Rich has been involved in working with wood since grade school creating wood projects in 4-H. From cutting trees for sawmill logs, to building homes for himself as well as others, and intricate stairway and interior trim designs, Rich has over forty years experience working with wood.
In 1984 his passion for working with wood reached a new artistic level. While visiting
a gallery of fine crafts, he encountered examples of an almost forgotten art, called marquetry. Rich embarked on learning how to cut and piece together fine wood veneers creating unique marquetry and parquetry designs. He has won numerous awards locally, nationally, as well as internationally, and his works have been featured in galleries locally in Colorado and in Cape Cod where he lived until 1992. After moving to Colorado, Rich began teaching others this delicate and beautiful form of artistic woodworking. He has also taught classes in cabinetmaking and furniture-making at Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, Colorado.
Over the years, Rich has developed his artistic skills with drawing and painting along with marquetry. He has created new art pieces combining wood veneers with acrylic painting, often inside a window-like frame, using trompe-l’oeil (trick-the-eye) techniques to fool the viewer into believing the flat frame is an actual 3D window. His new paintings and marquetry have been shown in art shows and galleries around the Colorado area, as well as the Design In Wood show at the San Diego Fair for several years. In 2007, Rich demonstrated marquetry techniques, ancient and modern, at the Denver Art Museum in the Artisans and Kings Exhibition.
Rich has been a member of the Colorado Woodworkers Guild and American Marquetry Society for many years and has demonstrated techniques for making artistic designs with wood in many meetings, and has helped to educate members in workshops.
My fine art has evolved from art training in college, including; drawing with pencil, ink, and pastel, painting with watercolor and acrylics. Landscape and still life painting are my favorite subjects, with Trompe-oeil (trick-the-eye) being the most intriguing and provocative for me.
My art of marquetry, (painting with wood), has evolved from my passion and experience as a woodworker. The various colors, grains, and textures of wood are an inspiration for me to “let the wood speak”. Photos and sketches of favorite subjects are used to create the image of a landscape, still life, abstract design, or parquetry motif.
Marquetry, using thin layers of wood, (veneer), must suggest rather than duplicate due to the limitation of colors and grains available, often giving the finished piece a surreal effect.
Doors and windows have always been a fascination to me, whether it’s the idea of opening or closing spaces, or the borders of inside and outside. The play of light and shadows is portrayed by the use of contrasting woods, providing a 3-dimensional appearance.
My furniture-making was a natural progression from the carpentry and cabinet-making skills I developed in my years working in the construction of homes. Furniture and cabinets provided a ready easel to support marquetry scenes and patterns.
My goal for the future is to mix and blend my different skills and techniques; drawing, painting, marquetry, and furniture-making in various combinations, to create fascinating and intriguing objects of art.