When I first ran into art by Robert Gonsalves I was intrigued. The first image I ever saw of this imaginative artist was called, “The Sun Sets Sail,” and at first I couldn’t see that the ships on the sea were also a bridge with columns in the background, using the negative space of the sky. It amazed me and I sat for a while just studying the details of how there are two pictures in one. It plays with your mind and inspires your imagination. This Canadian artist was intrigued by illusion art at an early age. However, after college he worked as an architect until he was 31 years old. At that time, he was inspired by some positive feedback he received about his art and he decided to leave the architectural world behind and paint full-time.
Gonsalves says that his art has evolved from a childhood of daydreaming and drawing into a career of painting. He says that his paintings are, “Primarily a celebration of imagination.” His work has even been featured in three children’s books as well, and he has a calendar series featuring his art work called “Masters of Illusion”. Here are 24 of my favorite paintings done by Robert Gonsalves. They are definitely more than what meets the eye!
1. The Sun Sets Sail – This is the first of Gonsalves’ paintings that I saw and it’s beautiful. I love how the columned bridge dissipates into the blue sky behind the line of ships.
2. A Change Of Scenery – The best of both worlds! Personally I would prefer the lake in a forest with a sky full of stars, but those same stars doubling as the lights in the city skyline are incredibly beautiful.
3. Big Air – I love how the railing of the balcony turns into the railway of a bridge over a stream.
4. Carved In Stone – When I first looked at this picture, I saw the waterfall and was not until I followed it down that I truly paid attention to the people carving out a city of stone. And then when I looked at it again, I noticed the men in white first and then the waterfall.
5. Ladies Of The Lake – Once I realized the ladies are in the reflections of the water between the trees, I checked the trees above to see if I could also see the ladies in the clouds.
6. Making Waves – This truly shows the power of a child’s imagination more than some of the others in my opinion. This living room is transformed into the beach with just a few shells from the seashore.
7. Bedtime Aviation – I love seeing the different colors of fields when flying overhead, however they don’t make the prettiest quilts.
8. Nocturnal Skating – Clouds in the sky become snowbanks over an icy river and the stars turn into lanterns. So much fun!
9. The Mosaic Moat – This would be a very off-putting driveway!
10. The Phenomenon Of Floating – I absolutely love this one! It’s a contender for my favorites. If you have ever floated in a pool with your ears submerged, you know this feeling!
11. Written Worlds – I agree that books can take you into new worlds! This makes me want to go to the library!
12. Doll’s Dreamhouse – Again, the epitome of a child’s imagination and why I used to play with Barbies. When I was a child, it wasn’t just a doll in a small house. It was much more than that to me.
13. Stepping Stones – I love that the water becomes the fog covering the castle.
14. Cold Comfort – It took me a minute to figure out what the illusion was here. I couldn’t see anything but tracks in the snow until I saw the title of this piece and noticed the beds.
15. Chess Master – I really like this one. There isn’t as much illusion in it as some of the others but the symbolism is quite cool.
16. Astral Projections – I need some curtains like this in one of my kid’s room. It would make it look like they are living in an observatory!
17. Medieval Moonlight – I really like how Gonsalves morphs people and objects into clouds. This piece reminds me of a Nancy Drew book!
18. The Woods Within – The transition from floor to standing trees isn’t as smooth as some of Gonsalves illusions are, but I like that it reminds you that those pretty wood floors were once living trees. However, I think the main point of this piece is that you can have adventure right in your living room with a good book!
19. Sailing Island – The creativity and imagination of turning trees into sails is simply inspiring. I wish I was half as creative.
20. Beyond The Reef – I often look at clouds and picture them as islands in a blue sea, but I’ve never imagined them to be the sun reflecting off the surface of the sea.
21. Change Of Scenery II (Making Mountains) – Turning a cloudy evening into snow-capped mountains is awesome.
22. Aquatic Mountaineering – White capped waves transitions flawlessly into rocky, tree covered mountains.
23. High Park Pickets – Again, this just screams that an imagination is at work. I remember as a kid playing on the jungle gym and not being able to touch the ground because of lava. This is another version of that game.
24. When the Lights Were Out – This is one of my favorites as well. It is so peaceful and serene. And he once again he uses the stars to fill in as lights in the city scape, but this time in the negative space between the actual building’s reflections. Just beautiful!
Robert Gonsalves is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists. I love his imagination and creativity, not to mention his pure talent in executing his vision. It inspires me to want to try to be as creative and artistic. However, as much as I would like to be, I’m just not an artistic person. I can picture in my head what I want on paper, but it just doesn’t come to life as it does for others. I guess I’ll just have to keep admiring art by truly talented artists like Robert Gonsalves!