For this month, WRAC features Pinawa visual artist Robert Munn. At the recent Eastman Judged Art Exhibit in Lac du Bonnet, one of his pieces won first place in the drawing category.
Munn was born in Fort Frances and grew up in Atikokan. Prior to working for twenty-five years as a broadcaster for CJOB Radio in Winnipeg, he attended Ryerson University where he studied Radio-Television Arts. After graduation, a radio station in Thunder Bay hired him.
When he left CJOB, he wrote a Nostalgia Column and ran a Nostalgia Music radio program for Seniors Today. In 2002, Munn moved to Pinawa with wife Karen, who took over the restaurant at Pinawa Club. Karen is a WRAC board member, quilter, and owner of Karen’s Market and Quilt Shop.
Munn took a drawing course at Ryerson, but did not pursue his talent until a year ago when he decided to take drawing classes, organized by WRAC and taught by Mary Louise Chown, a well-known artist and storyteller from River Hills. These classes re-ignited Munn’s interest and, ever since, he has produced plenty of drawings.
Munn uses pencils and adds colour with inks or coloured pencils, or a combination of both. He has tried oil paints, but finds them too imprecise. He says, “I love the detailed work – adding all the lines and colours of fur or feathers.”
When asked about his influences, he says, “I like realistic art, not abstract. I prefer Rembrandt and Gainsborough to Picasso. As for modern artists, I admire Canadians like Robert Bateman and Ron Parker, for their portrayals of wildlife, and the American artist Paul Calle, with his pictures of trappers and mountain men.”
He plans to sell his art at the Pinawa Christmas market. He does not draw to sell his work; his main focus is creating art. But he looks forward to setting up a display table with Karen, who also loves making art, with multi-coloured fabrics instead of pencils.