In rebooting myself after more than two months of NOT painting, I have recently become interested in the work of the black American artist, Richard Mayhew who began exploring his feelings of identity through his use of colour. Mayhew also appeals because Nature is the centre of gravity in his art.
“What I do with landscapes is internalise my emotional interpretation of desire, hope, fear, and love. So, instead of a landscape, it’s a mindscape.” His expressive forms might echo trees or clouds or canyons, but they only exist in the terrain of the imagination. His African American and Native American ancestry also informs his spiritual connection to the land. Mayhew doesn’t start his paintings with a plan. He doesn’t work from “en plein air” sketches or photographs. He is guided by intuition.
Though known for his landscape paintings, Mayhew is also a skilled draftsman and portrait painter. At the age of 96, he is still painting.