Artist breaks ground painting on copper

Artist breaks ground painting on copper
Rich Hawk with his oil painting on copper titled, "Rest for Dancers.” Courtesy photo


Creating something where there was previously nothing — especially when the process involves the unpredictable — thrills Encinitas artist Richard Hawk.The figurative painter says, “In art and in life, I am attracted to the uncontrollable.More specifically, I am drawn to that difficult sector where the controlled and the uncontrollable meet. Exciting things happen there.” Hawk adds that striving to control the materials “results in a co-creative visual poetry that keeps me coming back for more.”

Recognized for strength of his underlying design, expressive intensity and intuitive paint handling in his paintings on canvas and paper, Hawk’s most recent body of work merges exquisite figurative oil paintings with the intrinsic beauty of oxidized copper.

According to Los Angeles fine art advisor Ryan Crowley of Crowley Art Investments, “Hawk has achieved something truly novel and his artwork will stand the test of time as being the first person to develop this technique, style and approach to a blank surface. There are followers and there are leaders, and Richard Hawk falls unquestionably into the latter.”

Hawk’s ground breaking work made its auspicious debut in a 2011 solo exhibit at L Street Fine Art in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter followed by a 2012 solo show at Point Loma’s Pulse Gallery.

From the beginning of his 14-year art career, his artworks have appeared in numerous juried shows, and are now in collections around the world.

The New York City-born Hawk says that as a third grade student in Tenafly, N.J., he was singled out for his artistic talents, which made him realize his creative ability and understand that art should express a metaphor for the real world, not a duplication of it.

With the examples set by his librarian/teacher mother and English professor/author father, Hawk learned from an early age the essential nature of communication, both in the written word and images.

His father, a staunch supporter of civil rights and journalist working closely with the Vatican during a time of radical change, was a role model of intensity and intention. Hawk says that his mother, a lifelong proponent of the arts, “has been the greatest champion and supporter of my progress as an artist every step of the way.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa, Hawk served as University of Maryland College Park director of creative services. He then founded his own agency where much of his work involved commercial illustration. This provided his segue to fine art, which allowed him to “smell the paint, touch the canvas, and drip paint on his shoes.”

In his inimitable style, Richard Hawk plumbs the depths of the hearts and souls of his subjects to reveal the essence of their inner lives. Hawk says, “These paintings give voice to a joy and examination of what it is to be alive.”

Frequently conducting painting demonstrations and performing as juror for local art groups, Hawk also instructs painting workshops, the next of which is scheduled to begin Nov. 26.

More about Richard Hawk, his art, and his workshops can be seen at


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