Artist Reception-Richard Leet
Richard Leet will be at Waldorf for a reception and then giving a talk about his work at 7 p.m..
His show runs from Wednesday, August 29 - Friday, October 12, 2018
I have lived and worked in Iowa all of my life and I've done a lot of looking at the sky and ground around me. The contrasting character or personalities of urban and rural landscapes and the variety of experiences encompassed in the changing of the seasons have become ingrained in my understanding and approach to life. The shapes, colors, lines, and moods of my paintings directly reflect my personal interpretation of what I know, see and feel.
My curiosity about the infinite forces of energy that drive everything in existence...spinning the planets, flexing muscles, blowing down trees, shaking huge sections of earth, propelling microscopic bugs or cells...shows up in the energized compositions I create. My paintings contain escarpments of sorts, forms and spaces that push and pull, lines that move and colors that sing.
All art (music, dance, poetry, painting, drama, etc.) grows out of the human need: to seek and find beaugy; to communicate feelings and beliefs; and to increase understandings about self and the world in which it lives. My art, therefore, is quite personal and is built out of those things: that I have seen or found to contain some kind of beauty; that stir my inner being and that I value; and that bring meanging to my everyday activities.
Early in my career, I became familiar wiht the work of John Marin (1870-1953) who was a unique figure involved in the pioneering of "Modern art" in America. His work is spontaneious in character done in an impressionistic to expressionistic style. It is filled with energy relating to the phenomena of nature and climatic conditions. As my own approach to painting grew, many things were incorporated into my images that I learned from looking at the work of Marin. In the late 1960s, I also became excited by pictures created by Charles Burchfield (1893-1967), an artist who created huge watercolors that were representational bu filled with an electric quality that gave vent to his seeing the world in terms of a personal fantasy. He made visibile such things as the buzz of Cicada wings, the clapping of thunder and the singing of telephone lines. I learned many things from his paintings, too, that became a part of my efforts with a brush. These two giants of 20th century American art remain two of my most favorite painters.
Climatic phenomena and changes in seasonal conditions are things we all experience. In fact these things are often a primary, everyday topic of general conversation. They are larger than life elements over which we have no control, yet they are an inescapable part of our lives, affecting what happens, what we do or don't do, and how we feel every day. I enjoy working with sunshine, rine, wind, snow, moonlight, summer, winter, spring, fall, etc., as endless sources for ideas for visual expressions that capture and portray interesting aspects of the subject matter while also making some kind of statement about life itself.
I am a cloud watcher and always have been. I enjoy being out-of-doors where I am fascinated by the tremendous complexity of the designs and functions of nature. Looking at the other forms of life which surround us causes me to be even more respectful of the miracle of life and of just how precious it is to each of us. I hope that my paintings capture some of the joy of living and that some of this joy is then shared and better understood by others.
Part of this existence deals with things we cannot readily see, that go deeper than surface realities...that have to do with the essence or spirituality of life be it religious or philosophical in nature. These things have something to do with what we are, how we live, how we see ourselves and how we relate to one another. Thinking about this part of existence, often quite abstract and very difficult to comprehend, adds other dimension to the paintings I make.