Studies & Sketchbooks

As a child Robert drew to entertain himself and to amuse and delight his friends. He illustrated his own comic-book stories, giving his younger brother and sister lectures on the history of comics and bringing home library books on classic strips such as Little Nemo in Slumberland and Krazy Kat. In his teens, Robert took a correspondence course from the Washington School of Art. This stressed the fundamentals of drawing. At the same time, Robert made illustrations for book covers for the family publishing business. In the Fine Arts, drawings tend to be preliminary to a painting or larger finished work. Robert exhibited drawings as works of art in their own right. In fact, his last solo show consisted entirely of drawings from the “Illness & Healing” series. For Robert, drawings were often-times items for sale and a means of connecting with supporters who couldn’t afford expensive paintings. After art school, all Robert’s sketchbook drawings were done in pen and ink as these reproduced the most easily. Robert frequently made charcoal drawings which concentrate on contrasts of white, tone and black. In his many studies, the artist experimented with cross-hatching techniques, with pattern and unusual lightings effects. He drew from his imagination, but increasingly from photos as his health declined.