Living on a commune in central Vermont for almost 30 years, Rick worked jobs ranging from project manager to parking lot attendant, from tree-feller and skidder-operator to computer programmer and dishwasher, from busboy to editor. He earned an MFA in Poetry and wrote thousands of poems. He taught Algebra for ten years in an alternative high school. And he painted and he drew.
With no formal artistic training, but with an unwavering drive to make art, regardless, Rick found encouragement in underground comix, rock posters, and album covers, seeing there unlimited potential for abstract cartooning with non-representational art. His painting and particularly his black and white drawing was from the beginning influenced by the illustrations of Aubrey Beardsley, M.C. Escher, Gustav Dore and Albrecht Durer, but most especially by the art and lettering of the surfer/artist, Rick Griffin.
Whether writing, painting or drawing, Rick's work has been about a fantastic elaboration on word play, mark making, and tapping the contemporary zeitgeist. Most of his early work was destroyed in a fire in the mid-80's; but in 2008, he began a series of 40 larger format black and white drawings. In 2010 and 2011, he taught himself graphic technique, working strictly digitally, mostly in color, and as well now elaborations of color and symmetry and digital manipulations of scans of his drawings. From 2012-14, Rick produced 160 more black and white drawings in two series of 80, and also 210 nine inch white paper plates drawn with black ink over a designated year's time.
It is all of these elements, now finally in place, that give rise to the integrated work seen in the painted shoes of the Kick It Over Collections, 2015 - 2016.