...it's all about the moment. I don't think about lessons learned or advice given, though they are all there. I try my best to not think at all. Working this way over years, I fall into a rhythm and state where a thousand simple decisions come down to what pops to mind first. I rely on there being all the information and experiences I've collected, but to not consider any of them when I paint.
There is a base connection we have to the human form. It's visual weight is enormous, even in it’s generalized or abstracted depictions. For me the figure is on one side of the scales, the expressive mark on the other. I love how little figure it takes to give solid ground. Interest in this innate connection to the figurative form is what has caused most changes in how I approach images. I have opted for texture over detail as a way to describe the figure. I enjoy anonymity due to the way it encourages interpretation, and concealing the identity of figures and environments is an invitation to the viewer.
My work is about expression and interpretation. I seek to give the viewer options, and open up a visual dialogue between the figure and its abstracted environment. With the expressive mark I seek to create interpretive form and an image that evolves over time. Art becomes memorable when people make their own connections with it. In my work I've created starting points from which the viewer can play.
The five years he spent producing videos for Ford Motor Company were critical to Rick’s development as an artist. “Through my time in video production I learned that my main interest was in manipulating images to cause a connection with a viewer.” This drive eventually led Rick to explore computer graphics and animation, and ultimately brought him to the fine arts program at Eastern Michigan University, where he intended to major in graphic design.
Consistent with his inconsistency, he never took a graphic design course. Rick’s exposure to oil media, oil pastel on paper, and oil on canvas led to a passion that replaced technology as his means of making images—and making connections with the observer.
Rick ultimately earned his B.F.A. cum laude with concentrations in drawing and painting and minors in art history and telecommunications. He is motivated by his interest in visual investigation. An important area of exploration: boundaries. “I take great pleasure in exploring the slight difference between something being recognized as an arm and being recognized as a landscape. I don’t want specifics. I’d rather create little visual playgrounds for people to have some fun with. If my work were whittled down to bare essentials, that’s it. It’s about wanting to enjoy an image that evolves, that will have some life of its own–that over time remains enjoyable to look at.”
Rick often opts for texture over detail to achieve the forms in his works. “I enjoy creating anonymous figures because it encourages interpretation, and brings a sense of the infinite. To me, concealing the identity of figures and environments is an invitation to the viewer. That the viewer brings something to the work that makes it personal for them is important to me. Art becomes memorable when people make their own connections with it. In my work I have sought to make these associations possible by creating starting points. Each viewer then goes their own way.”