Livingston Roberts

Livingston Roberts was a painter and once belonged to the Highwaymen group, an association of young African-American artists that functioned in 1950s in Florida. The Highwaymen artists specialized in painting Florida landscapes in a flamboyant style. As it was not possible for them to sell their paintings in art galleries and shows, they were selling them right from the backs of their trucks, that's how they gained their name – Highwaymen. The name "Highwaymen" though was coined later in 1990s, when Jim Fitch re-discovered them and wrote an article about Highwaymen art. Not much known about Livingston Roberts; he had passed away some years ago, but you still can see his passion and love for Florida in Livingston Roberts paintings, which are definitely in a high demand now, as almost all works of other Highwaymen.

You can notice in the Livingston Roberts paintings that he used thick layers of paint and often pulls paint into other areas to create deeper and richer details. Up close, the details may appear blurry or smudged, but when viewed as a whole each of Livingston Roberts paintings is incredibly expressive of a single moment in time. Livingston Roberts paintings exhibit a striking dreamlike quality; the viewer is often standing in an overshadowed area peering out at a brighter scene. This technique gives the viewer a sense of peering out towards a place of a great beauty that is unobtainable. Clouds on the Livingston Roberts paintings mimic the shape of the focal point, a technique he most likely used to draw the viewer's eye towards it. His work gives a sense of the artist's perspective, and leaves viewers wondering if the scenes are gone forever.

All Livingston Roberts paintings of Florida landscapes are painted in oils on upson board and Masonite. He signed each work in a way usual for many Highwaymen – by scratching "L. Roberts" into the wet paint with a palette knife.

© 2015 by Florida Highway Men Paintings

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