Richard Schmid: The Landscapes

"there is a fascination and tranquility brought about by nature . . . as close to happiness as anything I know of."

- Introduction of Richard Schmid Paints Landscapes, 1975

My wife was very good to me this Christmas and gave me the new landscape book by Richard Schmid. The book is a large, 11x14, coffee table style book with over 300 paintings and drawings.

If it hasn't been apparent yet, Richard is on the top of my "favorite artists" list. Not because he is popular or I'm trying to get on some band wagon, but because I am absolutely amazed at what he can do with paint and a brush. There are countless of his paintings that have so much reality (in some cases, beyond reality). There is so much space and depth -- a result of his exacting values and beautiful edge work. If you were to mention artists who have the best handle on color, Richard's name would come up. If you were to mention value, or drawing, or brushwork, again, his name would be one of the first mentioned. In all the areas that make a painting successful, he is a master of them. That is why I fill my shelves with his books and videos.

The Lanscapes is organized by location and season, starting in Chicago and then New York, New England, and International locations. It is light on text (I read through it in a couple hours - taking my time at each painting) but it's written very well and a pleasure to get some background behind many of his paintings. There are also several photos of him painting on location and progress photos of three or four landscapes.

If you don't have any books by Richard Schmid, get Alla Prima first, and then this one. There are hundreds of paintings that haven't really been seen before, making it an archive and history of one of our centuries great masters painting his favorite subject.