Robert Paananen

Robert Paananen was born February 26, 1934 in a Finnish homestead in Wahnapitae, just outside of Sudbury, Ontario. His family moved to Kirkland Lake when he was just six years old. It was at Kirkland Lake where he developed an appreciation for nature, and he lived there until 1979. As a child, he would fill his notebooks with drawings, and began to experiment with paints using the landscape as his subject. Robert is a self-taught late 20th century painter.

It wasn’t until 1974 when he quit his job as a police officer for the Lindsay Police, and moved back up North to teach art classes for the Kirkland Lake Board of Education. He dedicated his life to what he always wanted to do—to work as a professional Canadian artist. He began to work on paintings that featured Inuit people and animals. He travelled 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.