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
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.
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.
Currently, Sissel is working on various pieces of Lake Okoboji, included in these will be scenes of Arnold Park and wooden boats.
When not painting, Sissel spends his time running Sissel Gallery, his framing and retail store in Sioux City, IA.