Robert L. Lewis

Robert L. Lewis is a Florida artist, who is a member of the Highwaymen group. The Highwaymen was an association of young African-American artists who painted their way from the Florida Citrus fields in 1950s through 1960s and 1970s, painting Florida landscapes in a flamboyant style. As the doors of any art gallery or show was closed for them at that time, they just were selling their works from the back of their cars, travelling along the Florida's East Cost. The style of Robert L. Lewis paintings as all other Highwaymen was inspired by the works of well-known Florida artist Albert "Beanie" Backus. The work of Highwaymen were not recognized at that time, but only in 1990s when a Florida art collector and museum curator re-discovered them and wrote an article about them. The interest and popularity of the Highwaymen artists keeps steadily growing since and works that were selling for less than $50 from the trucks are easily commanding hundreds and thousands of dollars and found their ways to art galleries and shows.

Trees are a prominent feature of many Robert L. Lewis paintings and his work shows a fantasy bent. On the older Robert L. Lewis paintings, the palms often curve and lean; on his newer works, painted on canvas, Lewis’ trees are more refined. The trees in Lewis' newer work often appear to be a place of timelessness in an ever-changing landscape. He uses an imaginative colour palette, which is more predominant and noticeable on the newer Robert L. Lewis paintings, where colourful skies take centre stage amongst lush greenery. Newer pieces also tend to display wildlife, especially coastal birds. Robert Lewis may not have had the time as a young Highwaymen to include the lush details that you can find on the later Robert L. Lewis paintings, but the beginning of his developing style are easily seen.

You can identify Robert L. Lewis paintings by his signature, "R. L. Lewis". And Robert still lives and paints in Florida today. 


© 2015 by Florida Highway Men Paintings

  • Facebook Social Icon