From a young age I have been attracted to visual expression; beginning in church, mesmerized by an artistic minister, who would draw, in colorful pastels on large newsprint, stories from the Bible as he narrated them.
From then until now, experiences of all sorts have shaped my development, but the power of the narrative image has remained a constant.
I have lived most of my life in California, but I was born in the 1940s in central Maine and still have a strong attraction for that remote area. It was there in the woods of Maine, that I first began to draw and develop my tactile sense of the three-dimensional world. After much debate, my family decided to seek a better life in the West and California became my home before I reached my teenage years. Fortunately, in spite of the turmoil of those early years, I found a mentor who was an important influence, and I was able to establish a solid focus and purpose, which has been the mainstay of my career.
In those early years, my interests were rather literal, using traditional methods to achieve visual ends. There was also the desire to explore and experiment, which lasted about a decade and a half. Those years gave me a war chest of knowledge and experience, rich in materials and techniques, forms and styles. But riches did not follow. For that, I returned to more conventional naturalism, so that I could share my vision and ideas more readily with others.
Sculpting is my life—it’s what I’ve been doing for more than 40 years—and what I look forward to every day!
My goal and purpose in life is to continue to experiment with forms and materials. – Robert G. Cunningham