ROBERT E. WOOD
(1919-1980)

This page is a tribute to my grandfather, and is presented as an online reference to his work.


Grandpa-28x36
"Untitled - Sunset Seascape" 28x36
 
     Robert E. Wood was born on January 27, 1919 in the hamlet of Mount Dennis, Ontario (now a suburb of Toronto). He inherited his love of the season from his mother and his love of nature from the Wood family. His father and grandfather were ministers, and Robert was a deeply religious man. “People are either tuned in to spiritual things or they’re not. A person in any of the arts has to have a depth and be in tune with God and Nature, because to paint a mountain is nothing... just a pile of rock. But to paint it as a spiritual cathedral, leaving something for the viewer to imagine, takes an artist.”
     Robert was a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and studied under Arthur Lismer and Fred Varley. He was also greatly encouraged by the great art teacher J.W. Beatty.
     Before settling down to paint seriously, Robert worked at many diverse occupations, including time as a scuba diver (he was one of the first scuba diving instructors on the west coast), a miner, a minister, an undertaker, the first all-night radio disc jockey on the west coast of North America, radio station manager, and as a private detective, among others.

Grandpa-MtRevelstokeNatlPark-24x36
"Mount Revelstoke National Park" 24x36

     Wood explored the avenues of various forms of art such as abstract, but settled on true representational art as the medium in which he desired to express himself. He did, however, paint abstracts under the pseudonym of Robert DuBois.
     Robert Wood started teaching in 1955 when a small group approached him and asked if he would help them in their efforts. He taught countless art courses over the years, and many of his students went into the professional field.
     “There is no occult mystery to painting. It is not something that should be kept hidden. I’m not afraid to let my buyers see how it is done. And frankly, I like doing it.”
     His love of the sea drew him to become the master-owner of the sailing cutter “Albatross”, which sank off Trial Island in 1963. He was then skipper of the schooner “Buccaneer”, on which he ranged the fjords of British Columbia, capturing their beauty on canvas. With the “Salucan” (an ex-government quarantine boat), he had a government contract to patrol the Canadian waters near Bella Bella, Bella Coola and Namu, to ensure that foreign fishing boats didn’t enter Canadian waters. The “Salucan” also became his 50-foot floating studio. Tied in with his love of the sea and its ships, a great hobby of his was building model boats.


"Seascape Study" 12x16

     His landscapes, seascapes and still life canvasses made him a well-recognized Canadian artist. Apart from growing up in Ontario, he lived in many places throughout his life including Winnipeg, Calgary, Victoria, North Vancouver, Greenwood, Courtenay, New Westminster, Texada Island, Duncan and Comox, among others.
     “Canada has only a back-house culture. What will bring Canadiana will be love of country. We can’t expect a flourishing culture until people know what Canada has to offer.”
     Robert had his first son, Karl E. Wood, with his wife Linea. He spent many years with Vera Macbeth and his step-daughter Linda. He then had his second son, Sidney Wood, with his wife Merilyn.


"Fall at Long Lake" 20x30

     Robert E. Wood’s paintings were a reflection of the man. He painted what he liked, the way he liked. When he made a statement on canvas, it was clear, crisp, richly coloured, deliberate and unapologetic. His favorites were those of the sea, where he felt most at peace with the world. Robert E. Wood passed away on September 7, 1980, leaving a colourful legacy of art and memories.
     “People are so caught up in the mad, daily race that they miss the hidden beauties. It is the duty of the artist to capture the beauty in nature.”
***
 

Due to the number of different artists who have painted professionally in North America under the name of Robert Wood (with or without different middle initials), it has become difficult for the casual viewer, as well as some in the art profession, to accurately determine which artist painted which painting. So, to aid in the accurate identification of my Grandfather's paintings, I am pleased to provide a selection of authentic signatures and other supporting material:

AUTHENTIC SIGNATURES
and other supporting material for authentication purposes.

 

A classic example of Robert E. Wood's signature. Note the dramatic 'R', and the 't' crossed from the right. Also note that the line following 'Wood' is sometimes joined to the 'd', and other times it is not.


Here is a perfect example of his dramatically formed 'E' - another trait which is not consistent throughout different paintings and different times in his career.

This signature has faded somewhat over the years.


This signature has an unusual 'blurred' effect, which resulted from the use of a thin mixture of paint being applied to a dry surface

***
Here are two examples of handwritten signatures, as might be found on the back of some paintings, or on original paperwork which may be accompanying paintings. (These signatures were taken from the artist's personal paperwork.)




PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL

 
RobertWoodAd 001


 

This ad ran in a Calgary, AB newspaper, but the date of this "Last Exhibition and Sale" is unknown.

Robert E. Wood's painting "The Foot Bridge" graced the cover of Bravura magazine in September, 1971.
(The small article which accompanied the Bravura cover will be posted here in the near future, along with other promotional materials on Robert E. Wood.)

  

 
 





"Goldstream" 24x30



This Robert E. Wood still-life painting hangs in Abigail's Hotel in Victoria, B.C.
 

PRESS


The following are a collection of newspaper articles about, and interviews with my Grandfather, Canadian artist Robert E. Wood (1919-1980). As you will see from reading the articles, he was quite a colourful character and story-teller. A number of the wilder assertions in his interviews are of questionable truth, but certainly do make for entertaining reading. The scans here have been taken from old photocopies of the original articles so the quality is poor. Following the scans I have re-typed each article so that they can be easily read. I hope you enjoy them - Robert.
The above photograph was taken in my Grandfather's studio and is stamped with the date 1965.
 

Robert Wood North America’s top-selling painter ponders artists, the art business and his own life
Comox District Free Press
Lifestreams section Friday, June 20, 1980
By Joe MacInnis
 
Robert Wood sits in his comfortable armchair telling stories of his days as a two-fisted commando and a foot-loose artist in sunny California. But, one senses there is a depth and sensitivity in the man, which transcends the picture he paints of himself.
Sparkling humor is dashed liberally throughout his conversation; sometimes he himself is the butt of his own jokes and sometimes the sober-faced art lovers he dearly loves to chastise. But his humor is never malicious nor does it issue from envy. Always there is that bright twinkling, childish delight at man’s posturing and foibles.
Always he keeps the conversation on his days in a British Commando unit and his days in California shortly after the war. He went to California, he says, to become an artist. Wood was 27 by this time but he had been painting since he was 12.
“The war was over and I was up flying one morning wondering what I was going to do in life. I had always been trying to escape the treadmill, the necessity to get to work by a certain time and leave at a certain time, so I decided to become an artist. It was the easiest job I could think of.”
That’s the glib Wood speaking. A little later, at an unguarded moment, he reveals his deeper thoughts on his vocation. “I think it is a very high calling, although I don’t speak very well of it. It demands more from you than you get in return... I’ll give you an illustration of what an artist is,” he says. “Three men climbed a mountain; one was a geologist, the other a botanist and the third an artist. The geologist trampled a flower while searching for a gem; the botanist crushed a gem while searching for a flower; but the artist stood back and appreciated the beauty of both.”
Wood’s paintings have sold in North America and Europe. They are generally sold though galleries in Vancouver and in Washington State, although he does sell some from his studio. In the past two decades his painting sales have topped 3000 – highest in Canada and the U.S.
He describes himself as a Canadian impressionist on the lines of the Group of Seven. Wood was a student of most of the members of the Group and he says there is, of course, a residue left in his work from that early training. This school of art stresses a fairly realistic reproduction of nature but in a broad way, without the detail of leaves on trees, for instance. Bold brush strokes simply convey the colour and impression of foliage.
Wood says people buy his paintings because they like to see nature as it is. He concentrates on nature with a special affinity for the sea. He was even a painter of underwater paintings at one time. He used oil pastels on oiled paper, held by plastic bands on an aluminum sheet for this. “There used to be only three of us underwater painters in the world,” he says. “Then the other two drowned and I’m a real coward, so I quit.”
Wood says he has done so many things that the past is all a blur to him and he can’t remember distinctly what happened in what period. He goes through all his many adventures, telling of course, the rough and ready ones first. The true feelings behind these adventures comes out little by little like a frightened child peeking around a corner:
His commando days in Burma; then after the war when he was sent to Comox to command a commando brigade. The sailing trip through the Panama Canal on the 68-foot schooner he bought when he left the forces. How he made his living painting American yachts for $25 a shot on that trip. The colourful, salty language describing this voyage.
“We went through a hurricane on that trip and when the wind blows the paint off the side of your ship you know that’s a strong wind.”
But when you look and see the strong sensitive paintings on the wall and the model boats, which are his passion, which only a child would build, Wood’s other dimensions appear.
Wood has wonder and admiration for almost all things and all people. His admiration admits helicopter pilots and symphony composers; and even the shysters in the art business he gives grudging admiration. And if not admiration, he at least sees the humor in their actions.
Perhaps the one thing which upsets Wood is greediness and sham. He said there are too many people in the art business in Canada who don’t know what they are doing. Too many who are just in it for the money and have no real knowledge.
“There are too many people here in the art galleries who don’t know what they’re doing,” he says. “You have many people doing the “in” thing in the art world. I know personally people who rose from gardener to director of a gallery. Now, that man doesn’t know anything about art. He just began writing a column in the newspaper and he showed in that column, by the way, he didn’t know anything.
“And here I am,” he muses, the twinkle in his eyes brightening. “I spent nearly 50 years in the art business and no one ever asked me to direct a gallery. I never would have,” his eyebrows arch humorously, “but they could have asked me anyway.”
And he has no special concern for art critics. “They are a breed infected with diarrhea of words and constipation of thought,” he says.
Wood has been in the Valley seven months. He came with his wife, a loans officer with the Royal Bank of Canada in Courtenay. “I followed my wife,” he says. “We have to move around a lot because of her job, so we don’t know how long we’ll stay in this area.” He says he and his wife often passed through the Valley and marveled at the way it had grown since the time he was here shortly after the war. “Often when we were passing through I’d look at the view of the Valley from the top of Mission Hill and I always told my wife that one day I’d like to live here. Well, she had the opportunity to transfer here and I advised her to take it.”
Wood says in his family you either had to be a clergyman or an artist. As it turns out he was a bit of both. Although he was never an ordained minister he has always had an abiding interest in theology and has given many talks on art and religion.
His views he says, though, are not received with appreciation by some in established religious circles. He cited the time he spoke in a small Baptist church and noticed the pastor and his wife scowling. “I had no intention of causing any trouble,” he says, “and I didn’t think I was, but they sure looked displeased. I looked around, though, and I saw a few people smiling so I thought I couldn’t be that far off, so I kept going. After the service the pastor and his wife just disappeared. I never saw them again, but the organist came up smiling and pumping my hand and said, ‘I’ve waited a long time to hear something like that’.”
Wood began painting at the age of 12 when a vacuum salesman gave him his first set of paints. “It was during the depression,” says Wood, “and things were pretty tough. My father had promised me a set of paints, but he died before that. I was cleaning office buildings at night with my grandfather, a retired clergyman, and going to school in the days. This vacuum salesman saw some of my sketches and bought me the paints to encourage me, I suppose.”
***
Note that the above article was almost certainly the last feature interview with Robert E. Wood. He passed away on September 7, 1980 – less than three months after this article was printed.
***
 

DISPARAGING WORDS
Painter Annoys Fellow Artists
 
Source: Victoria Times, December 17, 1966 By Desmond Bill
 
Robert E. Wood is a maverick Victoria painter much more popular with his patrons than his fellow artists. He annoys other artists by disparaging them. He annoys them even more by making more money from painting than most of them.
And he delights in promoting his own work by means of such shows as the one that opened Friday in the T. Eaton Company store. Mr. Wood sees nothing wrong in selling fine art through a department store. “This way I can reach the vast majority of people who would never go into an art gallery.”
EXISTENCE
“Besides, this way I make sure that I don’t starve. I don’t think it’s necessary to eke out an existence in order to be an artist.” His business-like approach to painting even extends to being on hand at the exhibition and demonstrating how he paints.
“There is no occult mystery to painting. It is not something that should be kept hidden. I’m not afraid to let my buyers see how it is done. And, frankly, I like doing it.” That comment is the clue to his character. He does frankly what he likes.
ANOTHER NAME
For example, he is one of the minority who still does representational paintings. He has done abstracts: he once painted a series of them and sold them under another name. He didn’t enjoy painting them, except as a joke, and he got a sadistic satisfaction when people paid for them. To him, it proved his point about much modern art.
“A lot of persons who buy modern art don’t know what they are getting. And a lot of the modern painters don’t know what they are doing, either.”
He paints what he likes, the way he likes. That is one reason why he is choosy about accepting commissions. Unless the work is something he wanted to do anyway, he refuses. In his personal life too, he does what he likes. He has a carefree, unthrottled way of existence but even in this he is brisk, business-like.
He avoids the art crowd generally and has only a few painters among his friends. He once worked for a while as a private detective and he got to know a lot of policemen and crooks in those days. He still enjoys mixing with them in preference to artists.
Mr. Wood is 47. He started out to be a painter but at various times, before he settled down to paint seriously 15 years ago, he had been a radio station manager, an army officer, a miner and, for a short time, a private detective.
OPENS STUDIO
For several years he painted in his Vancouver Street studio and taught classes there as well, but recently he has given up teaching almost entirely. He opened a studio earlier this year in New Westminster and is preparing a Centennial exhibition for display there early in 1967. Most of the paintings on view at Eaton’s were created on a cross-Canada tour that he made earlier this year.
***

‘DON’T CALL THEM ARTISTS!’
Source: Victoria Times, April 13, 1966 (The date notation at the top of the article was written by Robert E. Wood.) By Desmond Bill
 
A well-known city artist said today painting on the fence around the museum site is “good for kids” but any adult who does it is just being childish.
Robert E. Wood said it is ridiculous for newspapers to describe the fence paintings as “an art exhibition.”
“The fence offers the same kind of outlet for art as is provided in the men’s room of one of the downtown hotels,” he said. “There, the owner has put up a large blackboard and provided chalk for persons who think they have artistic leanings.
“I suppose some people would describe these daubs on the fence as paintings but, for God’s sake don’t describe people who did them as artists.”
Mr. Wood said he’d shoot any of his students who went near that fence. “It makes a mockery out of painting.”
Mr. Wood admitted he has not closely inspected the paintings on the fence, but only seen them as he drove past. “I wouldn’t go near it to have a closer look. What would be the point? I see enough to upset me when I look at the work of some of my students. “These paintings may send thrills up (Public Works Minister) Chant’s spine but their effect on me would be very different, I’m afraid.”
Mr. Wood, who has a studio at 1126 Vancouver Street, has just returned from Vancouver where he had a successful one-man exhibition. He is now preparing for an exhibition in Victoria in June.
APPALLED
He said he was appalled when he got back here to discover that Victorians were following Vancouver’s lead in fence painting. The fad started here after Vancouverites began painting on the fence around the site of a government fountain in front of the Vancouver courthouse.
Mr. Wood said that when he objected to the “hullabaloo” over the fence he was told that “it will be good for the tourist trade.”
‘MAKE A BUCK’
That apology for the fence painting enrages him. “It is so typical of Victoria. Everything for the bloody tourist trade. Anything to make a buck. We’ll try anything to entertain the tourists. Well, perhaps the fence is a good idea for tourists. But please don’t call it art.”
Mr. Wood said the only reason he is speaking out about the fence is because he thinks “all the publicity about this nonsense lowers public regard for art and artists. Some people will think it really is serious work.
“If ever there was a pot of paint thrown in the face of the public it is the sort of stuff to be seen on the museum fence.”
***

Canadian artist opens local studio
Source: Unknown West Vancouver newspaper, 1967.
 
Robert Wood, one of Canada’s finest artists, who has been painting for some 36 years, has opened studios in West Vancouver.
Wood started teaching in Victoria some 12 years ago and last year opened studios in New Westminster where many of his students were from North and West Vancouver. They asked him to set up a studio on the North Shore, which he has now done at 656-16th Street.
Born in Mount Dennis, a suburb of Toronto, he started his painting career at the age of 12 when he won a scholarship to attend the Toronto Art School, sponsored by the Toronto public schools. At 16, Wood entered the Ontario College of Art and two years later entered the Chelsea School of Fine Art in London, Eng.
Although Wood has explored the various art forms he has settled on representational art as the medium in which he desires to express himself.
More than 200 of his students have entered the professional art field, including an ex-logger from Sooke, who is teaching in Florida and another ex-student who is teaching in London, Eng.
Wood claims there is more to art and painting than placing a brush to canvas or mastering the tones and hues of a color.
To capture the feeling and mood of Canada, he spent more than two years in the northland, from Hudson’s Bay to the East and West to the Yukon. During that time he mastered bush flying, and is now a qualified pilot. He also traveled by dog team and canoe.
His love of the sea prompted him to become the master-owner of the cutter Albatross which sank off Trial Island four years ago, and then skipper of the schooner Buccaneer, on which he ranged the fjords of British Columbia, capturing their beauty on canvas.
Wood’s son, Karl, who was his crew on these trips, is also an artist and leaves for the far north this month to “spend a few years” studying and painting the tundra and ways of life of Northern Canada.
A prolific artist, Wood’s paintings are in demand in the east as well as the western portions of Canada, and this past July alone, 36 paintings were shipped to various parts of the United States.
***


Well-Known Painter Opens W.V. Studios
Source: Vancouver Citizen, August 24, 1967.
 
Outstanding Canadian artist Robert Wood has opened art studios at 656-15th Street. He started teaching in Victoria 12 years ago when a small group approached him and asked if he would help them in their efforts.
Last year he opened studios in New Westminster and within two weeks his classes were full and students were turned away. Many students were driving from North and West Vancouver to attend classes and lectures and they asked him to set up studios on the North Shore. He has now done so.
Born in the hamlet of Mount Dennis (now a suburb of Toronto), Mr. Wood inherited his love of the season from his mother and his love of nature from the Wood family. At the age of 12, he won a scholarship to attend the old Toronto Art School, sponsored by the Toronto public schools and at 16 entered the Ontario College of Art. At 18, he shipped off to the Chelsea School of Fine Art in London, England. During this period, Mr. Wood explored the avenues of various forms of art such as abstract, but settled on true representational art as the medium in which he desired to express himself.
He is a prolific painter, sometimes working around the clock to capture a feeling, a mood. His paintings are in great demand in the East as well as the Western portions of Canada. Every year buyers from the U.S. travel to purchase his canvases. In the month of July this year, 36 canvases were shipped off to various parts of the U.S.
His students who have gone into the professional field number over 200. One ex-logger from Sooke, Vancouver Island, is teaching in Florida and another ex-student is teaching in London, England.
To fully understand the true spirit of Canadians, Mr. Wood spent two years in Canada’s north land, ranging from Hudson’s Bay to the East and traveling West to the Yukon. He mastered bush flying (he is a qualified pilot), dog teams and paddling canoes.
His love of the sea drew him to becoming the master-owner of the sailing cutter “Albatross”, which sank off Trial Island four years ago, and then skipper of the schooner “Buccaneer.” Sailing was a profitable hobby for Mr. Wood as he ranged the fjords of B.C., capturing their beauty on canvas. Mr. Wood’s son, Karl, who was his crew on these trips, is also an artist. Karl leaves for the far North in mid-September to spend “a few years” studying and painting the tundra and the ways of life of the Northern Canadian.
Robert Wood claims that there is more to art and the art of painting than placing a brush to canvas, or mastering the tones and hues of a color.
***

Knows where the money is
Local artist spurns ‘arty’ fads
 
By Laurie Mitchell
Source: undetermined New Westminster newspaper. Date: unknown.
 
In a world in which the term ‘art’ is applied to everything from scattered bits of paper to welded scrap iron, the work of New Westminster’s Robert E. Wood is almost unique.
It is ‘almost’ unique because his landscapes, seascapes, and still life canvases are representational and therefore, fit the traditional or generally understood meaning of the term, art.
Unique, as well, is Wood’s attitude toward what he calls the business of art. He says: “Every painting has a market, and I paint to sell.”
He has little use for the ‘arty’ crowd, which he considers unrealistic and insincere. “You have a choice of growing a beard, living in an attic, that is, playing artist, or running a successful business.”
***
The number of paintings sold by Wood show that he is certainly running a successful business. He always sells through retail houses because “it keeps my paintings out of the artistic centers. Art galleries draw only a certain type of people. When you distribute through retail outlets, you have a ready-made buying public. People are now buying paintings on credit.
“I consider art craftsmanship – and the craftsman must be a businessman.” In addition to supplying commercial outlets, Mr. Wood gives lecture tours, conducts classes in his Seventh street studio, and exhibits paintings in many galleries across Canada.
As a student, Wood lived in a garret in Toronto and experienced the periods of starvation associated with the artistic life. He studied at Ontario College of Art, Chelsea School of Art in London, and at Academie Beaux Arts in Paris, but feels that art school was of little value to him. “Art schools do nothing to advance the artist in his craft. Like most students, I was playing artist rather than studying art.”
The representational artist is often charged with producing a photographic copy of nature. Robert Wood meets this challenge directly. “The camera does not have emotional capabilities and can’t capture the emotional qualities of a subject,” he says, “The artist, in his interpretation of the subject, must capture these qualities.”
He continues: “People are so caught up in the mad, daily race that they miss the hidden beauties. It is the duty of the artist to capture the beauty in nature.”
***
“The artist has a responsibility to the public. Art must not be destructive; it must produce joy. Art is the barometer of the nation – if art prospers, the nation follows. If art becomes decadent, the nation goes the same way.”
***
“Canada has only a back-house culture. What will bring Canadianna will be love of country, and knowledge of our country. We can’t expect a flourishing culture until people know what Canada has to offer.”
Robert Wood has painted in many parts of the country and knows it well. His richly colored canvases, often done with a palette knife, depict scenes of the Arctic, Eastern Canada and many parts of B.C.
How does he feel about modern art? “Abstract art is in keeping with the day – it is a form of escapism. Some of the modern artists are wonderful craftsmen, but some are just fooling the public.
“People like to be in vogue and will buy anything that is called art. As in music and other art forms, there are hangers-on and here are craftsmen, but all art must have form.”
He concludes, “I would rather paint the beauties of nature than throw paint with the excuse of artistic abstraction.”
***

The above photograph and short article are from the Penticton Herald, November 2, 1973.
 

Noted Artist Makes Home at Greenwood
Source: Nelson Daily News, B.C. September 16, 1968
GRAND FORKS (Staff) –
 
Coincidence and a good memory resulted in one of Canada’s outstanding artists moving to Greenwood. Robert E. Wood of Victoria moved to Grand Forks during the summer after buying the old McArthur house.
Mr. Wood is one of Canada’s foremost oil painters and will soon open a gallery in Greenwood.
About two years ago, the Beautiful B.C. Magazine published a picture story on Greenwood. Included was a shot of the McArthur house, one of the outstanding period houses in the city.
Mr. Wood saw the article at the time, and was intrigued by the beauty of the house. Two months ago, Mr. Wood and his family were on their way from Vancouver to Banff and stopped in Greenwood for lunch.
While standing on Copper Street, Mr. Wood looked beyond the post office, and recognized the McArthur house. He and his wife visited the house, learned it was for sale, and promptly bought it.
Mr. Wood plans to hold classes for adults and children at a gallery in Greenwood. Instruction will be in drawing and painting. Mrs. Wood will teach the children’s classes. Both will give classes in Grand Forks and Osoyoos and are planning to open a gallery-school in Grand Forks soon.
 

Thumbnail sketch of artist
By Linda Curtis
Source: Undetermined Calgary newspaper. Date: unknown.
 
There’s nothing drab about Robert E. Wood. He’s like an old-fashioned patchwork quilt… full of color and surprises. Each time you talk to him, you discover another side to his many-faceted personality.
***
If his name rings a bell, it’s because it’s a famous signature in the world of art. Reproductions, if not originals, bearing the name are found in homes all over North America. But Robert E. Wood and Robert Wood are not the same man, although they’re both artists.
“Robert is a cousin of my father,” explained Robert E. (hereinafter called Bob) when we chatted at his studio this week. “I’ve spent quite a bit of time with him, and he helped me on my landscapes. But he’s not an artist. Neither am I. We’re painters. Artists are dedicated, whereas we paint for money.”
***
Bob came to Calgary in September at the invitation of Canadiana Galleries and will be staying over the winter months, painting, exhibiting and teaching. He favors the meldrum method of instruction which teaches tonal composition as opposed to linear. “It’s much easier and simpler and students get a _____ (word unreadable) approach to painting,” he explained.
Although he’s a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and studied under Arthur Lismer and Fred Varley, he’s anything but a drum-beater for art schools. “If a painter wants to broaden his field, then by all means study art. Art is a science of appearances, basically. It must be controlled. It isn’t something in which you push a button and become an artist.
“Housewives and office workers who paint as a hobby, kitchen-sink painters, without a doubt form the backbone of Canadian culture. You certainly won’t find it around the art crowd. I stay away from the bearded weirdos you usually get at universities. Many art teachers are sadly misguided unless they’ve worked professionally and acquired some practical experience.”
***
Bob’s paintings are a reflection of the man. When he makes a statement on canvas, it’s clear, crisp, deliberate and unapologetic. He calls himself a realist and pooh-poohs the abstract school.
“It’s a form of art that destroys beauty,” he maintains. “However, I do paint abstracts under the pseudonym of Robert DuBois. It’s impressionistic… commercial garbage. But, if people want to buy it…!”
He had several paintings, finished and unfinished, around the studio. They sang with color. His favorites are those of the sea where he feels most at peace with the world. He’s not at home with mountains.
***
To give you added insight into this complex character, his father and grandfather were ministers, but he has “no use for churches.” Yet he’s a deeply religious man. “The greatest church in the world is Nature!” he exclaims, with feeling. “A tree is one of the most beautiful products of God’s hand.
“People are either tuned in to spiritual things or they’re not. Going to church isn’t going to tune them in. A person in any of the arts has to have a depth and be in tune with God and Nature because to paint a mountain is nothing… just a pile of rock. But to paint it as a spiritual cathedral, leaving something for the viewer to imagine, takes an artist.”
***
Bob partially confirms his contention that he’s not dedicated enough to be considered anything but a painter by casually mentioning some of the twists and turns his life has taken. He’s been a radio and television announcer and radio station manager. He’s a pilot, a master diver, both scuba and hard hat, loves boats, has worked extensively with the west coast Indians, and was a demolition commando during the Second World War.
In occupied France he was taken by the Underground one day to see some interesting installations the Germans were guarding. He had a stub of a pencil and snaffled some toilet tissue on which to make sketches wile lying under a bush studying the installations through field glasses.
He turned his drawings over to the British Intelligence. They were sketches of the V-1 and V-2 launch sites.
***
After the war he went to the Arctic for a year to “get back to God and Nature’s handiwork” and to sketch.
He spent some time in Russia in 1957 painting landscapes. He insists that if he had his druthers he’d be a water bum, cruising, fishing, dozing, painting when the urge struck. On one such sailing adventure he ran into a hurricane with 40-foot waves and winds clocked over 100 mph. “There’s nothing between you and God then!”
Bob also has ESP and has known ahead of time of the deaths of several family members. He even sensed impending disaster for President Kennedy and was telling a skeptical friend about it when news of the assassination came.
Like I said, Robert E. Wood is a colorful character. He may not be an artist, but he’ll do until one comes along.
***


"The Bracken Dale Barn" 20x24


"Hidden Waterfall" 24x18


"Untitled - Fall Landscape" 20x30



"Farm Study" 8x10


"Lake Louise" 14x18


"Fort McLeod - 1867" 12x14 (This painting was part of a series of historical Canadian scenes which Robert E. Wood painted.)


"Prairie Flower Mine - 1866 " 16x20 (This painting was part of a series of historical Canadian scenes which Robert E. Wood painted.)


"Winter Road, Alberta" 16x20


"S Bar S Ranch" 20x30



"The Lions" 24x30


This painting is a portrait of a young Karl E. Wood. It is signed and dated in the upper right corner: Robert E. Wood - 1962 20x24


"Emerald Lake" 24x30


"Mt. Baker Valley - Washington, USA" 18x24


"Mountain Trail, Alberta" 18x24

rwtr7
"Untitled - Winter Tree Landscape" 18x24