Richard Schmid Gallery

Richard Schmid Painting

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Richard Schmid Painting

American artist Richard Schmid was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1934. His earliest artistic influence came from his maternal grandfather, Julian Oates, an architectural sculptor. Richard’s initial training in landscape painting began at the age of twelve, and subsequent lessons in anatomy were completed at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, where he continued his studies into the full range of classical techniques under William H. Mosby.

William Mosby, a graduate of the Superior Institute in Antwerp, was a technical expert on European and American realism. Studies with him involved working exclusively from life, at first using the conceptual and technical methods of the Flemish, Dutch, and Spanish masters, and eventually all of the late 19th century European and American painters.

Throughout his career, which saw over fifty one-man shows, Richard Schmid has also promoted fine art education through his books, articles, workshops, seminars, and television presentations. His landmark book, ALLA PRIMA: Everything I Know About Painting, first published in 1998, went into eleven printings. His latest book, ALLA PRIMA II: Everything I Know About Painting and More, Expanded Edition, published in 2013 is considered the finest instructional art book in the world.

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Richard Schmid holds a Doctorate in Fine Arts, and has won nearly every major Fine Art Award in America. In 2000 Richard Ormond, Sargent’s grandnephew, presented him with The John Singer Sargent Medal for Lifetime Achievement Award. Richard Schmid’s masterwork, ABBOTSFORD HOUSE, (the home of Sir Walter Scott), was presented to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2013 at the Royal Opening of Abbotsford in Melrose, Scotland.

Richard is currently working on his next books on all the people he has painted in his lifetime.

Richard Schmid Website


Somewhere within all of us is a wordless center, a part of us that hopes to be immortal in some way, a part that has remained unchanged since we were children, the source of our strength and compassion. This faint confluence of the tangible and the spiritual is where Art comes from. It has no known limits, and once you tap into it you will realize what truly rich choices you have. May each painting you do from that sacred place include an expression of gratitude for the extraordinary privilege of being an artist.

~ Richard Schmid, 1998 – Excerpt from Alla Prima

Richard Schmid

Throughout his career, which saw fifty one-man shows, Richard Schmid has promoted art education through his books, articles, workshops, seminars, and television presentations, and he travels widely for his subjects. Richard also holds a Doctorate in Fine Art and is a recipient of The John Singer Sargent Medal for Lifetime Achievement.

Since the publication of his landmark book on landscape painting in 2009, Richard has been involved in major projects. The first, in 2011, was a very large painting of Abbotsford House, the Manor home of Sir Walter Scott in Melrose, Scotland, which won a viewing and praise from HRH Queen Elizabeth during grand re-opening ceremonies of the house and visitors center.

Another project, begun in 2011, was the new expanded edition of ALLA PRIMA entitled ALLA PRIMA II, completed in 2013, and now in its fourth printing. Additionally, exhibitions of Richard’s art were mounted at the National Academy of Science on Cape Cod, and Wellesley College in Boston.

During his distinguished career as a painter, author, and teacher, Richard Schmid has been a candid spokesman for what is known as the Grand Manner, a certain mingling of virtuosity and unrestrained joy in art. Richard continues to paint, write and enjoy life with his wife, the artist Nancy Guzik, in the bucolic setting of their New Hampshire home.

Richard SchmidRichard Schmid’s work has been represented in the following:

  • K. T. Wiedemann Foundation, Wichita, KS
  • Abbotsford, Melrose, Scotland: The Home of Sir Walter Scott
  • The Smithsonian Institution
  • The National Academy of Sciences
  • The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
  • The Art Institute of Chicago
  • The Harvard Club
  • The Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts
  • The National Academy of Design
  • The American Watercolor Society
  • The Thomas Gilcrease Museum
  • The Frye Museum
  • The Allied Artists of America
  • The Colorado Historical Society
  • The Butler Institute of American Art
  • The Holter Museum
  • The St. Louis Artist’s Guild
  • The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
  • The Salmagundi Club
  • The Tucson Museum of Art
  • The Albuquerque Museum of Art
  • The Loveland Museum
  • The Beijing Exhibition Center, China

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Beautiful Works and The Priceless Freedom To Create Art

If you view a Richard Schmid painting, you will likely see his vision with you own eyes. That is his hope, as he expresses it in Alla Prima II, a masterpiece of a book that he has written to share his lifetime of painting experience and expertise with those who would like to learn how to paint in this manner themselves. It’s compelling, isn’t it?

King Richard’s Faire (1990; detail, oil on panel, 8×14) by Richard Schmid
You can see just a couple of examples above and below, and because Schmid is just as talented a writer as he is an artist, I’d like to share with you his own words:

The Magic

“I have been a painter for my entire adult life. In all of that time I have never been able to ignore the wonders possible in painting. The astonishing thing to me is how certain individuals could even conceive of anything as beautiful as some of their works–or how you and I could have the capacity to respond to them.

“I have pursued this question relentlessly over the years, and I am still consumed with the mystery of what makes such magic possible. In my younger days, I learned what many serious thinkers thought about art, and for a while I believed I knew what it was. Inevitably it dawned on me that I probably could not rationally understand art itself. I know perhaps it is best left a mystery lest it lose its flavor, but as the matter stands, I am not wholly resigned to being in the dark forever.

“There is something in me that wants to keep picking away at the question of art, because it still amazes me that I cannot clearly define the work which has so dominated my life. Conundrums such as this are what windmills were to Don Quixote. Though I don’t expect to nail it very soon, the questions surrounding art remain wonderfully deductive. They are firmly bound to my identity, my values, my relationship with others, and my idea of what the world is.”

Nancy Painting (1988; oil on panel, 12×16) by Richard Schmid
And I can’t resist sharing Schmid’s advice from the introduction of Alla Prima II as well (truly, I want to give you even more, but it’s best to simply order the copy, as it’s 300+ pages of gorgeous art and candid, detailed advice and instruction). He says, “If you wish to make certain your painting will succeed, a minimum of three things must come from you–and only you. The first thing is knowing why you want to paint your subject, the second is an analytical grasp of what you see, and the third is the skill to control the process of painting. These three ideas underlie everything I share with you in these pages.

“Painting has been my dearest friend of almost 70 some years now. My skills and the priceless freedom to use them are the most sacred and faithful gifts I have. They have opened up a world that few others ever have the opportunity of experiencing. I hope this book will help open the door to that world for you as well. Godspeed.” ~Richard Schmid

It’s an honor to be sharing Schmid’s words and art with you, dear reader. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have. If you’re on Twitter, click here to share his insights with others.

Warm regards,


Richard Schmid Painting
Richard Schmid Painting

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