Richard Graham
Architecture and painting


Artist Statement

I retired from full time practice in Architecture in 2003.  As a partner in the San Francisco based firm of S B Architects, I was the partner in charge of design in their Coconut Grove office. 

Since retiring I have continued to participate in my profession on a part time basis. My work has been with clients who are good friends, and the projects have primarily been large entertainment based commercial facilities in Sydney Australia, Doha Qatar, and Los Angeles Ca.

In 2007 I started painting. My initial work at home quickly expanded and in 2008 I moved to a small studio in Coconut Grove. As an emerging artist my work to date has naturally been a process of experimentation. Different media, surfaces, subjects, and processes have all been part of the learning curve. Moving from Architecture to painter has felt natural, but now it's time to immerse myself more thoroughly into the art world. Joining a larger studio with its group dynamics and rich variety of artists is, I believe, the next important step in my painting career.

 I have always felt drawn to the power of abstraction and its ability to pull the viewer into a decision making process. I want paintings to be an interactive experience in a way that photographs and more realistic formats are not. My paintings usually start with a figurative subject whose image becomes a point of departure. As I proceed, I try to find the edge where figure and abstraction meet and exploit the tension that is created there. The process is usually spontaneous but sometimes evolves from sketches or photographs. As the painting takes on a life of its own its completion happens when the desired emotional response is achieved. Multiple layers, action vs. still, tight vs. loose, tension through color, and compositional stress, are some of the tools I find important to incorporate in my work. My goal always is to find colors and forms that create paintings with integral power and lasting viewer impressions.

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