Robert Lougheed was without a doubt one of the most influential western artists of the last 50 years. He excelled as a teacher and mentor to many of the modern West's most renowned artists. He was a major force in the development of the National Academy of Western Artists, was a member of the Cowboy Artists of America, and led numerous workshops to develop promising artists' ability to paint in "plein air". Even as a child in his native Canada, he had an inherent talent at capturing his natural surroundings and the animals that lived there. He began developing his artistic talent as a teenager taking a correspondence course in drawing. He landed a job with the Toronto Star as an illustrator when he was only nineteen. Eventually, he moved to New York to study at the Art Students League under the tutelage of artist Frank Vincent DuMond, who described him as "the best student, I ever had." After establishing a solid career as an illustrator for such publications as Reader's Digest and Collier's, he began to spend more and more of his time painting western scenes and subjects. In 1967, he moved to New Mexico and devoted his career to western art.