Contact Rob Talbert

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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.

 

HISTORICAL REENACTORS

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.

 

STYLE

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.

 

MY SUPPORT

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.

 

PUBLICATIONS

Splash 15

Catalog of Shenzhen Watercolor Biennial China

Artist Magazine

Montgomery Magazine, Artists Among Us

Southwest Art Magazine, Artistic Excellence – Meet the Finalists

 

AWARDS

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

 

JURIED SHOWS

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

 

EDUCATION

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

 

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

Baltimore Watercolor Society

Maryland Pastel Society

Portrait Society of America