Greenwood Village, Colorado Artist Rich Waller
First of all, thank you for visiting my gallery and I sincerely hope you enjoy the paintings.
I grew up in Mission, Kansas which is a suburb of Kansas City. After graduating from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1972, I moved to Denver to start a manufacturing business.
I dabbled with oil paints occasionally in the 70’s but it wasn’t until mid the 80’s that I built my first serious studio. For the first couple of years, I created relief sculpture that was framed and wall mounted like a painting. This process required complex urethane rubber mold making materials and I cast the positives with very high psi reinforced plasters.
In the later eighties, I began painting with acrylics, which I had been introduced to in college. Acrylics have been around since the 1950’s, but didn’t become a water soluble fine art medium until the 60’s and are now considered by archivalists to have greater overall longevity than oils.
Although I have experimented with water colors, oils and the newer water soluble oils, I always return to acrylics because of their versatility and my broader understanding of their properties. They can be used in both a watercolor and oil technique and are great for collages.
While the quick drying time is both a curse and an advantage, I have used acrylics for so many years that I have little patience for the slow drying properties of oil or even waiting for a watercolor wash to dry.
I paint on canvas, acid free Strathmore bristol board and 140# and 300# watercolor paper blocks. My paintings fall into three categories- underwater oceanic scenes with a variety of aquatic life, abstracts and landscapes.
My landscapes tend to fall into beach scenes and mountain scenes with streams or lakes. I enjoy trying to capture water realistically and rarely paint anything that doesn’t give me this opportunity. Painting is really about catching light as it reflects off objects in different colors, and the challenge of painting water is magnified because it is reflecting surrounding objects above the surface while distorting objects to various degrees below the surface.
Besides painting, my other passion is playing guitar and composing and recording music. I have a Pro Tools based recording studio next to my art studio and tend to go through periods of time when I focus on music.
Something that has surprised me over the years is how similar the process of creating a piece of music is to creating a painting, especially an abstract painting. I try to let an abstract approach just flow with no preconceived concept. I have found that if I try to plan an abstract, the lower chance I have of creating a successful painting.
Creating a song (I’m strictly an instrumentalist) processes the same way. I may decide which key to start out in, but rhythm, chord structure and melody all flow through a trial and error process until it’s able to stand on its own.
Please feel free to send any comments you might have about my paintings or even any questions you might have about using acrylics. I feel that over the years, I have come to a fairly proficient level of understanding this medium and would be happy to share anything that may be helpful.
I have also included some techniques I have developed and used over the years so, if you are a painter, check these out and share any interesting techniques you may have tried or developed. I know there is a tendency in the art world to not share these secrets, but I doubt that there are very many techniques out there that can’t be figured out by artists experienced in that medium.
Thanks again for visiting and please come back.
High School: Shawnee Mission North in Mission, Kansas, graduated 1966
College: University of Kansas, graduated 1972, BFA, Industrial Design
Moved to Colorado in 1972 to start Advance Foam Plastics which merged with two other companies in 2005 to become ACH Foam Technologies.
Currently live in Greenwood Village, Colorado with my wife, Carol, and two children, Jessica and Braden.