Friday, January 20, 2012

2012 Artist Series: The Renowned Robert Quackenbush

Today I would like to introduce you to renowned Kansas City Area artist Robert Quackenbush


You will get to know him in the interview below as well as experience some of his amazing works of abstract art.

K) When did you first realize that you wanted to paint and create art? 

R)  When I was a kid I was a doodler. I also spent a lot of time with art books that my parents owned…hours and hours and hours. I had no idea at the time why I was so fascinated with these books. Later, when I was twenty-five years old, I had sort of an epiphany, and realized that I was supposed to be a painter. At that point, a lot of loose ends started to fall into place. I was living and working in the Philadelphia area where there are many art schools and, therefore, many art supply stores. I remember loading up on everything I could put my hands on to start painting. I had absolutely no knowledge of what I was doing, I just had to get started. About a year or so later I received as a birthday gift an Introductory Drawing Class at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. The minute I walked into those cavernous studios at PAFA, I knew that I was where I was supposed to be. The rest is history.

K) What artists organizations are you involved in?

R) In addition to the Kansas City Artists Coalition, I am a member of the Hand Print Press working out of the printmaking studio at UMKC. Membership in both these organizations allows me to stay in contact with my fellow artists in the Kansas City area. I have also been able to take advantage of exhibition opportunities. KCAC has given me a one-man show and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art has exhibited the work of the Hand Print Press, which included one of my prints.

What Holds Up Your Sky #12

K) What genre do you work in?

R) Although I started as an oil painter, I now work in several different fields. I still paint regularly using an assortment of mixed media which include acrylics, oils, enamel paint, water based mediums, spray paint, aluminum siding paint, found objects and other things I can attach to the surface of my work. In addition,  I am a printmaker working as a member of the UMKC/Hand Print Press. Over the past couple of years I have started to make metal sculpture. I share some studio space in the Crossroads with Reilly Hoffman.

What Holds Up Your Sky #11

K) Where do you derive much of your your inspiration?

R) I have a huge inventory of photographs, print ads, etc. which I use to inform my work. I do a lot of drawings. Mostly, however, I use my imagination. I get a lot of input from dreams.

K) Where does the motivation to create art come from?
R) I keep my passion for making art alive by working every day. I have more ideas than I know what to do with (and, sometimes, that can be a problem). Being around other artists also keeps me fresh. And, I teach painting in my studio. Working as a mentor/coach to other artists is very invigorating.

What Holds Up Your Sky #13

K) Robert where are you currently showing your art and what exhibits are in the near future?

    R) I am currently showing work at the Todd Weiner Gallery in the Crossroads. I have donated a piece for the KCAC auction which takes place in February. (see below)  In addition, the American Jazz Museum has asked me to create a large scale painting as a centerpiece for their upcoming exhibition in celebration of Ella Fitzgerald’s 95th birthday. The exhibition, “ELLA: FIRST LADY OF SONG”,  opens on March 2nd and runs through June 2, 2012. 

   Two of my works on paper have been juried into the “ARTI GRAS” exhibition which opens on Friday,  February 24th at Leawood’s Community Center in City Hall

   In the  the summer, I will be participating in a group show called “SPACE FRAMES”  hosted by the Kansas City Jewish Museum of Contemporary Art and curated by their Director, Marcus Cain. I plan to have both sculptures and paintings in this exhibition. And, the year is young….

"Awareness" painting to be auctioned at The Kansas City Artists Coalition Annual Benefit held on February 18th 2012      Value $2400. 

 K) What do you see in your future as an artist?
   R) The future will bring what it brings. As well as making a steady stream of work, I am using the tools which I acquired as a participant in the first Artists, Inc. seminar in Kansas City to make my presence better known. A positive attitude helps, too.

Donated to the Kansas City Jewish Museum’s URBAN/SUBURBAN Exhibition and Auction last Autumn

Archangel Sculpture

 K) What words of wisdom do you have for an aspiring artist?

    R) Be prolific! Do a lot of work. Constantly improve your skills. One of the best lessons I ever learned from my mentor (Alexander Shundi) is not to be afraid of my imagination. If making art is your passion, go after it. Don’t wait for anything. As Chuck Close once said, “Inspiration is for amateurs…Get to work!”

Untitled on Paper

K) Robert, Thank you so much for sharing so much insight with us! 

R) Thank you for this opportunity.

 Please be sure to visit Roberts site ArtbyQ

Art by Karena

Thank you to all of my readers and followers. Please leave a comment, I always appreciate your thoughts and feedback !


Ann said...

Excellent questions, Karena.
And an interesting artist to check out!


Splendid Sass said...

Wow, Karena! Great interview!
Thanks for sharing this artist. I love his paintings. Very interesting and different.
Hope that you have a great weekend.

M.A.the2nd said...

Dear Karena ... this is stunning! How beautiful is the art and a great interview...... I hope you are well and Happy New Year!

hugs Frances xxxx

Kerry @ Design du Monde said...

You know I love to hear about and see the work of different artists. Very nice. Now according to the advice, I need to get busy :)

Katherines Corner said...

Wonderful interview questions. His artwork is amazing.Smooches and hugs and wishes for a beautiful weekend xo

Anonymous said...

Very cool and such an interesting interview. So many artists start out with doodling!! Funny, how even at a young age their creativity shines through. xo

My Notting Hill said...

I love hearing about how much he doodled as a kid. My son was contstantly getting in trouble for doing that in school. The saturated colors he uses in his work are beautiful.

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

I love to read about artists and what inspires them. I actually set up a category on my blog..., so I can feature more artists as well. Have a great weekend!!!!

martinealison said...

Un interview très intéressant...
gros bisous

Alison @ The Polohouse said...

Great interview, Karena!
Love that blue one donated to the KC Jewish Museum.

Have a great weekend!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I LOVE THAR ARCHANGEL SCULPTURE!!!!! I am becoming a minimalist in my OLDER YEARS and just those wings is enough for me. Karena dearest, thank you for visiting me today! Have a cozy day! Anita

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

A great interview. I love to hear what makes artists "tick". The quote "If making art is your passion, go after it. Don’t wait for anything. ..........., “Inspiration is for amateurs…Get to work!”
One could apply this to any passion. I had better get my camera out and my French text book toute de suite!
Bonne semaine.

P.S.Been away from my computer this week - time is too tight.

peggy braswell said...

Thank you for visiting me on the blog + your sweet commentm means so much to me.

La Petite Gallery said...

Some great art, good post.
Karena, I have done some research on that castle and also the EARL.
Tune in Monday for details on Downton Abbey..

Millie said...

Now there's a man who's life's work chose him. A lovely interview & insight Karena, thank you.
Millie xx

Decor To Adore said...

It is so interesting to read what inspires artists.

This is a fabulous series my friend!

michelle said...

Beautiful work and interesting interview, it sounds like he was destined to be doing what he is doing.

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

An interesting interview, and I do admire his work. Have a great week Karena. XO, Mona

Anonymous said...

The colors in his work are so vibrant, so fresh. Thanks for the introduction to such a talented artist.
xo E + J

Collette Osuna said...

I love abstract art...and Roberts' is fantastic!!

Thanks for introducing us to him:)

Happy Monday!

A Lifestyle Blog where Fashion, Décor & Cooking “connect”

Diana Mieczan said...

I loved reading this interview, my dear. Brilliant! Have a lovely Monday. xo

24 Corners said...

Wonderful interview Karena! For me, there's nothing more fascinating than getting inside the mind and heart of an artist, they are my most favorite type of interviews...thank you!!
xo J~

Acanthus and Acorn said...

How wonderful that you feature your local artist and allow us to be introduced to work we may never have seen. Wonderful interview!

Renée Finberg said...

i am running to the site.
great post!!


Debbiedoo's blogging and blabbing said...

What a great interview Karena. Interesting to learn, I am going to check it out.

Paisley Curtain said...

Thanks for introducing another Kansas City area artist. Since I have lived in Kansas City it is my town too. I am 5 hour drive away from KC, would love to see his work in person on my next visit.

Stacy Curran said...

This was a Greta interview! I don't know a lot about art, but I love coming to your blog to learn more!

Couture Carrie said...

Beautiful work!
Love this post!


Fairfield House said...


Thank you for introducing us to Robert Quakenbush and his art. I love that he knew his purpose and followed his passion at a young age. I am especially drawn to his Archangel sculpture. Chuck Close's quote made me smile. {Stop by and see what inspired me to paint again -- "Been'trest" and Soaring Spirit posts}

Your Friend,

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

Fabulous interview!!!

Guess what? I have a huge suprise I think you will love at the end of today's bookshelf post :)

drollgirl said...

i love the first painting! it is fabulous! a teeny tiny bit reminiscent of ed ruscha's work, but not really.

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

Wonderful interview...thanks for sharing it with us.


Calypso In The Country said...

I love to hear how artists get their starts and what inspires them! Great interview! Thanks also for stopping by to comment on my future office!

pve design said...

Prolific, that is one word that comes to mind when I think of you. You are always so kind to leave so many comments.

traci zeller designs said...

Fantastic, Karena! I am thrilled to know about Robert!!

✿ⒹⒺⒺ✿@ A Lapin Life said...

Hi Karena,

Very sweet questions! I adore art and it's sounds like Robert enjoys what he creates. I feel his passion!


tiny dancer said...

Great artist interview, I really enjoyed reading this. As a paintings conservator, I have conducted artist interviews and I really like seeing how others approach them. I just love learning more about artists and their methods and inspiration. Fab blog! Thanks for visiting mine <3

Blog Archive