Robert joined the Redcliffe Art Society in 2015, but has been painting in watercolours for over 30 years. He could not devote the time to his art that he wanted to in those years because he had the demands of a very busy job to attend to. He also had the demands of a young family, and the responsibilities that parenting brings. Robert comes from a family of artists, with his father and step mother both noted oil painters and watercolour artists respectively. Robert has previously painted extensively in botanical art and was a member of the Botanical Art Society of Queensland for a number of years.
In retirement, with his family now grown up, Robert returned to his watercolour art again, as he how had the time to devote to it, that he did not have before . In early 2016 Robert attended an art workshop with renowned Australian watercolour artist John Lovett, and enjoyed it immensely. Robert is keen to develop his watercolour skills and develop himself as an artist. In 2016 he took up an executive role in RAS, being appointed to the role of social secretary.
Apart from resuming watercolour art in his retirement, Robert has taken a job in the Philippines. He has joined a men’s collegiate who run a children’s soup kitchen in a squatter’s settlement called Looc, just north of Dumaguette. “Squatting” is what homeless people in 3rd world countries do, in a society without welfare housing. They make houses from bamboo, galvanised iron, and old car bodies. He finds this very gratifying work, and travels a month every year to the Philippines to work in the soup kitchen. The children are very poor and have to go to school in the day and work at night, selling bags of salted peanuts, up and down the footpath of the town boulevard. The photos show Robert at the soup kitchen cooking pots, heated by burning coconut husks, in a society without electricity or gas. The next photos show some of his little soup kitchen customers on their peanut vendors wagon, and next photo, several of the older girls, with Robert’s girlfriend, Lisa, outside the kitchen. Notice how child poverty has a female bias in this Asian society, and how there is no child obesity in Looc … definitely no fatty McDonald’s burgers and high-sugar Coca Cola for these kids.