Hi, my name is Ric and I am a full time painter and avid outdoors man / bushcrafter. I am a proud member of "The Cloud Appreciation Society", a British society devoted to cloud lovers.
. BA, Illustration and Fine Art at Swansea’s Institute of Higher Education, University of Wales - UK
Note: I did not learn how to paint in college since representational art and traditional skills were frowned upon by art teachers at the time. I did not feel like throwing /dripping paint in a canvas to express my emotions. Hence why I gave Illustration a go...
So when it comes to my painting skills, I am 95% self taught .
Born in Lisbon, Portugal, as a child I moved to Brazil with my parents.
I lived there for 15 years, absorbing the exotic surroundings of the land and it’s people, a multiracial melt-pot culture with rich traditions and customs. It was here in South America that my interest in the first nations of the world and their way of life and what we now call "Bushcraft" started.
Returning to Europe, I attended High School in Cascais – Portugal, in the Arts Area where I was awarded first prize on a short animation Film. Skateboarding and it’s life style, occupied my mind most of the time and it had a great influence on my artwork at the time.
Around this time I was in a relationship with a girl from Wales, UK. Having heard of the country before, ( I have a Welsh sister ) coupled with the desire to see more of the world and reunite with my then summertime girlfriend, led me to apply to an arts course in Wales to pursue further art education. I began attending College at Swansea’s Institute of Higher Education ( University of Wales ) specializing in Illustration.
The Welsh experience was a rebellious one from the start. In Wales, I embraced a life of total freedom. Freedom to have new experiences, meet new people, make new friends, make mistakes and do what most of us try to do at that age… To have fun, to look for my place in the world and begin the search for my own voice.
During this time, the old Brazilian derived interest reappears. The study of bushcraft and the first nations of the world and their way of life, in particular native American and Australian Aborigine people. I bought all the books I could find on the subject of Shamanism, primitive survival skills, bushcraft and anything else related to first nations and the outdoors.
Meanwhile at college I was commissioned by the faculty director to work on a illustration project for a government agency ( Inland Revenue ) but I quickly grew disillusioned with the commercial side of illustration.
A great desire to create more meaningful work, started to take shape in me. Illustration did not seem to be the right path, and as for painting, I felt that I had nothing brewed to “tell” yet.
Of far more interest to me in those years were meeting new people, camping in the welsh black mountains, and making grunge music with fellow art colleagues with our band called “The blue tribe dogs” or something lame like that.
After many adventures and misadventures in Celtic country, I finally returned to Portugal in search of a new path.
Upon my return I got commissioned to create the logo for a legendary international meeting place, The famous Bar 24 which was payed for with 2 years worth of snacks and drinks at the bar. Not bad but not very healthy either...
Soon after that I was commissioned to work on illustrations for the second album of a a band called Primitive Reason together with two other artists. Feeling uncertain about the next steps to take regarding my art, I worked for the next two years doing odd jobs. That included life guarding, flipping burgers, packing and carrying furniture for a moving company, and eventually quitting every single shitty job...
In other words... I was lost.
Eventually I moved from Cascais to a little fisherman’s village in Sintra called Azoia, situated near Cabo da Roca ,the westernmost landmark in Europe. A village that is know for being the home of many creative and artist types.
Some of these artists were German & English painter Tom Bund and his wife Chris. I rented a small studio apartment at their Sintra Garden Studio for some years.
While living there I found what I was searching for in College but didn't find. Tom being a master draughtsman and painter and Chris a fun if not bohemian artsy person. I credit her for getting me into cheap wine ( not very good for you ), and I credit him for getting me into painting.
Tom and Chris had a small Café in the village called Café D’Art, an old beautiful watermill building and garden converted into a Gallery/Café, were they would exhibit Art and mingle with like minded people, artists and friends. This place had a great impact on me. I felt absorbed by it all in this village, at the end of the world and beginning of the sea. Where my countrymen before me, gazed at the horizon much like myself then, looking for adventure.
I eventually took over the lease of Café D’art, moved out of my friend’s Studio, built a 4 x 6 meters wooden cabin in the back of the Café facing the Atlantic ocean and remained there for the next 5 years painting, having hose pipe showers, practicing bushcraft, making music and probably freaking out a lot of customers…
After I returned from a trip to the Sahara Desert to spend my 27th Birthday, I got inspired to start an acoustic music project called Nagual that would end after releasing one Ep “The four Corners” and an Album titled “And The Above”. They both flopped ;-) But it was a fun experience. I became more and more creatively self reliant after that.
In June of 2005 I made a 800 km Christian pilgrimage route known as “The Saint James Way” ( Camino de Santiago ) sometime after hearing about it from the author Paulo Coelho in his book “the Pilgrimage”. It was a very Inspirational journey and the beautiful landscapes along the road of Santiago still have a great influence on my Work today.
In the middle of the 800km pilgrimage, while walking into a Pilgrim's hostel, I was asked by the caretaker to make a painting of my journey on the easel placed there for all that wish to do so. I was very tired, all I wanted was some rest, food and a bottle of wine. So I politely declined, but the "sign" remained with me for the rest of the hike.
At Finisterra, end of the road, following an ancient custom, I burned my pilgrim’s clothes. The feeling of ending a part of my life and beginning a new one overwhelmed me. It felt like change was on its way. Not the quiet type, but the tempestuous one. I felt it in my bones with some apprehension mixed with curiosity. A lot in me was transformed and changed for good in that walk. It really did open my eyes and spirit.
Upon returning home, without saying a word about the “painting sign experience” at the road to Santiago, I got commissioned to do a very large painting.
Some time after that I got more commissions. I began creating new originals paintings and sold a few pieces… It finally felt like perhaps, this is one of the things that I am meant to be doing. To create art and share it with those that connect with it.
I felt so much enthusiasm doing those paintings that I began to paint more and more, despite some friends telling me that I was crazy to think I could live of art. At times they are right, it's not an easy path to take, but it's worth it.
The tempestuous changes happened from 2005 to 2007. A strange relationship of 8+ years was over. A desperate attempt at "being normal like everyone else" lead back to an old girlfriend and an engagement that also crumbled...
The night it crambled I had a car accident where I fell asleep at wheel, I was literally saved by trees that held my car and prevented me from going further down a cliff. Anyway you get the picture, things were not too good at all...
Big change was needed badly.
So me and my Dog, "Petrus" moved to Sweden with the help of an old acquaintance. The first year was very difficult. I felt as if I was going to give up any second and run back "home" wherever that was by now. Culture and environmental shock, no friends and no paintings with me to show, I was working on a video store to get some cash, painting on my free time, until I had enough work to show to a gallery.
After 12 months in Sweden I had enough new work so I walked right into a gallery located in the old and more artistic part of Stockholm, and secured a 4 year Contract with the gallery director and a solo show the following fall.
Soon After that I found more galleries to represent my work and I started being invited to exhibit in solo shows in Sweden and abroad which got some media attention, resulting in increased interest in my work by art collectors.
Eventually I started getting more involved with social media, and my efforts to expose my work to a wider global audience started to work.
By now I am proud to have some of my work in homes in France, Italy, England, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Russia, China, Holland, USA, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Japan among others.
Today, I mainly sell my work directly to collectors online via this website, my social media pages and 2 galleries.
It's a wonderful combination and I advocate it to all artists and galleries out there. Its ok to do both.
I don't want people to get the wrong idea and think this is an easy shinny path to take. I am sharing most of the good stuff here. It takes a lot of WORK to be committed full-time 100% to something like art and bushcraft. It is difficult at times and full of constant challenges, but this is my path and it has been fair to me and my efforts.
I met my Wife / Best Friend / Muse, Lisa-Marie in a late summer evening at a train station in Stockholm. 2 years after that meeting we got married in the amazing Ice-hotel in Kiruna Sweden, up on the Arctic circle. An unforgettable experience! Looking back we both realize that an incredible amount of choices, coincidences and plain good timing had to happen for us to meet that day, at that hour, in that train station. It's as if it was planned all along. When I finally stopped looking for "the one", it magically appeared.
We now live in a small wooden cabin in Sweden with our 2 dogs, 2 horses, 3 cats, and many guinea pigs, were the clouds, nature and these crazy animals inspire my work everyday. Its a Zoo but we love it.
The rest I am creating now folks ☺ To be continued… With the love for art & nature