"Highwood Moment" original watercolor
News! The Montana Watercolor Society has recently honored Kercher with Signature Member status.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
As one of the top wildlife artists of the Northwest, Robert Kercher of Great Falls, Montana has been producing his unusual portrayals of the world of nature for many years.
Bob was born in Mandan, North Dakota and his father moved the family to Jamestown when the youngster was five years old. Early on Bob was interested in creating art and by the time he was in grade school he was receiving blue ribbons for his art in the county fairs.
Bob's grandfather Kercher, who also lived in Jamestown, was an avid outdoorsman and the young artist drew inspiration from the illustrations that appeared on the pages of 'outdoor' and 'sporting' magazines that "grandpa" collected. In addition, Bob was captivated by the animated feature movies that were produced by Walt Disney Studios.
Kercher graduated from Jamestown College in 1965 with a degree in art and accepted a teaching contract to teach art for the Great Falls Public Schools. He taught for 14 years and during that time he earned a Master's Degree in Painting and Print-making from Montana State University in 1973. While he was teaching Bob continued to paint and he was consigning art work with a number of art galleries throughout Montana. Teaching during the day and painting in the evenings, and on weekends, was beginning to take its toll so in 1979 Kercher elected to leave the teaching profession to concentrate on his art full time.
While working on his Master's Degree, Bob gave up painting in oils and switched to watercolor and serigraphy (silk-screen printing). Watercolors allowed for more spontaneity and more immediate results and screen printing challenged him to be more design oriented. It was during this period that Kercher discovered the work of Dutch artist M. C. Escher. This was to have a profound influence on Bob's own work.
Kercher's paintings focus on the rich diversity of wildlife that is so readily available in the Montana landscape. Great Falls is situated on the Rocky Mountain Front in central Montana and offers both the sweeping vistas of the prairie landscape as well as the intimacy and grandeur of mountain settings. With sketch book and camera Kercher researches his subject matter with an eye for detail and clarity. Even his backyard feeders provide him with countless material for one of his favorite subjects - song birds.
Bob's original serigraphs and prints deviate from realism to a means of graphic story-telling. Each print deals with the "permutation" of one image turning into another. They often highlight the camouflaging aspects of natural colors surprising the viewer with transformations from shape to shape in a rhythmic progression across the composition. Kercher has produced 78 works with this "permutation" theme with 39 editions sold out.
Kercher's versatility in both watercolor and serigraphy is evidenced by his continued acceptance and participation in many of the top state and national art shows including the National Wildlife Art Show, Kansas City, MO; the Easton Waterfowl Festival, Easton, MD; Pacific Rim Wildlife Art Show, Seattle, WA; Audubon Wild Arts Festival, Portland, Oregon; the Classic-American Invitational Art Show, Beverly Hills, California: Anaconda Wildlife Expo, Anaconda, Montana: and the C.M. Russell Art Auction, Great Falls, Montana.
Bob's Work has been featured in WILDLIFE ART, SOUTHWEST ART, and MONTANA OUTDOORS magazines. Kercher has been a Seven-Time Finalist in the Montana Duck Stamp Competition and has been awarded Best of Show for Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, and Pheasants Forever juried art shows. Bob was named "Artist of the Year" for Montana Ducks Unlimited for both 2012 and 2014, and was named "Signature Artist" by the Montana Watercolor Society in 2018.
The artist's work is in over 1000 private and corporate collections including the White House Collection of former President Ronald Reagan.
Thank you for visiting Robert's site. Enjoy!
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 123-456-7890