by Craig Stephens
Gay Summer Rick is a Malibu based artist whose stunning paintings are created by layering oil paint using palette knives rather than brushes. Inspired by scenes observed along the Pacific Coast Highway and its surrounding suburbs of Venice, Santa Monica and Malibu, Gay’s intrinsically LA paintings depict timeless ocean scenes.
Swaying palm trees classic architecture and spectacular sunsets are some of the visions she’s recreated after countless local trips gathering ideas. Despite replicating familiar scenes, Gay says she remains transfixed by the coastline’s combination of natural and spiritual beauty.
Influenced by artists such as Rothko, J.M.W. Turner, color-field painters and expressionists, she says she is inspired by the beauty in atmosphere, earth, air and water of her neighborhood.
“I am inspired by the exquisite beauty in my environment whether at the beach, in the mountains, or in town. The sounds on a street corner, warmth of the sand, energy of the ocean, drama of the mountains, and the sky in motion, each leave an impression. Painting textural images with hints of vibrating light and color, my objective is to have you, the viewer, transported to a place of warmth, calm, energy, or movement. If you find yourself there, I have achieved my goal.”
Using the pallet knife to overlay colors, Rick aims to create vibrations and harmonies between color layers. She ‘builds’ her works over time ensure each layer of color is dry before applying another. Subsequently, she says “unexpected vibrations appear with juxtaposition of light, color and texture, enhancing their metaphysical connection within an environment.”
“LA scenes and light are very different. I paint with layers of green blue and yellow of color on canvas and build them over time to create a mood. That’s what I see when I observe these scenes. I see these colors and how the painting will evolve. If you took out some representational elements you’d think it’s an abstract painting.”
Growing up in New York surrounded by artists, Gay Summer Rick began her arts education at an early age. She formally studied art and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the prestigious New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, where she painted and sculpted images on clay forms and vessels. After receiving a Masters degree in Marketing and International Business, she continued her art training in California in painting and printmaking. It was in Los Angeles that she ‘found her voice’ as a contemporary palette knife painter.
Gay is represented bG Gallery (Bleicher/Golightly/Gorman) in Santa Monica, California. Her paintings appear regularly in national and regional juried exhibitions where she has received awards and honors. She is an Associate Artist with the notable California Art Club, an Associate Artist with Oil Painters of America, and a member of the Malibu Art Association. She also has many private and celebrity collectors.
Gay Summer Rick’s latest body of work ‘Series in Night and Day’ is currently on exhibit at bG Gallery until November. The gallery is open 12-6pm Sunday-Wednesday and 12-10pm Thursday-Saturday and is located at 1431 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica. There will be a reception for the artist on Sunday October 27th from 5-8pm. See bgartgalleries.com for further information.