With a name like J. Robert Gundy, Jr., you might expect him to be a member of the U.S. Senate, or a wealthy philanthropist, but Bob (as he prefers to be called) is neither of those things. He's an artist originally hailing from Pennsylvania, who settled with his wife and children in Lincoln County, Kentucky. His is a close-knit family comprising of three daughters, four grandchildren, and one great grand.
Retirement has been pretty good to Bob, allowing him time for family, and time to paint. He may seem like a simple man on the surface, but his artwork tells a different story entirely.
How long have you been stroking your brush against canvas?
I started painting when I was about 3 years old. My sisters were older than me so when they were at school I spent a lot of time painting and listening to those old little kids records, the red ones and yellow ones on a little kiddie record player. When I first went to college right after high school I got interested in painting as a stress reliever. I fell in love with the process and unfortunately, I suppose, spent way too much time painting instead of studying. Haahaa. I eventually had no time for painting until much later on when I returned to college to earn an accounting degree. During the last semester of my last year I needed an elective to fill my schedule so I signed up for a basic drawing class. I didn't let it interfere with my studies this time, though. It awakened the old feeling again and since then I've been painting a large part of my time. This was in 1998 so I've been painting full-time for 18 years now.
Why do you bother painting?
That's a good question. There are times when I lose sight of what painting means for me and fret about not getting what I think is proper recognition and acceptance. I guess the best way to explain why I bother is that it allows me to escape from life and troubles and bullshit news stories and get lost for a while in my imagination.
Do you sell your art for exorbitant prices, or at all?
I do sell my art. I don't think the prices are exorbitant...I price things between $400 and $1000 in general. But I am willing to trade art for services. I need a new heater blower motor in my Jeep and a few other things so I'm trading a painting for a mechanic friend's services. A few times I've received much more than that for paintings, though.
Has any of your work been on exhibition at any of those pretentious art galleries?
Oh, man, yes... I'm not very good at doing those sort of openings at art galleries, though. When I do attend one where I have my art exhibited I usually can be seen enjoying the wine and wandering around eavesdropping on viewers, listening to their comments about my art. Sometimes I get a pretty good laugh, other times I think, whew, it's a good thing I don't take some of these comments to heart. If I did I might give up painting and never leave my house, again.
What do you prefer to be called: “J”, “J Robert”, “JR”, or “Bob”?
I prefer to be called Bob. Lately lots of people have started calling me Mr. Gundy and it's taken a while to get used to that. Professionally, I prefer to be listed as J. Robert Gundy, Jr. Often gallery owners will list me without the "J." and I get irritated with that, but I'm easy to get along with so I overlook it.
What gets you pumped to paint? I hear you do a radio show, so does the music get you in the mood ?
Oh, yes, what gets me inspired to actually put paint on canvas? That would be music. Both metal and blues. I broadcast two radio shows each week. One is all Metal music and the second one is mostly Blues music. After each show I am stoked and usually paint the rest of the night. During the shows I get the urge to create and usually sketch ideas and doodle. Sometimes I start painting during the shows as well. Now and then that has almost been disastrous haha. I've been so engrossed in what I was painting I missed my cue for the next song. Throughout each week I seek out new music for the shows to keep them fresh. As I listen to all the prospects for my play lists I plan new compositions, sketch and paint, too.
You may visit Eternal Quest Art, to purchase prints and originals, or just check out more of Bob's work.
Patrick Chappelle is the founder, publisher, and editor-in-chief at Kingdomz X Arts & Entertainment. A computer geek from day one, Patrick was on the forefront of social communities and has served as a Technical Adivsor for NING, Social Media Manager for SiteSuites, and Community Manager for Gen Y Hub. When he's not scouting local talent, he likes to hike, bike, and enjoy the sights, sounds, and culture of the city. Patrick lives in Jackson Heights, NY with his girlfriend, teenage son, and two cats, Oreo and Peanut.