Artist Denis Robert and his dog Jag (photo: Jan Cox)


Artist Denis Robert revives his interest in painting

Way Up West | by Jan Cox

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After living and working in Montreal for many years, artist Denis Robert and his wife Monique began looking for a lifestyle change and a slower pace of life. They sought solace from big city life and lights.

In 1998 they had been camping around the Maritime provinces knowing this is where they would eventually settle. They returned to Prince Edward Island several times. Finally Monique said, “If we come back again, we are going to stay,” and they did.

Making their temporary base in the Mount Carmel area, they looked at houses from Tignish to Souris, eventually settling in the Evangeline Region in 2001. Mr. Robert had been in advertising—high powered, high flying—it was time to land.

While living in Mount Carmel, among other projects, Mr. Robert produced and directed ten short films including a documentary on the history of Rustico featuring Island singer songwriter Lennie Gallant. Several years ago, Mr. Roberts retired and the couple moved to Summerside.

They have a smaller home in Summerside and once the art was sorted and placed about the house, it looked like an art gallery! (And thankfully, for me, his paintings are still beautifully displayed.) To continue his art work, he would need a studio and much, much more space. The many oil paintings in his home, are large, bold and dark. Abstract layers and layers of rich earth colours and distinct blurred lines.

Mr. Robert had come across a smaller 1962 ink painting he did while in Art School and thought, “I can do that again.” One fall day at the Summerside Boardwalk, as he was watched the leaves floating in the air, weaving and tossed about by the fall wind, interacting with bare branches, he said to himself, “This is a symphony.” And he began to imitate the symphonic words and music in his paintings. Suddenly, he began painting bright, vivid colours—pinks, yellows, reds, beautiful blues and greens. Along with his brilliant colours came freedom. “The slower pace of my life now, has enabled me to see. I did everything in a big way, now, I do things in a smaller way,” he said.

These amazing ink paintings full of life and vibrant colour, are in a smaller frame, but they are gigantic. I have been inspired. I’m not a painter. But my summer wardrobe will include neon greens, sun yellow, bright pinks and splashes of red. Visit the art work of Denis Robert at, or meet the artist at

Jan CoxWay Up West
Jan Cox

My partner and I moved to the island from Ottawa in August 2003. We quickly became avid fans of "The Buzz". I would search out the monthly read at the liquor stores of West Prince! I retired in June 2015 and found myself one afternoon, on a weekday no less, outside The Buzz office in Charlottetown. I met Peter and the gang and after singing the praises of the publication, suggested they needed a voice from West of Summerside. Me and my big mouth - three years later I am still writing "Way Up West" every month and it has been a joy. It's a win win - I get to work with a wonderful group of people at The Buzz and I am thrilled to be meeting folks from up west and area.