The Oil Painters of America are currently having their annual national exhibit just west of Denver in Evergreen, Colorado. We took the opportunity to have dinner with Darren and Michelle Richeson, who are attending the event. You recognize the name. Jack Richeson & Co. provides artists with everything from paints, brushes, palettes & pastels to easels, panels, canvas, watercolor blocks & paper. What you may not realize is that Michelle Richeson is an accomplished painter in her own right. Shown above is a painting from her Carousel Project, a series of paintings and canvas prints designed to brighten the days of children in health care settings. For every print or painting sold, she donates a full size, signed canvas giclee print to a hospital, clinic or other facility that treats children.
“The reaction people have upon seeing my paintings of carousel horses made me realize that they deserve a bigger audience than one. They should be on display where people who need more happiness in their lives can see them, as viewers of the painting seem to experience the same joy I had in creating them.”
Shown below are two of her plein air pastel paintings and a large (82″x55″) oil entitled Sable Falls.
“I often travel with my pastels, working from life and absorbing amazing stimuli I might never recall if I worked only from photographs: light changing through the day; the wind, rain and heat; the smells and subtle sounds of place.”
“The eye cannot focus on more than one area of an object at a time, and while that one area is in focus everything else is distorted. Our minds, however, easily recognize what the object is. This is why at a distance my work looks photo realistic. The mind is taking the information it receives from the eyes and doing all the work. It isn’t until you see it up close that the mind stops and wonders what is really going on, and why everything seems to be moving.”