Robert has been working as an artist for over 30 years, has had more than 30 solo shows and participated in multiple group shows. His paintings appear in collections all over the world including the Canadian Embassy in both Beijing, China and Canberra, Australia. His work is also part of the Canada Council Art Bank and hangs at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, in Edmonton’s City Hall, and in many prestigious private and corporate collections. Robert was the recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant and was the inaugural Artist in Residence at Graceland University in Iowa in 2014
"In all my work, I paint square by square, row by row. The painting may at times appear digitized but is meticulously hand painted. I've always used the grid to scale up my photos though previously I would have made sure the paint concealed the pencil marks. In my most recent floral paintings, the grid is almost invisible. You’d have to go looking for it to see it.
My method now is to leave varying traces of the process to create a tension between the image and the squares of tone and colour which are reassembled by the viewer’s eye. I think about Gerhard Richter as I make all those choices in each square of the grid – deciding how much and where to blur things. Each square, as the painting is being constructed, ends up being an abstract painting in a way.
Artists since the Renaissance have scaled up their images, but in the modern era the grid becomes a subject unto itself underscoring the abstraction. The frontality and regularity of the grid has been explored as a separate subject matter in contemporary art by such artists as Chuck Close, Brice Marden, and Agnes Martin.
My row by row construction of a realist image is meant to reveal the abstraction of the paint handling, the history of the technique, and to connect these with a contemporary digital environment.
My main interest has always been light and how it reveals or conceals shapes in space and the floral form allows me to continue to explore these concerns."