Artist Elizabeth Rickert conveys a sculptural feel in her nature-inspired oil paintings. Visit her website to view more of her work.
My work has ranged from close, detailed images of individual plants, fruits, bird’s nests, blossoms and grasses or other natural elements to broad views of wetlands, water gardens with koi ponds, and distant landscapes.
The common characteristics are that I see these things as a sculptor would and work to produce depth in my paintings while carrying enough detail and color that they also work on an abstract level.
As an example of what I seek I recently traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico, where I found the ancient practice of planting corn, beans and squash together for agricultural and nutritive purposes. My paintings depict the time after the harvest when squash vines, pea tendrils, cornstalks and wildflowers intermingle and age; and when dried corn husks and leaves turn burnt orange and purple while the wildflowers are in various states of maturity.
The more I “see” the more detailed and rich my paintings become.
I am a research artist who learns as much as I can about each subject. I observe, sketch, photograph and paint. My art is unified by the subject of nature and the technique of realism.
I work at presenting in a way that approaches abstraction in its close detail. I use reflection/refraction in water pieces and carry sculptural influences into my paintings.
Fieldwork and travel are very important to me. What does the subject look like in different lights or different seasons? All natural things are continuously changing.
Will my representation show a scene which is beautiful but also is consistent with organic reality, even if that specific scene only exists in my imagination? I might add fish to a pond which has none visible. A frond from one photo and a frond from another may make it into the composition of a Grasses painting.
From this point, the actual painting begins; I first start with a layout in charcoal onto the canvas. I then add a loose layer of paint and slowly build many layers over that.
My paintings take a long time to complete, though I paint every day. I take pride in the continuity, effort and ability to “see” which I have developed over my career of nearly 50 years.