Rob Diebboll was born and raised in rural Michigan. His parents, a painter/potter and a weaver with an interest in art and American crafts, demonstrated art as a way of life. He migrated east to attend Bennington College and later settled in Massachusetts. His paintings reflect his surroundings, the environments where he has lived and traveled - the coast and islands of Massachusetts and Maine, the Adirondack Mountains and the Caribbean.
Rob primarily works outdoors. Composing as he goes, he begins with quick gestures, later fleshing them out from memory. Other paintings he ponders for years, singling out an iconic subject. He uses painting as a tool for seeing and understanding the relationship between objects in space. He exposes these relationships by omitting extraneous information and simplifying what he sees. Complex figures are reduced to simple shapes delineated by emboldened colors. Light is distilled to flattened planes and distance compressed by eliminating the horizon.
Over the years, both landscape and the figure have dominated the subject matter of Rob's paintings. He explores the subtle balance between a landscape holding people versus people inhabiting a landscape. By laying these two worlds side by side he gives each a new context. He defines a relationship between people and their environment, one individual and another, a person and their shadow, the viewer and the subject, or even two shapes or colors. With unobtrusive gestures Rob constructs a psychology. He may adjust the distance between figures, consider their scale within the landscape, or shift the curve of waves upon the sand to express serenity or tension, humor or gravity.