I was Bobs roommate from late 1969 to May of 1970 when he was going to The Collage of Arts and Crafts a.k.a. Farts and Laughs in Oakland,Calif.I was a candle maker at the time and he used one of my candles in the first film that he made, I believe with a friend of his named Fritz Groskuger he was a long time friend of Bobs.Bob and I shared a great distain of Richard Nixon at the time.He then moved to Portland,Ore.and I moved to Monterey,Ca.and lost touch with him until I moved to Portland in 1977.I ran into him just before he moved to So.Cal.I only found out that he passed away in 2009 when I by chance searched his name on the internet,I was deeply saddened.I would really like to talk with anyone who knew him and would really like to know how to get ahold of Fritz.
i was a close friend of bob's before he died. i have started a fanpage on facebook if anybody is interested, i would love to have people share stories about this beautiful, creative person.
I met you just a few times. You came to our house for the Grattan-Gardiner cousins reunion and I remember your quiet creative energy, standing on the porch. When I look at your photo I am so struck. I see my grandma Katy (your aunt) and so much of a certain kind of spirit. I'm afraid it's going away, but am fiercely glad I saw it. I now live in Portland, and it is nice to think you lived here for years.
I recently was using the internet to locate old friends and found Bob had passed away, so young.
I knew Bob when he lived at the Lawn Apartments back when he won the Oscar in 1975 and kept it on top of his refrigerator.
I have an old photo of Bob holding up his Oscar.
My apartment was right above his on the third floor.
It was a magical place full of artists, writers, poets. I guess the archetecture attracted them all to the Lawn Apartments in NW Portland.
Love to hear from old friends who may have known me back then.
Does anyone know what happened to Terry Davis who was the manager and left for LA to become an actor.
Or Marty Owen, the Irish Poet.
I knew you in the 70's in Portland and still think of you in 2007 in England. You always did make a lasting impression. I mention your name to anyone I ever meet who is interested in clay or animation here in Manchester. Bless your cotton socks Bob.
Knew you so long ago and never forgot...
My heart is broken to hear this news. I met Bob in the 70s at the Museum Art School in Portland. I have many fond memories of him. He was an energetic, fun, creative, and thoroughly loveable guy. My sincere condolences to his family.
Your clay animation "Closed Mondays" holds a very dear place in my heart. It takes me back to when I was a little girl and seeing it for the first time on TV. I was mesmerized. You will be missed.
Bob, I became familiar with your work long before I knew any animators' names beyond Walt and Chuck. I saw 'Closed Mondays' in 1975, It was one of the first artistic animated shorts I ever saw, and it led me to absorb about fifteen years of anumation festivals and the like. I had seen Closed Mondays maybe eight times before I learned my friend John was your brother, and by then you were already gone.
From what I read here, you had the love of the community around you, as well as Johns' energy, his intelligence, his quick wit and his love.
I would have liked to have known you. It's my loss too.
I'll change this - hereafter I'll pay attention to the artists' name. Yours will be remembered, that's for sure.
Do I write this to you, whom I never knew, only knew of? Do I send it out into the universe hoping it connects somehow, or put it here in paltry words, so long after you have gone, so that those who loved you know that still, you live in thoughts of one who never touched you, talked to you? I'll do all of these, of course. Through your brother, my good friend and kindred spirit, John, I know all I need to know of you. That you were creative, kind, funny, blazing with talent, with life. I know you were loved, are missed. I know I felt sad when John told me of your passing--though I prefer to call it your release--and that I feel sad never to have known you. And I know, without doubt, that you've changed lives, made differences that you never knew of, and that your loss, somehow, affects all of us.
Thought I would say hello. We are thinking about you and miss you much.
I never met Bob but he had an enormous influence on my life. "Closed Mondays" was one of the first times I ever saw claymation and it inspired me to follow a life and career in visual effects and animation. I was born in Australia but have lived in the States for the past 16 and now work at ILM. I only just found out today that Bob had passed away and it saddens me deeply that I never got a chance to thank him in person for creating that spark in me so many years ago. My deepest condolences to all of you in Bob's family. He was truly one of the GREATS!
"Blabbermouth computer!" says the character that Bob animated in Closed Mondays. Bob was a special friend and an inspiration to know. I have 30 seconds of Super Eight film showing Bob and friends jumping in the air in the 1975 animation class that he taught with Will- and a pair of shoes that Bob animated that appear to magically walk by themselves. Let me know if you'd like a DVD of this Super Eight film. I was hoping to be able to meet and talk with Bob again sometime. May God Bless.
Sincerely, Tom Samanen
Back to the Sea
In late August, we hike to a shady bank
on the south fork of the Yuba
and attend to our task,
releasing the remains of father
and brother into the water,
James Francis and James Robbins,
ash and carbon rippling on the surface
souls drifting free...
a marvelous liquid cloud, white as bone
slowly stretches out,
green phosphorescence shining through
lit by algae from the creek bed -
minnows, dragonflies, and a garter snake
bear witness, we share a peach
and drop the pit into the stream,
seed into seed
father and brother winding together
down Sierra tributaries
slowly to the sea.
Bob was one of the most prolific and creative artists of his generation. He was exceptional at painting, drawing, sculpting, film making, singing, song writing, and prose writing. He was also a gifted musician, stand-up comedian, monologist, inventor, improvisational talker, and very loving human being. To be that talented sometimes carries a burden, and in Bob's case it was the mundane necessities of daily life. Winning the Oscar was relatively easy for him, paying the rent was not. It makes no difference now. His work will live after him because it is superior art, and he will never be forgotten by his loving family and friends.
I met Bob only once and spent no more than a couple of hours with him way back in 1975 and had a crush on him ever since. I loved all of his art, especially the holograms. I am very saddened to learn of his death. He was special.
I first met Bob in the 70s through my dear and now departed friend, Kent Holloway. I remember how the 2 of them spent hours inventing wonderful things - like the painting machine, that tracked the sun to create just the images they wanted between 2 pieces of glass - I still don't get it! I got to see the clay annimation in process, too. And, of course, he was fabulously good looking - what a smile. I didn't see that smile again until last year at a celebration of life for Kent. The smile was still there, but a bit dimmed and weary. He came to life, though, when he talked about his girls. He was very, very proud of them. I'm heartbroken that he couldn't find a way to stay with them and us. Chrisse
I drove over Donner Summit today with Robin and our pooch and great music on the radio, and we thought of you. One funny country song with a good hook and I cried that you took your inspiration with you yet I'm so glad that you left all that you did leave behind. And I drove the CA I-80 with your two daughters not too long ago and they were the best company I've ever had on that drive.
And we had traffic.
They know how to sing and they know how to invent on the spot.
You were the funniest most spontaneous verse or rhyme song-writer I ever met who could do it on a streak behind the wheel of a car or anywhere and I hope you knew how great your daughters are. The fact that you won't know the promise that they show as it grows into grater beauty is sad but it won't cloud the pleasure those who love them will feel, as I know you would'nt want it to.
I miss you a lot. I sang for you today & will sing with you always.
Strange to write to you only in spirit but that's the only way now. We who loved you have your amazing artwork and music to console us but it isn't enough—not even close. I still can't comprehend your absence and don't understand how your path came to such an end. You were a man of such brilliant creativity, humor and personality that most people paled by comparison. You could also be more difficult to get along with than most people. But I loved you so much and I miss you being in this world, hard though this world was for you to deal with.
At least we have your two lovely daughters, who are so wonderful and such a comfort.
I look forward to the time when it isn't heartbreaking to even think about you, but expect that will be a long time coming, if ever. Your lesson to me is to speak the love I feel for others now, without hesitation, and to embrace life as fully as possible while time allows.
Bob, I wish I could hug you right now and tell you how important you were and are to me, and somehow make you turn back time and return to us.
Love from McMoshkowitz
I was lucky to know Bob during high school in Reno in the 60s. I remember once at a party he pulled out some sketches he had done for one of those "You Too Can Be An Artist!" correspondence courses. His drawings and cartoons were way wackier and better than the ones he was supposed to be copying.
In 1970 or 71 I caught up with him in Berkeley, where he had just won top prize at the Berkeley Film Festival with his 1st try (wonderfully obscene) at clay animation. A few years later Pat Herz called to tell me to turn on the Oscars quick, because Bob was on TV getting one. None of us were too surprised.
I last talked with him about 3 years ago, when he called to offer sympathy after my mother's death. He was the same old Bob, firing on every cylinder every second. It's a duller world without him.
Dear Nephew Bob - In my mind's eye
you are a young boy. You were always so vibrant, with a huge grin,
merry eyes and a delightful sense
of humor. I have not known you very well as a grown up but that little boy has stayed with you for
sure and for all time. Just be
happy Bob! with love, aunt Katherine
Bobbie, Bobbie, Bobbie.
You have given so much to everyone you have ever met, so willingly and with such passion that no one is the same after encountering you. The first time I met you five of us wrestled you into your apartment in Oakland, and then introduced ourselves very properly, having worked up a sweat. You are the most serious and the most playful person wrapped up into one constant energy bomb that I have ever encountered. Working with you back above fifth avenue next to the PCVA was always amazing as you would methodically move ten figures into their next motion and shoot the shot, move the camera, and then move ten figures again - directing me to do some small thing in the backround, carrying on all the while about what we we doing so I would understand how it all would come together. And it did. You invented what you needed and your ability to visualize and then fabricate what you had imagined from whatever you could find at Winks Hardware would put a film studio to shame. You were a splendid athlete and I would describe you as handsome and with great Cromagnatism. You expected the loyalty and love you felt, and few of us could live up to that. But you need to know we have all loved you for who you were not what you did. You were a lot lot love and maybe we couldn't manage that on a daily basis. You are huge in the pantheon of great spirits. In the end you needed more than anyone was able to give you. I hope you are able to get that love now. I send it out to you every day and count on you receiving it with a big beautiful grin, the grin I first saw in that first meeting after wrestling in the entry that was so instantly and totally playful, athletic and theatrical. Peace upon your soul, brother.
There will be a memorial and celebration of Bob's life in Portland on June 12. Here's the poster with the details
It’s hard to pinpoint my earliest memory of Bob-probably preschool or kindergarten in Pacific Palisades. Even among six and seven year olds, he stood out. He could take over a class and keep us all laughing hysterically when one of our teachers had been unwise enough to step out of the room. Even then, his artistic talent and creativity were obvious. He was in an after-school art class that was normally was open only to kids close to twice his age. And his crayon drawings of things like buffaloes were mesmerizing. Much later, when the news reached us about his Oscar, I was delighted for him and not completely surprised; there was no doubt about his talent and creativity; it was more of a question of what course his talents would take.
We knew each other better as kids than in adulthood, but even our occasional times together in California were memorable. On what turned out to be our last visit, he gave a quick but incredibly rich tour of the mining museum in Grass Valley.
Bob, I hope you’re in a happier place now. We’re all better for having known you and worse for losing you way too soon.
John Gardiner is a friend and a beloved poet to all of us here in Orange County and beyond. Of course, I only knew his brother, Bob, from afar, but from what I learned of him from John, he was a man blessed with soul and creativity. Further, I lost just such a daughter (Misty Mallory) in 1999, so I deeply understand the sadness occasioned by Bob's passing.
Bless all of you and Bob,
Lee and Natalee Mallory
I remember the fun we had at the Hardman's in Pacific Palisades and at St. Matthews School. You and little Stanley Hardman were like baby brothers and always annoyed us in the pool, but we loved you anyway. I'm sure there will be a great reunion up there amongst all of us - see you then. Love always from Alix Hardman's old best friend.
I like to imagine that upon death a person's light bursts into hundreds of pieces, each of which goes to live in the heart of someone who loves him. So a little peice of Bob lives in each of us now.
My first meeting with Bob was in San Francisco's North Beach through Kent Holloway in the early 1980's. He was an exuberant young man glowing with words and love. We walked through the crowds to Spec's Bar and listened to Bob's explosions of verbal inspirations. He attended my Kent's celebration of life last year and I am sorry that I did not get to hear that same love of life that I remembered from before. We were not close but I always wished that we had been. Now it is too late.
I miss you so much already that it's still difficult to even write ... I'm sending you a cosmic hug and a promise to never forget you and all the wonderful creations that you blessed us with ... I'll write you again later.
Your brother, Jack
To the Family and Friends of Bob Gardiner:
My most sincere, heart-felt sympathies for your great loss.
I did not know Bob personally, but heard of his great talent through his brother and my good friend, John. Maybe the next time we look-up into the sky and see a particularly majestic cloud, seemingly molded by an incredible sculptor...perhaps it will be part of Bob's magic...still shining down on us mere mortals. That's what I will think of from now on.
We all speak to Bob's brilliance and humor, and to the power of his inspiration. Late one night he took me to a little room and showed me clay figures on a work table, with a tripod-mounted camera. He adjusted one of the tiny figures just a little bit, and then snapped a photo. "Just like that, Wacky, over and over again until I'm nuts. Easy."
So many memories of Bob are larger than most lives. He was funnier, more talented, more interesting, more generous, more big-hearted and sometimes more difficult than other people. He was certainly the most inspired artist I've known well. He had that spark of genius—not always, but he had it—that lifts creativity way above the ordinary: where art takes on a life of its own beyond the artist. That's a wonderful experience to share with people you love, and those of us who loved Bob know what I mean. I hope his restless spirit is at peace.
In whose mind ten thousand universes were born and died each hour; each more interesting, beautiful and with intricate lovingly crafted detail; just like you. You inspire me to live fearlessly, create passionately, and to love now.
Bob and i would act out little mini-
musicals in the alley at 18th and Kearney. He called me Brian Wilson and somehow as Brian I was on an imaginary horse in this particular musical. Back in the seventies he would bring his keyboard and play with our band at the Crystal Ballroom. Bob could make me laugh without even trying. Love to all his friends and family. I know how much he loved his girls.
I was fortunate to have met Bob through my association with Mason Williams as his Northwest Drummer from 1988 - 2002 for his various music performance project....
Bob was an intensly creative and dedicated individual to his ideas and artistic integrity...he will be sorely missed and my thoughts and prayers go out to all his family, close friends, fans, working peers and those lucky enough to have known him...
I think Bob was one of the major forces in animation in the 20th Century. Plus he was a funny and very smart guy. Sadly I only had the chance to work with him but one time. He will be missed. Here's a picture I took of Bob in April, 1975. He was doing a commercial for Rainier Beer.
Well, Bob - There are so many great memories growing up with you and your family! Kentfield, The beach, The Yuba River, Nevada,Aetna Springs, Southern California.....always the funny guy.....telling your wild and fascinating stories! The one great thing that you taught me ( so very patiently; for an entire summer afternoon) is how to whistle extremely loud using my index finger and thumb! I will always remember that day! And many other days spent together, the Gardiner's and the Allen's...we knew how to have some kind of fun!.....
I truly hope you have found peace, Bob.........(and Peter, too)
Love, Sootz (Susie Allen)
Bob was a fascinating, creative, generous man. He made several very innovative, remarkable films that have influenced a generation of animators.
We love you, Bob
Bob, Teo, Tess, Rob
I am a friend and poetry supporter of John Gardiner. Please know that I am meditating for the entire family in your loss and have white candle burning for James and all of the family.
Tebot Bach, Inc.