(shoes and houses – Rick Beerhorst – graphite on paper)
As part of our Tea Time Thursday series, I had the opportunity recently to speak with Rick Beerhorst, an artist from Michigan. Today, he shares his thoughts on art, creativity and who has influenced him along the way.
Tell me about your “story” and how you got to be where you are today…
I grew up making things. From the time I was very little, my dads brother was a full time artist who would come by from time to time and use us kids as models, so I had some notion that it was an option. My wife Brenda and I, from the time we were dating 25 years ago, had it in mind we wanted to make art for a living and built that into our life style before the kids even came into the picture. We learned early on how to live on next to nothing, pulling broken furniture off the curb, fixing it up and loving it more than what you might buy new.
What is important to you in teaching an artist family of eight about art and creativity?
What is most important is everything revolves around our home. Where most people are gone all day and come home at night, our home is humming and occupied 24/7. You don’t need a lot of money, you need a vision and often you can just get started with what you have laying about the house.
(Not Digital – Rick Beerhorst – handmade and printed card)
What type of pieces do you create in your studio and how do you make them?
I make wood cut prints and oil paintings. My process is pretty traditional but I do work most every day, keeping a regular schedule and repeat certain patterns every day. The paintings are a long, slow process beginning with drawings and then transferred to wood panels and then lots of thin layers of paint laid one over another in mostly transparent glazes. They have become very expensive, between $2,000 and $15,000. So the wood cut prints remain easy to purchase for most people with a moderate income.
(girl with the plaid dress – Rick Beerhorst – original oil painting)
Who has been most influential in your art career and whom do you admire as an artist?
I always loved the paintings of Frida Kahlo for their poetic transformation of her daily sufferings into something spiritual and inspiringly beautiful. I love the music of the Talking Heads for its quirky visionary lyrics, fun melodies and danceable rhythms. I look up to Julian Schnabel for the way he became a professional film maker after mastering large scale oil painting.