Rick’s work mostly consists of acrylic paintings with subject matter ranging from representational landscapes to non-objective (no subject matter) designs. Rick retired in 2008 after teaching secondary art education at Canby and Rosemount High Schools for thirty-eight years. He describes himself as a re-emerging artist since most of his creative energy went into helping others find their creative voices after graduating from St. Cloud State University with a Master of Science Degree in Art Education and a Master of Arts Degree in Printmaking and Jewelry Making in 1970. During the years that Rick taught art education, he painted in watercolors since he could not afford working in his true love of printmaking and jewelry making. His interest in acrylic painting began about four years ago when he painted a large scene of his brother-in-law fishing in an Alaskan stream with Mount McKinley in the background. In the spring of 2010 his interest in acrylic paints really took off when his painting “Rocky Coast” won two first place awards in two separate art competitions.
Rick describes making a painting as being on a journey—especially those works that are more abstract or non-objective. As with many of his abstract and non-objective paintings, they evolved (metamorphosed) into the images that are on display in the exhibition. At any point in their "journey" he can find pleasure in the work but always wonders, "Am I done--has it reach its destination?" The more representational the painting is in content the easier it is for him to determine when the painting is done. With subject matter that is less recognizable, his primary concern is not that the painting looks right but rather that the painting looks good. For most of the work in the exhibition, Rick hopes that the viewer finds his work different, compelling, and interesting.
“I am content with most of my final results. Every painting goes through a probation period during which I react to its visual impact. If the painting passed the visual test and achieved my personal goal, I signed it, sealed it, and prepared it for public display. I think of my artwork as a theater production in which the viewer is expected to temporarily suspend disbelief. For the viewer, my artwork becomes a momentary distraction—a gift of enchantment, amusement, contemplation, and emotional connection.”
While working on my college degrees in art education & studio art, I focused on drawing, printmaking & jewelry making. While teaching high school art, I concentrated on landscape watercolor painting. After retiring, I turned my attention to photography and acrylic painting.
My ambition has always been to abstract my painting subjects. However, as an observational and mechanical artist, that has always been a challenge. With acrylic paints, I can enthusiastically play with abstractionism—creating more colorful, expressive, and whimsical forms of landscapes as well as non-objective compositions.
Over the past couple of years several of my acrylic paintings have received Awards of Excellence and Honorable Mentions in several different local art competitions and exhibitions. Several of my works of art are in permanent collections in a couple of state colleges—the most recent purchases for Ridgewater College Administrative building in Willmar, MN.