There are artists who paint with calmness in mind, anchoring the chaos of life swirling wildly around them. And then, there is Robert Rea, whose paintings are a true reflection of his state of mind and the way he lives. Robert’s paintings radiate the authenticity of the life he has curated for himself.
I met Robert Rea in 2015 at Ivy Lane’s first Capture Color event. I was there as an Ivy Lane artist myself, and being a huge fan of Robert, I was mesmerized meeting one of my favorites in real life. (Luckily, my work wasn’t placed near his because that would just be unfair.) Robert was just as I imagined and hoped for him to be; utterly charming and kind. When he was talking to the attendees about his love for color, it was all heart eyes looking up at him. Fast forward six years, and I am now working at Ivy Lane on the other side and running their art gallery. Yes, still a massive Robert Rea fan and lucky to work with him professionally. When I told the Ivy Lane designers I was invited to his home and studio, they knowingly looked at me, smiled, and said, “oh, you wait.”
I was taken aback by the beauty and serenity of Robert’s studio and home. Walking through his front door was akin to stepping back in time. I closed my eyes, inhaling the soft nutty aroma of oil paints, which are a different sensory experience than any other media. I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. No big screens, cords, or technology in sight. His newspaper was bound by ribbon. Ribbon! Which looked completely natural! Wide-eyed, I fell under a quiet charm while classical music gently spilled from another room. Classical music is a huge inspiration for Robert – you can see the notes dancing in his iconic brushstrokes. If you’re ever wondering what the titles mean to the paintings, it is likely the song title to what he was listening to while working. The colors on the stretched canvas live in a harmonious balance of being proud and humble. Nothing is too soft nor too loud.
And, just when you think I am making Robert sound too serious, his favorite food to serve while entertaining guests is Rocklands BBQ. The man is a legend.
Whether it’s the color palette, texture, or width in stroke, each piece of his work is unique. Robert Rea is an artist who will stand the test of time, and we are so humbled and honored to have been carrying his art for so long. We are excited to see what the future holds. Our guess… museum walls. To view his available artwork, please make an appointment to come see the pieces in our gallery.
Alex Deringer and Courtney Cox combine their formal training in design and fashion with their renowned sense of style in Ivy Lane, a full-service interior design firm that curates casually elegant family dwellings that are elevated by a unique spark. Whether an entire house renovation or a one-room makeover, Alex and Courtney’s extensive experience and collaborative dynamic inform a successful design philosophy: thoroughly understand the client’s lifestyle, bring a thoughtful spatial perspective, and enliven the space with the freshest aesthetic interest.
309C Cameron Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314