Former Punk Rocker Is Now Self-Taught Motorsports Artist
At the age of 14, Robert Hooper had been transplanted from Japan to America during the rise of British punk rock. Rather than become paralyzed by culture shock, he decided to pick up an electric guitar and dive in.
“Back then, music was art,” Hooper explains on his website. While he recorded, gigged, and toured with several bands for most of his adult life, it’s what happened when he turned 50 that brings us here today. Residing in the mountainous town of Prescott, Arizona, Robert has now turned his attention to canvas and paper in his stunning watercolor creations.
Robert recalls vivid images of his youth, feeding fish and tadpoles in Japanese koi ponds littered with lilies; this imagery started his passion for creating more artwork. His automotive paintings are pulled directly from his own photography from when he used to hit the local race tracks with his family and friends.
The most remarkable part about Robert’s painting is that he’s self taught. As a boy, his grandmother taught him the foundations of sketching with pencils and color theory with colored pencils. This made for an easy transition into his current medium choice: watercolor. “There’s nothing like painting with watercolors because the light source is already there, and it shines through the paint from underneath! The luminosity and the transparency is uniquely watercolor,” explains Hooper.
Utilizing an unstructured approach to his work allows Robert to discover new techniques that help realize each creation’s true potential. At first glance, Robert’s work immediately captures your attention with each car displaying a charge of dynamic energy. The delicate nature of the watercolor paints let Robert explore reflection details and give an air-like quality to each piece. Almost as if you were in the presence of each car speeding past you.