I recently read my California Art Club Newsletter containing a tribute to Richard Schmid, who passed on earlier this year. He was a great artist who mentored many of today’s traditional painters. I watched him paint a portrait from life at one of the Plein Air conventions years ago. It was mesmerizing and effortless. He had such an ability to see detail in shadow and light. He could choose just the essential elements to convey his feeling for a person or place.
I have his book “Alla Prima” on my evening reading table. I refer to it frequently for inspiration and path corrections. The last paragraph in this book is his instruction to those of us who have chosen the path of the artist. Here it is:
“Somewhere in all of us there is a wordless center, a part of us that hopes to be immortal in some way, a part that has remained unchanged since we were children, the source of our strength and compassion. This faint confluence of the tangible and the spiritual is where Art comes from. It has no known limits, and once you tap into it you will realize what truly rich choices you have. May each painting you do from that sacred place include an expression of gratitude for the extraordinary privilege of being an artist. “ Richard Schmid, Alla Prima, pg193.