Robert Alex Walter's art featured in Shouldice GalleryFebruary 10, 2010
SAULT STE. MARIE – Those who enjoy the outdoors won't mind coming indoors for a little while to see the paintings and lithographs by artist Robert Alex Walter on display this month in the Kenneth Shouldice Library art gallery at Lake Superior State University.
Gaining recognition by receiving top honors at the Michigan Midwest National Wildlife Art Show and Competition in 1978, he began his journey into a lifetime commitment to his work.
"My interest in drawing began very early in my life; however the memory of a visit by an artist to my sixth grade class stands out when he demonstrated the basic drawing technique of using simple shapes to capture an image," Walter said. "Certainly, it was not an intentional decision to be self-taught. I felt there was no other way or avenue to advance at the time. Most of my early attempts at drawing were done with pencil or ball point pen. In time, as my ability and confidence increased, I advanced to dip pen and bottle ink. I have experimented with watercolor and completed many paintings in oil, but currently my medium of choice is acrylic paint."
With entries into the Michigan State and Federal Duck Stamp competitions and many other such venues, Walter began his illustrative phase.
"This type of painting proved to be very restrictive to me with limits on creativity and imagination and I felt it was time to advance a bit farther then pure illustrative work with anatomical accuracy. I wanted to develop an idea in my mind and then allow it to fall upon the canvas. Any image I would use would totally be from archives my mind had stored. This not only allows the artist freedom, but allows the viewer to enjoy the journey into the painting without constraint."
Walter's website is a collection of images that illustrate more than 30 years of his work in various styles and technique. He and his wife Laura maintain a studio and home near the Pigeon River State Forest and the state's elk herd range, which provides ample nature and animal study for him.
"It allows my imagination to flow and I hope this is evident in my work," he said.
The display is open anytime the Shouldice Library is open: Monday-Thursday from 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, 1-11 p.m.
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