During my thirty plus years in the gallery business it is always wonderful to be moved by great works of art, and the iconic creations of Hill Country artist Robert Pummill do just that. He has drawn our emotion to the forefront and captivated our senses through his masterful homage to the land, the skies, and historic Texas. Bob searches for the exceptional in each painting he conceives; each canvas allows the viewers to lose themselves in the sophisticated depiction of the land he loves.
Bob has given himself the artistic freedom most artists yearn for, but never quite achieve. In his almost eight decades on Earth he has become an American Master of his craft and is at the peak of his creativity. After years of participating in museum exhibitions and artist organizations he has allowed himself to retire from these pressures and paint for himself for the past fourteen years. This rare gift was not luck, but methodically achieved through discipline and commitment as he strode hand in hand with his wife Shirley for over fifty years. They have done it together with all the ups and downs the art world casts their way, and through those years they have done good business, invested well, raised a family and stayed the course. They have cultivated a freedom allowing Bob’s artistic passion to flow and reveal itself in each painting.
Now entirely without deadlines, Bob can be found in his studio seven days a week committing the subjects of his choosing to canvas. Bob’s great understanding of composition and color along with great drawing take his paintings to a new level in the legacy of Texas fine art. His study and depiction of the old West and art history have always been an integral part of his life-long desire to learn more about his predecessors and the West. He is knowledgably aware of the great Texas artists who came before him, such names as Julian Onderdonk (1882-1922), Porfirio Salinas (1910-1973), Frank Reaugh (1860-1945), Tom Lea (1907-2001) and others who have captured and left their legacy of the land. Bob however leads us into the 21st century of Texas fine art with masterful creations of a scale never grasped before. His search for the landscape aesthetic is vastly different from many of today’s artists who not only paint from photographs, but at times paint over enlarged prints on canvas, composed and captured by the camera. Bob Pummill creates a unique drama found in his mind’s eye, giving life to his works with all he has studied in the natural world. We do not know how fortunate we are to enjoy this man in our lifetime.
As Bob goes on to create for the next decade or two, he can embrace what he is and has been part of and enjoy the reflection of a life well lived. Whether it is the aesthetic beauty of the Texas hill country or the sublime drama of the trail driving era, Bob throws down the gauntlet for those who attempt to capture the grandeur of his beloved Texas. For all of us who are lucky enough to be part of his world of truly fine art, from dealers to collectors to connoisseurs, we wait with anticipation to see what next comes off his easel.
-Bill Rey, Claggett/Rey Gallery Owner