Robert Krogle, American painter, was born in Santa Monica, California. After high school Robert applied to Chouinard Art Institute of Los Angeles and was accepted but after two years was called to duty by the California Army National Guard. He spent five and a half months in Vietnam and was awarded the bronze star and purple heart for his service. Upon returning to civilian life, Robert completed his last two years of art education in 1970.
Within a year of graduation Robert was working at Rosenfeld, Palombi and Dilts, an art studio in downtown Los Angeles. He illustrated for many prestigious companies such as Microsoft, Continental Airlines and Mattel toys. In 1973 he decided to start his own studio, freelancing for the movie, recording and theme park industries. During his 31 years as a top illustrator Robert had representation in Los Angeles, Denver, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Atlanta and has received many awards from the Los Angeles and New York Societies of Art. He has lectured at Long Beach State University, Laguna School of Fine Art and has been a guest instructor at Art Center School of Design in Pasadena, California.
In 1992 Robert moved to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Within a few years of moving to Coeur d’ Alene, Robert decided to make the predictable transition from commercial art to fine art. He wanted to continue to evolve as a creative person and continue to draw inspiration from his fellow artists and his natural surroundings.
“The Window Seat” , Robert Krogle, 24″ x 18″, oil
If you have never heard of contemporary impressionist oil painter Robert Krogle, I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you. If you are aware of Robert Krogle and his work, please read on, as he comments on his education, his influences, and his art…
Robert Krogle – Contemporary Impressionist
“Twisted Oak at Peppertree Ranch” Robert Krogle, oil 22″ x 28″
A rich and distinctive palette, expressive brush strokes, and soft edges that show themselves and then disappear, are just the beginning of the fun when viewing a Robert Krogle painting.
I first became aware of Robert Krogle and his art at a western art show I attended several years ago. He had a booth with a few of his paintings on hand, and he was busy working on a painting. I remember thinking to myself at the time that this guy is serious about what he is doing, he is a professional, and there sure were a lot of people stopping by his booth to check out his work.
Since that time I have seen many more of his paintings, witnessed people admire and purchase them, and learned that Robert Krogle is an artist that more people should know about. You can view many more paintings by Robert Krogle, and find out what galleries he is represented by at is website, RobertKrogle.com
Recently I asked Mr. Krogle if he would let me interview him for CashArtBlog, and he gracioulsy accepted. We did the Q&A through email, and here’s how it went…
CS – On your official Robert Krogle website, you mention that you went to Chouinard Art Institute of Los Angeles. Can you talk a little about your education there, and what you wanted to accomplish professionally once you were done with college?
Robert Krogel – ”Chouinard Art Institute (of Los Angeles – a private art school) no longer exists. It was bought by the Disney Corporation a few years after I left in 1970 and is now known as California Institute of the Arts today. It had a wonderful combination of commercial art and fine art curriculum. My goal was to be a commercial artist ( which lasted 31 years), but my experience there made the transition to fine art (about 11 years ago) a very seamless one. The school’s mission was to teach conceptual thinking along with basic creative skills.”
CS – If I have this right, you started as an illustrator before becoming an easel painter. Can you talk about your illustration career a little bit, how long you were an illustrator, and what you liked or didn’t like about it?
Robert Krogel -”After leaving Chouinard, I went to work at an art studio (most of which don’t exist today) in downtown LA. After two years there I started freelancing with (reps – agents) in most of the larger art markets such as New York, Chicago and Denver. I did illustrations for the movie, recording and travels industries, theme parks and major toy companies. A very rewarding career, but lacking in one thing, the human factor. I find today, as a fine artist (oil painter), I am dealing with people more directly and getting a human response to my work as compared to working for art directors, (illustration) most of whom I never met.”
CS – When and why did you leave illustration to become a fine art painter?
Robert Krogle – “I officially became an oil painter in 2000. A combination of a shrinking commercial art market going digital at the time, versus a growing fine art market with new challenges and a chance to continue to express myself with traditional tools (paint brush and pencil) made the transition inevitable.”
CS – How would you define your painting style?
Robert Krogel – ”I am an Impressionist – a style that resulted in researching why John Singer Sargent and Juaquin Sorolla (impressionist oil painters) have such energy and movement in their paintings as compared to realism and other forms. I was very much the realist as a commercial artist – it was time for a change.”
CS – How has your painting style evolved over the last several years, and were any changes in your painting style deliberate, or more sub-conscious?
Robert Krogel – ”If my painting style has changed at all it is because I have a better understanding of what I see when I paint, and most importantly, looking at familiar subject matter as a beautifully arranged collection of colored shapes. My goal is to be better at the fundamental disciplines – drawing, composition, color harmony, values and edges – the rest will result in my painting “personality.”
CS – What do you like the most about being a painter? Robert Krogel – ”I most enjoy the freedom to express myself with passion and make a living at it – how many people can say, “I really want to do this every day.” CS – What do you like least?
Robert Krogel – “There is absolutely nothing about the creative process that I don’t get excited about because I have complete control of that process. What I would hope is that people (artists and collectors) would challenge themselves to discover that criteria (and it does exist) which allows them to make more informed decisions about what is masterful artwork and what lies beneath.”
CS – Can you talk about your current work and what you are doing in your studio?
Robert Krogel – “Currently I am painting for three, year-end, “small works shows” – (different galleries) and beginning to think about my submissions for the C.M. Russell Show in Great Falls, Montana – probably my most important show of the year. My next show is the Fred Oldfield Art Show (mid-October). I just recently returned from South Dakota, where I took about 2000 pictures of cowboy and Indian “models” in a western environment (a local ranch) for future reference in my paintings.”
CS – Who have been some of your artistic influences in your career?
Robert Krogel – ”At the top of my list of painters who most influence me are Sargent, Sorolla, Zorn, Richard Schmid and just about all of the new wave of Chinese artists who carry the kind of “discipline” necessary to create masterful works.”
CS – I know you show your work in galleries and you also do certain art shows through out the year. How many art shows do you participate in any given year, and do you enjoy the traveling, meeting with people, the sales process, etc?
Robert Krogel – “I do about five art shows a year, mostly western and wildlife shows because of their proximity to where I live in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. Information on these can be found on my website, www.robertkrogle.com. Although shows are very hard work, I love the “people” and “travel” aspects of them – the places I been to and people I’ve met are a large part of why I enjoy fine art so much.”
“As the Curtain Opens” Robert Krogle, oil, 20″ x 24″
CS – How many galleries currently represent your work?
Robert Krogel – “I am currently represented in four galleries. One each in Montana, Massachusetts, Wyoming and California, which gives me an opportunity by the nature and location of the gallery, to paint many varying subjects.”
CS – Do you have any advice for young, upcoming artists?
Robert Krogel – ”My advice to young artists is to find a reputable Art School as apposed to University – they really do have the best curriculum and instructors – that is their only business. I have heard some Universities have good art departments but you really can’t go wrong with a private Art School with a good reputation.”
“I would advise studying art history – most of the oil painters I admire are dead. But their work is very much alive – the discipline you see in “old masters” work is a lesson in itself and at the very least, super inspirational.” “Subscribe to Fine Art magazines – The National Art Review is terrific.” “Join or start a group who have similar interests in the kind of art you want to pursue.”
“LEARN TO DRAW. It is the most valuable discipline you can learn. Others, like color and composition are necessary but great drawing skills are the “glue” that holds the whole painting (or drawing) together. If, (God forbid) you want eventually to go into the business of selling your work (and most artists do because they don’t want to have a real job) – try to wear only your “creative hat” or your “business hat” at one time. Your work will suffer greatly if you let a flighty, fickle, art marketplace direct you. It’s not what you paint (in order for your work to be “saleable”), it’s how you paint it, that will make it the best it can be. After that, decide what galleries and shows you want to pursue. Have a sense of humor and be patient with yourself. It takes a lifetime to develop the skills necessary to do really masterful work – unless your name is Michelangelo. (and it’s not).”
Robert Krogel, Comtemporary Impressionist – Final Thoughts I want to thank Robert Krogle for his time and thoughtful answers to my questions. If you would like more information about Robert Krogle and his impressionistic painting, please check out his website in the link at the beginning of this article, or go here for the Robert Krogle website gallery.
I would love to hear from you about this article and the paintings by Robert Krogle…please drop me a line in the comments below, it won’t hurt! I hope the Robert Krogle paintings have inspired you…and for more inspiration of the verbal variety, here are some great quotes on drawing.
Craig Shillam @ www.cashartblog.com