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Robert  Richert Biography

"The motivation for my art is simple - Nature abounds with beautiful forms, colors and textures. I just have to paint it!"

The beauty of nature provides inspiration for artist Robert A. Richert. He grew up in Southern California at a time when open space was more abundant than today. Many childhood days were spent exploring nearby fields and collecting small critters. He has an insatiable curiosity about the natural world, and he has always loved to draw and paint.

In 1969-70, he served as an infantryman with the U.S. Army in Vietnam and was awarded an Army Commendation Medal with a "V" Device for valor. After his military service, Robert attended California State University, Long Beach, and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree. Majoring in Scientific Illustration, he learned how to apply the knowledge and discipline of science to the creation of art.

For many years, Robert has shared his enthusiasm and knowledge about ecology by volunteering as an interpretive naturalist at local nature preserves. Through his volunteer time and his artwork, he has inspired many people toward a greater appreciation for the environment. Generous donations of his paintings and prints have raised thousands of dollars for conservation efforts.

Mr. Richert has pursued art full-time since 1980. For most of his early career, he specialized in wildlife subjects, and later began to devote more time to his passion for scenic beauty. Today, he loves to explore nature's most beautiful places and then transform these experiences into dramatic and visually exciting landscapes and seascapes.

Awards, Publications and Honors
1982 - California Duck Stamp.
1983 - People of the Century stamp collection.
1983 - Who's Who in Waterfowl Art, Ray Chapman, Ed.
1984 - 86 - Leigh, Yawkey, Woodson Art Museum: Group exhibition
1989 - Sponsor Artist of the Year, National Waterfowl Alliance
1992 - Artist of the Year, California Ducks Unlimited
1992 - Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History - Group exhibition
1993 - America's Pride: Collector plate series featuring eagles - Bradford Exchange
1997 - The Best of Wildlife Art: - Hardcover, Published by North Light Books
1999 - Wildlife Art: - Hardcover, Rockport Publishers
2002 - Connecticut Duck Stamp

Supplementary Information – Painting Technique
The rich diversity of color, texture and form in nature provides endless inspiration for Robert A. Richert. His paintings reflect his passion for scenic beauty. Although he enjoys painting popular natural wonders such as those that abound in Yosemite Valley, he often seeks out lesser known, out of the way corners of nature. However, even a familiar scene, such as the classic view of Yosemite Valley from Inspiration Point, may change dramatically due to the weather, the season, or the time of day. Subjects that others may consider cliché, Robert welcomes as a challenge to his creativity. He seeks to create paintings that rise above the generic.

Although plein air painting (painting outdoors) is popular among many landscape artists, Mr. Richert prefers to work in the studio. When outdoors, he would rather be hiking, exploring, or just spending time observing. He seldom interprets a scene literally. Instead, Robert prefers to orchestrate strong compositions using elements from his photographs for reference. He seeks to capture the feeling or essence, rather than the exact lay of a particular place.

The great majority of landscape and seascape artists paint in oils. Robert prefers acrylics. He spent more than twenty years learning to master this difficult, water-based medium. The acrylic paint is applied in a succession of thin layers, almost like sketching with a brush. This method affords more flexibility than slow drying mediums allow. Robert is continuously refining and editing as he works through a painting, altering the shape of an ocean wave here or a cloud there, moving a rock, or even a mountain! Mr. Richert's technique allows him superb control over color, value (light and dark), texture, and composition. His paintings are full of rich detail. He seeks to convey the intricate textures and subtle nuances that abound in nature. In the end, every element of the painting has been honed to near perfection.

The Hidden Hearts
One of Mr. Richert's first California landscapes featured a large oak tree in the foreground. He painted a carved heart on the trunk of the tree. One day he showed the painting to his friend, well-known seascape artist Violet Parkhurst. Violet liked the heart and suggested that as a symbol for his love of nature, Robert should include the image in all of his future paintings. Great idea! Ever since then, Robert has included one or more hidden hearts in his landscape and seascape paintings. Sometimes, a rough impression of the shape emerges spontaneously; perhaps in a clump of tree leaves, a pattern in a cloud or the texture of a rock. Robert need only alter it a bit. People enjoy studying the details of his paintings trying to find the hidden hearts.


Enduring Legacy by Robert Richert