Apr 112017
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.

My life turned upside-down, as I learned to cope with the sudden onset of these new physical ailments related to my work. Aside from the emotions of fearing I may never paint again, I became physically sick when I walked down the detergent isle at a grocery store, entered a mechanic shop, or inadvertently set foot in a room where someone was painting their nails. On the worst day, I simply walked past the janitor cleaning cart at my daughter’s school and subsequently felt sick for hours afterwards. As well as nausea and headache, I had the new experience of my reptilian brain’s fight or flight response, along with “brain fog,” which felt like early onset dementia. Continue reading »

Feb 232016

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.

richardson painting installation

Bolinas CA

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Sep 302014

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 »

Oct 112012

Phillips de Pury & Company: Watercolors
1 -19 October 2012
Monday – Saturday, 10AM- 6PM
450 West 15th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10011

Photo Album from opening reception
All Photos courtesy of Diamond Shot Studio unless otherwise noted:

To learn more about the process for this series of watercolors, read the Gallery Intell article: galleryIntell Willy Bo Richardson – Watercolors – Phillips de Pury

Phillips de Pury & Company:Watercolors, is an exhibition featuring a diverse group of contemporary works by artists who have moved beyond using watercolor as an auxiliary mode of expression to embracing it as their primary medium. The exhibition showcases over 80 abstract and figurative works that challenge the romantic ideologies associated with historical watercolor. Continue reading »

Mar 122012

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 »

Mar 112012

Over the years I noticed my painting students often wear clothes that match their paintings in color and style. It’s a subconscious thing that mostly goes unnoticed. I decided to take pictures of my students (Santa Fe University of Art and Design) with their paintings.