Robert Sinclair

Selected Works


Robert Sinclair, RCA, CSPWC was born in Saltcoats, Saskatchewan in 1939 and holds a B.F.A. from the University of Manitoba and M.A. and M.F.A. degrees from the State University of Iowa. Robert taught art at the University of Alberta from 1965 to 1996. Since the 1980’s he also taught art at the Banff School of Fine Arts and continues to teach at the Red Deer College Summer Series Program. Robert runs his own watercolour workshops combining art and awareness techniques to explore the connections between creativity and physical/spiritual wellbeing. He is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2012: CounterPoint, Scott Gallery, Edmonton, AB

2006: As Above So Below, Scott Gallery, Edmonton, AB

2004: Potpourri, Scott Gallery, Edmonton, AB

2003/02: Qu'Appelle: tales of Two Valleys, McMicheal Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, ON, Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, SK, Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK

2002: Botanic Work, Scott Gallery, Edmonton, AB

2001: Willock & Sax Gallery, Waterton, AB

2001: Sweet 16, Profiles Public Gallery, St. Albert, AB

2000: April Flowers, Ingram Fine Art, Toronto, ON

2000: Mexico/ Canada Watercolour Societies Show, Etobicoke City Hall Art Gallery, Etobicoke, ON

2000: Christmas Treasures, Scott Gallery, Edmonton, AB

2001: Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, Lethbridge, AB

2000: Mountian Mantra, Scott Gallery, Edmonton, AB

1999: No Quiet Within, McMullen Gallery, University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, AB

1998: Gallery Artists, Scott Gallery, Edmonton, AB

1998: Xuhong Mao with guest Robert Sinclair (installation elements piece), Profiles Public Gallery, St. Albert, AB

1997: Mountain Onlyoneness (Bow Valley Series), Scott Gallery, Edmonton, AB

1997: Between Sun and Moon, Profiles Public Gallery, St. Albert, AB

1997: Gallery Artists, Scott Gallery, Edmonton, AB

1996: Gallery Artists, Scott Gallery, Edmonton, AB

1996: Robert Sinclair: A View of Newfoundland, The Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John’s, NF

1995–86: Kathleen Laverty Gallery, Edmonton, AB

1995: Grower’s Well, McMullen Gallery, University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, AB

1994: Hidden Values: Western Corporations Collect, Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, AB

1994/92: Della Scala Fine Art Gallery, Toronto, ON

1992: Artist In Wilderness: Images of a Vanishing Alberta, Provincial Museum, Edmonton, AB

1991: Heaven-and-Earth, Peter Whyte Museum, Banff, AB

1990: “Art of Research and Technology, Esso, Calgary, AB

1990: “Spaces and Places: Landscape Painting in Alberta”, Alberta Foundation for the Arts travelling show

1990: Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Hokkaido, Japan

1989: 26th Annual Sumi-e Society of America, juried exhibition, Washington, DC

1989: Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour Annual Show, Toronto, ON

1989: Canadian Art, Government of Alberta Centre Gallery, Hong Kong, China

1989: Amaryllis, Amaryllis, Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, AB

1988/87: Madison Gallery, Toronto, ON

1988: 25th Annual Sumi-e Society of America, juried exhibition, New York

1986–88: Spaces and Places: Landscape Painting in Alberta, Alberta Foundation for the Arts travelling show, Canada, Hong Kong, China

1986: The Conservatory, Delta Bow Valley Inn, Calgary, AB

1985: Alberta Pavilion, Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs; Japan World’s Fair

1985: 60th Annual Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour Diamond Jubilee, juried exhibition (presented to Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth at the Windsor Castle Library).

1984/82: Hett Gallery, Edmonton, AB

1984: Wynick/Tuck Gallery, Toronto, ON



Selected Collections

Windsor Castle Library, Queen’s Collection, England
Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa, ON
Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, AB
Art Gallery of Windsor, ON
Agnes Etherington Art Gallery, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON
The Gallery, Stratford, ON
Confederation Art Gallery, Charlottetown, PEI
Glenbow Museum, Calgary
Alberta Foundation for the Arts
CBC Calgary, Calgary, AB
Ontario Institute of Studies in Education, Toronto, ON
Simon Fraser University Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC
University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB
University of Iowa
Western Illinois University
Deutsche Bank, Toronto, ON
Norcen Energy Resources, Toronto, ON and Calgary, AB
Shell Canada Ltd., Calgary, AB
Toronto Dominion Bank Collection, Toronto, ON
Oxford Development Group, Edmonton, AB
Esso Resources, Calgary, AB
Chevron Standard
Canadian Superior Oil
Pan Canadian Petroleum
Department of External Affairs, Government of Canada
Canadian Development Corporation
Investcan Ltd.
Ouida Touche and Associates
Athabasca University
Interprovincial Pipeline, Edmonton, AB
Government House, Edmonton, AB
Heinz-Jordan Co., Toronto, ON
Government of Alberta Agent General to Japan, Tokyo
Westcorp Inc., Edmonton, AB
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB
British Petroleum, Calgary, AB
Melcor, Edmonton, AB
MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK

Artist Statement

My intent is to capture the ‘big idea.’ My process is to observe, internalize and translate complexity, via a brushstroke or a line, in order to communicate my deep-seated understanding that all things are integrated and ephemeral. My intent is to show the essence of place or entity. It is an approach that relies on primary form and process. It infuses the subject with a spirit intended to touch core values and elicit memories, inform an idea, connect with a divinity.

While my work is ‘subject matter’ oriented, it has never been descriptive. It is about exploring, possibly as a metaphor, what is our reality – the answering or exploring of this question(s) will always be visual not philosophical. Much like sumi-e the most important part of my work is that which is not painted or that which is left unsaid.

My work is about searching for balance, specifically a balancing of opposites, in a sense the ‘yin and yang’ of things (with our geography this means the prairie and the mountain; with the flower it is a recognition of reciprocity). Concurrent to this disciplined approach to form is a free and lyrical use of colour. The result, in my work, is a stillness or quietude as if one is meditating or being presented with a meditative process, ‘the inward path.’

This approach has always involved bringing what is called ‘the beginner’s mind’ to my art. A state where you know you are ignorant and are totally open to what is being presented to you. This is a state of awareness and observation, whether I am in the wide vistas of the Canadian prairie, the grand landscape of mountain tops and valleys or the closer, more intimate, space and interaction with flowers. 

 "I am engaged in the painting of a perception.
The perception of the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.
Of the backyard flower and of the faraway mountain...

of the sun and of the moon...
of that which calls my heart.

This is the dance I play, and my art is the visible remnant."