Gen­er­a­tions of Artis­tic Bril­liance

Arabella - - FRONT PAGE - Writ­ten by Na­dia Ter­signi

Cer­tainty. A word which con­jures up ideals of sure­ness, and Robert E. Wood was def­i­nitely cer­tain from his ear­li­est child­hood mem­o­ries that his call­ing was to be an artist. Paint and paint­brushes were a fas­ci­na­tion, and the walls of his home his blank can­vas. As he fondly re­calls, "Since my par­ents couldn’t stop me from colour­ing on the walls, they even­tu­ally gave in and per­mit­ted it, but limited me to colour­ing on the walls of just one room of the house! Also when I was a young kid my grand­fa­ther called me "the lit­tle painter". So I think it was al­ways ob­vi­ous to ev­ery­one else – as well as to my­self – that I was born to be an artist." Hav­ing grown up in North Van­cou­ver, B.C., much of Robert’s child­hood was spent in the Okana­gan Val­ley, un­til the age of 13 when his fam­ily moved to Al­berta – a place he has called home for the past 30 years. As a third gen­er­a­tion artist – his fa­ther was Karl E. Wood and his grand­fa­ther Robert E. Wood – Robert was en­cour­aged, and driven, to paint. In speak­ing of the pe­riod of his life fol­low­ing high school grad­u­a­tion, Robert ex­plains, "I spent the sum­mer work­ing in a video store (ba­si­cally, just a sum­mer job) un­til my Dad said to me one day ‘If you want to paint, just do it. Stop wast­ing your time.’ Can’t get much clearer than that, can you? The fates were speak­ing. I gave my no­tice the next day, and I be­gan paint­ing pro­fes­sion­ally in Novem­ber of 1989, work­ing with my Dad ev­ery day learn­ing the art of paint­ing from him...eight months later he passed away sud­denly. So the moral of the story is: Just do it; and don’t waste your time (Lit­er­ally – don’t waste your time here on this Earth!). If I hadn’t started paint­ing when I did, I could eas­ily have missed out on those in­ten­sive eight months of train­ing with him, and it would have been that much harder for me to get my ca­reer launched."

left, Gar­den Dance, oil on can­vas, 36" x 24" above, Paint­brush and Larch, oil on can­vas, 20" x 24"

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