Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"THE DAYDREAMER" (#1) - Pen and Colored Ink Wash, Colored Pencil, circa 1963-64

"The Daydreamer" (#1), (circa 1963-64) - 10" x 9"

This humorous study from the early 1960's highlights Richard's delight in depicting human anatomy -- specifically the female form. The 'Daydreamer' himself is certainly a representation of Richard, and surrounding the artist are a bevy of beautiful nude women, apparently preoccupying his every waking thought, hence the rapturous smile. The dark physical appearance of the artwork is not merely yellowing from age, but due to the choice to use a dark brown art board as the base.

The details below reveal Richard's adept technique regarding the female nude.

"The Daydreamer" (#1), details

"IN SEARCH OF BEAUTY" - Pen and Ink, Watercolor, circa 1967

"In Search Of Beauty" , (circa 1967) - 9" x 11" 

Another whimsical work by Richard shows his concept of the intrepid, eternal Searcher, off on his quest to find 'Beauty'. So focused in his search, he fails to see the true beauty surrounding him on all sides, as he obliviously tramples underfoot God's glorious creation and nature's marvelous handiwork. The joyous flora is ignored and the miraculous fauna scatters before his never ending expedition.  Richard succeeds in making his visual commentary that mankind can often be blind, pursuing some elusive, intangible ideal while neglecting what is right in front of our nose, simply the good and wonderful blessing found in our everyday lives.

"In Search Of Beauty" - detail

Richard was a student of the natural world, and taught himself to become an expert of sorts regarding the many varieties of plant and animal life abundant in nature, and he could differentiate these varieties in his visual depictions. While "In Search Of Beauty" was made in a simple whimsical cartoon style, one of Richard's artistic strengths was to distill a complex form and portray it on paper in a few simple lines. He learned how to look at his subjects (for example a bird, such as a sparrow) with a quick glance, and storing that image in his memory, instantly transforming that image into a few quick, simple pen or pencil lines, easily recognized.  This, ultimately, was at the core of Richard's artistic gift, a gift he would continually downplay, never bragging, yet always delighting. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

"THE FOLK SINGER" - Pen and Ink, Ink Wash, circa 1965

"The Folk Singer" , (circa 1965) - 10" x 12"
-click on image to enlarge-

In the late '50's and through the '60's folk music was the newest form of popular music expression, and Richard followed the scene. Here is his humorous rendition of a fictitious folk singer, mouth wide and lips curled, singing his song and strumming his guitar. Rendered in a free-flowing, loose impressionistic style akin to various jazz influenced illustrations of that era. This was done in pen and ink, and ink wash tones on illustration board.

"The Folk Singer" (detail)
-click on image to enlarge-