About Rick Garcia
Rick Garcia, an award winning Santa Barbara based oil painter has been painting the California central coast since the mid 1990’s but his inspiration harkens back to a much earlier time. Born in 1953, he spent his early years soaking up the beauty of the back country near his grandparent’s ranch in Sebastapol California. The memory of those undeveloped vistas is still a strong influence in his work. Relying on his love of nature, his interest in the California Plein Air movement as well as his many years in commercial art Rick has created a blend that his is own unique vision.
He graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in 1977 and received his formal art training at California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland Ca. (1979-1982). For 15 years Rick had been a nationally renowned illustrator and art director during which he and his design firm Garcia, Bickmore and Brown were winners of over 20 addy awards. In the late 1990’s he started the transition to a full time career as a painter, the culmination of years of work in the arts.
University of California at Berkeley, 1973 to 1977. Bachelor of Arts Degree
California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland California, 1979 to 1981 design / illustration and painting.
University of California at Santa Barbara, 1989 to 1994. Graphic Design Instructor in Extention Program.
Arts Fund Mentorship Program Santa Barbara California 2003
S.C.A.P.E. (Southern California Artists Painting for the Environment) 2009 taught workshop on glazing techniques.
1983-2000,Owner and partner in three different design/advertising firms specializing in custom design/illustration work. Clients included Clarke American, Disney, Budwieser, American Express. Won best of show 1989 AAF amongst numerous other awards.
- Art Director for Territory Ahead Clothing Co. 1988-1990
- Art Director for Big Dog Sportswear 1994-2000
1998-1999, Windwood Galleries, Vail Colorado.
1999-2000, Snowy Mountain Gallery, Buena Vista, Colorado.
1999, Honorable Mention, “Fine Art Santa Barbara”, Santa Barbara, California.
2000, (April to October), Group show at Caruso/Woods Fine Arts.
2000 (October), 3rd place Beverly Hills Affaire in the Gardens Art Show.
2000 (October), “Museum Director’s Award” Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Art Walk.
2000 (October to Present), Exhibiting at Pascucci Restaurant, Santa Barbara California.
2001 (June), Winner of the 2001 Individual Artist Award in painting, Santa Barbara Arts Fund.
2001 - 2003, Maureen Murphy Fine Arts, Montecito, California.
2002 - 2006, Delphine Gallery, Santa Barbara, California.
2002 - 2009, Park Gallery, Carmel, California.
2003 to Present, Young’s Gallery, Los Olivos, California.
2003 (August), One person show, Delphine Gallery, Santa Barbara, California.
2003 (September), “1st Place Painting Award” Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Art Walk.
2004 (September), “2nd Place Painting Award” Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Art Walk.
2006 (October), “3rd Place Painting Award” Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Art Walk.
2006 (October), “Honorable Mention” Museum of Natural History Art Walk Outdoor Show.
2006 (November), One person show at Santa Barbara Architectural Foundation.
2006 to present, Waterhouse Gallery, Santa Barbara, California.
2007 (October), Lead artist, concept creator and curator of “El Camino Realism” Indoor main exhibit, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History “Artwalk”.
2008 (August), One person show at Santa Barbara Architectural Foundation.
2008, ”Great American Landscape Show”, Group Exhibit, Waterhouse Gallery, Santa Barbara CA.
2008 - present, Waterhouse Gallery, Santa Barbara CA.
2009 (October), Lead artist, concept creator and curator of “California Landscape~ Realism to Abstaction” Indoor main exhibit Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History “Artwalk”.
2010 Guest artist in EDC Oak Group Show.
2010 Selected artist in “Glenna Hartmann Memorial Exhibit”, “Exhibit by California’s top 50 Landscape Artists” Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.
2011 One Person Show Waterhouse Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA.
2012 “Artists of Distinction” Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
2012 Five paintings commissioned for a wing of Cottage Hospital, Santa Barbara, CA.
2012 “Ralph, Ray and Rick” 3 person show at Waterhouse Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA.
2013 Two person show at Santa Barbara Architectural Foundation.
2014 “Artists of Distinction” Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
2014 “Art at the Casa”, Casa del Herrero, Montecito, CA.
2015 “Artists of Distinction” Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
California Art Club - Associate Member
Santa Barbara Studio Artists
S.C.A.P.E Southern California Artists Painting for the Environment
Capturing the Beautiful and Unspoiled
By Josef Woodard, News-Press Correspondent
Rick Garcia has been around Santa Barbara for many years now, displaying his conspicuous artistic skill in commercial and fine art contexts, with paintings popping up in group shows more regularly of late.
What we find in his wonderful one-person show at the Delphine Gallery is a painter with a refined and mature idea about what he's up to. Part of that agenda is explained by the exhibition's title "Santa Barbara Sky." While the paintings reveal that Garcia is busily admiring the idyllic indigenous Santa Barbara surroundings - like the OAK Group painters, nonaffiliated landscape painters and you and I - he expresses that admiration in his own particular way, basking in the light properties emanating from the sky, or generally looking upward or inward as much as straight ahead.
With his sure-handed painterly style, Garcia applies a living, unsparing gaze at specific features of palm trees, for instance. Palm trees seem to loom with a quiet heroism in some of the best paintings in the show. "Evening Fog Over Canary Palms" takes in the tops of palms, in the dramatizing light of afternoon yielding to evening, framed against gently stormy skies. It's difficult not to read the vertically pitched painting
"Las Positas Kings" as a cross between arboreal realism and portraiture, the essence of these two tall and hairy specimens suggesting a pair of lived-in lovers.
Going more macroscopic, Garcia also tightens up for the ultra close-up views of the strange, quasi-mystical agave plant, it's branches cryptically gobbling up the compositional space. "Agave Dreamscape #9" finds the plant cropped as if in a detail from a larger floral view. By it's elliptical logical, what we don't see enlivens what we do.
Whether ironically or not , Garcia pulls back for longer views of landscapes, but on smaller canvases. In these more panoramic visions, his interest is keyed into the sensuous qualities of light almost more than the terrain, however inherently beautiful and unspoiled. "Afternoon Fog" is a wide small canvas in which the gradated effect of fog burning off imparts a glowing tension in the composition.
Better yet "Jalama Light" is one of the finest pieces in the room. In a manner reminiscent of 19th century European landscape painting more than current local fashion or anything you might expect from the famed surf spot of Jalama, Garcia's painting is a moody wallflower in the show. It's a muted depiction of a patch of oak filled land, subtly punctuated by marching fence posts and rendered celestial through the careful consideration of atmospheric daylight. Nature and sentient paintings are in sync, in the painting, and the show generally. Garcia is someone to watch out for.