Fire and Gravity Studios
Shimmering Original Art by Jaime Richards
Fire and Gravity is not only descriptive of how I create my work, but it’s also a statement of my style, and descriptive of the relationship dynamics that shape my life. I literally use fire in the form of a torch, and gravity in both how I move the elements on my canvas along with the different weights of the elements that I use. Some are heavier than others, and even within a thick medium, gravity always wins. The number one thing I am asked every time someone sees one of my paintings is “HOW do you do this?” Well, an artist is entitled to a few secrets, but know that the materials that I use are the top of the price and quality scale. I use the highest quality resin that I can find, and I combine that with various pigments – everything from mica powders used in makeup, to deeply rich colorants, paints, acrylics, inks, and occasionally, even enamels. The result is deeply shimmering and mesmerizing in how it plays with light. It can never be replicated as a print. Every piece is an obvious original.
As a canvas, I try to work with the end goal in mind. A gallery depth or framed, ready to hang piece of work. At times, creating my wood surface, or framing and finishing takes more time that my piece does to create. I also love working with recycled canvases. There is a time limit in working with resin. Often, it seems that the second my gloves are on, my pigments are lined up, my canvas is primed and prepped and my entire studio is lined with plastic, the dogs start to bark and the doorbell rings, or my alarm goes off to pick up kids. All must wait once I mix my resin in colors and begin pouring, and tilting and heating and creating, because once that process is started, it must finish. Sometimes in 1 hour, and sometimes in 6, with consecutive pours, but never can it be broken up or interrupted. Sometimes this results in failure. A piece I’m not happy with that isn’t fixable. That’s it. It’s over. It’s a total hit or miss. It’s not an oil painting I can return to over a period of months and work on meticulously until I’m happy. It’s dynamic and out of control. The end result that I seek is dramatic work that emulates nature. The way that it emulates nature is up to the viewer. In years of watching people interpret my work, it often sounds like a chorus of Rorschach InkBlot interpretations, but more often than not, people see what I do – something organic that you would see in our earth. Patterns that are repeated from either close up or as far away as a satellite image.
Every woman in my immediate family is an artist. My mother works in oils and clay, my sister creates incredible jewelry, my niece is still finding her medium but is an obvious talent, and my daughter…is startling in her talent with pencil and paper. Her dedication to detail and improvement along with her consistency inspires me. There’s not a chance I could have the confidence to open myself up to the vulnerability that is actually making one’s art available to procurement without the support of my husband. He is my gravity. Not in the sense that you hear it describing something grave, but because he is the reason I can be stable and grounded enough to slow down and spend the time needed to do it. Yin and Yang is at play here in the form of Fire and Gravity. I hope you enjoy my work, and I hope in some way, that it makes you feel something, because without that, art is nothing.
Jaime Richards, Denver, CO