John Richer (b.1973) Flamborough, Ontario, was introduced to art at an early age by his grandmother. He spent most of his childhood exploring the woods, fields and streams on his grandparents’ small farm - a perfect place to awaken creative expression. At age 15 John broke his neck - an event causing him to reflect on life’s purpose from that point on.
After completing his Bachelor of Arts at York University, John earned an honours diploma in Graphic Design and Illustration at Mohawk College. He pursued a profession as a Graphic Designer for 15 years with various design and printing firms.
In 2008, he and his family had the opportunity to purchase his grandparents’ farm where he had spent so much of his childhood. His career in the graphics industry was ultimately not fulfilling his creative drive, so he grasped this opportunity to move back to his roots. John set about small scale farming, followed a more traditional lifestyle and began to develop a reconnection with Nature. By 2017 he made a resolution to commit to the practice of traditional fine art, using oil paint as his medium of choice.
Energetically intense and emotive, John’s paintings exude a sense of potent vibrancy beneath their realistic surface. His work is influenced by the gradual changes he sees within Nature - striving to capture and channel that same energy into his work.
John’s recent series of still life paintings explore themes of decay, transmutation and rebirth. Bones and other objects he finds during hikes are used as meditative subject matter. Isolated in a black void, these solitary images offer a realm of contemplative reflection, as they echo the energy of a life that has passed on. Their static nature is currently shown as existing in-between a life once lived and the next phase of its recomposition. Symbolically, these objects hold the capacity for change as they continue to transit form
“An abundance of green tea and music are essential components of my studio practice!
I usually don’t experience the “blank page” syndrome in the studio, as I tend to plan out my paintings ahead of time. However, it can happen as I initially try and think about new concepts for works. I find the best way to combat an artist's block is to think or do something other than art. Ideas or inspiration will usually strike when I least expect it. Activities like hiking or splitting wood usually work wonders, helping my conscious thoughts to fade away and allowing the subconscious mind to eventually take over.”
"Inspiration can come from so many sources! A big one for me is being outside in Nature - just taking in everything, engaging with it, and letting it influence my imagination. Seeing old masters paintings, art podcasts, as well as all of the amazing artists that can be found on social media these days. Music is huge - it has the ability to conjure up visions and emotions, so there’s always a wide variety of styles playing as I’m painting."