Rob was born in 1970 in Toronto, Ontario.
In 1992, Rob graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto.
A diverse and prolific artist, Rob paints in a variety of mediums and styles. Moving with ease between oil painted landscapes to subjects such as abandoned houses and vehicles done in oil or acrylic paints, or on to a series featuring Inuit “country” food in mixed media. Additionally, the Yardbird series, which have realistic portrayals of the birds in his backyard with abstracted backgrounds in acrylic paint, to crazy wild cartoon canvases with bright, bold acrylic colours and an emphasis on black line often featuring “Bucketfish,” a cartoon character created at art college.
A founding member of the acclaimed Canadian artist collective Drawnonward, Rob Saley has drawn his inspiration from the far reaches of Canada and abroad for the last two decades.
When Rob is not working somewhere onsite, he paints out of his historic log home and studio, located in the Pretty River Valley along Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment.
Painting “en plein air:”
Traveling with his paintbox and masonite panels, Rob continues the tradition of painting “en plein air”, inspired by the excitement of travel and experiencing new places and cultures.
These on site oil sketches capture the true colours of the day, the feelings and history of a time and place, helping as a “memory trigger” when looking through the photographs. By spending anywhere from 1 to 3 hours focused on a scene, absorbing the details, watching the light move and the sun cross the sky, an artist develops a better understanding and connection with the landscape. This connection helps one to better understand the photographs taken. From both the painting sketch, and subsequent photos, Rob then creates larger canvases in his Studio, at home in the Pretty River Valley, Ontario, Canada.
When traveling with the expedition tour company, Adventure Canada, Rob is asked to set up his paintbox and become a “point of interest” for passengers to hike to and view the process of painting “en plein air.” It is not unusual for 100 spectators of various ages and nationalities to check in on the progress of a painting. Some will stay the whole event, while others return repeatedly to watch the progression. Being able to paint and answer questions at the same time is a requirement for a great partnership with Adventure Canada.