Robert Paananen - Exploring Narratives and Culture

Capturing the everyday moments of his subject’s life is a task of great importance to fine artist, Robert Paananen.

Whether he is portraying a scene of manual labour in the simple acts of chopping wood on a block, or portaging a canoe, his work explores every detail down to the thin blades of grass and sparkling ripples in a lake.

Predominantly self-taught, Robert Paananen is an exemplary artist in the way he combines both figures and landscapes into his compositions. He is particularly interested in portraying culture and everyday happenings of human life. As a child, he would fill his notebooks with drawings, and began to experiment with paints using the landscape as his subject.

Robert has dedicated his entire life to fine art and became a professional fine artist in 1974. He began to work on paintings that featured Inuit people and animals. While also traveling to the Arctic to paint accurate depictions of the Inuit culture and their way of life, living closely tied to the land they have inhabited for centuries. Robert has always been interested in the North and in Inuit People. He has combined his painting career with extensive travel and research in the Arctic to depict the history of the Inuit culture in his work. During his travels, he developed an immense appreciation for the culture.

Robert Paananen was born February 26, 1934 in a Finnish homestead in Wahnapitae just outside of Sudbury, Ontario. His family later moved to Kirkland Lake when he was six years old. It was at Kirkland Lake where he developed an appreciation for nature, and he lived there until 1979. Robert has held shows in Ottawa, Montréal, and Toronto. His paintings have sold to private and corporate collections all over the world.