Richard Schmid (born 1934 in Chicago, IL) is an American realist painter and author. His earliest artistic influence came from his maternal grandfather, Julian Oates, an architectural sculptor. Richard's initial studies in landscape painting, figure drawing, and anatomy began at the age of twelve and continued into classical techniques under William H. Mosby at the American Academy of Art of Art in Chicago. Throughout the second-half of the Twentieth Century when representational art was out of vogue, Schmid kept alive the knowledge he received from Mosby and from Mosby’s circle of luminaries that included Sargent, Monet, and Degas. Mosby, a graduate of the Belgian Royal Academy in Brussels and the Superior Institute in Antwerp, was a technical expert on European and American realism. Studies with him involved working exclusively from life, at first using the conceptual and technical methods of the Flemish, Dutch, and Spanish masters, and eventually all of the late 19th century European and American painters. The emphasis in each period was on Alla Prima, or Direct Painting systems of the various periods. However, Richard's individual style and the content of his work developed along personal lines. A gifted teacher himself, Schmid has generously shared this knowledge through his books and through his mentoring of young artists. Richard Schmid is widely viewed as an American Master by his collectors and peers and students.
At the apex of his long and distinguished career during which he has achieved the honor of winning nearly every major art award in the United States, including the Medal of Honor from the prestigious Salmagundi Club of New York City, the $100,000 National Arts for the Parks award, and the John Singer Sargent Medal for Lifetime Achievement–Richard Schmid still experiences every new painting as a process of discovery. Says Schmid, “I seek what I love about a subject and try to convey it honestly. As I have grown as an artist, I have found I have the capacity to see more. The more I see, the more I find to paint, and the more I wish to convey on canvas. It’s an unstoppable sequence. “And that’s the adventure.” “Over the last few decades, I’m noticing more and more young people appearing on the art scene with amazing skills and hungry for what Alla Prima offers – everything they didn’t learn in art school. Most art schools offer predominately modern art. They discourage anything that might inhibit the spontaneous act, such as prior knowledge of traditional methods.” As we enter this new Golden Age at the birth of this new century, Schmid’s achievements have continued to grow. In 2000, when he received the John Singer Sargent Medal for Lifetime Achievement, the presentation was made by Richard Ormond, Sargent's grandnephew during a special awards ceremony at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. in 2009, West Wind Fine Art, which has represented Richard Schmid's paintings since 1998, curated an historic exhibition RICHARD SCHMID & HIS INFLUENCE at the Salmagundi Club in New York City with paintings by Schmid and a selection of recognized artists who he has mentored, including his wife, Nancy Guzik. Also featured at the show were Timothy R. Thies, Daniel Gerhartz, Rose Frantzen, Scott Burdick, Susan Lyon, Paul Mullally, Clayton Beck III, Molly Schmid, Gretchen Schmid, Judy Stach, and Casey Baugh. Then, in 2009, Schmid wrote and published The Landscapes, featuring over 300 of his images spanning 50 years of painting directly from nature. Schmid is also working on a revised and expanded edition of Alla Prima and has several other books in the developmental stages. At the conclusion of Alla Prima Schmid writes, “Somewhere within all of us there is a wordless center, a part of us that hopes to be immortal in some way, a part that has remained unchanged since we were children, the source of our strength and compassion. “This faint confluence of the tangible and the spiritual is where Art comes from. It has no limits, and once you tap into it you will realize what truly rich choices you have. “May each painting you do from that sacred place include an expression of gratitude for the extraordinary privilege of being an artist.” As we enter this new Golden Age, it is art lovers worldwide who are expressing gratitude to Richard Schmid – for the generous sharing of his accumulated wisdom and for the extraordinary privilege of witnessing his artistic vision.
(written by Sheryll Reichwein at westwindfineart.com)
In 2005, Richard Schmid was presented with the Gold Medal award from the Portrait Society of America during their annual portrait conference held in Washington DC. Richard is also the recipient of an honorary doctorate degree from the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, CT. Throughout his career, Richard Schmid has promoted art education through his books, articles, workshops, seminars, and television presentations. He travels widely in the Western Hemisphere for his subjects, and currently lives in New Hampshire with his wife, Nancy Guzik. Richard Schmid's work is represented by West Wind Fine Art, Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod.
Exmoor Farmhouse – Devon
Richard Schmid in his studio
Abbotsford framed print version copy
Study of Abbotsford House, Scotland
Abbotsford House, Scotland
Images from underpaintings.blogspot.com
Several years ago, Douglas Pringle, an attorney and the president of the K.T. Wiedemann Foundation, a non-profit, charitable grant organization located in Wichita, Kansas, contacted Kristen Thies of West Wind Fine Art, expressing interest in the artwork of American Master, Richard Schmid. The Wiedemann Foundation, which has a rich tradition of promoting the arts in Wichita, decided to acquire several of Schmid's original paintings to place on public view at the Wichita Center for the Arts. During follow-up conversations with Pringle, Thies mentioned, in passing, that she and Schmid were planning for an upcoming trip to London, and this piqued Pringle's interest. The attorney, a descendent of the Pringles of Melsrose, asked if the artist and art dealer might also consider visiting Scotland. After being inspired by the words of the Scottish poet and novelist Sir Walter Scott, who had written, "If thou wouldst view fair Melrose aright / Go visit it by the pale moonlight," the teenaged Pringle had made the pilgrimage to the land of his ancestors, and there became entranced by the romance of the land. If Schmid were interested, Pringle proposed commissioning the artist to travel to Melrose, and to paint a large landscape featuring Abbotsford, the baronial house and estate of Scott. Schmid, who himself had been enchanted by Scotland during his first visit to that grand country, and who also had a fondness for castles, responded to this idea with a resounding "Yes!"¹ The resulting painting, Abbotsford House, made its official debut on September 29th, 2012 at the Wichita Center for the Arts. It was part of a special exhibition, jointly organized by the Wiedemann Foundation and West Wind Fine Art, featuring 20 of Schmid's works culled from permanent collections. In attendance at this very special unveiling were three of Sir Walter Scott's descendants, as well as several dignitaries from Abbotsford. Next year, the painting will be permanently installed in the new visitor center at Abbotsford House in Scotland. Schmid has granted to the Abbottsford Trust the reproduction rights to the painting, so that 100% of the income generated from the sale of prints of the work will be directed into the Trust's ambitious £14 million revitalization project of Scott's ancestral home.