Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Feature: Bob Snider

Bob Snider
Hi Everyone,

Today I have another fabulous Friday Feature, Bob Snider.  I met Bob through our local watercolor society in Little Rock, Mid-Southern Watercolor Society.  I was attracted to his loose watercolor style and enthusiasm for the arts.  We are both part of the Local Colour Gallery in Little Rock, AR.  He was instrumental in helping me make contacts quickly when I moved here.  Bob's work is vibrant, energetic and beautiful.

To see more of his work visit his website.

"Watercolor USA" original watercolor by Bob Snider
 How did you get your start?  What’s your artist journey so far?
I was the kid in the back of the class drawing pictures of the Biology teacher.  I actually had a chance to take art in high school I was “hooked” by all the approval from my teachers.  And in college the A’s I got in art improved my GPA so that I was accepted into the MBA program. I was an investment banker for 30 years and didn’t pick up a brush until about 1995 when I took a beginner watermedia class at the Arkansas Arts Center.  My instructor (Jackie Kaucher) encouraged me to join Mid Southern Watercolorists and enter the competition for their annual exhibition.  My first entry into the MSW exhibition was not only accepted, it sold! 

A few years later, the pastor of my church (Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock) asked me to head up an effort to “build a bridge” to the art world, which launched a ministry called Art By Faith (  So now I paint in either oil or watercolor almost every day and show my work at Gallery Central in Hot Springs and Local Colour in Little Rock and sell quite a bit off my website

"Dark Racers" original watercolor by Bob Snider
 Where were you born?  I was born the last of three sons to Roy and Ruby Snider in Smackover, Arkansas and except for six years on the staff of Senator John L McClellan in Washington DC, have lived in Arkansas…now Little Rock…all of my life.

If you could live anywhere where would you live? I could never live anywhere but Arkansas because of my friends, family and church…..but it sure is great to travel and see the rest of the world…like our trip to Italy last October.
"Calvin" original oil by Bob Snider

What’s your favorite thing to paint and why? I love to paint water because it is reflective and there are techniques in oil and watercolor that create the illusion of reality.

Could you talk about your painting techniques?  I love to paint fast and loose with lots of colors. This technique works great for my race horse paintings in both watercolor and oils.  But the shapes have to be right.  The “fast and loose” approach is actually easier in watercolor because the colors flow together to create energy and excitement.  And you can preserve white areas with masking fluid which is especially important for wet racetrack scenes.  Masking fluid splattered with a tooth brush creates wonderful water splashes.  The watercolorists also has the advantage of being able to work from a careful drawing.  The oil painter has to be able to create the design on a toned canvas, which is far more difficult, but comes with practice.  But I learned very quickly when I started painting in oil that the depth of the values and textures of the paints can achieve a result that art buyers appreciate.  In other words, oils sell better.
"My Bag" original watercolor by Bob Snider

Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites? Ah, a very good question.  When I give demos I always ask the students, “what is the most important color on the pallete”?  And I hear all kinds of suggestions, until they finally arrive at the conclusion that it is white, the absence of color, that is always the most important.  I try to keep that in mind as I create my compositions.  Again, the watercolorists has the advantage of starting with a brilliant white surface and uses that to advantage in creating the illusion of reality.  The oil painter usually tones the canvas some neutral color and must work most of the painting in middle values and adds the lights and darks toward the end.  So what I am trying to develop at this point in my career is how to paint in oils with the approach of a watercolorists.  Which is to say, how to hang onto the whites.

Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration? There is an artist in Dallas named John Cook that I met working on a biblically themed arts festival in that city.  He is deeply talented, formally trained and an amazingly humble man.  You should Google John Cook and check out his work.  It is at once loose and impressionistic but has very precise shapes at the center of interest.  That’s how I want to be able to paint.
"Racehorses" original watercolor by Bob Snider

What have been some of your crowning achievements? Artistically, not much.  A few awards and recognitions here and there. But meeting my wife Martha four years ago set me on a path to artistic and spiritual growth that has made for a very fulfilling life. 

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)
  1.  Return to Italy and paint plein air in Rome.
  2. Have paintings worthy of gift giving at Christmas.
  3. Impact the lives of my children and grandchildren for eternity.
  4. Become the husband that my wife deserves.
  5. Paint for twenty more years, at least!
"Kat in the Hat" original watercolor by Bob Snider

What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?   Painting is like golf.  Only a few make a living doing it, but millions enjoy it. So become a humble student and enjoy the learning process and the excitement that comes from seeing your work get better over the years.  Join a community of artist so that you can get feedback on your work. Experiment.  You will never hit the golf ball like Tiger Woods, but you can find real joy in a few pure shots….and paintings.

What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?  “Bob, if you compare your work to other artist, you will quit”.  So I am learning to accept that this is where I am today, and am not in a hurry.  Art is a journey,  not a destination.

Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla…honestly.

Your dream vacation spot?  Italy

Book or movie?  Movies…because I am very visual

Favorite author?  David

Favorite movie? Cool Hand Luke (and Young Frankenstein, and Dances With Wolves).

Romance or comedy? Comedy 

Favorite dessert?  Coconut Pie (with real crust and real coconut!)

Night owl or morning person? Morning Person

And in Conclusion…thanks Carrie to investing your time in this service to other artist. 


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this post, Carrie. I love how your subjects seem to just open up to you. I do believe you could easily find work as a journalist with these interviews on your resume. :)

  2. Love learning about so many wonderful artists. You are right...Bob Snider is amazing!!!

  3. Wonderful interview. Thanks for sharing :)

  4. I love when you do these, Carrie. I always learn something new too.

  5. Outstanding quest there. What occurred after? Thanks!
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