A few words from Robert Ives
Born 1969, Nelson B.C.
I have been painting for 21 years now, and drawing since I was old enough to discover that a pencil could actually leave a mark on a piece of paper.
I spent my childhood looking out the windows and day-dreaming. Doodling visions I saw in the clouds of Fort Nelson, far away from the ocean, in Northern British Columbia.
Painting never once entered my thoughts. My grandfather was a painter in Valemont. I saw him every few years there on family vacations. When I was 12 years old, I got my ear pierced and grampa sent me a pair of pink panties. Funny guy was old George Ives. I was a Fredrickson myself. Born and bred to work in the bush, chop wood in - 40 below, and to follow the footsteps of my father, coincidentally named Art, operating heavy duty equipment in the logging industry of the frozen North. My friends of youth were mostly native and taught me to hunt and trap. Mom owned and operated Ye Olde Flower Shoppe, which also sold strange pets. Not many other kids had their own Salamander newts and hermit crabs in Fort Nelson. By the time I was 10 years old, I could operate a D-8 bulldozer and help my mom with flower arrangements. Family trips were a week in a canoe, shooting rapids and camping by the riverside. Unless you have lived in the North, and I mean North, you cannot understand how different life is from here.
Years later found my parents divorced and myself living in Prince George with my mother and 2 of my 4 sisters. I made friends though drawing little cartoons. To this day, they remain my best of friends. I found my way into theater and dance through these friends, which eventually landed me at UVic, in the theater department. I became entranced by the ocean ,with mountains as the backdrop, of Vancouver Island. Summers I spent planting trees, a lot of trees. I never did finish my theater degree, but did travel across Canada and into the U.S.A. with my acting.
During my first year at UVic, my grandmother, Ruth, died, shortly followed by my grandfather, George, yes, George of the panties. I guess when you have found your life-long love you really can't live long without them. Being a pall-bearer at his funeral was interesting, to say the least. What I didn't expect, was to have him leave me his box of paints and brushes. I wasn't interested in painting by any means, but that box traveled with me throughout my next few years, un-opened as I continued acting. Always drawing, always sketching.One day I opened that box. 3 days later I finished my first painting. I signed it as Ives.
Much has changed in my life since then, but not that. Now in the art world I am known as Robert Ives. I am still a Fredrickson, as you would know if we ever went camping together, but my true soul belongs somewhere else.
To date, my work has been exhibited across Canada, in Paris and Berlin. Even been part of a group Mural Mosiac that was presented to the Queen on her last visit to Canada. I have probably done over a thousand pieces, its so easy to lose track. I am not done yet, not by a long shot. It's a long way from being a small boy, with eyelashes freezing together, struggeling to show how much wood I could chop and carry.
From a life least expected, I hope you enjoy the work you see today, as tomorrow brings something completely different and leads us forever on.
Thanks for your time, its really all we have.