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Artist Bio

Robert “Bear” Royal started experimenting and growing in his art on the west coast of Canada where he developed a great love for wood; spending 20 years out there designing and building furniture and developing an eye for lines and colours.

Residing in St Catharines, Ontario since 2009, he has continued to hone his skills. Over the years the use of reclaimed wood has become the primary medium he works in. Robert has a profound appreciation for the patinas and colours produced through time and weathering as it is a look that cannot be artificially duplicated and resonates with him at a deep emotional level.

Artist Statement of Work

In personally seeking to make sense of life’s struggle and find meaning in its inherent suffering; I was forced to go beyond the purely intellectual and seek answers on its fringes where the utility of words breaks down.

My art provided a vehicle for me to explore other parts of myself in this search for answers.

This is what I attempt to convey through my art - that there is meaning, purpose and beauty to be found in the struggle.


My approach as an artist is not to create beauty, rather to uncover and highlight what already exists in the chosen medium. My work is primarily an exploration on how much to manipulate a medium versus leave the elements untouched.

This tension is different in every one of my pieces. There are no formulas. The interactions produced visually between the different media worked with demands a continual shifting on this front with sometimes greater, sometimes lesser manipulation required.


For me, choosing a theme to work is about trying to give insight into why we respond to a particular visual experience and expose what exactly makes for a “beautiful” or “moving” experience. Facilitating this exploring and highlighting of the deeper elements producing an emotional response dictates an art series theme to a great degree.


Aged and decaying wood is certainly not a traditional medium for artists. However, I find the colours and patinas of time and weathering make reclaimed wood a powerful conduit to express myself. I believe this medium visually conveys truth and cannot be counterfeited. 


I struggle to express the deeper levels of my emotion and experience. What I cannot express with words, I attempt to express in my art.

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