The Cost of Beauty, 2012
Donated by the Artist
Robert Jenkins was born in Vernon, BC in 1938, and spent his youth growing up in Vancouver, Trail and North Vancouver. Ever since he can remember, he has always had a pencil or other marking implement in my hand, to draw or figure out things. It was no surprise, that this interests developed, that art and science became my passions. Robert opted for a career in science, graduating from the University of Alberta, Calgary with a Ph.D. in cosmic-ray physics, and moving on to a postdoctoral position in Space Science with the University of New Hampshire, and eventually a research scientist position with the Communications Research Centre in Ottawa, where he remained until he retired. While he pursued a professional career, art remained a strong interest. He began painting landscape using oils, but after moving to the New England area and being exposed to the New York art scene, my work gradually shifted to large minimalist geometric shaped canvases, and acrylic colour stains. A number of exhibitions later, with the pressures of career and a young family, Robert put his love of painting on hold. Since retirement, he has been able to rekindle his love for art and now finds that comes to it from a very different perspective. His love for hiking in the mountains inspired him to draw and document the landscape he so loved. From there he moved into working with pastels, both in the field, and in the studio. The earlier, abstract works reflected an inner sense of order and harmony, whereas Robert’s present work in landscape is intended to celebrate the ‘not always orderly’ message of nature, and our place as observers and participants in the natural process. His scientific background continues to inform his art, as he continues to strive toward integrating both his scientific and artistic impulses into his work.