Bill Richards was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1944. He received a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York; an M.A. from the University of Iowa; and an M.F.A. from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.
Richards’s graphite drawings are a masterful celebration of the optimist’s view of nature and landscape, while also projecting the artist’s long-standing involvement with a sense of all-over composition and abstract space. The drawings are in a range of light to dark grays, depending on the hardness of the various graphite leads he employs. Richards’ drawing technique results in a highly personal touch with which he creates an overall velvety smooth surface that is soft while all of the forms he depicts are highly realized.
On his larger drawings, measuring approximately 12x18”, the artist spends months developing the images, working in small sections from left to right across the paper, fine tuning the piece at the end of this meditative process.
While photographs he has taken are the source of the artist’s drawings, often more than one image for each drawing, Richards does not project a slide or copy literally what is set before him on film. Familiar with subject, Richards adds and subtracts, as well as invents, forms based on the needs of each drawing
In Richards’s drawings, grasses, weeds, leaves, branches and flowers interweave in a thick and rich tapestry. The viewer does not see the horizon, but instead looks into a close view of nature that seems filled with color, though drawn entirely in graphite. From afar the drawings are abstract and sparkling; as one approaches, the tremendous diversity of natural forms come into clear focus.