Wednesday, October 13, 2010
The artist and some of his work:
Robert George Kensinger was born an artist. While his brothers would try and teach him on how to repair cars he was more interested in getting wild flowers for his mother so he could draw them.
He served in the Army during WW2 , came home to get his schooling under the GI Bill. Hartnell college in Salinas, California was his first formal art education under the guidance of the well known watercolorist Leon Amyx. After graduation he went on to the in Los Angeles. Chouinard was the premiere art school on the west coast at that time with teachers such as Edith Head and many of the top animators from Disney. He finished with his schooling and moved to San Francisco to start his fine arts career. He had several one man shows during that time until he moved back to Santa Cruz in 1968.
In 1969 he married Jeannot and adopted her two daughters. Then he moved the whole family to the Costa del Sol in Spain. It was during the five years in Europe that he won two very prestigious awards in Belgium. He received the title of “Commandeur” and won the Vermeil medal and the Medal from the City of Brussels. This was a contest from all artists living in Europe. “Les Arts en Europe” was a show under the umbrella of the late Queen Marie Jose who left endowments for the arts and music. Bob won these honors two years in a row, in 1973 and 1974. At that time he was the only American to have won these.
He and the family returned to the USA, moving to Hendersonville in 1975. Bob acquired an agent in Florida with much of his work being sold in that state. His wife opened up Heritage Square Antiques which also served partly as a gallery for his art. Unfortunately Robert was diagnosed with Alzheimer disease in the late 90's and did not paint for the last 13 years of his life. He passed on September 5th, 2010 and we all lost a great artist. A painting of his artistry will soon be donated to the new court house for many generations to admire and be inspired by.