Chris Richter’s paintings explore the relationship between the natural world of trees, water, and atmosphere and how to express their essence in paint. His color palette and compositions capture the dynamic to subtle details of “time in nature” revealing color and form within a variety of atmospheric moods and conditions.
He executes each painting with layer upon layer of paint, which after drying, works back into, sanding down to previous layers bringing form to color and a vibration effect that can only be achieved through his process. While his work is definitely abstract, you can feel the connection he has to the natural world, which provides the inspiration for his workRichter began working as a full time artist after a formidable career in advertising and graphic design. As an established naturalist painter, he relocated to Santa Fe, New Mexico for a decade where his work transformed into abstractions of nature. His biography and work have been featured in noted publications including American Art Collector. Richter’s work has been featured in numerous exhibitions across the country including the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, the Harwood Museum of Art and the Laguna Art Museum.
He lives and works in Laguna Beach, California. His home and studio renovation was published in the April 2019 edition of Coast Magazine.
I’m intrigued by the phrase 'human nature.' Many indigenous cultures believe the world is populated with spiritual powers that take the shape of animals and plants. In other words, there are many forms of intelligence, not just the human kind. Nature is primed to tell us intriguing, unimaginable and useful secrets. My work continually explores the humanity found in nature. Several years ago, during an early autumn snowstorm, the characteristic eyes of the aspen trees pulled me from my world and into theirs. Since spending time in that world I have come to realize that time of day, seasons, and various environmental conditions are vital in expressing that human condition. Through painting, I attempt to create what happens in nature when I’m not there to observe it. My paintings are strong on color and technique and my conceptual approach is essential to the dramatic composition of every picture. When abstraction occurs, the deconstruction process of the painting and ultimately the subject matter itself becomes a statement about our own human impact on nature.
Many indigenous cultures believe that the world is populated with spiritual powers that take the shape of animals and plants. Nature is primed to tell us intriguing, unimaginable and useful secrets. I have always been intrigued by an idea that there is a human condition in nature, particularly revealing in the relationships that trees might have with one another. Whether it be nature’s own forces or the human forces that impact nature, they are often my source of inspiration and they open up opportunities for me to explore. Through my work and process, from beginning to end, I feel I have tapped into some of nature’s most inherent characteristics in developing my own visual language to engage with the viewer.
My conceptual approach, combined with a compelling color palette and painting process offers an unexpected look into nature’s mystery and intrigue. It is essential to the dramatic composition of every picture. Oftentimes the mere physicality of my work is seen as a statement about our impact on nature and the environments in which we live.