Contact Rob Talbert
MY ARTISTIC VISION - NARRATIVE PAINTING
My mother, Helen Stewart, loved history, and I must have inherited that fascination of the past from her. Like my mother, I love to learn about the people that had the vision and grit to make an impact on the rest of us.
My father, Neil Talbert, is a landscape painter, and I grew up watching him document in watercolor his memories of the small Illinois farms and railroad scenes he knew and loved. Many of the these images have all but disappeared, as railroad equipment has evolved and small farms have given way to large agribusiness. In a sense, his art has become "historical" too - a reflection of life as it was in the past.
AMERICAN FRONTIER ART
I refer to my paintings as "American Frontier Art," and they typically encompass subjects, as I imagine them, from different time periods as the American frontier moved from the Alleghenies to the Rockies. Normally, I do not recreate actual historical events in my paintings, like Washington crossing the Delaware River or George Custer fighting off Northern Plains Indians. I have great respect for artists who take on these subjects, but I have a deeper interest in exploring the moods, feelings and settings of ordinary people who lived on the American frontier. I particularly love painting the faces of people from the past, probing their hopes and fears, exploring their world, exposing something about them that enables viewers today to reach across the centuries and come to know and appreciate them. What these artistic explorations into the past reveal is that the fabric that makes up the human condition is universal and timeless. The props and stage sets have changed over the years, but the actors are much the same.
I am greatly indebted to many historical reenactors whose passion, knowledge and art comprise the shoulders I attempt to stand on each time I begin a new painting. Without their study of history, their tremendous investment of time and money in learning about the historical people they portray and their passion for getting all the costume and equipment details just right, I would not be able to pursue my art in the way I have chosen to pursue it.
Collectors and show visitors sometimes ask me to described my "style" of painting. I work in the large domain of "representational" art - in other words, my paintings are generally attempting to represent the subjects I choose to paint in a realistic style, with realistic drawing, proper values, and correct perspective and proportion. However, I try to design my paintings in a way that will illustrate the particular mood or feeling I am attempting to convey, and this usually requires that I introduce certain abstract or impressionistic elements into the work. Sometimes I think it is like trying to define the exact edge where the ocean touches a sandy beach - each wave reaches a little higher or a little lower up the beach than the last wave making it is impossible to define the exact line between water and land. I want a similar tension between realism and abstraction in every painting I make, I and I try to use that tension between representational and non-representational elements to heighten interest and emotional value.
I am indebted to my family, who have provided encouragement and motivation, in addition to serving as some of my best models! My wife, Becky, has been an equal partner in this endeavor and has contributed much to the artistic merit of my work through her brilliant photography and her incomparable eye for composition. Of my many art mentors, three stand above the others—Mark Kohler, Ted Nuttall and Glen Kessler—and I am indebted to them for their unselfish sharing of knowledge and insight into this vast and intricate puzzle called creating a painting.
Catalog of Shenzhen Watercolor Biennial China
Montgomery Magazine, Artists Among Us
Southwest Art Magazine, Artistic Excellence – Meet the Finalists
Artist's Magazine Over-60 Competition
Baltimore Watercolor Society Members Show
Montgomery Art Association Paint-The-Town Show
Mid-Atlantic Watercolor Society Juried Competition and Awards
Logan Fine Art Gallery - Salone d'Automne
Scottsdale Artist School Best & Brightest
Shenzhen Biennial International Watercolor Exhibition
Mid-Atlantic Regional Watercolor Exhibition
Southwestern Watercolor Society Exhibition
Pennsylvania Watercolor Society Juried Show
Adirondack Watercolor Society Exhibition
San Diego Watercolor Society International Exhibition
Northeast Pastel Society National Exhibition
Linda Baker, watercolor - Baltimore Watercolor Society workshop
Glen Kessler, oil - weekly group painting coaching
Paul Jackson, watercolor – Baltimore Watercolor Society workshop
Diana De Santis, pastel – Maryland Pastel Society workshop
Glen Kessler, oil – Group and private instruction
Ted Nuttall, multiple watercolor workshops
David Daniels, watercolor – Baltimore Watercolor Society workshop
Mark Kohler, watercolor - Private workshops
Robert Liberace, drawing – Studio Incamminati workshop
Jerry Yarnell, watercolor – Workshop
Art Academy University – Chiaroscuro drawing
Master of Business Administration, Brigham Young University
Bachelor of Arts, Brigham Young University
Baltimore Watercolor Society
Maryland Pastel Society
Portrait Society of America