Robert Powell


Unfortunately, I learned how to color within the lines at very early age. I moved on to copying Wayne Trimm’s illustrations in The Conservationist Magazine, a monthly publication of the NYS DEC.

At the Rhode Island School of Design I majored in illustration. Upon realizing the need to support myself, I studied advertising at Pratt Institute night school. I was on Madison Avenue in the early 60’s and became Vice President/Associate Creative Director for a couple of agencies. When some Mad Men were enjoying three martini lunches, I was peddling my illustrations to book publishers, magazines and ad agencies. My work was predominately pen and ink.

In 1985, I left Manhattan and opened my own small agency in Pound Ridge, NY which I finally shuttered in 2015. I found the move extremely rewarding. This also gave me time to participate with organizations and committees whose focus is on the environment, land use and preservation, something I have done for 30 years..

I moved to the beautiful Adirondacks in 2001. With my background it only makes sense that I paint landscapes. I look at my work not as an end piece, but as part of a journey. It may appear inconsistent as I explore; a style or look is not my goal, growing is.

I often think of Hokusai: At seventy-three years I partly understood the structure of animals, birds, insects and fishes, and the life of grasses and plants. And so, at eighty-six I shall progress further; at ninety I shall even further penetrate their secret meaning, and by one hundred I shall perhaps truly have reached the level of the marvelous and divine. When I am one hundred and ten, each dot, each line will possess a life of its own.