Robert Tokley was born in the back seat of his parents Pontiac in front of the doctors office in Madoc Ontario in the summer of 1974. He subsequently ran himself over with the family Oldsmobile only two years latter at their home in Bannockburn Ontario. These incidents would be only a precursor of the things to come that would see him almost cutting his toes off when he was five years old after stepping on a hub cap that his brother was collecting. Or when he was 12 and hit telephone pole on three wheeler causing his nose to break, his teeth to smash, and his femur to snap in half and culminating with landing in a wasp nest. In his twenties he cut his achilles tendon with a chainsaw which he almost had amputated from infection and latter severed a tendon in his middle finger on his painting hand in which the knuckle had to be fused together. In his thirties he tore the ACL and PCL in his left knee and broke his right fibula at the ankle which refused to heal because of his inability to keep off it after removing his own cast.
After tearing the ligaments in his knee at work in Alberta and before he broke his fibula back in Ontario, Robert found himself homeless on the streets of Grande Prairie. The incidents that followed would be the catalyst for where he is today, clean and sober with a family and house to call home.
In G.P. he had a loaded rifle pointed at him, chased by a guy with a hand gun, a Bowie knife stabbed at him multiple times, threatened with three foot long sword and jumped from behind and beaten into unconsciousness.
After all the physical battles his most difficult would be the one fought in his mind and his ability to get and stay clean and sober. Even after being diagnosed with cancer 3 days before Christmas in 2016 Robert still finds the courage, inspiration and drive to create art everyday and to stay sober. Life is the most precious gift ever given and what we do with that gift is up to us. Creating art which is influenced by that life that might influence or inspire someone else is one of Robert’s goal and most satisfying accomplishment if achieved.
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