The Show Must Go On: Bob Richardson

By Emma Testerman | Oct 09, 2019
Photo by: Emma Testerman Bob Richardson of Camden stands with a few of his paintings in his private studio.

CAMDEN — Art is typically enjoyable for both the creator and the beholder. But it can also be hazardous to your health. Camden painter and music composer Bob Richardson learned that the hard way.

“I first started with silkscreen prints. We didn’t know how dangerous silk printing was back then,” Richardson said. “I had a near-fatal allergic reaction to the ink inside. I ruptured a blood vessel inside my sinuses. By the time I had medical help, I nearly swallowed a third of my blood. I stopped doing silkscreens.”

Silk printing was a popular printing technique in the 1960s, an example being Andy Warhol’s famous depiction of Marylin Monroe. Richardson’s recent show at Zoot Coffee in Camden featured copies of his original silkscreen pieces.

Richardson studied fine arts at the Boston Museum School, graduated through Tufts University, and began painting soon after. He went on to become an architect designer and worked for interior companies such as Jordan Marsh. After a while, some friends suggested he become a teacher due to his passion for art. “I sent out around 86 resumes and cover letters,” he said.

His first teaching gig was at Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass. “I was the entire art department,” he said. “And the music department, and I also was a math teacher.”

Richardson may have had to change his medium, but he continued with his own unique form of creativity. Gradually, he developed his own style of systematic techniques using mathematical measurements of squares to create colorful paintings from grid-like patterns.

“I never have to worry about artist’s block,” Richardson said. “Every painting is different with a new canvas.”

Richardson and his wife, Susan, and grown children are all artists as well. Among his five children are a dancer, visual artist, art teacher, technical theater tradesperson and singer/songwriter.

“It makes the dinner table conversations understandable,” Richardson said.

The interest and joy of artistic creation never cease throughout someone’s life, hence Richardson’s great enthusiasm for his family and his skills in painting. He frequently attends the Knox County Art Society for life painting sessions and artistry discussions on Wednesday nights.

For more information on the weekly meetings, call the society at 236-6468.

Tell us your ‘Show Must Go On’ story!

Are you a visual or performing artist with an interesting event that hindered you in your creative process? Have you stumbled off a stage? Run from a bear in plein air? Send us your crazy story in 250 words or fewer, along with your name, place of residence and photo, by emailing arts@villagesoup.com.

 

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