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 Robert Spannring  (20/21st century)

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Lived/Active: Montana      Known for: impressionist western landscape painting, wildlife

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Canyon Morning on the Smith River
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Artist Statement

“I am a visual person I prefer to speak in visual language, my art.”“Just as some people prefer to communicate with the spoken language or the written language, I speak in visual language, by drawing, painting and sculpting my perceptions of the non-physical spaces that occupy my mind and the physical world around me. I love the processes of drawing, painting, and sculpting, exploring the mind for elements, visual symbols, which are related to each other directly and indirectly that interact to tell a story. I go and explore the land, to view, to feel the mood, to occupy the space, to watch the creatures; the deer, the bear, the lion, move amongst the grasses and the trees, to watch the light sculpt and define the surface of the land, to watch the power of changing climate, moving storm clouds, a tree bent in the wind or the calm at dusk. These observations are my dictionary, my bible, my well of thoughts that help me tell a story, the story of people, the story of land, the story of creatures, the story of ideas. Just as our lives are made of stories, a simple sentence, a quick jester of the hand, a verbal tale about a memory, I create visual drawings, paintings, a delicate line across paper, a dash of paint, color and texture, a finished work of art.”

Robert Spannring lives in Pray, Montana in the middle of Paradise Valley. He has been an artist since 1976.  During the first twenty years, Robert worked as an illustrator and watercolorist. Much of these early years were developing his skills in drawing with pencil, pen and ink, watercolor washes. His subject matter was devoted to wildlife and the land they occupied.

After attending Montana State University, in 1978 - 1980 his life drawing classes expanded his desire to seek other subjects, Robert began to explore still life’s, figure, and abstract objects. Then in 1984-1986, working for Russell Chatham, provided Robert the opportunity to watch and learn different techniques in the painting profession.

In 1987 – 1992 Robert became the Artist in Residence at Lake Hotel, after being awarded the contract to produce all the artwork for the Hotel renovation of which his work still hangs today in Yellowstone National Park.

1986 – 2001 Robert helped start the Wade Gallery with his wife Kelly Wade, then in 1990 started working part-time at the Gallery, in sales, framing, crating and exhibit preparation.

1992 – 2000 Robert focused on Illustration projects for different organizations, a founding member of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, which is to preserve and identify the environmental needs of the area.

Robert has worked for the National Forest Service, Montana Dept of Parks and Wildlife, Defenders of Wildlife, Boone and Crockett Club, and many other groups.

2001-2004 After many years being a Watercolorist, Robert decided to add oil painting to his other skills, for he has the desire to express ideas on a larger scale. This is an exciting time to attend workshops, build a new skill level, painting everyday, exploring new boundaries.

In 2003 Robert’s painting One Canoe Tree was accepted into the Journey’s End National Art Exhibit, 40 works of art were accepted out of 425 entries.

Spring of 2004, Robert’s oil painting Light After the Storm, Paradise Valley was selected for the Salon International 2004, sponsored by Green House Gallery of San Antonio, Texas. 244 painting were selected out of 700 entries. Plus Robert’s oil painting was chosen for an award, making the top fifty paintings in the exhibit.

Art Residencies
1987- 1992 Lake Hotel, Yellowstone National Park, Workshops
2001 attended Scott Christensen, Scottsdale School of Art
2003 Zhang Wen Xin, Jim Wilcox’s Workshop
1992- 2004 Past and Present Illustration

Boone and Crockett Club
Bugle Boy, Defenders of Wildlife
Eagle Pass Ranch
Greater Yellowstone Coalition
Greg Lilly Fly Fishing Services KLB Exhibits -
Black-Footed Ferret Project
Bureau of Land Management
Beaverhead National Forest
Lolo Scenic Byway Project
North Fork Project, Yellowstone
Arbor Day Project, Yellowstone
Cutthroat Trout Project
International Federation of Fly Fishers
Montana Audubon Council
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks
Roberts Reinhart

Letters from Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation,
Bugle Magazine, Sasquatch Books
Field Guide to the Grizzly Bear, Stackpole Books
Fly Casting for Everyone, T.W. Services
United States Forest Service, Western States Publishers, North Face of Yellowstone

Online Source:

Biography from Missoula Art Museum:
Robert Spannring has been a fine art artist for 30 years. He studied ceramics at Montana State University from 1978 – 1980, then went to work for Russell Chatham where he learned professional painting techniques.

Spannring was Artist in Residence at Lake Hotel in Yellowstone National Park between 1987 and1992, during which time he produced all of the artwork for the hotel renovation. He is a founding member of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.

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