A lifelong resident of Oakland, California (and son of a former mayor), Robert Clifford Rishell studied at the California College of Arts and Crafts. In addition to easel paintings, Rishell was one of the founders of the Oakland Museum and painted some of the murals there. Rishell specialized in native portraits and scenes in Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona. Navajo Shepherd exemplifies his precise yet dramatic style.
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