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 Bob Travers  (1952 - )

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Lived/Active: North Carolina      Known for: wildlife, landscape, rural scene

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Bob Travers
An example of work by Bob Travers
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from the artist, September 2003.

Wildlife artist Bob Travers, of Fletcher, North Carolina, was born in 1952, and from a young age Bob showed both the talent and love of animals that led him to become an artist. He began at about age two to render recognizable figures of dogs, cats, birds and other animals that shared his home. His father, a nature lover and artist in his own right, taught the young artist much and exposed him to the vast world of nature. By the age of ten, young Bob was creating accurate renderings that led to competitions and favor in the eyes of the judges. He later was in the honors art program in high school where he studied sculpture as well as drawing and painting. Discouraged by his teachers from trying to pursue a career painting animals, he put more energy into likeness' of well known celebrities, which later led to a career in commercial art.

Receiving his formal education at Pratt Institute in New York, Bob was one of the top 10 percent of applicants accepted in 1971. During his senior year when looking for work, he worked for fashion designers and associated with top models, which put him into a new world of celebrities and gave him both a store of wonderful memories and special insight into the world of design. At that time, he also landed a job with a New York radio station, working his way into a Music Director position, which involved programming the music for the station and hobnobbing with celebrities. After two years of management, his artistic craving led to a job with an in-house publishing company producing trade magazines which led to cover illustrations and a promotion to art director. But Travers wanted more.

With portfolio under arm, he signed with an agent, and in 1980 began taking on clients such as "TV Guide", Harlequin Books and CBS to name a few. During his tenure as a freelance illustrator, Travers now age 30, was named to the top 100 list of paperback book jacket artists in the country by the Society of Illustrators in New York.

In 1987, Bob's list of clients was well established and all seemed in place when Bob happened across an issue of "Wildlife Art News" magazine and the art of Robert Bateman. Said Travers, "It was like the scales dropped from my eyes. I was looking at the type of work I had wanted to do all my life. He had been working on a children's book on wild animals, published by Walden Books in 1987, that proved to be a success. Newly married to his wife Susan, he decided to go forward with a career change and return to his childhood passion for painting wildlife. Susan, who had been the driving force of Bob's career since 1982, told him to follow his heart and they would make this dream come true together.

Exactly one year later he self published his first Limited Edition Print, and was juried into his first wildlife art show. Among 150 other artists Travers won six major awards including Peoples Choice and Artist of the Year, accompanied by a check for $1,000. Over the years Bob has collected top honors and has earned quite a collection of ribbons and plaques along the way. He has been named the Minnesota Deer Hunters Artist of the Year twice and held the same title for the Wisconsin Timber Alliance. Proceeds from the sale of Limited Edition Prints produced from his original works have gone to both educational and reintroduction programs for theses and other organizations.

While his return to his original passion for painting wildlife was less than direct, Travers acknowledges that all the work he had done to that point laid the groundwork for a successful transition to wildlife artist. His association with his publishers, has taken his images throughout the United States, Canada, England and Australia.

Bob is at home in his glass enclosed studio which overlooks his horse ranch nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Building his reputation locally and nationally, Travers has originals that can be found in galleries throughout the country. His lifestyle has changed dramatically since his days growing up in the suburbs of New York City. This transition is thanks to his wife, Susan, and their three daughters, Felicia, Ashley, and Jessica, who were so supportive when Bob wanted to make the move. Further inspired to expand his talents, he has begun painting, landscapes, horses and farm scenes from the area.

A master of detail, Travers endeavors to create the illusion of absolute realism. Creating a very detailed pencil sketch enables him to work out potential design problems before laying in the paint. Working one on one with the animals he paints, he can often be found in enclosures with such predators as wolves and cougar. This along with his photographing, video taping and life studies gives the artist a sense of perspective and understanding of the various movements and moods of his subjects.

Travers' painting is a building process, working layer over layer of paint to create a sense of depth and realism he is most noted for. As a rule, he does not paint in the animal until the surrounding environment is nearly complete. " A successful painting depends on its believability to act as a whole, as if one were viewing a moment in time. It should tell a story and draw the viewer into that moment as though they are experiencing it first hand."

"Through my art, I hope to bring a further awareness and appreciation for the world around us and for the wildlife that we share our lives with. This is our heritage and something that must be preserved for future generations to enjoy."

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