Robert A. McKay
Robert 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 and SLCC's Concurrent Enrollment drawing classes at Itineris Early College High. As an artist and teacher, Robert deems it a pleasure to pass on the grand tradition of drawing, painting and illustration.
Robert's fine art and narrative illustration works exhibit in private and public collections, book and international magazine publications.
See "Events" page for current exhibitions.
Past exhibitions include:
2012 Terra Nova Gallery, Provo Plein Air Competition, Second Place
2012 Recipient LeConte Stewart Award in Education
2011 llustrators Utah 2nd Place
2011 Drawn to Life: Life Drawing and the Development of the Artist Exhibitor and Demonstrator
2011 Pioneer Art Festival Exhibit Studio/Plein Air
2010 Terra Nova Gallery, Provo Plein Air Competition, Third Place
2009 Bountiful/Davis Art Center, Face to Face Exhibit and Head Painting Demonstration
2009 Apple Frame Gallery Pioneer Show and Figure Painting Demonstration
2009-2010 Bountiful/Davis Art Center, Handcart Days Invitational Artist
2009 Midway Paint Out, Fourth Place
2009 Heber Paint, Out Merit Award
2009 Terra Nova Gallery Solo Show/Painting Demonstration Robert McKay: Indoors & Outdoors
2008 Terra Nova Gallery, Provo Plein Air Competition, Second Place
2008 Beverly Mastrim Gallery at Wheeler Farm, Robert McKay/Ben Hammond Two Man Show
2008 Gallery at the Station, Robert McKay/Ben Hammond Two Man Show
2007 Terra Nova Gallery, Provo Plein Air Competition, Best of Show and Artists' Choice awards
2007-2012 Bountiful/Davis Art Center Holiday Show
2007-2010 Terra Nova Gallery, Great Things/Small Packages
2007, 2010 Spring City Plein Air Event
2007 Ogden Valley Plein Air Event
2007-2008 Thanksgiving Point Plein Air Invitational
2007-2008, 2010 Ogden Union Station, Secret Show Invitational
1998-2009 Bountiful/Davis Art Center, Contemporary Illustration Exhibition Invitational
2006 Bountiful/Davis Art Center, Utah State Show, Honorable Mention
2006 Eccles Community Art Center, Black and White Show