Robert Quimby grew up in rural Western Nebraska, immersed in a ranching, farming, and small-town culture. He attended Midland College in Fremont, Neb., where he earned his bachelor of arts degree in Fine Art.
Quimby is known for his pencil but is branching out with watercolor and plein air painting. “Pencil is bold, graphic, and I can make a pencil do much more than a paint brush. It’s very pleasing to me that I can get such a variety of tones and depth from it. However I’m enjoying the challenges of watercolors and plein air painting.”
Though he worked in a variety of corporate situations–both as a creative director and a creator—pencil drawing has always been a way for him to express himself and relieve stress. Despite only working part-time on his art, he garnered local and national attention including the likes of Western Horseman magazine, the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, Phippen Art Show, Spirit of Cheyenne, and many other solo and juried exhibitions and residencies.
“This is what I know and it is my way of staying involved in this life,” Quimby says. “I only draw what I get excited about. For me, there’s no greater icon than the American cowboy.”
Critics have said Quimby’s works “evoke a well-worn, easy comfort, while others reach out and grab the viewer with their strong contrasts and detail.” Others note his “skill in the layering of tones and shades” and his “finely detailed drawings.”
Now, Quimby has transitioned to full-time artistry, enrolling in workshops and spending more time on ranches and with cowboys.
“I feel a little like I’m starting over,” he says. “I don’t know that at 25 years ago I would have the same passion or commitment that I have now.”