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John RichardsWilliamstown, MA
This artist’s name is John Richards, Jr. but most call him by his nickname, “Skeets.” He was born in Adams, Massachusetts on February 3, 1947. He lived in Adams, went to its public schools, and graduated from the former Adams Memorial High School in 1965. The artist received a B.A. in Physics and an M.A. in Education from North Adams State College, now named the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. He has been married to Barbara Richards since June, 1969 and they have a daughter named Carolyn, now Carolyn Kutny of Ellsworth, ME. The Richards reside on Lindley Terrace in Williamstown, Ma. and have done so since 1972. Mr. Richards was a science teacher at the Berkshire Country Day School in Lenox, Ma. for one year and a Physics Teacher at Drury High School in North Adams, Ma. for 34 years, officially retiring from teaching on June 30, 2004.
His desire to paint in oils began as a child but took hold in the mid 1980’s due to a television “how-to” painter named Bill Alexander. He was a teacher of Bob Ross, another PBS featured landscape painter. Shortly afterwards Richards became very interested in the landscape paintings of the Hudson River School Painters of the mid 1800’s, including such artists as Frederic Church, George Inness, and Albert Bierstadt. Their ability to portray nature as they saw it, a wondrous place with intricate details that man is subordinate to, was beyond compare. His style has evolved in this manner. He sees nature as our home, a sacred place to be revered and not taken advantage of. You’ll see virtually no semblance of modern technical life, such as cars, computers, skyscrapers, etc., in his paintings; He chooses to paint scenes that portray serenity and quiet contemplation, much like the days of his youth in Adams. It was a time of dairy farms, Little League Baseball, and walks in the woods with his dog. Jerry Connoy, Director of The Lenox Gallery of Fine Art in Lenox, MA has dubbed John Richards’ landscape style as “Neo-Hudson River with a representational and impressionistic quality.” He is also painting still life subjects; they appeal to that sense of serenity that he longs for. Richards has studied with Andrew Orr, Northern Vermont artist and member of the Salmagundi Club, as well as Leah Lopez, one of America’s premier Still-life artists, and Christopher Pierce, a leading floral Still Life painter. He is a member of Oil Painters of America, The American Artist Professional League, Landscape Artists International, The Southern Vermont Art Center, Artisans of the Berkshires, The Columbia County Council for the Arts, and the Housatonic Valley Artists.
Presently Richards has paintings for sale at the John Zaccheo Fine Art Gallery on Main St. in Manchester, VT, through his website, at various exhibits at the Southern Vermont Art Center in Manchester, VT, and the Bryan Memorial Gallery in Jeffersonville, VT. He has created the website which shows his work, some for sale and many owned by people from around the United States and in foreign countries.