July 11, 2016 

"ION Rail Worker"

10 x 8  inches Oil on Board 

 

( Portrait)  

    An L.R.T. (Light Rapid Transit) system is being built in Kitchener & Waterloo. Being interested in such things, that is, interested in railroading; I am drawn to the artistic opportunities such efforts bring. 

Here a worker is adjusting the pins (not spikes) that will hold the rail to the ties.      

 

Posted by Robert July 112, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 30, 2014 

"Central Presbyterian Church"

10 x 17.5  inches Oil on Slate   

 

( Architecture)  

    This architectural painting of the Central Presbyterian Church in Cambridge  Ontario (built in 1880),  is painted upon one of its slate roofing tiles.    

 

Posted by Robert July 30, 2014

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April 3, 2014 

"Ancient Egyptian Glyph"

4 x 3 inches Oil on hard board   

 

( Painting a day Category)  

    This Ancient Egyptian symbol, called "Ankh" was often shown on tomb and temple walls being offered to the Pharaoh as the "breath of life". It was said to be associated with the life giving and regenerative qualities of air and water. The Ankh, was a potent amulet throughout all of Egyptian history in part because it served more as a symbol and decorative element than a linguistic one. In the early Christian era, the Coptic Period, the Ankh survived as a symbol called the crux ansata, the handled or "eyed" cross.        *Reading Egyptian Art by Richard H. Wilkinson

The colours chosen for this painting where typically tinted to capture those  employed upon the temple walls in Egypt. An Egyptian blue Ankh in a field of Yellow ochre, had significant meaning . . . I could go on but this is not the place for long dissertations.   

 

Posted by Robert April 3, 2014

 

 

February 12, 2014 

"Memory Friend"

5 x 6 inches Oil on canvas mounted to hard board   

 

( Painting a day Category)  

    I remember this little Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera being used by my parents back in the 1950's and 60's. The photograph in this painting was taken in 1957 of a 3 year old on his tricycle. Yes, that 3 year old was me. 

Posted by Robert Feb 12, 2014

$130.00

 

 

February 3, 2014 

"Purple Marble"

5 x 6 inches Oil on canvas mounted to hard board   

 

( Painting a day Category)  

     The light cast through this marble gave me quite the challenge.   My eyes were clearly observing a reddish purple from the marble  set up in front of me, but all I could mix up was a blue purple. Eventually I came upon a combination of Winsor Violet (Dioxazine), Magenta, and Ultra Marine Blue + Zink White to get an approximate match.  When observing the natural world our eyes see subtleties in colour that are not always possible to capture in the painted film . . . or upon the digital sensor of a camera.  After taking a picture of the completed painting I had to go into Photoshop and manually tint the red back into it. 

Posted by Robert Feb 3, 2014

$130.00

 

 

 

January 3, 2014 

"On the Beach"

6 x 8 inches Oil on canvas mounted to hard board   

 

( Landscape Category)  
 

First painting of the new year is a small quick study, the scene of course is a familiar one for anyone who's lived or vacationed on an island near the equator, the young woman in the red bikini might be indicative of the dream of many a young man . . . stranded on a deserted Island with a pretty woman . . . but alas my motives here were strictly technical, I was thinking of focal points, brush strokes, lost edges and other painterly quests.      

Posted by Robert January 4, 2014

 

 

 

December 10, 2013 

"2013 Christmas Card"

5.5 x 8.5 inches pencil on illustration board   

 

( Portrait Category)  
 

This years Christmas card is a focus upon our faces. In the human face and most particularly through the eyes, the heart and light of the soul may be perceived. From my family to you and yours, may Christmas fill your heart with a warm and loving light!  ~ Robert Isler Wanka  

Posted by Robert December17, 2013

In the Artists Collection

 

 

 

December 3, 2013 

"Locomotive 47"

10 x 12 inches oil on Linen mounted to hardboard   

 

( Portrait Category)  
 

There is something wonderfully iconic about the business end of a North American Steam Locomotive! Built in 1914 this former Canadian National Railway steam engine #47 now rests in Scranton PA. In this painting, she's under steam and looking as active and spry as she did back in 1954. 

 

However, that is not how I found her when I visited Scranton this summer. I chose to paint her not as the cold rusting hulk she has become. As I stood there marveling up at this old survivor with its pealed paint, rust and a peculiar lean  - as though she had a flat tire -  I still felt the thrill of that wonderful iconic look. In my mindís eye I could see her cleaned up, straightened up and under steam, so that is how I painted her.    

Posted by Robert December 3, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 21, 2013 

"Along the Beach"

8 x 6  inches oil on canvas mounted to hardboard   

 

( Landscape Category)

 


 Posted by Robert November 21, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 14, 2013 

"Steam Along the Bow River"

24 x 36  inches oil on stretched canvas   

 

( Landscape Category)

 

An interesting thing about the addition of the cowboy into this painting was the comment I received from a friend who had only heard that I was about to begin a commission with a train in it, He said, "you know I always thought it interesting that steam trains were still around and working right up until the late 1950's, I kind of associate them with the old west, you know, cowboys and such".

I chuckled and then told him, "yea, I've got one of those in the painting as well".
 

 

Posted by Robert November 15, 2013

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August 30, 2013 

"Clinging in the Light"

12 x 10  inches oil on canvas mounted to hardboard  

 

( Landscape Category)

 

In the Gorge at Watkins Glen, I noticed these tiny flowers clinging to the rock face. Delicate and fleeting is their moment in the sun and yet this cycle of life has repeated itself for tens of thousands of years. There is a deep sense of continuance here; the water moving through the gorge had worn down deep into Earths sedimentary past. According to geologists, 380 million years into that past. 

 

As I stood there observing this scene, I intuitively understood that time was like a dance, it was matter in motion, moving to a rhythm as delicate and fresh as these lovely flowers.

Posted by Robert August 30, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 29, 2013 

"Late Afternoon Marina"

16 x 12  inches oil on linen mounted to hardboard  

 

( Landscape Category)

 

It was late afternoon at the City Pier on the Canandaigua Lake in New York State when I spied this delightful scene. My lovely wife and I and some good friends had been on a week long trip in the finger lakes area and this was our last stop before heading back to Canada.

 

I've always wanted to do a painting of boats at a marina, something about them trips thoughts of pleasant times within me even though I'm not a "boat" or water kind of guy. Nevertheless I have always loved the craftsmanship that goes into the making of ships (or boats), must be memories of another life perhaps. 

Posted by Robert August 29, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 6, 2013 

"Gorge"

20 x 16  inches oil on canvas mounted to hardboard  

 

( Landscape Category)

 

The Gorge at Watkins Glen State Park  is the subject of this painting.  

It is rather fascinating what water can do over long periods of time to sedimentary rock. As I stood and observed this scene it wasn't difficult to imagined the ages that have passed in its making. 

 

Posted by Robert August 6, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 2, 2013 

"British Soldier 1812"

12 x 10  inches oil on canvas mounted to hardboard  

 

( Portrait Category)

 

A few days ago I was visiting Fort George beside the town of Niagara on the Lake.  There were actors dressed up in period costume, scullery maids and soldiers. I was impressed by the historical knowledge these actors possessed about this British fort and the people who manned it before and during the war of 1812. 

As I listened and read what life in those days of Duty, God and King were like, I realized just how tough it was to live then. If you were so inclined, you would have joined the army when you were 16 and unless you suffered the misfortune of poor health or death, you were in it for 21 years. The pay was low and the risk to life and limb high. I suppose that the gun, the snappy uniform and the sense of belonging to a potent force were good enough compensation when you were young but what were your prospects as you got older. For the enlisted man those prospects were not only extremely limited, they were positively grim for you, your wife, if you had one, and any children that came along.    

Posted by Robert August 2, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 29, 2013 

"The Old Thornbury Train Bridge"

12 x 20  inches oil on canvas mounted to hardboard  

 

( Landscape Category)

 

Built to last, this relic from another age still stands over the Beaver River in the town of Thornbury Ontario. It now serves as a walking/biking bridge. What cannot be seen here, is the other half of this bridge which, interestingly enough, is a trestle bridge made from massive wooden beams. 

Quite often the stark contrast of things can cause one to pause and take notice. That is what caught my eye when I found myself at waters edge looking up at concrete pylon and steel beams which compose part of the Bridge over this river. Contrast marks the differences in things, beautiful or not so beautiful, natural or not so natural. When you are aware of contrast you just cannot fail to notice the relationship between the subtle and the extreme, what pleases you and what does not . . . then you choose where your painters eye shall rest.   

Posted by Robert July 29, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 2, 2013 

"Across the Bridge"

16 x 12  inches oil on canvas mounted to hardboard  

 

( Landscape Category)

 

The Thornbury Train/walking Bridge looking across it towards the Blue Mountains.    

Posted by Robert July 2, 2013

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July 1, 2013 

"Bridge View"

16 x 20  inches oil on canvas mounted to hardboard  

 

( Landscape Category)

 

Looking West from the old Train Bridge over the Beaver River in Thornbury.  That is Georgian Bay between the trees.  

 

 

Posted by Robert July 1, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 4, 2013 

"The Crows Nest"

11 x 12  inches oil on canvas mounted to hardboard  

 

( Landscape Category)

The sky, a bird, and the top of a lofty tree from which to observe the world . . . sometimes I feel like I would like to observe the world that way.  

 

Posted by Robert June 4, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 30, 2013 

"Fishing & Relaxing/Thornbury"

12 x 16  inches oil on canvas mounted to hardboard  

 

( Landscape Category)

Thornbury Ontario is a happening town, a place that offers relaxation in the summer and skiing during the winter months at the nearby Blue Mountains. the place is  full of great subjects to paint and equally great places to eat as well as some very nice art galleries to visit. When I came upon this scene on one of my visits there, I kind of thought this sort of summed up the relaxation part of the Thornbury equation.   

 

Posted by Robert May 30, 2013

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May 23, 2013 

"Spring Tulips"

6 x 9  inches oil on canvas mounted to hardboard  

 

( Still Life Category)

 

The moment I observed this scene at a dinner party, I knew that it would make an interesting painting. Of course it was the effect of the light upon the etched patterns in the glass vase and that incredible background colour which caught my attention. 

A relatively simple scene and yet the challenge for  me was not to replicate the details but rather to  paint the essence of the impression that this subject made upon me. Now that's the trick, and the art of it!    

Posted by Robert May 23, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 16, 2013 

"Barn on Yellow"

16 x 12  inches oil on canvas mounted to hardboard  

 

( Landscape  Category)

I had spied this barn or shed, some weeks ago while driving on the outskirts of town. The texture of old barn board weathered and all was very much something that interested me. How would I go about painting an impression of that interest? When I drove out there yesterday to study and consider that question with more than words, I found myself quite surprised to find this barn surrounded by a carpet of yellow flowers . . . the proverbial dandelion every lawn owners nightmare. 

However, as I witnessed it yesterday morning, these flowers at this time of the year, were absolutely lovely, not to mention such a wonderful contrast to the blue of the sky. You just never know where your impression of things are going to go when you set down to paint them, as always, it is a surprise and very often, a very delightful one.

Posted by Robert May 16, 2013

 

 

 

 

May 9, 2013 

"Red Truck"

10 x 8  inches oil on canvas mounted to hardboard 

 

( Portrait Category)

I can't help but find scenes such as this old rusting truck, a visual delight in weathering and texture. Once, not really all that long ago, this was a shining new machine just off the line . . . but in time and with use things start drifting to what one finds here, character oozing out of every dent, faded flaking paint chip and creeping rust spot. Then, just like an old Mayan temple, the plant kingdom moves in and slowly but surly, along with wind and rain, unmakes the thing . . .  .

 

Posted by Robert May 9 2013

 

 

 

 

 

May 7, 2013

"Chipping Sparrow"

5 x 6  inches oil on canvas mounted to hardboard 

( Portrait Category)

Wild birds intrigue me. This 5 inch sparrow is  all business at the bird feeder outside of my kitchen window, and yet alert and aware that I was watching him. It's this kind of presence of mind, of being "aware of ones surroundings and in the moment," that I think we could learn from. So often we humans walk around worrying about the future and regretting the past that we quite often forget about paying attention to the here and now.

Posted by Robert May 7 2013

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March 26, 2013

 

"Sunset Crescent"

14 x 10  inches oil on canvas mounted to hardboard

( Landscape Category)

Clouds, what are they? A scientist might describe them as the engine of Earths weather system, or  water  vapor  that settles on dust particles in the atmosphere. This description while true, does not describe  their affect upon  the human eye and mind, or upon our emotions. Who among us hasn't looked up on occasion and noticed the play of light and shadow taking place there in the clouds?  More poignant though is this, who hasn't felt the drama of that play and been amazed by the churning visual artistry therein?  

Another point of interest is Earthís moon, bound by invisible gravitational forces it moves silently across a day or night sky, a celestial figure so familiar to us as to become almost ordinary.  When the moon is full, there is something eerily enchanting in its cool pail reflective light upon glittering waters and twilit lands. In this painting, the crescent moon adds yet another layer to natureís subtle sky drama and mystery all around.  

posted by Robert March 28, 2013

 

 

 

Friday February 22, 2013

 

"Tulips under Lamp"

 

8 x 10  inches oil on linen mounted to hardboard 

 

  ( Still Life Category)

 

This bowl along with the tulips and glass pebbles in it, were originally part of a wedding table arrangement. I thought it would make a nice artistic subject and so I asked if we might bring it home with us. Of course the answer was yes and this was how I set it up at our home.

This scene was painted by direct observation, meaning no photographs were used as reference. The ambient light in our dining room was not what I would call the best, In the dimness I was hard pressed to see my canvas and pallet well enough to mix and place the correct colours. However, I persevered and the result was this lovely painting. Incidentally when we brought this unique flower arrangement home the tulips were closed, over the course of the two and one half days of painting this scene, the flowers opened and I had to alter them as you see them here . . . 

 

posted by Robert February 23, 2013

 

 

 

 

Sunday February 17, 2013

 

"Day After the Snow Storm"

18 x 14  inches oil on canvas mounted to hardboard 

 

( Landscape Category)

 

Three days after the snow storm I saw this scene on our way to St. Louise church in Waterloo. Now I have to say this, winter is not my favorite time of the year but one can't help but be struck by the quiet majesty of frost covered trees and the ethereal quality of the atmosphere on days such as this one.  

posted by Robert February 18, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday February 14, 2013

 

"Evening After The Snow Storm"

10 x 12  inches oil on linen mounted to hardboard 

 

As I walked our dog Bombay, in this winter wonderland that only a few hours earlier was snow- less, I could not help but be struck by the interesting play of colour and light here.  Over the course of a few evenings I consigned that play to memory. Through close observation, notes, and photography I was able to capture the essence of "Evening After The Snow Storm". 

( Landscape Category)

 

posted by Robert February 14, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday February 8, 2013

 

"Dove in Snow"

5.5 x 6  inches oil on canvas mounted to hardboard 

 

In the round. The whole world is a circle . . . and so it was as I observed this morning dove sitting contentedly in the snow below our bird feeder, the idea of life cycles of eggs and orbs struck me as something to consider in a painting. 

( Portrait Category)

 

posted by Robert February 13, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday February 4, 2013 

 

"Highway Clouds"

18 x14 inches oil on canvas mounted to hardboard

 

Roads do more than provide a quick way to get from here to there, they suggest the linear nature of our human mind set. We think in terms of journeys, of beginnings and endings and the straighter the line, meaning the fewer obstacles, deviations, in getting there, the better. It is in the everyday things of our lives that one might be surprised to discover hints of beauty or suggestions of depth and majesty. Next time you are driving along a highway someplace, perhaps on a dreary day such as this one, look up at the sky and you just might catch a glimpse of another way of seeing the world, a way that is non linear. 

( Landscape Category)

 

posted by Robert February 13, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday January 29, 2013 

 

"Thornbury Sundown"  

10 x 8  inches oil on toned canvas mounted to hardboard 

 

( Landscape Category)

 

Sunsets, who isn't impressed by the most spectacular of them? 

 

And yet there is something spectacular even in the subtle play of the suns setting light upon what one might think of as a rather ordinary vantage point.  If you are open to looking and becoming aware of those subtleties, you just may find yourself equally impressed as I was when this scene caught my attention.

   

posted by Robert February 13, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday January 27, 2013 

 

"Barn Door"

10 x 8 inches oil on canvas mounted to hardboard

 

 ( Landscape Category)

 

Time, and weathering can lend character to the things of this world like nothing else. Substitute those two words with challenge  and experience and you get something like this old door . . . a survivor.  

 

posted by Robert February 13, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday January 26, 2013 

 

"Bridge Over Icy Water"

16 x 12 inches oil on canvas mounted to hardboard

 

( Landscape Category)

 

 In the world of fairytales Trolls live under bridges, but in the real world I found mystery and a quiet beauty under this one.  

 

 

posted by Robert February 13, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday January 21, 2013 

 

"Flower Stove"

12 x 10  inches oil on linen mounted to hardboard

 

( Still Life Category)

 

 

posted by Robert February 13, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday January 16, 2013

 

"Road Reflections"

8 x 6  inches oil on canvas mounted to hardboard 

 

Inspiration, where does it come from? Is it the best of things, events and people who cause us to feel such a sensation, as to be "inspired?"  

 

Perhaps there is some of that.

 

I was in a state of inspiration when I painted this rather ordinary scene, a state of insight that saw the best of things in the ordinary. 

( Landscape Category)

posted by Robert February 13, 2013

 

 

 

 

Tuesday January 15, 2013 

 

"Winter Melt"

8 x 6  inches oil on canvas mounted to hardboard

 

As I drove along the narrow back road leading from the town of Conestoga to the city of Waterloo I happened upon this striking scene. Light upon a wet road at this time of the year can be blinding and a nuisance while driving, but not this day. 

( Landscape Category)

posted by Robert February 13, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday December 31, 2012 

 

"Dappled Flowers"

14 x 10  inches oil on canvas mounted to hardboard 

 

While visiting friends in the town of Thornbury this summer, I could not but help notice the wonderful array of flowers planted around their home. This particular arrangement stood at the foot of the stairs leading up to the front deck. The dappled sunlight through the cedars that stood to the left played whimsically upon the paving stones, cedar stairs and flowers alike . . . a painting of my impression of that moment ensued.  

 

( Landscape Category)

 

posted by Robert February 13, 2013

 

 

 

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