Robin Burgesse

If you were to ask Robin Burgesse what he is trying to achieve with his paintings, he’d probably quip ‘A subsistence living’…before he’d go on to explain his vision and approach…

’I’m a story teller…I like to paint still life that’s been touched by humans’. 

‘I try to include human cues into each image, a ‘pathway’ for the viewer to create their own story about what they see…’

‘I like to create a slightly ambiguous story in paint’…I try to iconize a thought and then flavour it with a touch of romance, or sentimentality or irony’.

Mr. Burgesse learned his painters trade by practicing it…apprenticing at sign manufacturing companies and graphic art houses in the early 1970’s…becoming a capable illustrator (and sign painter) in the process.

He left Toronto in the mid ’70’s for a quieter life in the Upper Ottawa Valley with his new bride Lyn Ewing. They settled in a small community outside Pembroke, Ontario and Robin plied his trade as an artist/sign maker there for the next decade.

The 1980’s saw the couple and their new son Christopher move to Ottawa where Robin took a job as a designer/illustrator with a local advertising agency. Soon Leslie arrived…and the young family established itself in the capital…Robin working a several agencies for the rest of the decade.

Murals became a large focus  in the 1990’s. Robin travelled to various communities painting the large images in the summer months. Most of them can still be seen today (in reasonable condition) in Pembroke, Vanier and Oshawa.

By the mellinium, Robin moved indoors with his mural work – decorating the halls and walls of Ottawa’s RA Centre and Algonquin Collage campus…until he decided to retire from commercial work in 2015.

‘These days, I want to have full control over what I paint…and to follow my whims wherever they take me’…

Some of those places are presented in Mr. Burgesse’s ‘Derelicts’ series = over 50 canvasses that reflect Robin’s life, travels and whims in his recent past.

For the future Robin sees his ‘Derelicts’ morphing into something else (although he is as yet unsure as to what) and is becoming more interested in painting humans and wildlife. He paints portraits on commission.

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