Returning to the West Coast at the end of WWII, he took advantage of the GI Bill and enrolled in a small community college in California.
“I have always liked to draw, but it wasn’t until I got out of the service that I realized I had a talent for painting. So, I decided to take some art courses and started entering my work in local shows and competitions."
Between 1955-1960, Robert earned an Associate’s Degree from Santa Monica City College and a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from Los Angeles State College, now the California State University at Northridge. (CSUN)
In 1956 he received his teaching certificate. He taught Art at Northridge Junior High School and later at Los Angeles Pierce College.
On being an artist: “I believe there is artistic ability in everyone, it just needs development. Quite often, it starts as a hobby. Then, the hobby becomes demanding and all-absorbing. Eventually, the artist learns to live with it and his chosen artistic outlet it becomes part of his everyday life.”
In a 1960 graduation article about Robert, The Valley Sun Dial states that “there is one award not yet won by the artist. He hopes to have one of his paintings become part of the permanent art collection at Valley State.”
After his death, while sorting through his papers, Marilyn, his widow, found the article with the photo of Robert seated before his painting “California Baroque”. She contacted the library at California State University at Northridge, to see if she could make his wish come true. This was the beginning of the collection of 36 paintings and drawings at the Oviatt Library at CSUN.
Robert Wilson Graduation for Associates, Associates Degree, Bachelors Degree (click to enlarge)
Oviatt Library at Valley State, Exhibition Invitation
*The Song of Wandering Aengus ( Inspiration for California Baroque)
I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fired was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossoms in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old and wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands:
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
(Click to Enlarge images)
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