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Expressive art with love for geometry and the old masters

Interview with theartistrobert

1.      Please tell us something about your background and your art journey so far.

After finishing my career as a Program Director and having painted as an ‘amateur’ most of my life I decided to return to my first love more seriously, painting and promoting my art full time. I think like most artists it has been and continues to be a rollercoaster of ideation, effort and emotion which releases every now and then like an electric discharge to an exhibition, magazine article or charity event. I love creating ideas and sometimes the execution is easier than others but above all I am loving this journey and process of expression and meeting many great folks along the way.

2.      Describe what a normal day looks like as an artist.

I often have a priority of creating artwork but find myself drawn to the computer side of the art world most mornings moving through my list of actions to ensure my art can be shared and seen across the globe. Afternoons or evenings are my primary painting times of the day and often comes in a sustained period of ‘manic’ days rather than every day. My main drive is ideation and artwork creation and I find the promotion part a little less compelling but of course necessary.


3.      Can you tell us more about the theme in your art and your inspiration?

I work in a couple of main series: figuratively and what I describe as my ‘quirky still lifes’ the latter relying on humour, love and puns to raise a thought or a smile. I’m sure many of these would work in an advertising context but I’ve yet to find that route to market! My figurative work is driven from my desire to excel at the depiction of the human form. There is, of course, little more expressive than our fellow souls in their body and facial language and the semiotics of that I find interesting. Combine this with geometry, an appreciation of ‘old master’ composition and colour and there is an endless sea of inspiration to draw from.  

4.      How does your art life impact other parts of your life?

I’m an avid creator and can’t help ‘making’ things be it in my oil painting, whilst out on visits with photography or even composing musically or in the written word. So, it’s a daily impact for me and whilst the actual moment of ‘blank canvas’ can be daunting, often I’ve enough of the idea sketched or mocked up to allow a rapid start and to begin to feel good about how the painting might progress. My ideas are often around word plays, humour and puns and I’m often thinking of how to turn the ordinary into something more compelling.

5.      Could you share any difficulties and hardships you had to face in life and how or if you managed/overcame them?

I am a very curious person and have to stop myself buying so many ‘how to’ books. I want to print, photograph, etch, write, cook, everything! to the best of my ability and I am driven by the fact that knowledge is often the basis for improvement it’s not simply ‘talent’. So to knuckle down and contain myself to focusing on and producing series’ of art works was at first difficult. But then this constraint stopped me from wandering and wasting time too. And so I have really found it useful for productivity and of course audience and gallery consumption to work in series.

6.      Tell us about your best experience in the art world so far.

Being Shortlisted in the Visual Art Association’s Visual Art Open 2024 for my ‘Milo de Cretone’ painting, as one of 35 in thousands of applications, is a key highlight for me and very heartening. I’ve worked very hard to share my art, my journey and experiences over a number of years and I feel very blessed to have received this recognition.  As a member of the VAA their whole support structure and online coaching facilities via one-one or simply through their guides has been key to giving me confidence in the sharing and promotion of my art. Other highlights would be my acceptance for saatchiart’s The Other Art Fair and the FLUX Exhibition in December last year in the heart of London’s Piccadilly opposite the Royal Academy. Incredible venue and a fabulous atmosphere around Christmas time.


7.      Share your worst experience in the art world.

Being rejected for memberships or exhibitions is sometimes a grind. The world needs to encourage artists and make more visible use of it in our environments. I was accepted three times for an annual show but on applying for their membership had my application rejected. Nonsense so I helped fix that.  For space reasons selection is a necessary component of shows though so for 99.9% time don’t take it personally!

8.      What practical advice can you give to fellow artists?

It really depends on your core reasons and values for creating it in the first place but many aspire to gallery representation and it can be a long hard journey with sporadic successes. I’d find a charity who aligns with your take on life and find some way of supporting it, it can often lead to other opportunities, introduce you to other artists and their workings and contacts, and besides helps out great causes. Also periodically allow yourself to play like a child on your normal or other support and just see what comes out, it may lead to another series.

9.      Is the artist life lonely? Please share your thoughts and experiences.

Well like most folks I think there can be days when one feels lonely but their many art and other friends are still out there. Why then other days we feel so connected across the physical and online worlds? What’s changed? It’s more a mindset thing. It’s great to have the space to find your own energy, especially if you’re sensitive and a little introvert and you sometimes find social situations hard. Susan Cain’s book ‘Quiet’ is a great read on this subject and builds confidence.

10.  What are you working on at the moment and are there any upcoming events you would like to talk about?

From what started out as the second artist supporting another artist’s ambitions I now have an exhibition in the autumn at Kingshill House Creative Centre supporting HeartCharged and women’s heart health which I’m very proud to be a part of (@suddencardiacart). Paintings can focus on either the promotion of learning correct placement of defibrillator pads on females and associated heart care or others purely on a heart theme. I painted an enhanced copy of Artemisia Gentileschi’s ‘Lucretia’ for the former (picture below).


Instagram :  @theartistrobert


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