Robert W. Wood seems to have first painted the lower Rockies in the 1930s, as the earliest paintings of the Colorado Rockies that we have discovered date from this period. We know that he spent periods in Bartletsville, Oklahoma in the early 1930s and again in the early 1940s, and it seems logical that he ventured into the lower Rocky Mountains on sketching trips. The majority of Wood's paintings of Colorado and Utah are dated from 1941 to 1945, during World War II. This was the only period of his long career that he seems to have consistently dated his paintings.

While most of Robert Wood's paintings of the Colorado Rockies feature picturesque views, usually looking across a mountain lake at a typical alpine scene, he also painted a number of less conventional compositions. These are often painted high in the mountains, probably well off the road, with a distant landmark such as Mt. Moran, Mt. Evans or the famed Mountain of the Holy Cross far in the distance. In these compositions the foreground detail usually consists of sparse vegetation and rocky outcroppings, as the paintings were often done at or above the tree line. Depictions of the southern Rockies were a very small part of Wood's artistic production after he moved to California, when he seemed to concentrate on the northern part of the American Rockies, in the area around Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Copyright 2003 Jeffrey Morseburg. Not to be reproduced without specific written permission.