Gallery Artists > Douglas Ricks Biography :

Douglas Ricks (1954 - 2003)  Artworks >>

Born in Logan, Utah, Douglas Ricks and his family moved to Rexburg, Idaho when he was a child. His roots in the area hold deep historical ties, however, for the town of Rexburg was settled as a Mormon colony by his great, great grandfather. As Ricks grew up, he was enveloped in art. His father was a renowned commercial artist who staged summer workshops along with outstanding artists such as Sergei Bongart. Despite this exposure to art at home and at the workshops, Ricks never seriously contemplated becoming an artist until he was nearly 18. “My father never pushed art on me, and I was just plain not interested…But the summer before I was 18, something happened…I got an urge to paint.” After that, Ricks began to study seriously under his father and Bongart. He later studied art at Ricks College in Rexburg, but dropped out after two semesters because he felt that the curriculum wasn’t helping him develop his talent in the direction he wanted to go. Ironically, for an artist so engrossed with the subjects and solitude of the Tetons, it took a sojourn to New York City to help him make the final breakthrough to his unique style. In 1973, Ricks went to New York to fulfill two years of volunteer service for the Mormon Church. There, he encountered and began to study the artists and schools displayed in the museums. In 1975, Ricks returned to Idaho and put into practice all the techniques he had developed in New York. Although his art was in demand, Ricks and his wife Cherie initially experienced some difficult times. However, with encouragement from his family, Ricks continued to paint full-time, and his hard work paid off. Now known for his paintings of the Tetons in Idaho, Ricks has perfected a soft-hued style of realism, in oil, acrylic or gouache, that remains distinctive in the realm of landscape art. “In my paintings, I depict a place where I’d like to be. Sometimes, I like to take myself away from the real and go off into a world that I’ve made for myself, through my paintings. I would like to be the Indians in the painting. It’s sort of like a fantasy, but it’s a fantasy I can make come true through my art.” Reference: "Southwest Art" October 1980

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