Robert E. Wood (1919 – 1980) hailed from Mount Dennis, Ontario, now a suburb of Toronto, Canada. Wood was a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and studied under Arthur Lismer and Fred Varley. He was also greatly encouraged by the great art teacher J.W. Beatty, who was a good friend and mentor of Tom Thomson.
He inherited his love of the season from his mother and his love of nature from the Wood family. His father and grandfather were ministers, and Wood himself was a deeply religious man. He explored the avenues of various forms of art such as abstract, but settled on true representational art as the medium in which he desired to express himself.
Wood's paintings were a reflection of the man. He painted what he liked, the way he liked. When he made a statement on canvas, it was clear, crisp, richly coloured, deliberate and unapologetic. His favorites were those of the sea, where he felt most at peace with the world.
His landscapes, seascapes and still life canvasses made him a well-recognized Canadian artist. Apart from growing up in Ontario, he lived in many places throughout his life including Winnipeg, Calgary, Victoria, North Vancouver, Greenwood, Courtenay, New Westminster, Texada Island, Duncan and Comox, among others. His Western days were spent in the forests and mountains of the west coast and it was from here his western subjects like totem poles erupted.
Wood started teaching in 1955 when a small group approached him and asked if he would help them in their efforts. He taught countless art courses over the years, and many of his students went into the professional field. Both his son, Karl E. Wood and grandsons, Robert E. Wood and James E. Wood all became notable artists in their own right.
Totems in Native Village 16 x 24 in. Oil on canvas