Solo exhibition at Flanders Art Gallery

On view now through July 18th!


I’ve been super busy for the past 6 months finishing up work for my current exhibition at Flanders Art Gallery.  It is up for another 4 weeks or so, please check it out if you have the opportunity.  Its called standard deviation and below is the show statement written by Lauren Turner.  I think she did an amazing job articulating the overarching themes within this group of paintings.

Standard Deviation:

In statistics, standard deviation represents a set of data’s dispersal from a mean’s expected value. It is an analytic method of easily communicating the inherent variety and unpredictability in life. On a subjective level, it acts as a visualization of of the ways in which events in life can exceed or fail to surpass our expectations. For the art of Shaun Richards, standard deviation is an ideological lens through which one may view the complexities of concepts. For instance, the impulse to nostalgia is often a desire to romanticize the past by forgetting its disappointments. In such an example, standard deviation is less a formula than an emotional consideration of the gray areas between reality and perception.

Richards often relies on the intersection of text and image, and the formal properties of composition, in his efforts to communicate wry commentary on cliched notions. In Times of Your Life, he places sparring boys before abstracted orange forms that evoke an apocalyptic landscape, suggesting that the games of youth are thinly separated from an adult impulse to destroy through conquest. Decades of Progress depicts children and young adults, alone and in groups, against a starkly empty background. It asks the viewer whether society’s past cumulative actions now afford children the blank slates of a fresh start, or the lack of any collective communal support.

Taken together, the works of Standard Deviation create their own environment in which everyday existence is tinged by bittersweet reflections of the ambivalence that it can inspire.

-Lauren Turner

At the North Carolina Museum of Art

I’m standing in front of my painting, The Campaign, At the NCMA through January.

This should have been posted in August, but better late than never.  Its a big moment for me as to walk into the old building at the NCMA and see my painting The Campaign from the entrance.  I used to work there in the box office when I first moved to Raleigh in 2006.  Six years a ago I never imagined my work would be hanging there.  I have five paintings included in a group show titled Word Up that runs through January 2013.  It is also amazing  to be in the company of other local artists who also happen to be my friends;  Lincoln Hancock,  Derek Toomes, and Matt Curran.

what not smoking looks like for me.

Its not that I want to air personal issues on public platform but I do feel like I owe an explanation for my lack of engagement with the outside world, especially social media.  My previous post was about failure, which turned out to be a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I was scheduled to be part of group show with Flanders Gallery this past September and I bailed out.  I hit a wall, and I’ve been trying to dust myself off ever since . Its reminded me how delicately balanced our lives are, especially the lives of artists who generally exist hand to mouth/month to month.  A series of unfortunate events put me in a position where I thought I would have to give up my studio, and caused me to rethink my work and my approach to it.  The bright side is that I quit smoking after about 14 years of a pack a day habit.  It was three and a half months ago, and I’m now addicted to sunflower seeds (see pic above).  The down side is that its made working in my studio a bit uncomfortable as the rituals/routines of smoking were so ingrained in my process that its taken a while to get to a point where I feel “normal” spending time in my studio.


Failure is delicate thing.  I feel its important to make mistakes, step out of my comfort zone, and to fight my usual instincts.   Often those choices I make in the process of developing a painting are not taken lightly, often pondered for weeks, eventually I come to a sort of balance—meaning a finished piece.  The finishing can be pursued, even though in the end it may not be my best work, I’ll try to find closure.  Over the past few months I’ve been working against my instincts, incorporating new mediums and materials, in an effort to struggle.  Well, not so much an effort to struggle as much as embracing the process, and with that comes the struggle.  A lot of this work will never be shown or shared but its been a reaffirming experience in that I’m reminded what my strengths are, what my shortcoming are.  I also know that elements from these failures will become part of my practice.  The delicate psychology in all of this is that too many bad outings in the studio start to wear on my confidence and self-esteem. 

This mode of working, although lacking anything tangible to show for it has been great for generating leads on new work.  Its been a while since I’ve felt this sense of impending change in my work. Its both exciting and frustrating.  The odd thing is that a part of me is reverting.  I’m regaining an appreciation of paint and its formal qualities, along with narrative.   For the past year and a half I’ve been working much more graphically and interjecting moments of Pop art  into the work, and now I find myself thinking about the story vs. the message, being ever conscious that the message is in the medium.

This series of pictures shows the process of a still developing painting.  My intention was to do a strictly abstract painting, but I couldn’t help myself from taking it into my normal realm of figuration.

Safety in Numbers

I’m a few months away from a group show with Flanders, continuing to put together new work.  Its been a slower process than I’d hoped but things are coming together.  I’ll have more to say on process and progression in the next post.  Here I just wanted to share some pics of what been going on in the studio for the past month.  The series of photos below show the progression of my recently finished painting, titled Safety in Numbers.

After this initial drafting phase of the painting, it stayed like this for a few weeks.  Then I decided I’d rather it be upside down and to add text, as well as tire tracks.

For the tire tracks I used an actual tire, the spare tire from my car.  It was applied in a printmaking fashion:  rolled in oil paint, then repeatedly rolled on the canvas.  I used a baseball bat (pictured) as an axel/handle.

The finished product:  I toned the deer carcasses, adding subtle changes in tone, as well as refining the tire tracks by wiping away.  The final touches were adding flies to the carcasses, but they don’t show up so well in photos.

Post 100 x $100

Its an exciting time for me working in the studio.  I have 3 months to put together a group of new pieces for a show with Flanders in Raleigh this September.  Coming down from the massive output that was the 100 x $100 I had a bit of an artistic hangover in that I put so much into it creatively, that figuring out what my next move would be has been a bit of a sticking point.  After working through my thoughts for a month I now find myself in that rarified air of having too many ideas.  The hard part isn’t the work it’ll take to develop them, its deciding whether or not to reign myself in with a 3-month deadline looming.

in the picture above is the current state of my studio:  newly stretched and primed 80 x 88 in. canvas, and mock-up of billboard idea I’m working through. 

I’ll be posting pics as things develop.

100 x $100 update: Pics on Website

I’ve got a day and half left before the open studio.  The good news is I hit my mark plus 2.  The downside is I’m sleep deprived, haven’t had a day off in nearly two months, and I’m blogging about it.

The point of this point was to share more pics and let people know that about 80 images are now on the the website,

process pics:

I have to thank Tim Lytvinenko for coming by and shooting things—all photo credit goes to him.  Check out his work next month at the Morning Times—May 1st Friday, or view it at his website:

hope to see you all Saturday night!

100 x $100

For the last 3 months I’ve been working on a project called 100 x $100, in which I’m doing 100 paintings on paper for $100 a piece.  I thought it would be a great exercise in terms of studio practice and to have some affordable artwork to offer friends, and collectors who have expressed interest in owning some of my art, but don’t have the expendable income to drop 3 grand on a painting.

Its been a challenging project.  Trying to balance the amount of time I’m investing in each piece vs. the potential return of $100.  I can’t just let somethings go though.  Some have 3 or 4 times the amount of work in them as others.  Some are straight up zen, nailed in under an hour (these are the best because they are so rare in terms of my process).  All in all they continue the concession stand theme—sloganeering, text heavy constuctions that play with our sense of self and ethics. 

Pictured above is a sneak peak of the work in progress.  They are each approximately 12 x 12 inches, border not included.  At this point I have about 60 finished with another 30 in progress.  My studio looks like a scene from A Beautiful Mind, covered in overlapping sheets of paper.


I’ve finally joined the 21st century:  smartphone, blog, status updates.  I’ve avoided these tools for a long time, and after much deliberation and encouragement from friends I’m now making the effort.  I don’t read many blogs, so I don’t know how they’re usually handled—how personal, how political, or how professional they should or shouldn’t be.  I’ve decided this will be a combination of visual journal, and insight into my process as an artist.  I may not be able to restrain myself from promoting an event for myself or friends, or some other shameless self-promotion,  but it will always be judicious.

Stay tuned for process pics of new work, projects, and diatribes on the perils of making a living as an artist, which is often more difficult than making the art.