By Lucinda Sue Crosby
Since our ancient brothers and sisters illuminated cave walls with renderings of their physical and spiritual worlds, art has been a powerful instrument of communication. Through a combination of color, shading, personal emotional truth and a uniquely filtered aesthetic eye, accomplished artists have revealed our lives – even our souls to us in unexpected and often haunting ways.
Enter Robert R. Bradshaw, multi award-winning artist and noted cultural commentator. With confident nuance and highly developed taste muscles, Bradshaw delivers whimsical yet passionate work like a magician with a wand. Through a painstaking process that requires fresh experimentation with each new subject, he recreates literary, historical, and societal references from his luxuriant imagination via a demanding protocol he invented. Finishing touches include Prismacolor pencils and oil sticks and acrylic inks. In a color palette that evokes summer in Provence, the resulting work of art is not unlike a mural technique known as scraffito on an intimate scale.
A particular fan of ravens, toucans, umbrellas and elegant women in veiled hats, Bradshaw’s work is like drama unfolding, complete with movement and personality. His singular vision imposes fully realized images, complete with a backstory, on your mind’s eye. For example, here are his comments regarding his recent illustration called La Duquesa De Toleda. This character has a past,” Bradshaw explained. She was originally a servant girl with the soul of a princess standing in front of the mansion where she worked. Then she was found in Umbria, Italy under an immense nine-sided umbrella in front of a stormy background. In her current incarnation, she is the owner, not the servant…I figure there are people who like a story on the wall as much as an abstract or seascape.”
A former student of illustration and commercial art at the Art Institute of Chicago, Robert R. Bradshaw cites John Singer Sargent, N.C. Wyeth and every American illustrator since the 1950’s” as his primary influences. Bradshaw has been a member of the Artists Council of the Palm Springs Art Museum since 2003.
He is currently represented by Woodman/Shimko Gallery located at
1105 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA 92262