A couple of years ago I wrote a blog titled In One Sitting in which I talked about a direct approach to painting referred to as Alla Prima. At the end of that entry I shared my experience of talking with a group of young artists who were preparing to take the skills that they had learned in art school and begin their careers. Here are a few excerpts from the last paragraph of that blog posting:

“Unlike art, where you can go back, make changes, correct mistakes and, in some cases, even start over again, life is lived Alla Prima- in one sitting. Every decision you make is like another brush stroke on the canvas of time. With each new day comes a clean slate- a blank canvas. Strive to make each new day better than the last, for with it comes the opportunity to create a masterpiece.”

Artist Richard Schmid has been painting masterpieces on a daily basis over the years, not only on canvas, but in the lives of those around him. As one of the most well-known and respected artists of our time, Richard’s work represents the finest examples of excellence and beauty in representational art. What sets his paintings apart from others is not the subjects that he paints, but how he chooses to see and interpret the beauty that is found in the world around him.

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Each time I see one of Richard Schmid’s paintings, I’m reminded of the time when I first met him back in 1993. I wrote about this experience on my blog last year, but was reminded of it again when I recently came across a photo that was posted by Ryan Mellody. After looking at the image of Richard giving a painting demonstration during a Weekend with the Masters event, I was quickly taken back twenty years to June of 1993 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. The similarity between the two photos was a great example of the persistence and perseverance that Richard Schmid has displayed over the years. Although times have changed, Richard’s steadfast and immovable focus on excellence has not wavered.

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Richard giving a demonstration in 1993.

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Richard painting at the Weekend with the Masters event in 2010

Having had over fifty one-man shows and being featured in countless museums, galleries, books, magazines and videos throughout his distinguished career, Richard Schmid has inspired an entire generation of artists. Although his impact on the art world is immeasurable, his greatest gift is the art of giving. This is clearly seen by his willingness to share his knowledge and expertise with other artists so that they, too, can experience the thrill of reaching their own personal goals.

Here’s a photo of Richard’s note of encouragement to me back in 1993 during the opening of his one-man show. It reads “To Brian with good wishes and much joy in your painting”. Click here to read my experience in witnessing Richard’s generosity firsthand.

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Richard continues to graciously share his wealth of knowledge and experience with others through his books and instructional art videos. His bestselling book, Alla Prima, is considered one of the most comprehensive art instruction books on the market and is a standard in classical art education in the United States and abroad. The book contains 193 pages of information to help you grow as an artist and includes many full page, color images of Richard Schmid’s work that are sure to inspire your creativity.

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Here are some examples of what’s inside the book:

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The Landscapes is a stunning 280 page large format book that includes over 300 images of Richard Schmid’s landscape paintings, the largest collection ever compiled in one publication. This book is a record of over fifty years of painting experience and takes us on Richard’s journey from youthful painter to seasoned artist.

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Here are a few examples of some of the pages that are included in The Landscapes:

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If you’re looking for great art books to add to your collection, as well as furthering your art education, I highly recommend both Alla Prima and The Landscapes by Richard Schmid. To learn more about each of these fantastic art resources visit www.richardschmid.com. While there, be sure to take a look at Richard’s exquisite limited edition lithographs. These hand signed, numbered images are the next best thing to owning an original. Each one of these lithographs allows you to get a closer look at the subtle beauty of each color, edge and brush stroke. Here’s one of my favorites from the collection:

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Diana’s Maple, 12” 20”, Oil