S. Richard Shook, painting shared experiences

B. 1955, Mason City Iowa. B.A Art and Design, Iowa State University, College of Design, 1983. Winner of the Janice Peterson Anderson award during his final semester. He started his career as an architectural illustrator for Bloodgood Architects, in Des Moines, later he moved to New Hampshire and worked with Matarazzo Design and returned to Iowa in 1990 after beginning his own freelance illustration and design business. He’s been focused on painting for the last ten years or so and Dick enjoys portraiture and figure painting, especially on subjects concerning ballet.

His work is in the World Food Prize Foundation Hall of Laureates, Des Moines; the Polk County Health Department, Des Moines; and in other public and private collections.

“Most of my work is done in oils. I like the smell of oil and its flexibility as a medium. The way it translates light and color and imparts depth through glazes. It’s an old and trusted choice.

As far as subject matter, the longer that I live the more inadequate words are to express my thoughts and feelings; it is like the familiar taste of salt or the smell of warm bread, (or the smell of oil paint) although painting a picture of salt or warm bread is still insufficient just as any description of salt or bread will be. Essentially, as an artist, I’m interested in quieting the mind and opening a path for contemplation of direct aesthetic experience: in a manner of speaking not to show salt, but to taste salt.

That sensation can be accomplished more abruptly, but I prefer the comfortable familiarity of ordinary and seductive realism. The dancers, the wrestlers, the swimmers, and cyclists. Subtle humor can be found there as well as some shared experiences and sure, memories of things like salt that can’t be adequately described.”
S. Richard Shook

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