march featured artist
In the Beginning
by Robert Richardson
The very starting point of my oil painting adventure began with an Oil Painting for Adults class at my local high school in mid-November of 1960. The class was small, maybe eight students at most. Each student had little to no experience--a few had never painted in any medium and those included me--but we had a lot of interest in the art of painting. Some had worked with watercolors, though no one in the class had ever painted with oils. Happily, the class was well organized, and the “chemistry” was good and supportive. By the end of the class, attendees were friends who had completed a group of “nice” paintings. We were all surprised by our results!
As the class moved along, our painting efforts impressed our instructor. At the end of the six-week class, the instructor suggested that if anyone were interested in attending more advanced level oil painting classes, he would put us in touch with a local artist who held weekly evening classes. I and two other members of our group jumped at the chance.
Two weeks later our group of three boldly opened the door and entered the Loper Art Studio for the first time. Wide-eyed, we walked into an ongoing class of advanced students of Mr. Edward Loper, Sr., a well-known Wilmington, Delaware artist.
After a very short introduction, Mr. Loper placed each of us in the middle of the studio, directly in front of a small still life set-up, and gave each of us a small sketch pad and a few sticks of hard charcoal with the instructions to do a few quick sketches of the set-up. He then returned to his students before letting us know that he would be back to make comments. We were impressed with Mr. Loper’s multi-tasking, as it demonstrated his skills in working with students who were each at a different stage of expertise.
That is how it all began some so may years ago. I never would have thought that our small group of “want-to-be” artists would be painting together--and with Mr. Edward Loper--for some thirty years thereafter. We painted in the Cezanne style, using the Cezanne pallet of colors, under the direction of an award-winning artist with three honorary Dr. of the Art’s degrees to his credit!
Today, as a former Loper student and a Cezanne-style oil painter, I use the Cezanne pallet of eight colors, making sure that my work brings forth the importance of composition and other critical relationships between light and dark and the added value of different hues within a color. Considering the shape of different colors and how the balance of all these elements fit upon the canvas allows me to create not merely a “nice” painting but rather a very good, balanced oil painting with my signature proudly visible in the lower right corner.
Bob Richardson paints to capture a moment or a place with the intention of imprinting his feelings for that place at that moment. His professional experience includes 20 years of creative product and process development work with The Franklin Mint. He has also worked with The Goebel Company (Germany), maker of the famous Hummel Figurines, as well as for Towle Silversmiths.
Bob has taught painting at the Doylestown Community Conservatory School of Music, Arts and Drama in Doylestown, PA and now teaches oil painting classes designed to help the serious beginner get started or for those artists looking for a new direction and a different approach to their art.
Bob is a member of the Newburyport Art Association, the Seacoast Art Association, the Seacoast Open Studio Group, and a Juried Member and former Board Member of the New Hampshire Art Association. He received the WALTER EMERSON BAULM AWARD for oil painting in 2005 and again in 2015.