Robert McGrew Watercolors

Fall 2010

“The challenge of creating a design with transparent watercolor that will be pleasing and thought provoking to a wide variety of viewers is a never ending source of entertainment to the artist as well as to the observers of his work. No attempt is made to reproduce exact ‘photographic detail’ or render on paper a perfect reproduction of an existing scene.

“Rather, the watercolor enthusiast enjoys the flow of color, smooth gradation, simplicity of the subject, the brightness of preserved white paper areas, the carefree snappiness and crispness of images, the quickness of the medium, and the beauty of overlapping transparent hues which the observer’s eyes and brain must interpret based on his or her personal past observations of the real universe. No subject is out of range or off limits, and the ways of treating the subject are infinite!

“By studying the known principles of design, one can rearrange the shapes and objects and create a pleasing work which depicts an ideal situation from the mind of the artist, which may or may not exist in physical form. A painting may be useful in conceptualizing an abstraction, communicating an idea, decorating a special room of your home, or for many other possible uses, but may be just ‘for the fun of it!’
“You can do it too. Why don’t you try it? It is a GREAT way to escape the tensions of your work. It is easily affordable, requires only a few tools, little time, and the clean-up is so fast and easy. Give it a try.
“Thanks for taking the time to look at my work!”
— Rob McGrew

“Credit must go to Mrs. Vineyard, my first grade art teacher for stimulating my interest in art in general and watercolor specifically.” Robert N. McGrew was born and spent the early years of his life in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He received his M.D. degree from the University of Arkansas Medical Center in 1962. After completing a residency in otolaryngology and head-neck surgery at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, Dr. McGrew returned to UAMS in 1969 to develop the Otolaryngology Division of the Department of Surgery and in 1970 established the residency program. He remained as Chair for five years. He entered private practice in the mid-1970’s in Little Rock, joining Dr. H.A. Ted Bailey and Dr. James J. Pappas. He helped to develop the Arkansas Otolaryngology Group and then the McGrew Ear Clinic where he remained until his retirement in 2003. During that time he was also a consultant to the U.S. Air Force as well as staffing clinics at the Veterans Administration Hospitals in Little Rock.

Dr. McGrew is a part of a family of artists. His father, Dr. E.N. McGrew, painted murals in France during WWI and his mother, Madge McGrew, was a landscape painter. Dr. McGrew’s brother, Dr. Jerry McGrew is a portrait and western watercolor artist. His wife, Phyllis McGrew, and children, Amy Scarbrough and Dr. Benjamin McGrew, are also artists. Dr. McGrew and his brother, Dr. Jerry McGrew, began their art careers in cartooning, publishing cartoons and gags in a number of magazines including Boy’s Life, Outdoor Life, and inLook Magazine.

Dr. McGrew has trained under nationally recognized teacher and artist, Tony Couch of Atlanta, Georgia. Currently, Dr. McGrew is retired from medicine, paints regularly, studies art literature and teaches watercolor technique at Pleasant Hills Retirement Center in Little Rock.