MONTEREY – Paul Richmond’s paintings are thoughts-blowing. Crammed with abstraction of colour, motion, sort and vibrancy, they focus on the unique id of the subject matter and that subject’s internal daily life with its own abstraction of soreness, pleasure and spirit. They often mix beauty with whimsy, intrigue with eroticism.
Paul has received intercontinental notoriety, publication in numerous art journals and anthologies as perfectly as exhibition in galleries and museums by the United States. In his very own terms, ““My design and style weaves back and forth in between realism and abstraction, generally incorporating facets of both equally to varying levels. There are widespread threads of individual narrative, self-expression, and the questioning of societal constructs all around gender and sexuality.”
In whole disclosure, I personally have been the subject matter of just one of Paul’s paintings, a piece in his Promiseland show referred to as Echoes. Looking at oneself from Paul Richmond’s perspective is not just looking at your deal with on a wall… he allows you see what your soul appears to be like.
I not too long ago caught up with him for an job interview.
When you satisfy him, his boyish exuberant temperament does not scream “serious artist”. He is accessible and outgoing. He laughs a whole lot and whilst not using himself as well significantly, demands thanks respect for his perform. He is totally accessible, but soon after a several minutes of looking at him operate, you know you are in the existence of anyone extraordinary.
He is an artist on the verge of soaring to great heights. The wings with which he flies are not just his personal, on the other hand. The fluttering you could envision listening to about him are not from him by yourself.
They are from his phoenix and his butterfly. Two womanly forces – 1 that has motivated him, and 1 that has been a extensive and lifestyle-conserving guiding force to his individual accomplishment.
The Phoenix: Linda Regula
Linda Regula was Paul Richmond’s existence-prolonged art teacher. Paul fulfilled her when he was 4 decades outdated. She was the to start with person in his life who actually lived amongst their made art. Strolling into her household and seeing that environment, impressed him tremendously. She observed guarantee in him, and promptly instructed his mothers and fathers that she would information him in his expertise.
Linda’s artwork was both of those her expression and her launch of the soreness of abuse she had endured. She embraced the picture of the phoenix, ““Being poor, shy, skinny, and motherless, I was bullied unmercifully as a kid. When I was in the fourth grade, our instructor questioned learners to hear to a tale about a phoenix, then to draw a photograph of the legendary fire chicken soaring from ashes…Gathering up quite a few crayons marked with names that I liked, I coloured its feathers emerald eco-friendly, ruby red, violet, and cobalt blue.
At final, contented that my Phoenix appeared to dwell inside of the drawing, I developed a radiant yellow sun whose golden rays seemed to tease the chook into flight. I then drew glowing embers scattered beneath its feet, and coloured black and brown residue clinging to its very long legs to point out that the terrific chook was mounting from sooty ashes.” Her phoenix was provided a place of honor in her classroom, but was before long wrecked by her bully. ”Memory of that bully destroying my phoenix drawing nonetheless stays as if that spectacular fire fowl, its feet coated with scorching ashes, experienced basically walked across my mind.”
She communicated this to the younger Mr. Richmond in age-proper means, offering him the awareness that his own artistic expression was a lot more than suggestions and principles, but a usually means to mend – ought to he need to have it. When he entered fourth quality, the have to have for that outlet emerged.
His before faculty career experienced been in a Montessori atmosphere, and immediately after 3rd quality, he was sent to a Catholic college. His inventive and buoyant persona signaled his rising sexual orientation and even prior to he could grasp his very own self-consciousness, he was badgered and abused himself.
He did not confide this to Linda, primarily owing to shame and confusion he felt, but she turned conscious of his improve in mood and demeanor. When he ultimately did open up up, adequate, she encouraged him to “paint about it.” His to start with portray expressing the problem was a do the job known as “The Piece that did not in shape.” It was a portray of a puzzle with all the pieces (his classmates) fitting, and just one odd piece that did hot… himself.
As he dealt with suicidal ideas in sixth quality, his skill to paint his emotions, and to convey himself via Linda’s classes ended up the only issues that kept him from performing exercises self-damage. “Taking delight in myself as an artist was my existence raft,” he suggests. “Linda encouraged me to choose all of those people thoughts and categorical them in art, I hadn’t genuinely considered that in advance of. I experienced found her paintings and the way she utilised artwork to process her very own everyday living, but that was the initial time I understood I could do that also — that art could be a way for me to offer with what was going on at university and in my existence.”
The Butterfly: Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton enjoys butterflies. In several means, they seem similarly consultant of her persona. From humble beginnings, they change into vibrant fabulosity. They are awareness having, fantastic and generally soaring to new colorful heights. They are the definition of Dolly Parton.
As a youthful teenager, Paul Richmond held the ultimate butterfly, Dolly Parton, up as a purpose product. “As I got more mature, I grew to become far more conscious of her identity and who she was, I just definitely relevant to her. There were being a good deal of similarities really concerning her and Linda, mainly because they equally have the backstory of growing up in poverty in the mountains Both experienced definitely lovable Southern accents. They are each imaginative inspiring men and women who definitely shine a major light in the earth. So, Linda was initially, but I assume it was sort of purely natural for me to latch on to Dolly as a position design due to the fact she was so related in a lot of strategies to the purpose design that I currently experienced.”
Paul’s youthful perseverance to meet The Butterfly compensated off. He persuaded both equally his moms and dads and Parton’s handlers to let him to deliver her a piece of artwork when she opened Dollywood. He was 12 several years outdated.
Several years afterwards, impressed by a Dolly reference on his web page, The World of Marvel gallery in Los Angeles contacted him and asked him to submit a piece for their Dolly-Pop exhibition. He produced a fanciful piece. In the canvas, Dolly seems in the Glinda Fantastic Witch bubble above the yellow brick highway in front of a 4-calendar year previous boy who stands transfixed… donning a pair of grown woman’s higher healed footwear. A massive butterfly is highlighted prominently in the portray.
A print of the painting also finished up in Dolly’s dressing room. “I was genuinely trying to just capture my childhood fascination with Dolly and I considered the Wizard of Oz, would be a best metaphor for that. Meeting Dolly in Dollywood, as a kid was this kind of a, these types of a significant critical component of my childhood, and I wanted to stand for the feeling she truly opened up a full earth to me that I understood I wanted to be portion of, and that I wanted to someday venture out into from the very little conservative city that I lived in. Practical experience much more of this huge colourful wonderful environment for which Dolly was the entry level,” Paul instructed me.
The Phoenix Rises and the Butterfly Sings
Linda Regula died in July of 2020. Her passing intensified Paul’s motivation and involvement in an business they experienced co-started termed the You Will Increase Task.
Its logo is the phoenix.
You Will Rise delivers “a multimedia showcase for men and women of all ages who have been bullied to share their tales by the arts. Submissions can include things like visual art (paintings, drawings, sculptures, films, etc.) as effectively as poetry, song lyrics, brief stories, or other resourceful expressions that ideal seize their personalized experiences. The You Will Increase Job asks only that contributors be truthful and genuine. No corrections or alterations will be designed to the functions that are posted on the internet site.”
Shortly soon after Linda’s passing, Paul read from Parton’s art director. They required to commission a Paul Richmond portray for Dolly Parton’s residing room… a painting of butterflies.
Paul experienced a terrific dialogue and shared about his back tale, about Linda, and his enjoy of Dolly. He advised them about You Will Increase, and an on the web fund raiser they had been doing for a scholarship in Linda’s identify. “Well, I assume that Dolly would seriously like to be portion of that,” the director stated.
On Saturday, Oct 17, You Will Rise and ArtCOZ (the Artist Colony of Zanesville) offered a virtual party honoring Regula’s legacy and set up the Linda Regula Legacy Scholarship Fund for young people today who employ creative expression to converse their particular encounters with adversity.
The celebration provided the donation of a rhinestone-studded autographed guitar from Parton’s private selection.
And Dolly Parton sang a livestream tribute to Linda. The butterfly serenaded the phoenix.
“It was definitely wonderful to see the intersection of these two outstanding women. Two ladies who were so important to me, come with each other in this way, at this occasion. It was definitely potent. It intended so a great deal,” Paul suggests.
As for the long term, Paul proceeds each his art and his activism. He has a renewed enthusiasm to the You Will Rise Challenge. He is a driver powering the Re-Drawing Masculinity task for which he is both equally and instructor and product, alongside with transgender artist Briden Schueren . The workshop is designed to introduce the fundamentals of figure drawing and anatomy. The task web page states: “Masculinity suggests much more than bodies with a penis. This workshop is all-inclusive and anybody being inappropriate or disrespectful will be disconnected and banned.”
Paul seeks to also emulate his purpose design, Parton, the Butterfly. He claims of her the latest contribution to the fight towards COVID 19: “Dolly has hardly ever been somebody who was interested in seeking to make political statements she’s generally been a lot a lot more about spreading love and acceptance of everybody. I felt like this was this kind of a meaningful way for her to contribute a thing so essential appropriate now. Then to also make a video clip of herself getting the vaccine to support with any luck , inspire those who could possibly have fears about it. Perhaps she can access individuals that others just cannot. That’s kind of how she’s generally operated she, she actually, she doesn’t want to be divisive she really wants to assistance, and she works by using her platform to do that and I definitely regard that.”
As Paul and I completed our discuss, he commented with a twinkle of an eye, “There are points coming up that I can not but notify you about for this job interview. But remain tuned.”
I acquired butterflies….