Bob was born on January 31, 1959,
in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Bob's interest in art began at
a very young age. His mother, being an artist herself, encouraged
him even before he attended kindergarten. One day while Bob
was in class in the first grade and engrossed in his drawing,
the teacher happened to walk by. "What are you doing?"
she exclaimed. "Drawing naked ladies," he replied.
"In school?" she questioned. Bob looked up and said,
"Why not? Mom paints them all the time." At a loss
for words, the teacher walked away. The rest is history.
Hunting and fishing were part
and parcel of his childhood. His parents owned a farm some
distance from Minneapolis and the whole family would retreat
to it on weekends and short vacations. The days were filled
with hunting and fishing. When Bob was eight years old he
managed to hook and land a ten pound northern pike. When a
boy that young lands a fish which is nearly as big as he is
a memorable experience.
Bob did not choose art as a career;
art sort of chose him. While attending St. Louis Park High
School in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, he made pottery to earn
expense money. After graduation he continued making pottery
for about three years to supplement his income as a sub-contractor
for house painting, sheet-rocking, and roofing. Gradually,
he began to paint birds and mammals on his pottery prior to
glazing and firing.
He continued to sub-contract
in the housing industry until he was twenty-four. At that
time, Jim, his brother, who followed art quite a bit in high
school, was painting wildlife on driftwood and doing very
well selling his work through a local gallery. Bob figured
that it sure beat painting houses, so he tried his hand at
it. Both his mother, who was a commercial artist, and Jim
encouraged him to stick with it. Shortly, a career began to
In 1988 both he and Jim decided
to try for the Minnesota duck stamp design. Bob won and Jim
placed third. Competing against the big names in Minnesota
wildlife art and winning, gave both Bob and Jim the impetus
needed to launch a career in art.
Prior to trying his hand at painting,
Bob entered the world of competitive ski racing. He moved
to Winter Park, Colorado, to determine if he could make a
living by skiing. Although he was -- and still is - an accomplished
skier, he wasn't - as he puts it - "even close to making
a living." He returned to Minnesota and now skis simply
for the exhilaration.
In some areas, he and Jim sign
out to go "out of bounds," a term meaning that they
won't be using the regulated slopes but will ski in any direction
they choose. This privilege is reserved only for highly skilled
Bob's skills are not limited
to painting and skiing. He carries an eight handicap in golf,
plays hockey four or five days a week, and is an excellent
chef. He has been on the winning golf team three times in
the Moonlight Masters, an unusual tournament in that it is
played in the dark of night. It is held at Dahlgreen Golf
Course located just southwest of Minneapolis. Glowsticks are
placed on the tees, the 150 yard markers, and on the flagsticks
on the greens. A glowstick is placed inside the ball and glows
for about two and one-half hours after activating it. It stays
visible even in the woods. Bob has converted about 6 of his
80 acres into a small driving range. It is roughly 190 yards
long, just good enough to sharpen his short game. He hopes
to improve enough to beat his brother, Jim, who always seems
to win by just a couple of strokes. Anything is possible in
Cooking for pleasure is both relaxing and creative for Bob.
An avid hunter, he brings home a myriad of wild game, and
by experimenting with various herbs and spices, he has created
some very tasty dishes. He studies recipes from his large
library of cook books, and then alters them to suit his individual
tastes. He also compares notes with his brothers, Joe and
Peter, whom he considers to be high-level chefs.
Hunting has always been a high-priority
passion for Bob. He's proven that he is a good woodsman for
he has successfully stalked deer with a bow. Ducks and geese
are high on his list of preferred game and, he has traveled
as far as Alaska to obtain the specimens he wanted.
Once on a trip to Alaska, he
intended to collect a fine pair of red-breasted mergansers,
a duck which is difficult to obtain in good plumage. He shot
a very fine pair, but before he could retrieve them, a pair
of bald eagles swooped down and carried off both ducks. It
was a case of mixed emotion; disappointment in losing the
ducks, but exhilaration in witnessing the dive and piracy
by the eagles.
Bob is proud to have been able
to use his position as a duck stamp design winner to further
the cause of conservation. He said "Getting out, meeting
people, and making speeches to create a greater awareness
of our natural environment is extremely important."