Robert E. Lougheed was born on farm in central Canada, in a small village called Massie. He was the second of three sons, all of whom learned to cut wheat, stack hay, hoe corn and shovel manure. When the boys were school age, the family moved to Dufferin County. Lougheed attended a red brick schoolhouse, where many students rode a horse to class.
As a very young boy, he began to sketch the animals and wildlife around him. As a teen, he began to seriously consider a career as an artist. He began his study with a correspondence course. His formal art training continued at the Ontario College of Arts and the École des Beaux-Arts in Montréal. During his early twenties, Lougheed worked full-time as an illustrator for the Toronto Star, attended night school, and painted on the weekends.
Later, he studied with Frank Vincent Dumond and Dean Cornwell in New York. He was such an outstanding pupil that in later years in a reunion with Lougheed, Dumond said: "There goes the best I ever had!" That was high praise indeed from a man who had also taught Georgia O'Keeffe, Buck Dunton and Norman Rockwell.
Though he never quite felt at home in New York, so far from the rustic lands of his childhood, Lougheed was very successful. His commercial work included the flying red horse for Mobile Oil, several books, and calendars for Brown & Bigelow. The United States Post Office commissioned him to do the six-cent Buffalo Stamp. He spent half of the year on commercial endeavors, and the other half on fine art painting and associated travel. He traveled throughout his beloved Canada and the West, including Alaska, usually seeking wildlife subjects. He was often accompanied by his friend, John Clymer. In 1980, Lougheed began traveling to Europe, first to France where he produced 44 paintings in 30 days, and the next year to England, where he produced 77 paintings in 45 days.
Among Lougheed's many commissions was a horse series for The National Geographic in the early 1960s, at the famous Bell Ranch in eastern New Mexico. He found the country so beautiful that he returned to New Mexico every fall until 1970, when he and his wife Cordy decided to move to Santa Fe permanently.
Lougheed was elected to membership in the Cowboy Artists of America (CAA) in 1968, and to the National Academy of Western Art (NAWA) in 1973. He won an astounding 27 gold and silver medals in their exhibitions. In addition, he won the Colt Firearms Award (CAA), the Jasper Cropsey Award, the Grumbacher Award, the Franklin Mint Gold Medal for Distinguished Western Art and the Miriam B. Cropsey Award.
Source: Nedra Matteucci Galleries, representing Robert E. Lougheed.