Beauty, Harmony, Order, And Truth In Nature By Robert A. McKay
Robert A. McKay strives to capture the animated spirit of the figure and landscape through a painterly approach. “I endeavor to capture the breathing essence of my subjects. Studies from life are a critical part of my work in seeking beauty, harmony, order and truth in nature.”
His influences are the classic American Illustrator/Painters; especially those who designed with lush, broad strokes of value and color such as Dean Cornwell, Tom Lovell, Haddon Sundblom and Pino. He also looks to the painting legends Frans Hals, Joaquin Sorolla, John Singer Sargent and Emile Gruppe for their descriptive, lucid brushwork.
Robert grew up in the shadows of the Wasatch Mountains in Salt Lake City, Utah. His high school art teacher, Lorin Folland, introduced him to plein air painting and also passed on teachings learned from Brackman and DuMond at the Art Students League.
After two years of study under Glen Edwards and Tony Rasmussen at Utah State University, he earned a BFA in Illustration from Brigham Young University under Robert Barrett and Richard Hull. He traveled east to complete a Master’s degree in Studio Art through Marywood University, PA in conjunction with Parsons School of Design and School of Visual Arts, NY.
Robert has been advised by Paul Mann, Max Ginsburg and Malcolm (Skip) Liepke who all gave him encouragement in his artistic direction. Robert went on to apprentice with artist Paul Mann. “Paul trained me in the solid tradition of narrative painting/illustration. I’m indebted to him for his mentorship; for sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm for painting and the history of illustration.”
He eventually had the opportunity to attend figure and landscape workshops with Earl Jones and Jim Wilcox. They served as an inspiration for his teaching. Robert holds a teaching degree in the fields of Visual Art and Spanish. Robert has taught art and Spanish in the public school system and illustration, history of illustration, figure and landscape painting for the University of Utah as well as figure drawing for Brigham Young University. He has conducted a variety of workshops in the dynamic, Utah landscapes of Park City, Snowbird, and Heber Valley. Robert was the coordinator of the life drawing/painting sessions at Bountiful/Davis Art Center.
Currently, Robert continues to paint for both illustration and fine art clients. He teaches foundations, illustration history/techniques and figure drawing/painting classes at Salt Lake Community College. As an artist and teacher, Robert deems it a pleasure to pass on the grand tradition of drawing, painting and illustration.
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