Rick Stevens' artwork is a reflection of his interest in the natural world, the spiritual realms, and the human experience. Light is a unifying element, defining the colors, contrast, and the mood of the picture as a whole. His compositions border on the abstract, but have evolved from themes in the landscape. The forest provides an interesting play of light and space with the sunlight filtering through complex networks of branches and leaves, casting shadows that frequently change. Water captivates the artist as its surface fluctuates, affected by such forces as wind or currents, or movement of the subject it reflects. The handling of space is also of primary concern. Much of the illusion of space is only hinted at. Lines and shapes provide structure, but are permeable. Colors and patterns move through them freely.
There is fluidity in his work, a quality of evolving form, not something static.
Rick Stevens grew up in Sparta, Michigan and started painting with his father, an amateur, but skilled landscape painter. After graduating from art school, he moved into his family's cabin in an isolated part of the northern Michigan woods. There Stevens retreated both physically and psychologically into the world of art. Seeking clarity and intuitive awareness, he began meditating in the woods, using music as a catalyst to an unconscious awakening of his mind to the interplay of light, pattern, color and texture that occur naturally in the forest. It was during this period that Stevens began exploring religious and philosophical theories, including eastern thought and religion and modern spiritualism. These ideals and a love and awe of nature continue to inspire Rick Stevens and are ever present in his work.
Stevens career has consistently gained momentum since its start. His work has been exhibited throughout the country in museums and galleries and is part of many private and public collections. He has been awarded several artist-in-residencies in national parks.
"Nature is an inroad to my spiritual path."
"As a painter, I see light as the unifying element. It illuminates all we see. As a landscape painter the critical concern for me has always been not just the subject and composition, but choosing the light to portray it in."
~ Rick Stevens