Archive for July 1, 2012

Artist of the moment….Colorist Richard Mayhew….

I was unable to find many large single images to list here as I usually do, please check the video clips if you are interested in seeing more landscapes by this remarkable artist.

I consider this artist a great painter of color. My other favorite painter of color would be Camille Przewodek. The artist doesn’t try to pinpoint an exact position on a map but rather he tries to capture the feeling and mood of a place.

A short clip from a documentary done about the artist and his emotional landscapes.

Another great clip from 2009. A museum show was held showing works of great African- American painters and this short interview was done with the artist. You can see him at work in his Santa Cruz studio.

The artist was born in 1924 in Amityville, New York.  The artist’s parents were African- American and Native American. When he was a young boy it was his grandmother that got him excited about nature from the Native American point of view. How to live in peace and harmony with nature.

At this time he was also introduced to the fine art world. Being close to New York City many of the nations finest artists would visit his hometown of Amityville and paint the wonderful shoreline and sea. He started to experiment with a paintbrush himself. At the age of fourteen he was given the opportunity to show his works and some of the artists invited him to work with their group and receive helpful artistic direction, in the process he became a fantastic painter of the landscape. As a young artist he loved to visit the Met Museum. He was inspired from the painters of the Hudson River as well as Rembrandt.

The artist was able to study and learn from such artists as Hans Hoffman and Max Beckman by taking classes at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. The artist took classes at the Pratt Institute and earned a degree in art history from Columbia University. His first show at the Brooklyn Museum of Art drew great praise from the critics and comparisons to artists such as Monet, this was in 1955. He also worked in the commercial art industry designing lamps and illustrating medical books and also children’s books.

In 1959 he won a scholarship and was able to attend an art academy in Florence, Italy. The school told him to remove himself what he was used to in order to better express himself as an artist. Upon returning to the United States in 1962 he knew exactly how he wanted to express himself as an artist.

In 1963 the United States was under a change with the policies of race. The artist joined a group named the Spiral Group made up of African- American artists. Mayhew was able to learn a great deal about race and identity and how the two played an important role to every artist of color.

I must agree with the old magazine “ARTS”, that Richard Mayhew produces incredible color abstractions. I would say that would be Mark Rothko, for me he is abstract. Mayhew takes his landscapes to another level as his colors also represent something in the real world as well as emotions!

The artist’s most prolific period for artistic output was from 1977 to 1991. He left school for brief time to again study painting. He painted twenty pieces from memory. He wanted his inner soul to expressed on canvas and finally achieved his goal of maximum expression thru painting.

The artist worked in many mediums such as etching, watercolor, and oils.

low price range: $1,000

high price range: $22,000

Richard Mayhew currently lives in Santa Cruz, California as it reminds him of his Amityville childhood.

Get out there and paint a wonderful summer piece, let the color shine through like this artist!

Happy painting!

D