Buffalo Soldiers returning home from war, aboard SV Pacific Queen with escort ST Tyee.
For more than sixty-five years C.R. (Bob) Bryant has followed a lifelong journey to perfect his ability as a visual artist. Born in the eye of a hurricane in Central Florida, he created his first painting at age five. Working primarily with traditional oils on linen, using techniques of the old masters, learned over many years of study, he has become a master of realism. He has also perfected the rare and unusual technique of painting on copper used by early Dutch and Flemish painters and revered as the perfect ground for oils.
Known for his ability to paint water he also has a working knowledge of sailing ships and today he is recognized as a leading international marine artist. Relocating to the Pacific Northwest in 1988, his focus centered on preserving the rich Marine history of Puget Sound but his passion remains classic sailing yachts.
His understanding and appreciation of visual arts has been enriched while living abroad and devoting considerable time in the world’s great art museums, living and painting in the footsteps of the old masters. Bryant is a veteran single hand sailor and never far from the sea, preferring to live on or near the ocean.
A key aspect of his work involves the human figure, seldom included in maritime paintings but frequently the subject of his work. Many of his paintings especially classic yachts are portraits of crew and owners.
In 1997, surviving a near fatal accident, Bryant made the decision to paint professionally and began marketing his work by founding Emerald Island Studios during a long rehabilitation period. "Painting allowed me to focus and develop the mental toughness to come back physically. Many of the forty paintings I did during that year ended up in the trash but a few were worth the effort. I've kept them to remind myself that anything is possible even in the most difficult of situations".
From his studio located on a small private island in Washington’s Puget Sound, Bryant produces several paintings each year for donation to selected causes supporting the arts, marine heritage and historical conservation. In the United States his original oil paintings and limited edition reproductions are represented by Mystic Seaport, America's Museum of the Sea where he is a core artist and selected galleries worldwide.
In Europe, his paintings are predominately commissioned by patrons and yacht owners. His work is frequently selected for exhibition at major exhibitions in Mystic. His paintings are included in the permanent collections of the United States Coast Guard, maritime museums, international corporations, and numerous classic yacht owners and patrons throughout Europe, Asia, the West Indies and the Americas.