Robert Phelps started his artistic career by being a decorative painter at Disney, mainly painting interesting scenes and doing caricature work. He progressed onto becoming a Fine Artist, doing exhibitions since 1996. His subject matter is of vibrant and uniquely coloured figures, both portraits of humans and animals.
I have decided to research into Robert Phelps as I felt his focus on animals and colour relates to my ideas for my project nicely and I could benefit from trying out his methods of applying paint onto a surface. His works have an Expressionist or Fauvist style which I find interesting as I have researched these terms throughout art history and I could benefit by researching these further.
I like the fact that Robert Phelps doesn’t limit himself to one type/group of animals and I feel that I should try to do studies of a range of animals rather than just farm animals although this will involve going to places like zoos to gain primary evidence which I will have to arrange in my free time.
I couldn’t gain access to good quality pictures of Robert Phelps work due to security on the website so I took a screenshot. Although the image isn’t a great quality, this painting relates to my project through the use of the goat and a sense of being in an enclosure. I particularly feel that the combinations of bright and dark colours create a great balance and makes the image very captivating.
Although this painting has a lot more realistic colours, it still has small strokes of colour which add depth and make the audience want to spend more time looking at the painting. An interesting quality of Robert Phelps work is the range of backgrounds and environments which the animals are in, making me wonder if he has a lot of access to different animal attractions or whether he works from photographs.
https://www.youtube.com/shorts/EaFovmt0JUs – short video of Robert Phelps working on some paintings. I decided to include this video as it shows that he likes to use his fingers to apply paint as well as brushes which I think is a really interesting method as it can add texture and make the artist literally a part of their work. I also found out through the description of the video that he likes to experiment with ‘alla prima painting’ which is a wet on wet paint technique that allows you to produce work in a spontaneous style without too much perfectionism.