Bill Richards

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My drawings are an investigation of nature and landscape that also reflect a long-standing involvement with (an abstract sense of) all-over composition. I work exclusively with graphite, eschewing any color, bringing the viewer into a different, unfamiliar experience of the natural world. I apply the graphite in such a way that the fiber of the paper and the graphite particles are intertwined to eliminate the appearance of any distinctive graphite marks and the texture of the paper in order to produce a sense of pure form.

I create precise, highly realized shapes that present a close up view of nature just
a few feet from the viewer, in some ways more akin to the space of still life than
traditional landscape. The works may carry with them a sense of poetry or the
unreality of dream or fantasy.

I work exclusively with 2B to 10H graphite leads on four-ply cold pressed paper.
I spend many months working on each drawing, depending on its size, developing the images and working in small sections from left to right across the paper. While the process is meditative and demanding of patience and focus, I am immersed in depicting each element of the image while orchestrating movements of form and tone across the entire surface.

I use photographic slides I take in nature as the basis for my work,
often combining parts of several slides to create a drawing. I do not project or copy a slide. Instead, I look at my 35mm slides using a 18-power jeweler’s loupe and then draw from memory what I have just looked at, allowing the images to provoke new ideas and inventions. This process continues until the drawing is completed.  Final alterations are made at that point, using a “bridge” to keep my hand from ever touching the paper. The slides have been taken in a nature preserve in upstate New York. When I introduced flower forms in some of the drawings, I worked from photographic color prints for those forms, instead of from slides. (5/23/11)