Paul and Nancy Rickard of Arcata say they do almost everything together.
“We love being together and have had many adventures, including building a home from foundation to finish, serving in the Peace Corps (and) raising three children. … We consider ourselves so lucky to to be with the one we love,” Paul said.
The couple – who recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary – also enjoy painting landscapes together. A month-long exhibition of their work opens July 30 at the Simmons Gallery of the Trinidad Coastal Land Trust office, 380 Janis Court in Trinidad. A vernissage is scheduled for July 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. The Rickards will also be at the gallery to share their work on August 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Paul says he picked up a watercolor brush once he retired from full-time teaching 10 years ago. He now paints outdoors, i.e. in the open air, almost every day, capturing local landscapes in the fog, sun or mist of Humboldt County.
“At 59 I retired from full time teaching and bought a set of watercolors and went down to College Cove in Trinidad and painted a watercolor of a view who held wonderful memories of reuniting friends and family. Those memories and the quiet, meditative experience turned out to be an eventful day in my life,” he said.
“Since that day, June 12, 2012, I have painted almost every day, learning as I go, and through the camaraderie and inspiration of a growing community of artists,” he said. declared. “As an outdoor Humboldt landscape painter, I find inspiration in dark pines and tall redwoods and resilience in gray skies and ever-changing tides. Above all, I am determined to express the wonder of the banal and the magnificent through watercolors.
Paul says his artistic journey has brought many unexpected rewards and adventures over the years.
“For several months in 2016, while encamping the homeless in what became known as Devil’s Playground in Palco Marsh, Eureka, I painted the beauty of Humboldt Bay and the life of a homeless community. -shelter that numbered in the thousands,” he said. “I joined Betty Chinn and her foundation for the homeless at a fundraising event at the Morris Graves Museum of Art titled ‘A Watercolor Artist’s Perspective from Across the Tracks.’ traveled extensively in the West and more recently in Bhutan to practice my art of atmospheric watercolor painting, winning awards and recognition along the way.
Before starting to paint, Nancy regularly accompanied her husband on these adventures, spending her time writing drafts of short stories and a book of memoirs.
Four years ago, inspired by Paul’s passion for painting, Nancy began creating her own works using soft pastels.
“I have always had a love for color. I expressed my passion through knitting and crocheting, and creating fiber art in my spare time. … When Paul started painting on the landscape,” she said, “I walked with him and used the stillness and beauty to inspire my writing. Occasionally I would pick up a sketchbook and draw what I saw. I got discouraged with my writing and perpetual publishing.
In 2015, the Rickards became involved with the Sunday Paintout Group.
“We both loved the camaraderie of the artists. I learned so much by watching,” Nancy said. “One day someone handed me a box of pastels and someone else gave me pastel paper. I started creating something new and loved the immediacy of pastels. The pigment on paper was so exciting. I fell in love with the medium and the joy of plein air painting. It was 2017 and I have never looked back.
Nancy, who worked as a math tutor until a few years ago, has retired and now devotes her time to creating art.
Together, the Rickards say they attempt to capture the beauty of the Humboldt County coastline, the majesty of the redwoods and the other alluring landscapes of the area.
“We both constantly encourage each other to paint in the way that suits us,” Paul said. “We can sit in the same place, but see two very different perspectives. The Humboldt landscape offers an endless variety of inspiring vistas. »
The upcoming exhibition at Simmons Gallery focuses on the couple’s artwork of Trinidad and the surrounding seascape.
“I’m proud to show my art with Paul and I feel like I’m up for the challenge,” Nancy said. “We love sharing our art with the community.”
For more information on the Sunday Paintout Group, visit Paul Rickard’s Facebook page each Saturday for the paint location and directions to the site. Everyone is welcome. For more information on Paul Rickard and his work, visit paulrickard.net.