Robert Sissel makes his home on the outskirts of Sioux City, Iowa, at the junction of two rivers and the meeting of three states. This Midwestern setting, rich in history and unspoiled nature, forms the backdrop for many of his paintings. From the bluffs above the Missouri an endless panorama stretches away over grassland and trees, harboring wildlife and joining the unpolluted skyline in the distance. A native of this land, Robert was born in eastern Iowa and grew up in the town of Marion. Here the works of painters such as Andrew Wyeth and Norman Rockwell moved Robert to begin experimenting with portraits of family and friends and then to the rural scenery of the American Midwest
This transition produced a melding of themes that became more involved in nature as time went on and led inevitably to the realm of wildlife art. From an education in a small Nebraska college to the extensive background in commercial art, Sissel began his search for technical as well as creative fulfillment. After several symposiums with distinguished artist from America and Europe, Sissel’s studies had matured to the degree of readiness he desired and he returned to the Midwest with a sense of purpose and an eye toward exposing the beauty around him.
Sissel’s limited edition prints and original works hang in businesses and homes throughout America. Robert’s appearances at national wildlife art shows have gained him several awards for Best of Show. As winner of the 1989 Iowa Habitat Stamp and the 1989 Iowa Trout Stamp he began to gain recognition on an even greater scale. In 1992, the climb in prestige brought him honors from the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation as Artist of the Year. Since then Sissel has been published by several large publishing firms and has settled at last into the busy world of artist and self-publisher.
Sissel’s recent works have expanded beyond wildlife to include historical events. Commisioned to create a piece depicting the first electrified building in Sioux City, Sissel created “A Special Evening”, the first opera house called the PV Grand. More recently, an interest in the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition, led to the release of “The River of the Big Canoes-Sergent Floyd at Rest” and “Late Summer Coucil-The Yankton Sioux” both depict events that took place in the Siouxland area.
When not painting, Sissel spends his time running Sissel Gallery, his framing and retail store in Sioux City, IA.