Richard Schmid

Richard Schmid A Great Artist and Teacher

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Richard Schmid “North Garden Peonies” 18×18 2006

Representational artists of my generation stand proudly in the art world today because of a few courageous and incredibly talented artists of the late 20th Century. Artists who swam against the tide of Pop, post-modern, conceptual and other mid to late 20th Century movements and kept representational art alive. For me, the true giant of representational painting is Richard Schmid. Schmid is not only a great painter he is one of the most generous and gifted teachers of the fine art of painting.

When I graduated in from college in 1972, color field painting and pop art and a nascent conceptual art movement had conquered the art world. Realist art, my passion, was considered passé and no longer worthy of being taught in art schools, colleges or universities. Even still, as a graduation gift to myself, I bought the book “Richard Schmid Paints Landscapes: Creative Techniques in Oil” and have referred to it for instruction and inspiration ever since.

My career choice took me away from fine art to a career in graphic design and marketing communication. The passion I had for representational painting, although set aside, still smoldered inside. In recent years that passion was reignited. Schmid’s wisdom has been an invaluable part so that journey. His “Alla Prima: Everything I know About Painting” published just a few years ago has been my bible for understanding the representational painter’s craft. And although our styles are quite different my work owes a great debt to what I learned from its pages. In it he shares his commitment to accurate drawing, great composition, value, color, edges and most importantly, using those tools in service of a clear artistic statement.

Schmid encourages artists to see the world from their own unique perspective and hone solid skills that are essential to expressing their experience and vision. He helps us to trust what we see and opens our eye to see more deeply. He helps us slow down and be deliberate with every brush stroke yet still allow those brushstrokes to appear spontaneous and natural. He teaches that and so much more.

Beyond the craft, Schmid exudes the sheer joy of being an artist.

Thank you, Richard, for the beautiful gift of your art, your teaching, and your contagious artist spirit.

Richard Schmid’s continues to teach in many forms. is the best source of Schmid’s great teaching through DVD’s, lithographs and books including his latest, “Alla Prima II.”




51xEBTnp1DL._SY436_BO1,204,203,200_Alla Prima II Everything I Know about Painting–And More




Alla Prima II CompanionAlla Prima II Companion: Richard Schmid’s Materials, Tools and Techniques




Richard Schmid - The LanscapesRichard Schmid: The Landscapes




FULL DISCLOSURE: I receive a small commission from the sale of these three books if bought through Amazon.


9 thoughts on “Richard Schmid

  1. Michael Lynn Adams says:

    Sarah – Richard’s style is unique but their are several imitators of the style out there. What i love about his instruction is that is doesn’t define a style but it suggest tools that enables artist to form their own style.

    Jim – I envy your youth. Work on your craft. Follow your dream.

    Peggi – Thank you. Nancy along with Molly and Grethchen Schmid make an wonderful dynasty. Just one more thing for which to be grateful to Richard.

    slgreatsuccess – Alla Prima is definitely a classic. I look forward to his new Landscape book.

    Stephen – I believe that each artist has their own unique voice, as do writers and composers. One of the difficulties in being an artist who loves and is inspired by other artist’s work is not to lose your own voice – point of view – along the way through the imitation of others. I also believe some artists sacrifice honing their craft in the guise of freedom and expressing themselves. Craft gives an artist tools to express your ideas clearly even when the ideas come from the experience of discovery as they create.

    Good luck on finding that something different – just be sure it is your own.

  2. stephen v cobleigh says:

    I enjoy your blog and your single minded focus and inspiration, I myself hold on to representation yet accordingly with my uncontrollable revolutionary rebel spirit I seek to be somewhat different, which is so incredibly difficult to attain in this world of wonderful talent. Therefore, I seek creativity that can be solely my own and it is only this principle that I place above representation. I say this only in regards to sharing ideas and thoughts about art.

  3. Peggi Habets says:

    Great blog. I found it via Nancy Guzik’s facebook page and was thrilled to read about Richard Schmid. His work has been such an inspiration to me the past several years. Thansk for introducing him to other painters.

    Your work is wonderful. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to more.

  4. Jim Middleton says:


    Richard is an inspiration. Also, it looks like our lives took a remarkably similar path. I’m just younger than you are. 😉

  5. Sarah Parks says:

    I was just thinking the other day that in terms of artists, Richard Scmidt is at the pinnacle. His style of painting is unique, and I’m glad he is willing to share his thought processes with us.

  6. Michael Lynn Adams says:

    Georgia – Richard is the best and unique. There are many fine artists and many inspiring and articulate teachers. But it is a rare gift to possess both qualities. Richard does and we blessed that he does.

    Gaye – thank you

    Karlene – the Lessons are from Kate Swatland – She attends invitational workshops instructed by Richard. With his consent and active participation, she is putting together the series and selling them through her site.

  7. georgia mansur says:

    michael, couldn’t have said it better myself! I am so looking forward to Richard’s book coming out soon. Alla Prima is a continual source of inspiration and wisdom. Richard’s genuine joy is contagious and makes me want to be a better painter, to see and express my world more clearly. So many of us artists owe a great debt to his significant contribution to painting and the love of art. hope many more people discover his genius through your words. thank you : ) georgia

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