Since Mr. McBride moved to Bellows Falls full time in the mid-1990’s he has also taken an interest in driftwood that he collects from the Connecticut River. He is particularly interested in the wood that has been part of a built structure as opposed to branches. He feels this wood has an additional layer of history. With this wood he creates paintings and often makes frames for his work, as well as the work of other artists.
Mr. McBride has always worked abstractly and believes that art is anything that slows one down enough to notice.