Richard Casey

Martha’s Vineyard is an extraordinary place to live and paint. I grew up beside the sea in Connecticut. For years I lived on a remote island off the coast of Maine painting the rock bound shores while dreaming of the dunes of my childhood. When I finally came here a year rounder over five years ago, I felt I had arrived in my personal artistic paradise. For the first two years I didn’t paint a thing. I waited because I wanted to get to know the island beyond the surface beauty. I had never been a picture maker, and here with the stark beauty of the island scenery pictures abounded. But Paintings, however, are something completely different. As a professional artist for more than twenty years hardly a day goes by that I’m not engaged in the process of art. So, during those first years I exuberantly trekked across the land, ventured out in my canoe and filled notebooks with sketches. I held off. For me, a painting develops out of an intimate artistic conversation. The process of conversing that follows involves numerous sketches, sometimes watercolors, and finally oil on panel. As an artist, growing up and living in New England, I absolutely feel that I am part of that great American tradition that fostered Homer and Wyeth. This tradition ties me to the distinctly American landscape, and to the robust out-of-doors method of working that does way beyond the confinements of the studio. Out there among the dunes and the sea, I see a lifetime of challenging work and the fulfillment of my artistic vision. One thing I know is that I could live on this island forever and still wake up each morning and find something I am passionate about painting. This new series of paintings are the fulfillment of a winter turning into spring. As I have painted I carry with me the ever present knowledge that I am painting my homeland, I am painting the indelible relationship I have with this luminous land and sea that constantly reinvent themselves. At times I look back and reflect on the formidable journey that brought me here. It was necessary travel that has prepared me for my life’s work. These paintings are a celebration.

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