American impressionist Richard Wallich has spent
more than 30 years honing his painting talents. Using dabs and
swirls of paint, he creates a dazzling array of brightly-colored
images - ranging from landscapes to figures to sports scenes. Wallich was attracted to impressionism by the desire to paint
quickly and spontaneously, to immerse himself in the painting.
"It's a first impression, fast, quick, loose, spontaneous
being in the moment, no thinking, just being," he
explains, adding, for example, that a dab of color can represent a
figure, nondescript perhaps, but clearly a figure.
The Colorado artist also is noted for his use of vibrant, emotion
evoking colors. "The element of colors influence the mood,
feeling and setting," he says. "A tree is not just green
and brown (boring); there are purples, light blues, pinks, reds
and so on." The use of color is very personal for Wallich, who adds, "Painting
with lots of color brings me joy and satisfaction."
By the time the Chicago native was 9 years old, he knew he wanted
to become a painter. He studied art in high school and at Eastern
Illinois University. From there, he went to the American Academy
of Art in Chicago and studied figure drawing. He first dabbled in realism, but found the style too time
consuming - taking up to several weeks to complete a painting. He
started using a palette knife and adopted a looser,
impressionistic approach, which he has refined and enhanced over
After college he went to work as a graphic designer, but never
gave up the dream of becoming a painter. He moved to Rhode Island,
where his father-in-law sold some of his paintings, and he took
part in several large art fairs. His next stop was San Diego, and
while working as a commercial artist, he also did several
commissions, mostly related to sports.
In 1987, he moved to Colorado and started a one-man company
creating hand-painted shirts for the National Football League.
That led to commissions from the Kentucky Derby, Major League
Baseball and resorts across the country. The demand became
overwhelming, so he switched to creating designs that were then
screen printed on the garments. He appeared on the cable shopping network QVC in 1993 selling
lithographs and shirts with his Super Bowl design. In 1995, he
also created designs for baseball's All Star Game Fan Fest in
Arlington, Texas. Hanes also commissioned him to paint 14 designs that were put on
canvas and T-shirts for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
He has been commissioned by M&M Mars, American Airlines,
Stanley Tools, Pony Sneakers, Tavern On the Green Restaurant in
New York City, Kodak, New York New York Hotel and Casino in Las
Vegas and MSNBC, among others. Wallich's latest venture is to focus his talents on creating
fine art originals and Iris prints. He likes to travel and paint
"I like it when people look at my work and it makes them feel
good," he says.