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 Robert Heath Perine  (1922 - 2004)

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: watercolor painting, commercial illustration

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Robert Heath Perine
An example of work by Robert Heath Perine
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following information, submitted November 2004, is from Blaze Newman, wife of the artist.

Robert Perine was a graduate of the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles (1950) and taught there in 1952-53.  He also taught at the University of Alabama and Mira Costa College in Oceanside.

He was on the Oceanside Museum of Art exhibitions committee and co-founder (with David Tourje) of the Chouinard Foundation in South Pasadena (1998).

His paintings are in over 200 public and private collections. He was also a freelance writer on art subjects and had a monthly column in The Publication, a San Diego arts magazine.


Suzanne Muchnic, Los Angeles Times, July 1, 2001 ("True to a Significant School; Faculty and alumni have joined a show on freewheeling Chouinard's place in Los Angeles art history") [Home Edition]) pg. 1.

Suzanne Muchnic, Los Angeles Times, March 7, 2003 ("Defunct L.A. art school on a quest for resurrection") pg. E28

Following is the obituary text written by Blaze Newman for the artist's Memorial Service held November 13, 2004 in Pasadena, California.  Robert Perine died on November 6, 2004.

Robert Heath Perine, November 6, Pasadena, CA, his birthplace.  Perine was a renowned artist acclaimed for his watercolors-both seascapes and large-scale, color-field paintings.  Born November 30, 1922, Perine attended South Pasadena High School and served in the Navy during WWII, as a Painter 1st Class.  After the war, he attended USC, then graduated from the Chouinard Art Institute in 1950. After teaching at the University of Alabama for a year, he returned to southern California to teach at Chouinard, and launch a graphic design business.  In that period, he created many signature logos and ad campaigns, most notably for Fender Musical Instruments.

In 1970, Perine moved to San Diego, where he was Art Director for ZOONOOZ magazine for 20 years.  While continuing to paint, he also wrote prolifically, created scores and lyrics for original musicals, and established ARTRA Publishing, a forum for art-oriented books.  Beyond his own artwork, he felt a sacred responsibility to support other artists, both by mentoring scores of developing artists and writing widely about the California art scene and the importance of art to a healthy society.

1998 brought the opportunity for Perine to fulfill his long-cherished dream-helping to revive Chouinard.  At the new Chouinard in South Pasadena, Perine served as co-director and faculty chair, teaching design, drawing, and watercolor.  In 1999, the Oceanside Museum of Art held a retrospective exhibit of his work, featuring the mythical world of the Tribes of Xyr.  His work is in over 200 public and private collections, and he is listed in Who's Who in American Art.

WEBSITES FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (information about the 2001 Chouinard retrospective exhibit curated by Robert Perine) ("How I Helped Leo Fender Make It Big") (information about the legendary Bob Perine "You won't part with yours either" advertising campaign) (information about Perine's "Tribes of Xyr" art project and video)

Additional Note: At the time of his death, Robert Perine was co-director of the new Chouinard Art School in South Pasadena, where he was faculty chair and taught figure drawing, design, and watercolor. 

Biography from California Watercolor:
Robert Perine (1922-2004) Born: Los Angeles, CA; Studied: Chouinard Art Institute (Los Angeles), University of Southern California; Member: California Water Color Society, West Coast Watercolor Society.

Robert Perine was a native Southern Californian and attended art school in Los Angeles during the 1940s.  He studied with Rex Brandt, Phil Dike, Tom Craig, Richard Haines and Francis de Erdely.  He quickly became an excellent watercolorist and before graduation was exhibiting in art exhibitions.  Through the 1950s and 1960s, he divided his time between commercial illustration and fine art watercolor painting.

During this period, his watercolors were classic California Style paintings.  He produced them on location with transparent paints and usually chose to depict regional scenes of the city and coastline.  He exhibited nationally and sold his work at art galleries in Southern California.  His commercial illustrations appeared on magazine covers, record album jackets and other commercial products.  He designed posters, brochures, book cover designs, and directed a visually interesting and historically important promotional campaign for Fender Musical Instruments.

Perine was one of the key California Style watercolorists to emerge during the post war era.  He was an active member of the California Water Color Society and taught art at the Chouinard Art Institute, University of Alabama, and Mira Costa College.  In addition to working as a fine artist and teacher, he has authored two books: California Romantics, A History of the California Water Color Society and Chouinard – A Vision Betrayed, A History of the Chouinard Art Institute.

Biographical information:
Interview with Robert Perine, 1984

Biography courtesy of California Watercolors 1850-1970,
©2002 Hillcrest Press, Inc.

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