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Richard Atkinson


I can't remember a time when I wasn't interested in art and music. My father was an artistic thinker. He was a wood carver before I was born. I can remember watching him do wildlife paintings on large toad stools when I was very young and trying to draw wildlife myself. In his later years he went back to wood carving and was very good at it.

I took art courses in school whenever they were offered. I wanted to go to college for art but my life took a different path. I ended up getting into music and have played on a semi-professional level for a large part of my adult life. I always knew at some point in time I was going to go back to art and painting. 

I hear many artists say, "I don't pick my paintings they pick me." There is a lot of truth to that in how I decide what to paint.  I know the minute I see a certain scene or composition that I want to paint it. It can be a variety of things from a natural landscape to sleds leaning against a barn wall or a child looking at a sunset across  a lake or a  barn or even a bobcat in the snow. I never know what might inspire me. I'm not locked into one specific genre of composition. 

The one thing I want to see in a painting is depth. For example, in my painting of a canoe with  yellow flowers in the foreground there are five layers of depth.  If you look right into the center, the experience becomes almost 3D.  But when I'm talking about depth, I'm also talking about how you feel when the painting draws you in.

I want my paintings to pull people in and take them back to a nostalgic memory or to a place they've never been before and kick in their own creative imagination. Hopefully they will be lifted out of their daily reality if only for a fleeting moment.

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