A Cheeky Artist Looks Inward

The greatest artists have more than one note to sing or one color to paint.

The shape-shifters and the versatile chameleons are those who captivate my notice and thrill me the most.

Case in point is artist Paul Richmond. Known perhaps best for his series of Cheesecake Boys, and his recent Adult Coloring Book, Richmond also has an eye for the melancholy.He goes a bit deeper in some of these works, favoring the blue and violets and silvery shades of night. For this particular work, he uses hues of flesh accented by bloody splashes of vermillion – the artist battered without and within. More than that, he offers a look inward – at the struggles and torments of an artist, at the passions and sorrows of any life well-lived. Some say poets and painters feel things more. I don’t know if I believe that. I happen to think they simply open themselves up more, let their emotional guards down. They are braver than the majority of people. That is on heartrending display in Richmond’s latest piece, “Lost To Myself”.

“Most of my figurative work has some connection to the theme of identity and self-reflection,” Richmond says. “Even portraits of other people often become vehicles for exploring my own emotional responses, but this piece in particular was very intentionally about looking inward.”

As much as I love getting cheeky, some moments call for something calmer and more contemplative. A good artist finds joy in all the world. A great artist finds beauty in the sadness as well. But the best artists find the courage to look inward and put it all on display.

{Find more of Paul Richmond’s evocative body of work at his website here.}

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