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Robert Burridge Studio



Welcome to my studio...

Come on in and look around. Help yourself to the coffee. Don't mind the cats...and don't sit on anything...everything is usually covered with paint in here. Yes, my studio was an old hay barn. Cows are gone and I've moved in. My painting "easels" are actually 20-inch high flat tables.

I paint everyday, standing (and dancing) and use my custom-designed, extra long brushes. This keeps my painting loose and juicy. Hey, it works for me. Enjoy the art.

Why is Making Art Important to Me?

I've always felt making art was something I just had to do. It came out of me easier than any other skill I had or wanted to learn. It always felt natural for me to draw and make things, doing things with my hands. Crafts and models as a child, doing magic tricks as a teenager and inventing new products as a corporate designer. The underlying and connecting thread to all this was my "life long" preoccupation with making things better. It's important to me because it has always been there with me-- making art. I don't know when I was never curious about looking for something new. I always felt safe to play with new ideas and was always encouraged by my parents. (96 years old today) I was the middle child of 5 boys so I suspect I was an overachiever at getting some attention. "Hey look at me!" I think, deep down, all artists are saying the same thing... "Hey, look at me!"

Balancing a Real Job and Time to Make Art

As a full time painter I'm asked often about my other "real" job. They are often surprised when I tell them this IS my real job. I make art daily, the work sells, I get paid and then I pay my bills and taxes. This is my job and a business. (I dare say it's more of a real job than the elusive "real job" where you get your pay check regularly whether you've done a great job or not.)

In the beginning when I decided to put my focus on being a full time painter, my "real" job for 25 years was as an industrial and graphic designer. I designed during the day, painted for myself on weekends and took painting classes at night. (Even though I had been formally trained as a painter in college, I believe that on-going education is valuable)

It didn't take long for me to realize my painting time was engulfing my designing-for-clients time. I was feeling fragmented at first until I decided on the discipline of dividing my calendar into "designing days" and "painting days." A few months of this revealed that I was getting bored with designing and more excited about making paintings. Within a year with this balancing act. I still felt fragmented, unfocused, and out of integrity with what I professionally wanted to do... to just paint. For income I did just enough design work to pay the bills and started to sell my paintings at weekend art festivals. Before long, painting sales were covering living expenses (barely). I started to see the possibilities of "actually making a living" as a painter. After much meditation, counseling and talking to other festival artists, I announced that I was retired, sold off my designer equipment, and jumped into the fray of painting everyday. I taught myself the technique of painting quickly. The thinking being, the faster I paint, the more paintings to sell, the quicker I get paid... that was 13 years ago. In spite of my current gallery success, I still paint feverously. My technique is to paint fast, furiously, spontaneously and not cerebrally.The fast-drying and quick results I get with acrylics allows me to do this. This technique actually made me realize first hand, the more you paint, the better painter you become. However, I have been accused of using too many colors and too much paint!

As mentioned earlier, I use the same disciplines of organizations and management skills left over from my corporate days. Only this time, I'm both the CEO and the worker bee.

Welcome to my studio!

July, 2006
Arroyo Grande, CA USA


"Robert Burridge - A Brief History" printable PDF file click HERE.

"WARNING: You are about to enter BobLand"
Forward to the 2000 BobLand Show by David Larson.
Click HERE to view.

The Beginning, 1943
Robert Burridge
The Kid

1943, I was born... in a small farm community near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. I spent my childhood with both parents and four brothers. I was the middle child. My farm chores consisted of the usual daily stuff for kids: Feed the 500 chickens, ride the two pigs, pet the cows, pick the corn, dig the potatoes, plant the garden and put on magic shows.

As a kid, I also taught myself "entertainment skills" - juggling, magic, ventriloquism, circus acrobatics and trapeze show-off stuff. I performed one-man circus shows inside our huge wood barn. It had dirt floors, loose slats, large beam rafters and plenty of pigeons in the eaves. From these rafters I suspended my circus bike and performed goofy stunts while it was on fire. (I'm not making this up!)

My first artwork was making circus posters announcing my shows.

By the sixth grade, I entered my first art competition with a "Hire the Handicapped" poster. I won a certificate and the cash prize of... one dollar.

Industrial Designer, 1966-1985
Robert Burridge
All Grown Up

I graduated from the University of the Arts (formerly Philadelphia College of Art) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design and a minor in Fine Art Painting. As a designer, I got the opportunity to create and invent new products for Litton Industries (the first production electronic cash register and bar code scanner for retail and food stores), Becton-Dickinson (medical, surgical and biomechanical devices) and as the Principal Designer for Westinghouse Electronic Corporation, I produced product designs for 15 Divisions, receiving the Grand Industrial Design Award of the Year in 1976 for a Power Circuit Breaker, an Uninterruptible Power System, an Advanced Nuclear Control room consoles and Industrial Control switches.

And finally, as an independent design consultant living in Santa Barbara, California, I invented new wheelchairs for the severely disabled, designed the first digital sound editing consoles for a Hollywood sound studio to edit the blockbuster movie, "Stars Wars" and created the electronic circuit breaker featured in the movie "Jurassic Park."

My other product designs include a kitchen line for Corning Glass, a hands-free automatic soap dispenser and hand dryer for public rest rooms, surgically implanted body parts, custom wheelchairs for Cerebral Palsied children, brain surgical drills as well as a few whimsical products like tubular fabric lights, desk accessories and Teva Sandals, to name a few.

At this time I held the honored position as Consultant to the President's Committee for the Handicapped, Adjunct Professor of Design at Cooper Union Art College, New York, the Visiting Critic Advisor for photography at Harvard University and finally, CEO and Design Principal of my own advertising and design agency, which was rated as Fortune's Top, Fastest Growing Companies in 1984. I was elected into the Human Factors Society and the International Council of Color Consultants. I hold 23 design, mechanical and chemical patents.

During all this time, however, at night and on weekends,I turned into another person-- a painter. Eventually my ever longing passion to invent new paintings consumed me.

Painter, 1985 - Present
Robert Burridge
The Kid... again

In 1985, I turned my passion into my second career. I retired from industrial design and became a full time, contemporary fine art painter, moved to California's Central Coast and prepared to paint the rest of my life. Today, besides painting, I am an invited juror for international art shows, a college and national painting workshop instructor, and teach a fine art mentor program in central France. Recently selected as the Honorary President of the International Society of Acrylic Painters, I hold a signature membership with them and with the Philadelphia Watercolor Society.

My original paintings can be seen in six international galleries, on Starbucks Coffee mugs, Pearl Vodka bottles, eight tapestries and on fine art edition prints in upscale retail stores and cruise ships.

My work has received lifetime honors, including The Franklin Mint Award and recently the Philadelphia Watercolor Society's prestigious Crest Medal Award for achievement in the arts previously awarded to Pablo Picasso, John Singer Sargent and Georgia O'Keeffe.

It is said, "Your heart doesn't know how old you are." For me, it's true. Painting everyday in my small studio overlooking the Pacific Ocean, I feel like a kid again playing with color, design, paint and canvas, which reminds me of the saying, "It's never too late to be what you always should have been." Follow your bliss!

Inspirational, The Present Continues...


Robert Burridge teaches a variety of painting workshops to professional and emerging painters throughout the United States, Mexico and France. His workshops have historically changed artists' lives forever.

Daily, he receives letters and emails from artists who have attended his classes and whose careers have taken off in new and productive directions.

International Juror

Robert Burridge has been selected to jury new emerging painters as well as professional painters into national and international competitions.

• Waterloo Watercolor Group, Austin, TX, Annual Members Show
• International Society of Acrylic Painters, Annual International Exhibit, Seattle, WA
• Annual Members Show, Mendocino Art Center, CA
• Annual Members Show, Paso Robles Art Association, CA
• National Plein Air Festival, sponsored by the San Luis Obispo Art Center, San Luis Obispo, CA
• Buenaventura Art Association, Ventura, CA
• S.C.A.P.E., Annual Exhibit, Santa Barbara, CA
• Annual Members Show, Lompoc Valley Art Association, CA
• "Un Ange Passe," regional show, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA
• Coachella Valley Art Association Annual Show, Palm Desert, CA
• Brushes & Blues Festival, Lompoc, CA
• Art Calendar Magazine, Los Angeles Art Expo exhibit
• Amsterdam Art's International Competition & Exhibition
• California Mid-State Fair, Paso Robles, CA
• Santa Barbara Artwalk, Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara, CA
• Sausalito Art Festival, Sausalito, CA

Motivational Speaker

Robert Burridge is an energetic, passionate speaker and motivator for anyone who wants to be a winner. Using real-life examples and his famous tell-it-like-it-is style, attendees proclaim a renewed vigor and a clearer sense of purpose in their artistic lives.

On a local level, he also volunteers his time teaching art to school children with learning challenges. And, at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, Burridge paints with and creatively supports terminally ill children whose artwork now hangs in galleries.


Robert Burridge has written and published two artist books: Loosen Up Studio Workbook and Art Marketing: The Business of Selling Your Art. Plus he produced and starred in five teaching videos and DVDs. His wife, career manager and best friend, Kate, co-produced all of the above. He is also a contributing writer for Art Calendar magazine and has written features for various magazines, periodicals and newsletters.



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