Rich’s dynamic portraits convey both a complex sense of character and raw emotion. Painting with energy and spontaneity he seeks to capture the essence of his sitter through minimal brushstrokes, and gives each subject a direct and mesmerising gaze. Their features are closely observed, but in contrast the wider contours of the faces merge into their backgrounds with broad swathes of colour, controlled blurring and drips and trails of paint, which heightens the drama and impact of each piece.
Although he is technically self-taught, as a child Rich spent a great deal of time in the studio of his artist grandfather. Drawing and painting came naturally to him, however his grandfather guided and encouraged him and he credits him and his work as a major influence. He was also taken to galleries, museums and stately homes, and was fascinated by the portraits he encountered there.
Based his home town of Nottingham, Rich works primarily in oils on canvas and generally paints on a large scale. He enjoys the freedom oils give him to blend and shift his palette, and to create overlapping layers to bring depth and texture to the finished work. Their scale and impact make these portraits arresting and powerful centrepieces.
“Every face is unique and intricate. For me it starts with the eyes and when they are complemented by an interesting face and the right lighting, I know I can create something intriguing, both to me and to the viewer.”
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