Artistic Excellence 2016 | Honorable Mention: Robert Bootier

Hawaii

Robert Bootier, Oda Mae, oil, 14 x 18.

Robert Bootier, Oda Mae, oil, 14 x 18.

What inspired your winning entry? My Rhodesian ridgeback, Oda Mae. I love the breed.

How did you first get interested in art? I began drawing from life around age 10 and oil painting when I was 16.

Where did you study art? I studied graphic design at Junior College of Albany and fine art at University at Albany, NY.

Did you pursue other careers before you became a full-time artist? I worked as a printer and in construction. Learning the printing process helped me understand color from a different perspective.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? My high school art teacher told me to never quit, even if I felt like things were becoming stale or if I was hitting a wall with improvement.

What’s the most meaningful recognition you’ve received for your artwork? Second place in the animal/wildlife category of The Artist’s Magazine’s 28th Annual Art Competition.

What is your creative process? Once I decide on a subject, I take reference photos. I work in small sizes on both canvas and Gessobord most of the time, so I use small brushes. My color palette starts out simple, but I expand it to include high-chroma colors I can’t get by mixing. Then I draw with a pencil and go over it with a permanent marker to prevent smearing. I’ll make an imprimatura, or transparent stain, to get rid of the pure white of the substrate. Then I build up the darks, the midtones, and work back up to the lights, painting at least three layers before finally adding highlights.

When you’re not painting, what do you enjoy doing? I enjoy spending time with my wife, Darlene, and playing tournament foosball.

What galleries represent your work? Clement Art Gallery, Troy, NY.

This story was featured in the December 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  December 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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