Robert Armstrong was recently named a masterpiece-level winner in PMMA’s Art is Ageless juried art program for his drawing, “Country Santa.”
A relatively new member of the Arkansas City community, Robert only recently became aware of the competition and initially only viewed it as an opportunity to get acquainted with other artists in the area.
“I didn’t know anything about it, but after hearing about it I entered a few pieces as a way to get to know people around here,” said Robert.
Much to his surprise, he came away with more than just a few new friends.
“When I heard I won, I thought, ‘Man, they must not have too many people who entered’… I was shocked,” said Robert.
Robert began drawing when he was about 13 and is proud to say that he is completely self-taught.
“I’ve had very little formal training,” said Robert. “I guess I’ve just been fortunate enough to pick it up.”
“Country Santa,” like most of Robert’s work, is a portrait done entirely in pastel chalk.
“I just enjoy that medium—I’ve been doing that my whole life,” said Robert.
Recently, Robert has had some middle school-aged visitors to his gallery who have both impressed and inspired him.
“I’ve seen some of their art and my goodness I was so impressed,” said Robert. “I told one girl to never stop drawing, she impressed me to no end.”
As for whether he will enter the competition again next year, Robert doesn’t give any indication that the loss of eyesight in one of his eyes is going to hold him back.
“Yeah, I might,” said Robert. “I continue to work on things that I like to do, and lately I’ve been doing some pieces for the church, and it’s become a big deal.”