Friday, March 24, 2017

March Birthday: Artist Robert Wood

Mountains and Hills by Robert Wood 20"x30" oil on canvas $6000 framed at JR Mooney Galleries

March is the birthday month of English painter Robert Wood. Wood is reportedly one of the most mass-produced artists in the United States. He gained popularity in the 1950s and 60s when many of his works were reproduced in lithographs and distributed by companies such as Sears, Roebuck. Wood was born on March 4th in Sandgate, England in 1889. He served in the Royal Army and immigrated to the United States in 1910. He traveled extensively through the country working odd jobs and hopping freight trains while he sold or bartered his paintings. During this period, which Wood later recalled as one of the best of his life, he was influenced by the rural landscapes of America. His travels took him to Illinois where he worked as a farmhand, to Pensacola, Florida where he married, Ohio, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon.
 In the early 1920s he settled in San Antonio with his family where he experience tremendous growth as an artist. He studied under renowned Spanish painter Jose Arpa and was active in the San Antonio Art League. He was influenced by his contemporaries like Arpa and the Onderdonks. He exhibited in the 1928 Texas Wildflower Competition. Porfirio Salinas was his student. It was here in the Texas hill country that Wood's work blossomed and he gained a national reputation as a landscape painter.

 Robert Wood left Texas for California in the 1940's, and then moved briefly to upstate New York before returning to southern California in the early 1950's where he would settle. Around this time the public became captivated with Wood's seasonal Woodstock paintings. He worked with a print publishing house to reproduce several of his works. The reproductions were a success. October Morn, which was his most requested print, sold more than one million copies in less than two years. Wood remained in California, where he was active in the art colonies at Monterrey and later Laguna Beach, until his death. He never returned to England.

Although the majority of his subject matter focused on rural landscapes, Wood's style changed over time.  His early work was influenced by his heritage and is more reminiscent of the 19th century English landscape painters, while his latter work became more impressionistic. Must have been all those train rides through the countryside. J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art is pleased to currently have in its possession Mountains and Hills, a stunning 20
x30impressionistic oil painting by Robert Wood. Call or stop by the gallery for inquiries.

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