Monday, June 09, 2008

Robert Heindel: "following the path Fuchs led"

Harold Henriksen, a frequent contributor to Today's Inspiration, generously sent me a raft of Robert Heindel scans last week. I was entirely unfamiliar with Heindel's work, but Harold and several other TI list members have agreed to share their thoughts and knowledge this week so we can all learn a bit about the artist. Harold's narrative begins below:

"I remember seeing Robert Heindel's work in the Saturday Evening Post in 1966 or '67 and also in a Honeywell brochure I was told he had illustrated. The Honeywell brochure had impressive technique. In 1971 his pencil drawing of Daniel Ellsberg [above] was a new pencil treatment I liked. Heindel illustrated a Winchester catalog with montages, and a brochure for Pan Am. I found his art in most national magazines and paperback book covers."

In 1977 I decided to attend the Illustrators Workshop. It was from June 26-July 22, 1977. My wife and three daughters, one, three and four years old went in my '76 Rabbit. My wife & daughters stayed with friends in Queens & I went to Marymount College in Tarrytown, New York."

"We were instructed to bring a comp sketch for an assignment we would do at the workshop. We would do one more after the first was completed. After meeting the faculty we showed our comps & received suggestions. Each of the artists showed slides and spoke about their work on succeeding days. Richard Gangel spoke to us. Harvey Kahn talked about representing artists. The people listed in the seminar literature each spoke."

"We visited the artists' studios in their homes or in Bob Peak's case a building he had his studio in."

"Robert Heindel's studio was in his home with many drawings & paintings to see. He liked to draw with conte crayon which he sharpened to a point. I was able to photograph some of his drawings & made prints on my return home. Like Mark English, Heindel tried to follow the path [Bernie] Fuchs led. Heindel worked in Detroit for 5 years then moved to New York."

"He mentioned that things had changed, and he found markets other than the magazines. Some were not as visible but they paid well. He was able to convey how committed he was and how much he liked doing what he did. The seminar was helpful, not in teaching particular methods or little tricks, but encouraging students to find their own way of working. I thought the workshop was a good experience and a great bargain."

*Many thanks to Harold for relating his experience of attending the Illustrators Workshop and meeting Robert Heindel - and for sharing all the scans we'll be seeing this week.

My Robert Heindel Flickr set.


  1. "He was able to convey how committed he was and how much he liked doing what he did."

    That's what I'd call A TEACHER.

    Happy those who could attend to the lessons of this able man.

  2. chrapliwy7:26 PM

    I sent this email to Sandy Kossin today.


    Absolutely stunung photo. Thanks for sharing. PS- Have you been to this
    site? There's a blurb about
    Robert Heindel. I met Bob when I was working for Paul Sullivan Studio in
    the early 70's. Paul Sullivan illustrated a calendar for Owens Corning
    that year and asked Bob if he would illustrate one of the month's. Bob
    did an illustration of a night scene of a factory that produced
    insulation for Owens corning. The illustration was fantastic but the
    marketing guy at Owens Corning didn't care for it. Sullivan said no way
    is Bob going to do something different and pushed the illustration
    through. Can you imagine that? Anyway I thought you would like the
    story. Do you know Robert Heindel? Robert was a classmate of Paul



    Lawrence Chrapliwy
    6 Jefferson Street
    Port Washington, New York 11050

  3. I love that one of the features of the dorm set up is cigarette vending machines!

  4. Its true. Peak had an industrial building. Fred Otnes had a very modern studio in a very modern home. An amazing pool as well. The illustrators showed the students their stuff one artist a day. Hell, it was a whole month. Peak was quoted as saying, "hey, I'm loosing money doing this." when asked whats in it for him...I found them all to be real gentlemen and open. I happened to attend on a scholarship via the Society of Illustrators that same year as Harold. To end the Workshop six of us dressed up as the illustrators and performed a skit lampooning the whole event. I gotta say the the wives found it hilarious. It was Steve Hall's idea but we all had a good laugh. The late Mike Smollin was really the spirit behind the Workshop. He ran a good show. Heindel was very laid back and very passionate about his more off beat assignments and paintings of his gorgeous wife Rose. Dick Gangel was great...(Harvey Kahn said send slides!)