Bob Petersen


I am Ohio-born and raised. But currently live in Virginia. I've always been a right brain and left brain driven. I love art, but attended Kent State University to major in math and chemistry, with the assumption my next step would be med school. But then something happened as I was signing up for classes one semester and decided to include a few art courses. That was my sophomore year. I enrolled in an art class taught by the accomplished batik artist Marlene Mancini Frost. She saw something in me during our various conversations about my studies and ambitions. So she introduced me to her husband and industrial design professor George Frost, and Charles Walker in the shool of graphic design and illustration. After a few conversations, and a few anxious meetings with my tuition-paying parents, it was time to change of my major. I continued at Kent State University and received a BFA in visual design and illustration. After graduation, I worked as an art director, designer and creative director as well as founding my own advertising and design firm, with my wife Judy Jessen. Years later and the company doing well, I decided to pay back a little and returned to Kent State University as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Visual Communication and Design for about 5 years and continued teaching at Old Dominion University after moving. In recent years, I've watched my son as he attended and graduated from the awarded VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) School of Art and successfully become a glass artist. So that brings me to my art. I'm exploring images through photography, like with my advertising and design work, that emotionally challenge and engage people. Scale plays heavily into my images. I like large, enabling the viewer to be a part of them while stirring an emotionally visceral response. My images are part abstract and part realism while capturing the rhythm and chaos within nature.


My "Floral" series was my first, it explores the use of a narrow depth of field creating images with both detail and softness. The use of textured rag paper pushes the photographic image to approach the feel of a hand applied medium. The larger the image size the more emotional their statement.


My "Reflect" series is influenced by my observations of reflections and repetitive nature of water. Experimenting with this, I use multiple photographic impressions to create design and textures for an abstract and organized, yet chaotic statement.


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Copyright © 2018 Bob Petersen    All Rights Reserved