Artists are often inspired by the world around them. Usually, they see something special and are struck with that lightning bolt idea that demands to be expressed in their medium of choice. Ric Stultz is no different. His sketchbook and his online portfolio are full of ideas: a variety of unique images, each inspired by things he has seen with things imagined.
The themes of space exploration and traveling beyond Earth's bounds have always intrigued Stultz. He is fascinated by the forms and colors found in science fiction cover art from the 1940s and 1950s, and the bold, uninhibited styles and images the artists used. For many of his works, he likes to explore the strong color schemes that were popular in the decade immediately following the Apollo 11 moon landing, including deep reds and rich browns combined with vivid pinks, yellows and greens.
Keeping track of his ideas so that he can use them later is essential to Stultz's work, and he is never without a travel-sized sketchbook and a gel pen. Whenever he thinks of something new to paint or sees something that gives him an idea or an inspiration, he quickly scribbles a first draft (see image at right).
Ric Stultz’s preferred medium for his final work is a combination of gouache, gesso and ink on paper. He likes to apply texture and a grimy, aged look to parts of his paintings by using an over-spatter technique and one favorite old beat-up paintbrush.
Typically, once he has a complete idea worked out, he goes to the art studio he's set up in his basement to do an hour or two of rough sketching, then gets to painting. The studio gets cold in the winter, he says, but he likes the fact that he has complete control over the lighting, and he feels that the space is entirely his. The end result of the hours in his art studio is a colorful work that could only be a Ric Stultz piece.
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