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Welcome to Richard Willows Studios (Pensacola, Florida). Drawing and painting has always been an enjoyable form of recreation, even while having a successful career in industrial
management. Since becoming a working artist I have kept that same outlook. I continue to enjoy my work and I especially like trying new techniques and materials; experimenting is a continual part of the creative process. As a result, I work in a number of representative and abstract styles in all types of water media. I have also picked up art restoration for both paintings and pottery.
I was born and raised in Eastern Kansas. He had a love of drawing even as a child with a tendency to draw ships and sailboats, which is unusual since those are far and few between in that part of the country.
I received a BSE in Art Education from Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia, Kansas and worked two years at Washburn University toward his MFA in drawing and painting. My painting was primarily with acrylics and in the abstract style. I was also interested in life drawing and much of my time at Washburn University was focused on that. I also worked in ceramics, jewelry making and sculpture.
I taught high school art in the 70’s before finally going to work in industrial management for 24 years. During that time I became an avid sailing enthusiast and spent my free time at the lake, primarily Lake Erie, on my 38 foot C&C Landfall. Between the time constraints of work and sailing I had little time to pursue my drawing and painting, but managed to teach myself stained glass and made many pieces for our home and gifts for friends. Those pieces are still treasured by their owners.
In 1998, I decided there was more to life than the next promotion and retired on our sailboat. It was here that I got back in touch with my creative side. The sketch book was my companion when at anchor or in port. The year 2000 found me back on land with time to get back into the art community. I had always had a desire to explore the watercolor medium and I took classes at Pensacola Junior College. Later I taught adult classes at PJC. My love for the marine environment soon became evident in my painting and remains a focus to this day.
During the summer of 2002, I began my affiliation with Quayside Art Gallery, serving as Chairman between 2005 and 2011. In addition to exhibiting at Quayside, I work can be seen at Coastal Arts Center at Orange Beach, AL and Foley Center for the Performing Arts in Foley, AL.
In addition to being an accomplished watercolorist, I have other areas of interest. I love to give old things new life. It might be an old clock, restoring an old painting, or preserving an old piece of art pottery. Last but not least is my restoration of a 1958 Austin Healy 100-6 and now a 1963 TR3B.
I teach at art camp for children during the summer and adult classes for the “Snowbirds” in the winter at the Coastal Arts Center at Orange Beach, AL. I also give private art lessons for those that are down on vacation and want a family affair. The classes and workshops that I teach are rewarding and I try to stress individual creativity to the students. I also encourage them to be brave enough to fail, as you have no idea what you can do unless you try.