A Painter Who Became Allergic to Paint?

This article was republished in Pyragraph, April 2017. A more in depth interview with Friedhard Kiekeben of Nontoxic Print followed: NontoxicHub

I am happy to report that my health situation continues to improve and I am in my studio painting with safer studio practices and less toxic materials.

studio, willy bo richardson
“Seven Sisters” in the studio. Near completion. oil on canvas 53 x 57 in

February 2016, I taught a painting class on color theory and oil glaze techniques at Santa Fe University. Early in the semester I went home with a headache and nausea. I hadn’t exposed myself to anything unusual that day. The next morning, I woke up with what felt like a hangover, and from that day on I could no longer set foot in my painting classroom without feeling sick the rest of the day. I also could no longer enter my own studio! I had become sensitized to the solvents and cleaning agents used in my painting practice. Continue reading “A Painter Who Became Allergic to Paint?”

Dad, Why Do You Paint Stripes?

Artist statement posted in:


My 8 year old daughter asked me if I can paint anything other than stripes… and she has a good point. Brilliant minds that I respect in the art world have asked me the same thing.  Yesterday, over breakfast, my family had a sketchbook out on the table and I drew a bagel. I exclaimed, “There! See, I can draw something!” We had a good laugh about it, but this pressing issue will not go away, and as the years go on, I continue to receive pressure from my friends and colleagues.

William Leddy
Residence designed by William Leddy. Plans are part of SFMOMA’s permanent collection. “Clockwork for Oracles” series

Continue reading “Dad, Why Do You Paint Stripes?”

SITE Santa Fe SPREAD 5.0 Finalist

This year I was honored to be one of the eight SITE Santa Fe SPREAD finalists!

SITE Santa Fe

SPREAD is a community dinner that funds artists’ projects and creative initiatives. SPREAD seeks to provide micro-grants for innovative projects and artworks conceived by New Mexico-based artists.

SITE spread

Transcript from my speech (you’ll just have to imagine the slide show):

My first recorded work of art was an arc of family shoes. This was made when I was still crawling. I’ve always been attracted to beauty, simplicity and symmetry. These are the same principles we use to explore the world around us, and to build fantastic things- like particle accelerators. This is a process of discovery. The scientific method. In my painting practice I found an efficient way to work with these principles. I am looking for order without ignoring complexities.

Continue reading “SITE Santa Fe SPREAD 5.0 Finalist”

Contemporary Art of the Southwest

Several of my paintings are included in the new book Contemporary Art of the Southwest, by Ashley E. Rooney. Foreword written by Julie Sasse, Chief Curator and Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Tucson Museum of Art. The book’s intent is to take a fresh look at the magical and insightful ways artists have interpreted life in the Southwest.

Willy Richardson Contemporary Art Southwest Book

Book Signing
May 17, 2014 1:30 – 3:30 PM

2601 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Twenty three artists will be present. Join me at Artisan in celebrating the publication, and meet the artists!

Artists attending:

Jim Alford, Andrea Cermanski, Susan Contreras, Carlos Carulo, Upton Greyshoes Ethelbah, Jeanie Gooden, Geoffrey Gorman, Natasha Isenhour , Michael Kessler, Michael Kessler , Ellen Koment, Max Lehman, Arthur Lopez, Carole LaRoche, Margi Lucena, Mario Quilles, Nancy Reyner, Willy Bo Richardson, David Rudolph, Paul Shapiro, Jack Slentz, Carl Winters, Stephen Wood

“Watercolors“ Phillips de Pury, Chelsea – opening exhibition

The “Watercolors“ show, curated by Kristin Sancken, Phillips de Pury featured abstract and figurative works by a diverse group of artists. It included emerging young painters like Annika Connor, Andrea Mary Marshall, and Alexis Rockman as well as such heavyweights of the art world as Eric Fischl.

The show’s breadth was impressive as it attempted to examine the perception of watercolor as a fine art medium and the issues of value (art historical, economic and aesthetic) surrounding the medium and its relationship to oils.

The exhibition was held at Phillips de Pury’s Chelsea location. Video snippet of the opening night featuring my work from the “That’s Where You Need to Be” series.

ON VIEW: 1 -19 OCTOBER 2012

LOCATION: 450 West 15th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10011

This exhibition was organized in conjunction with Active Ideas Productions, also in partnership are galleries 303, Ricco Maresca, Bravin Lee Programs, Greenberg Van Doren, Halsey McKay, Tripoli, Salomon Contemporary, and Nicole Klagsburn.

As the only international auction house to concentrate exclusively on contemporary culture, Phillips de Pury & Company has established a commanding position in the sale of Contemporary Art, Design, Photographs, Editions and Jewelry. Through the passionate dedication of its team of specialists, Phillips de Pury & Company has garnered an unparalleled wealth of knowledge of emerging market trends. For more information, please visit: phillipsdepury.com.

Phillips Press Release: https://www.phillips.com/press/2012/N…

Video footage courtesy of Diamond Shot Studio

Musical Score: Shane Wirkes



Essay I wrote “The Artistic Thinking Process” for Think Jar Collective was featured on The Creativity Post

The Creativity Post is a non-profit web platform committed to sharing the very best content on creativity, in all of its forms: from scientific discovery to philosophical debate, from entrepreneurial ventures to educational reform, from artistic expression to technological innovation.

Original Article Here: The Artistic Thinking Process

Willy Bo Richardson, Three Muses 4, oil on wood, artistic thinking process

Mar 10, 2012

Santa Fe based artist and teacher Willy Bo Richardson shares his perspective on the creative process

A few weeks ago I was at Trader Joes when I overheard a conversation between two disgruntled adults. One of them commented that she wished she hadn’t wasted her education on art school.  I was in that teetering place of jumping into the conversation with strangers, but decided instead it would be good material for a Think Jar essay.

I would easily agree that most people who get a BA in art are not narrowing in on a career path. The art student is not learning what to think, but how to think, and learning who they are.  I consider these profoundly important skills that will be applied in one’s career choices and in all choices life throws at us. Continue reading “THE ARTISTIC THINKING PROCESS- THE CREATIVITY POST”

Materials for the Built Environment: Designtex

Walkway concept sketch for digitally printed ceramic steel panels offered through Designtex

My intention is to “disappear” the fine art into design:

Art in commercial and public spaces is often an afterthought and suffers from inattention. By subtracting the elements of a self-conscious art context, the result is physical space extended in the presence of art, with all the emotional power, but without the frame or the concrete ‘artness.’

My artwork is now available as printed wallcoverings, fabric, and window film through the Designtex Bespoke Portfolio program! Designtex is the leading company in the development, design and manufacturing of applied materials for the built environment. I am applying what I’ve learned as artist and educator to bringing the creative process to life through everyday environments and commercial products.

I have always been an environmentally conscientious person, but when I became sensitized to solvents and chemicals in 2016, safer studio practices and ecofriendly business partnerships became a top priority. A recognized innovator, Designtex is known for their rigorous and dedicated approach to research and development of products with reduced environmental impact. It is a carbon neutral company working internationally with the highest standards.

Fabric and wallcovering materials will be on display in my one person exhibition at Richard Levy Gallery titled Navigation April 20 – May 25, 2018. The materials used for the exhibition are DNA DW11 non-vinyl eco-friendly wallcovering and Brushed Flannel upholstery.

designtex richardson