Bob Bruu's journey with art started when he was young. Both his grandfather and father were artists and encouraged Bob's artistic side. It wasn't uncommon to see the youngster with a crayon, pencil, pen, or marker in his hand. At times, art was Bob’s savior. It was an activity he used to escape and drift away from what was going on around him. At other times, the process frustrated him. Through the years, art called to him, and, to a degree, he pursued it when he was younger. Still, he felt like he could never commit fully to his passion. He held himself back. Through all the ups and downs of life, though, his artistic creativity was always there to comfort him when he needed, like the perfect friend.
Then in the late 1980s, Bob discovered decoy carving, a cherished North American woodcarving art form. He learned from old masters at a local carving club in Saratoga, CA. It was at this time that his love affair with woodcarving began. Progressing from carving waterfowl, specifically ducks, to birds, art was firmly back in his life. But, as is often the case, life’s priorities -- marriage, kids, and a corporate job -- couldn't be ignored, and his creative outlet was once again forced to take a backseat.
About eight years ago, Bob found renewed inspiration in a gallery in Aspen. This visit rekindled his creativity and prompted his desire to pursue his craft again. He saw work by other artists that truly inspired him to push himself, really challenge himself, to see what he could achieve. With renewed enthusiasm, he moved away from carving ducks and birds and tried his hand at carving realistic everyday items: hats, shoes, and clothing. The colors, the shapes, the contours, the detail, and creating pieces that "fool the eye" were all very exciting and new to Bob.
Through this new way of carving, subtlety edging toward hyperrealism, he aims to bring life and character to objects that might otherwise be overlooked. His approach gives his carvings a subtle presence that allows them to blend in as if they are part of the general scenery, just until the viewer takes notice that what looks like an everyday object is actually a wooden carving. At this point, the hand-carved sculptures set themselves apart and move beyond what's commonplace into the realm of extraordinary.
After a 32-year corporate career in telecom and software technology, Bob is now carving full-time. He’s in the process of restoring a 100-year-old barn on his property in historic Downtown McKinney, Texas. This will become his workshop and studio.