Oil Painters of America named Robert Goldman First Place for his painting “Southern Utah Fall” in their annual Showcase Award Winners. The painting will be featured in Goldman’s annual exhibition at the “Maynard Dixon Country Revisited” showing, beginning May 14, 2022, and continuing through September.
This annual showing will feature 26 new images depicting Utah and Arizona where Maynard Dixon lived and worked. For his fourth solo show at the Maynard Dixon Legacy Museum, it seems fitting to revisit locations from earlier shows and to feature new scenery. The paintings in this show include areas in southern and central Utah and northern Arizona.
In early October 2021, a painting trip with members of Plein Air Painters of America in southern Utah resulted in several new paintings. Later that month his fellow artist Ray Roberts painted in the same areas of Utah and also visited the Vermilion Cliffs where the sunrises and sunsets are quite spectacular.
We have been so pleased to sponsor Goldman during the last three years. When we began in 2019, the Grand Canyon anniversary was a natural. Now success has caused us to repeat. Maynard Dixon Country is the name established in 2000, when our journey here began.
We asked Robert a few interesting questions about his art:
When did you first know you wanted to be an artist?
I knew I wanted to be an artist at the age of eight. I thought that maybe by the time I was 65 years old I would amount to something because I heard artists usually hit their peak in later years.
Who was the first artist you knew about or remember?
Our mom was an aspiring artist, so I guess that was where the idea originally came from. I have an older brother and sister, and a younger brother. Danny was the oldest and was working on his MFA at UCLA. My younger brother Ken and I both looked up to him as a role model. Our mom always emphasized the importance in being an artist. At the ages of 12 and 13, our mom took us to her life drawing sketch group taught by an artist named Sheldon Schoneberg. That was the first time we experienced a real artist’s studio (model and all.)
Tell us about your first encounter with a paint brush.
My first encounter with paint was not with a brush, but with my fingers smearing paint around in nursery school. I loved playing with the paint and was intrigued by all the color combinations I could come up with. It was 1968 when I painted my first outdoor oil painting, which was a modest 48x48 inch painting. I had no clue what I was in for at that time, and now if I do a 12x16 outdoors it feels large to me.
What was your family most interested in for you to be when you grew up?
We were encouraged to follow our artistic interests, but my father had other ideas. Knowing full well the challenges an aspiring artist faces, he did his best to encourage my brother and I to eventually take over the family garment manufacturing business. Art proved to be the more compelling choice for us.
Who is your most interesting mentor or teacher?
I have always felt that there was so much to learn in the field of art, so I have a very long list of artists that have helped me along the way. My brother Ken encouraged me to join him at San Diego City College to study commercial art with Harvey Adams. Because of this valuable and practical training, I was able to get a job at an ad agency doing production art, airbrush touch up work, architectural illustration, some product illustration. Ken and I also used this training to complete numerous mural projects in Arizona and San Diego. The commercial art class portfolio helped me get into the Art Center College of Design with advanced standing (started in the sixth semester). Ray Vinella, Taos, N.M., was the first teacher to show me the basics of outdoor on the spot painting. From there I continued to study with artists who specialized in landscape painting. It was an honor to be able to study with Wolf Kahn and Wayne Thiebaud who stressed the importance of painting with a reverence for the artists that came before us and to also stay in the moment and reflect a contemporary attitude. Along with landscape painters Matt Smith and Phil Starke, plus Bill Anton and Ned Jacob, the artist who has had the greatest influence on me has been my Art Center colleague Ray Roberts.
Why did you choose bright contrasting colors for your palette?
As far as I can remember, the complementary combination of blue and orange seemed to play a prominent role in my work. Perhaps it is my way of expressing internal emotions. Over the years my interest in relatively strong color has continued. I have introduced more subtlety using greys, tints and some muted tones to set off the stronger chromatic range, but there is a certain level of color that I am comfortable with, and if the painting does not have at least a hint of strident color, then I feel that the painting is incomplete.
Academics aside, where did you find your most challenging quest?
I have always welcomed challenges and the desire to fulfill my goals and visions. That mindset requires perseverance which is one quality I was born with. As a kid there was a swimming competition to see who could swim the most laps and I did not quit until there were no other swimmers. Art in general has been my most challenging quest because it requires belief in oneself and the ability to fulfill your vision.
All art, abstract, modern or representational: if you could own any art, who, what would it be?
I have a wide range of interests when it comes to the appreciation of art. Any style is good as long as it represents the best example of that genre.
How do you want to be remembered fifty years from now?
I hope to be remembered as someone who felt deeply about the visual world and left some beauty for future generations to appreciate.
The Maynard Dixon Legacy Museum hours are daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and is located at 2200 South State Street in Mt. Carmel.