Your shopping cart is empty.

Your shopping cart is empty.

About Me

Rich Wilkie

ARTIST'S BIO / Statement

I worked in the animation industry for 25 years. When I returned to portrait painting, I focused on portraying emotions and movement to bring the still image to life. I paint my subjects looking out at the viewer, so the viewer can make eye-to-eye contact and develop a bond with the subject. I capture the subject between ideas, in that moment after they have finished speaking, when they are taking a breath just before expressing their next thought. My process is to choose an image with a compelling emotion. I identify the emotion and think of an event in my life when I felt similarly. I feel that emotion while I paint that emotion. I endeavor to change the viewers state of mind - in the hope the viewer learns something new about themselves.

I was painting this way when Russia invaded Ukraine and images of refugees flooded the media. I started painting their portraits. I set a goal for myself to paint 100 Ukrainian refugees. After I completed them, I felt compelled to raise funds for the victims of the invasion.

I painted sad children who had experienced things no child should have to live through. Many of them had that thousand mile stair people get when the events swirling around them exhaust their minds.

Holding these emotions while I painted them weighed heavy on me. I became too angry and depressed. I had to mix in happier children to lighten my mood.

Kids are resilient, their world pushes them down, then they see another child and brighten. They play and run about laughing. These happy children are the hope for Ukraine's future.

I think of the sad children as the Eyes of War and the happy children as the Eyes of Hope. And that is how I came up with the name for the Ukrainian Refugee fundraiser, “Eyes of War - Eyes of Hope”. This fundraiser was Aug 15 through 18, 2023 and we sold 48 paintings. Please view the paintings here RichWilkie.com/Ukrainian-Refugees .

Local newspaper articles related to the “Eyes of War - Eyes of Hope” fundraiser / art exhibit:

Santa Barbara Independent article 2023-08-09

Montecito Journal article 2023-08-16

The Voice Magazine article 2023-08-11

Santa Barbara Independent article 2022-10-12


Resent exhibitions: 

CAW, “Ready to Hang”, Santa Barbara CA, Nov 18, 2022 

Ukrainian Art Center, “LArtists For Ukraine fundraiser”, Los Angeles CA, Nov 26, 2022

Ukrainian Art Center, “LArtists For Ukraine fundraiser”, Los Angeles CA, Feb 26, 2023 

CAW “Eyes of War – Eyes of Hope” Aug 15 to 18, 2023 Voice Gallery “Terra Firma”, Santa Barbara CA, Oct 2023 

Ukrainian Art Center, “LArtists For Ukraine fundraiser”, Los Angeles CA, Oct 29, 2023 

CAW, “Ready to Hang”, Santa Barbara CA, Nov 17, 2022 


I have my mother to thank for enrolling me in Park and Recreation art classes at age 8, where I developed my love for Art and the tingling sensation turpentine causes on my skin.

In grade school, I spent much of my class time drawing in my text books, turning them into flip books of kung fu fights and motor cycles popping wheelies, riding into walls and exploding. After my teacher saw my fine work, I got to practice erasing.

In high school, I caused a row by submitting a series of drawings to the student art show, a nude woman breaking out of an egg, and I learned the price of free speech.

In college… well, I dropped out of college, several times. My teachers convinced me, all I needed was to express myself and that I should not corrupt my mind with a formal education. 

I spent several years in the grocery industry shoveling maggots, fighting off hordes of rats and shoplifters.   But my muse kept calling me back.

I returned to college… I dropped out… went back and dropped out again. I ended up spending a year in the desert painting abstracts and battling scorpions in the dry heat. I eventually gave this up in favor of eating.

In the early 90’s, I managed an Art Co-Op, Gallery 57 in Fullerton.

Again, I return to school, but this time I focused on refining my skills as opposed to pursuing a degree. I struggled to combine my career with my passion. For six months, I took 49 hours a week of life drawing classes.

I took a job at Disney Feature Animation as an assistant animator. In the first two months, I learned more about art than in all of my previous years of “study”. A paycheck is a great incentive. At Disney, I animated on Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Hercules. Some of the other shows I have worked on include, Stuart Little, Curious George, Scooby-Doo, and King of the Hill. I stuck with animation for 25 years. My last animation gig was as Supervising Director for Netflix on Bill Burr’s animated show “F is for Family”.

Now, I paint portraits, I paint emotions, I paint actions, I paint moments in peoples lives, I will paint this for you.

Rich Wilkie

Trusted Art Seller

The presence of this badge signifies that this business has officially registered with the Art Storefronts Organization and has an established track record of selling art.

It also means that buyers can trust that they are buying from a legitimate business. Art sellers that conduct fraudulent activity or that receive numerous complaints from buyers will have this badge revoked. If you would like to file a complaint about this seller, please do so here.

Verified Secure Website with Safe Checkout

This website provides a secure checkout with SSL encryption.

Cart

Your cart is currently empty.

Saved Successfully.

This is only visible to you because you are logged in and are authorized to manage this website. This message is not visible to other website visitors.

×

Import From Instagram

Click on any Image to continue

Create a New Favorite List

×
Name

Badge ar compatible

This Website Supports Augmented Reality to Live Preview Art

This means you can use the camera on your phone or tablet and superimpose any piece of art onto a wall inside of your home or business.

To use this feature, Just look for the "Live Preview AR" button when viewing any piece of art on this website!

×

Manage Favorites

Below, select which favorite lists you would like to save this product into.

×

This Website Supports Augmented Reality to Live Preview Art

This means you can use the camera on your phone or tablet and superimpose any piece of art onto a wall inside of your home or business.

To use this feature, Just look for the "Live Preview AR" button when viewing any piece of art on this website!

SAVE 15% ON PRINTS IN YOUR FIRST ORDER!

Enter your email below and we'll email you a 15% OFF Coupon right now!

This offer is valid for NEW CUSTOMERS only!

No thanks