Bob Phinney is a Montana native. He was born in Lewistown and grew up in Helena. He received his B.A. from Montana State University with studies at the University of Washington.
Following a move to the city, he served an apprenticeship in the sign trade in Seattle, worked briefly as a journeyman, and then established Freehand Signs in the late seventies. During this time he and his wife Deanna raised two impressive kids.
Twenty years in the sign trade throughout the Seattle area led eventually to The Puget Sound Art League, another (unofficial) apprenticeship in drawing and painting, and ultimately into teaching art. In Seattle Bob taught at Pratt Fine Arts Institute and the Frye Art Museum. After a move back to Montana, he taught drawing and design for several years at the University of Montana and presently teaches adults at Missoula Public Schools' Lifelong Learning Center.
Bob also teaches privately and has co- taught a popular plein-air workshop with Seattle artist Catherine Gill each year. For more information about workshops, send a note.
Along with his painting buddy Darrell Anderson, Bob has published a book on his process of sketching and working outdoors entitled "The Simple Sketch." It is available at Fact and Fiction Bookstore in Missoula and at the University of Montana Bookstore.