Bob Spille - Artist





Bob grew up in the near perfect environment of Red Wing. Minnesota, in the 1940’s and 50’s.  Spring and fall meant baseball and football, winter was sledding and skating, and summers were for swimming.  He was always interested in art and drawing but tended toward drafting and perspective sketching rather than pictorial expression.  He married Bev, his high school sweetheart, and they had three children during the years spent attending the University of North Dakota.  He graduated in 1963 with a Speech and English degree and a commission in the US Army Medical Service Corps.  He continued his formal education with a Master's Degree in Hospital Administration from Baylor University while on active duty.


While stationed in Heidelberg, Germany, he had his first exposure to oil painting.  Using his wife’s painting supplies he copied several paintings which not only occupied his time but gave him a sense he would enjoy exploring the art of oil painting further.  A turning point in his life came with a final active duty assignment to Arizona.  He fell in love with the southwest and it’s desert landscapes. 


Throughout the remainder of his military career and the ensuing health care executive positions he held after retiring from the Army, he regretably found no time for his art.  A second retirement and move to Colorado only fueled his love of the mountains and nature, but somehow only allowed time for the appreciation of the art not the production.


Upon the eve of his 70th birthday he decided there needed to be more structure in his daily activities and purchased some canvases, oil paints, and brushes.  With his first visit to the Celebration of Art venue in Scottsdale, he was lucky to be drawn for a $150 scholarship to the Scottsdale Artists School which he used to take his first workshop with Dick Heichberger.  His life was quickly consumed by this new direction and when he entered his first Plein Air painting competition in 2013 and won best of show he was completely hooked. 


He has comtinued to study, painted as much as he could, and has taken several workshops with artists Matt Smith, Joshua Been, Cody DeLong and Ray Roberts.  He has since participated in several plein air events and invitational competitions garnering additional awards and continues to strive to become better at portraying the beauty of the desert and mountain landscape he enjoys so much.  He loves the challenge and excitement of plein air painting and the authenticity it brings to his studio paintings as well.


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