The Island’s veteran street painter.
Bob liked to work a canvas propped on his latest invention: a nifty portable easel that straps around the nearest tree or phone pole and holds the canvas, a wedge of palette board and a coffee tin for the brushes and water (he works in acrylics). He’d oftern paint a canvas (on a cumbersome easel) next to the white gate of the Maria Mitchell Library — shingled walls drenched in light and shadowy pavement where spaces opened up or dwindled according to his whim. Another favorite subject - the alley that runs from Hardy’s parking lot down behind the Four Winds and the Little Gallery and Aunt Leah’s Fudge to the courtyard at the beginning of Straight Wharf proper. He prefered the hidden streets downtown, and he captured them.
Bob liked to talk, and if you caught him at the right moment, a moment when the traffic or crowds are forgotten, he’d reveal a bit of his past. He was a street painter in New York City. There the circumstances were different. He often decided on a subject and oriented himself and his canvases so that his back was always covered, against a wall preferably. And he learned to deal with belligerents. Otherwise he couldn’t have made it on the streets.
Bob also worked as an architect, and he schooled for mural painting, something he called true dying art in America. He was an encyclopedia of art history.