IDENTITY Method: Degrees of Separation- Robert Schultz

IDENTITY Method: Degrees of Separation
Darlene Campbell, Kenny Harris, F. Scott Hess, Ira Korman, Judy Nimtz, Sarah Perry, Robert Schultz & Peter Zokosky

July 7 – August 27, 2016
Opening Reception: July 7, 2016: 6 – 8 pm

Method: Degrees of Separation, the second of three IDENTITY exhibitions, highlights the art process with a special appreciation of historical methods within a voice of haptic ways of seeing. The featured artists come from various points of view—conceptually, pictorially, and aesthetically—yet collectively they share a deep dedication to creating artwork by way of a traditional method. In curator Eleana Del Rio’s words “Tradition by way of ‘method’ – stated loosely – is the exhibition’s topic.”

Artist interview #46: Robert Schultz


1. What is your ideal working environment? – space, music, lighting, etc.
My ideal working environment is my studio. I’ve been up there for 35 years. It’s very Spartan but has just what I need. It’s has great outdoor and interior light. When I’m working on ideas I don’t listen to anything. But once I’m working on a drawing I listen to classical music but I mainly listen to books on tape. A great way to discover new writers.
My studio is located on the hip street in Madison Wisconsin. State Street. It is all the funky shops and restaurants between the university in the state capital. Every time I walk up and get to my studio it feels as if I’ve gone into my “tree fort”

2. Is there a specific motivator in getting you into the studio? – after morning news? coffee? after family is asleep at night?
I have always been very motivated and disciplined. I get to the studio anywhere between 6 o’clock and 7 o’clock in the morning. I try to put in at least eight hours at the drawing board each day. That way I still have time to go home, workout spend time with my kids and family. I always try to shoot for 35 to 40 hours a week in the studio.

By the end of each day I can hardly wait to get up and draw the next day. But, when I wake up that motivation has vanished and that’s when the discipline takes over. Once I’m in the studio, looking at the drawing, sharpening my first pencil I’m back into it for the next eight hours -happy and lucky to be there

3. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?
My preferred medium is graphite pencil. All my finished drawings are graphite pencil – I use a Faber Castell 9000 series. I find it the most consistent pencil out there.
I do all my preliminary drawings, with the model, using the prisma color very thin Tuscan red or dark Umbra pencil.


Over the last two years I have been doing primarily silverpoint drawings on gessoed hardboard. It’s a bit of a diversion from what I’ve been doing and I feel like it fits me very well.


I only work on one piece at a time. I may keep my mind open for the next piece but I really try to focus on it until it is done. Usually the last week or two before I finish a drawing my mind is already looking towards that next image.

4. Is there anything you would like to share as personal interests outside of the studio – outdoor activity, cooking, reading, museum/gallery hopping?
My activities outside the studio really revolve around my wife and our twins. We have a great time together! With my wife owning a floral business and me being an artist we put a lot of our creativity into our home.

Both our kids are very creative, one is a gifted young artist and writer and the other is a future filmmaker.One more year of high school and then – off to college:-(.
We love traveling, good food, movies and theater. Each summer we go out to Cape Cod for a few weeks.

We’re very active family, we spent a lot of time working out in our home gym, walking out in the countryside and playing racquetball.

5. In what way is your work a reflection of “tradition by way of ‘method’”?
I guess I work in a very traditional way, but yet, handle it in a very personal and unique way after 40 years of continually working at my art. I’ve learned from some excellent masters and have then developed a working method and style that is all mine.

6. With the examples of your work represented in IDENTITY Method- Degrees of Separation, are there any anecdotal notes that may give insight into your artist vision to a new viewer?
I try to give the viewer an insight to the person I’m drawing, catching a moment in time. I spend a lot of time trying to create a strong composition with good abstract shapes and a lot of movement. When working in black-and-white you’re basically designing and balancing the page in value.

My work is narrative but the narrative is not specific. I want to bring the viewer in and let them create their own narrative.

I really love to draw. When I’m drawing the world always feels “right”! It always makes me feel very fortunate to have this talent and career.

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