Artist Richard Shaffett’s paintings capture the vivid colors and intense sunlight of the tropical and seaside images he loves. See more of his work by visiting his website.
Early in life my artistic direction was set. My youngest childhood years were spent in Aruba, surrounded by incredible water and exotic tropical island atmosphere. Always drawing a ship or a palm tree, or modeling clay, I became, and remain, an artist.
These same fascinating subjects, islands, oceans and all things nautical, still inspire me just as much today as then.
A weather-beaten lighthouse or an old wrecked boat has stories to tell of the eternal struggle of man against the sea. They tell of all the joy and heartbreak, the ebb and flow of life played out against a backdrop of sea and sky. I have followed this calling throughout my life.
Since those early years, I have attended college, served in the Navy, and been to art school. In 1968, I moved to Sarasota to study at Ringling School of Art, and stayed on afterward. I still live there today.
After Ringling I worked at ad agencies, did architectural rendering, worked as a newspaper artist, painted murals, did caricatures and freelanced. All the while I painted (and sculpted resin jellyfish and wooden birds) at night and on holidays. Somewhere around 1990, I started painting full time.
Although formally trained, I consider myself self-taught. Early on, I adopted Maxfield Parrish’s method of painting and still use it.
I work with acrylics on panel, using transparent glazes and loose brushstrokes to create images full of light, energy and feeling. I use photos (mostly mine) for inspiration, never copying verbatim, but combining different elements to create something unique.
I carefully plan each image, starting with a small color rough. As the piece progresses, it begins to almost take on a life of its own and I remain open to changes that may occur. This method is time-consuming, but the end result is well worth it. I have never actually tried to create a “style” but instead just focused on letting things flow naturally and through time, my “look” has evolved.
My aim is to paint compelling pictures – simple straightforward authentic work from my imagination to yours. I want to create images that suggest a story of your own imagining. I want to take you deeper into the heart and soul of the subject. I want you to feel the sand beneath your feet and smell the salty air. I want you to be there in your mind.
Art is my passion and my life. My goal is to connect with like-minded people and share my love of islands and oceans with them through my work.
Artist Richard Shaffett invites you to follow him on Facebook.
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