Robert W. Lesieur

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( 1918 – 2008 )
Robert W. Lesieur

Robert Lesieur began his art career as a scholarship student, graduating from Vesper George School of Art.

His career has included many aspects of art. He started out as a newspaper artist. Then, during WWII, he worked as a graphic artist while stationed with 8th AF Intelligence in England. Upon returning from the war, he directed his career into commercial art and teaching at Boston University. He then enjoyed art as a locally acclaimed Fine Artist in the Boston Area.

Bob Lesieur preferred working outdoors and on-site. His portfolio includes portraits, stillife , landscapes, and house portraits. His works have attracted much attention and recognition in terms of prestigious awards, and are collected both in the private and corporate sectors.

“Being an Artist…..”

….Can often result in a most rewarding and unusually pleasant experience, other than a painting that’s quite successful or for eventual sale.

For instance, there was the memorable sunshiny, glorious, October day-our dedicated group of “plein aire” artists decided to take advantage of the season’s bright hues. Our choice of motif wound up along a wooded biking trail, where we set up our easels, etc., and quickly becoming oblivious to time.

Then, suddenly our blissful trance was shattered by the Great Commotion! Ghengis Khan surely had been resurrected and was going to do us in! Luckily, the Great Commotion merely turned out to be a small band of boisterous teeners overcome by Saturday exuberance. Instant, but demanding curiosity brought them to a precarious halt; surely the strange sight of this group of people at their easels laboring so intently certainly demanded explanation.

In the ensuing prolonged period of “loud silence” I’m sure that the rest of my group must have experienced the same eerie feeling as myself, that of being evaluated mercilessly by those who would no tolerate mediocrity whatsoever. Youngsters can do things like that effectively, tyro critics or not.

Presently, one of them who had been cautiously and very quietly sidling up behind me, became evident. Didn’t see him, “felt” him. (You know the sight-baseball cap turned backwards, droopy jacket, hopeless pants, bottomed off by once-respectable Nikes, but, immaculate bike.) His gaze was so solemnly riveted on my half finished watercolor. Evidently, he had never seen a watercolor in progress before and mine being a half-sheet size required a good bit of dexterity along with speed which shook him up no little. Summoning up his courage he finally uttered in a most reverent manner these earth-shaking, monumental words…

“That’s AWESOME, mister!”

It sounded impressive enough to leave me stunned. Neither Abraham Lincoln, nor Richard Burton could have done better with those few words.

Shortly afterwards, he called to his troupe to compare opinions, resulting in a generous round of more “awesomes” and their departure from our scene. At that point it would have been a most gratifying day for me just to be out with my contemporaries painting “plein aire” and the supreme satisfaction of total approval of our young audience with their precious candor.

However, there was to be a sequel to that treat. While in the process of gathering up our belongings in calling it a day, there was a second Great Commotion…an apparent return of G. Kahn and his followers….for the express purpose of seeing the more developed results of our efforts. It was a revelation to me to see the genuine interest of these youngsters where there was much more for them to judge from now that our paintings were nearer completion. There was no doubt that they were enjoying themselves immensely (T.V. ratings suddenly dipped in interest for them, at least momentarily).

After a few more enthusiastic “awesomes” they left and we left. We had the satisfaction of exercising our talents along with the bonus of bridging the age gap and possibly restoring a rare bit of respect for each other during these trying times.

On the subject of Being an Artist…? Sometimes it can be “awesome”…

– By Robert W. Lesieur
Circa 2003