Robert Gilbert

I have been painting and drawing for over 50 years. I think I started about the time I discovered that Birthday cards created by grandchildren were held in high esteem by grandparents. While working on my bachelor and masters degrees in architecture, I earned part of my tuition by painting watercolor and ink renderings for local architects. After graduation I joined the Air Force where I retired as a Colonel. Since then I have managed my own consulting business, worked as a real estate executive for several major corporations and now I’m a professional artist. My varied jobs have allowed me to live, work and play throughout Europe, Asia and in over a dozen states. About twelve years ago I decided it was time to do something with my interest in painting. I started taking art lessons from the Alexandria Art League, Washington DC Capitol Hill Art Workshop and Del Ray Artisans. Gradually I moved into teaching art and exhibiting my paintings. Living internationally, provided me with the opportunity to experience a variety of life styles, environments, and cultures. This has obviously impacted my painting. While I have painted many portraits, pets, and sport scenes I paint mostly landscapes, cityscapes and waterscapes. As an architect, I’m particularly taken with the monumentality of New York city’s buildings and the feeling of power they project, especially at night. Coupled with the vibrancy of the street crowded with people, pulsing with noise and surrounded by light the emotion is overwhelming. It’s this that drives many of my paintings. On the other side of the equation my landscapes are usually quiet, subdued and relaxing. In all cases my paintings are realistic, impressionistic and stylistic. To me, being an artist means to interpret what we see, to add feeling, suggest a mood, simplify and communicate a story. And we need to do all this in a technically competent manner. Good art is not a replication, it is an interpretation. To be a good artist we must follow our instincts, study great paintings and discover what brings us pleasure as we compare our message and our results to that of others. I think good art is the result of hard work, and more hard work with a little inspiration, creativity and luck thrown in.