Worthy of a vintage Hollywood style caricature

Famous hair of a flaming villain

Famous hair of a flaming villain

This schmoozing, wise cracking, minion-surrounded, powerful and allegedly based on a Hollywood studio chairman, villain has a very apropos portrait in my “Where Pictures Shine” series.

Where Pictures Shine - Hades by Douglas Rickard

Where Pictures Shine – Hades by Douglas Rickard

From the 30s to the 1960s, movie executives and stars dined in a restaurant in the center of Hollywood called the “Brown Derby”. They would be seated beneath walls of framed caricatures of themselves, drawn by Polish immigrant Eddie Vitch. Like my series, these portraits were made up of a minimal amount of strong lines.
When I began drawing charcoal still-lifes of WDCC sculptures in 2004 I would usually end up smudging areas to create a soft three dimensional shape, and then applying oil pastel colors in the same way. You can see this in my “Charcoal and Oil” series.

I always veered however towards a stronger, heavy-handed application if you will, in my drawing. In art college I tended to use heavy lines during life study, even marking them several times over and over again if necessary to achieve the correct proportions. This may explain my frequent stumbling in art class back at school because we were only ever given the delicate media of water color paint to use.

Why do villains always laugh at their own jokes

Why do villains always laugh at their own jokes

Schmoozing face worthy of a vintage Hollywood caricature

Schmoozing face worthy of a vintage Hollywood caricature

So, do you think Hades, which is my drawing of the Ruben Procopio Walt Disney Classics Collection porcelain, would make a suitable portrait for your wall or maybe even the office of you agent or manager perhaps?

Alice in Wonderland or is it New York City

Wherever it is, it really is always tea-time in this silly corner of Central Park, set out on a few bronze mushrooms.

Who would sit on a mushroom in Central Park

Who would sit on a mushroom in Central Park

Drawing the Central Park Alice statue

Drawing the Central Park Alice statue

The Mad Hatter and the Dormouse

The Mad Hatter and the Dormouse

Alice and her cats in Wonderland

Alice and her cats in Wonderland

If you look and imagine long enough, where this 1959 José de Creeft Alice in Wonderland statue is, this is as you just might see things though.

The Cheshire Cat grin

The Cheshire Cat grin

So can you imagine this New York cityscape in your home? Would guests spot what’s hidden in the trees straight away, or might you enjoy watching their faces for a while as the lose themselves in this art, forgetting to talk as they perhaps make out this hidden Cheshire Cat face?

Alice in Wonderland statue, Central Park, New York by Douglas Rickard

Alice in Wonderland statue, Central Park, New York by Douglas Rickard

But how about I begin at the beginning (even though we’re already in the middle of this blog post)? Staring out of car windows as a little boy, I used to imagine characters travelling along outside with us, such as Edgar on his motorcycle from “The Aristocats”. So what more perfect a place could there possibly be to start “seeing things” than this whimsical dead end of a path in that maze called New York City.

As an unframed giclée direct from me, you can request a hand embellished version, layered with actual oil pastel touches, bespoke with even more hidden suprises like some special intials or a date.

Douglas Rickard talks about his Central Park New York art

Douglas Rickard talks about his Central Park New York art

You can also decorate your home, if you ever do get home, with my drawing on throw pillows or affordable larger wall art through this rabbit hole called my Redbubble store.

Alice in Wonderland gifts and shopping

Alice in Wonderland gifts and shopping

The Dormouse

The Dormouse

Light art exhibits another world at Lumiere London 2016

It was cold. New Year sales finished. Christmas over. A weekend for hibernating. And yet, out we came after dark, following guide map apps down alleys and up streets, around our London. Cars and buses had been told to stay away. We were going after the next color burst in the sky (a jellyfish over Oxford Circus); the next hidden surprise in a phone box (there were fishes swimming in one) or up in a Regent Street arch (yes, the elephant appearing on one side also had a… back side).

binaryWaves by LABau at Lumiere London

binaryWaves by LABau at Lumiere London

Lumineoles by Porte par le vent at Lumiere London 2016

Lumineoles by Porte par le vent at Lumiere London 2016

Take a walk below these flying fish on Piccadilly with me in this video and then through a dazzling flower garden in Leicester Square:

This Lumiere light festival was resonating with me from when the sun began to set that winter’s Saturday in Parliament Square. I’m all about seeing more than there is, in the everyday around us. For me, this was like a glimpse of Heaven moving to earth, the routine beginning to quiver as something more is revealed.

IFO Identified Flying Object at Lumiere London 2016

IFO Identified Flying Object at Lumiere London 2016

Leicester Square Garden of Light at Lumiere London

Leicester Square Garden of Light at Lumiere London

In the video below watch myself and a vlogger friend discuss these ten statues at Westminster Abbey: a Polish Franciscan who volunteered to be executed in place of a stranger in Auschwitz; a woman beaten to death through an indigenous ritual because of her faith; a Ugandan Archbishop assassinated in 1977; St. Elizabeth of Russia killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918; Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated in 1968 and the Archbishop of San Salvador in 1980; a pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer executed by the Nazis in 1945; a female evangelist from Pakistan called Esther John murdered in 1960; a Papuan man called Lucian Tapiedi killed during the Japanese invasion in 1942 and a Chinese pastor and evangelist killed in the 1972 cultural revolution.

The New Living Translation of Colossians 3:1 does say “…set your sights on the realities of heaven…”. I have been moved recently, listening to someone who had been taken on a visit to Heaven (2 Corinthians 12:1-2), called Kat Kerr. The atmosphere of wonder as people moved through the streets of London during the Lumiere weekend, kept reminding me of her recollections. With one accord we went to discover the next art installation experience, created through light. Earth is a shadow of Heaven and she says how there, the creativity is beyond our imagination (1 Corinthians 2:9).

What began with the martyred saints ended with a glowing garment. A gown in pink or gold, or was it green… This struck a chord with my reflections throughout this whole weekend. Kat Kerr said how she had even seen people chase others down the streets of gold (Revelation 21:21), to ask what they did with their life on earth because they’d spotted the gemstones on their robes of righteousness (Revelation 7:9). These sometimes create images; patterns of gems, that the Father has taken from Himself and placed there as a reward.

It may sound like these martyrs are remembered in stone on this planet, for what sounds like simply a tragic end. However, my own pastor, Ramson Mumba shared how “…the purpose of life is not to live long, even though longevity has its place, but rather that the purpose is to finish your course…” (Acts 20:24; 2 Timothy 4:7-8); and that death (for them) would not be defeat, but instead their greatest promotion (Romans 8:35-39; Hebrews 12:1-2).

Westminster Abbey The Light of the Spirit at Lumiere London 2016

Westminster Abbey The Light of the Spirit at Lumiere London 2016

Finally, why not take a look at this video, in which the dress actually looks like the silver liquid life which Kat Kerr describes as the construction of people’s gowns of salvation, (Isaiah 61:10), in Heaven. This festival really did feel like somewhere else moving into, above, onto and out of the streets of London.

This Charles Darwin quote makes you wonder

This art could cause some kind of reaction, but that’s not a bad thing, is it?

Words of Charles Darwin

Words of Charles Darwin

At first it might take a few moments to even work out how these groups of words in this quote from Charles Darwin are connected, it’s almost as if there’s the possibility of jumping to the wrong clause because you could kind of see the link. But it does make total sense when his heavy words are read in the order in which Charles Darwin said them. They evolve into this ‘deathbed’ sentence.

Darwin quotation

Darwin quotation

Charles Darwin religion quote

Charles Darwin religion quote

What we see here is Charles Darwin almost writing his conclusion about life because he said this, near the very end of his own. And there’s a heaviness to his face, because it’s almost like a warning, saying that whatever you say or do in life, make sure it’s not what you may regret when you look back in your final hour.

Charles Darwin portrait

Charles Darwin portrait

Watch this video where I talk about this quotation reminding us, (or someone to whom your gifting this art, available on a range of Darwin products), that our words can have a lasting effect.

Darwin T-Shirts

Darwin T-Shirts

Charles Darwin Quotes - Wonder Over Everything by Douglas Rickard

Charles Darwin Quotes – Wonder Over Everything by Douglas Rickard

Picture Quote Source: Charles Robert Darwin. “Darwin on His Deathbed” (“Christian Reader’s Digest,” December 1941; reprinted from “Christian Witness,” 147 Commonwealth St., Sydney, Australia), p. 24. William J. Federer, “America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations” (FAME Publishing, Inc., 820 S. MacArthur Blvd., Suite 105-220, Coppell, TX 75019-4214, 1994) Charles Robert Darwin, p. 199.

London 2015 Christmas Lights and Store Windows

Take a look at the red London bus dashing past Knightsbridge underground station, which could almost be an icing covered Christmas cake, on its way to Oxford Street.

London Christmas lights 2015

London Christmas lights 2015

Oxford Street Christmas lights 2015

Oxford Street Christmas lights 2015

Harrods Christmas windows 2015

Harrods Christmas windows 2015

Department store windows too, are part of the sleigh ride attractions through London at Christmas. Harrods, Liberty near Carnaby Street and Fortnum and Mason made it into my Vlog for 2015. Which is your favorite?

Liberty Christmas windows 2015

Liberty Christmas windows 2015

Carnaby Street Christmas lights 2015

Carnaby Street Christmas lights 2015

Regent Street Christmas lights 2015

Regent Street Christmas lights 2015

Douglas Rickard recording a Vlog

Douglas Rickard recording a Vlog

Fortnum and Mason Christmas windows 2015

Fortnum and Mason Christmas windows 2015

William Bradford and Squanto

William Bradford and Squanto

William Bradford and Squanto

“[A]bout four or five days after, came… the aforesaid Squanto… [He] continued with them and was their interpreter and was a special instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation. He showed them how to plant corn, where to take fish and other commodities, and guided them to unknown places, and never left them till he died.” (1)

The Mayflower

The Mayflower

William Bradford had just lost his wife overboard the Mayflower into the freezing waters off Cape Cod, having fled persecution not only in his home of England but Holland as well. And this was after voyaging 66 days across the Atlantic in an overcrowded ship. And now other Christians who’d journeyed with him were dying due to the cruel conditions.

William Bradford and the Mayflower Compact

William Bradford and the Mayflower Compact

Squanto and Plymouth Massachusetts

Squanto and Plymouth Massachusetts

Arriving recently too in Massachusetts, Tisquantum or “Squanto,” had returned to his home, after having been kidnapped, then rescued by friars in Europe. Only he discovered his entire Patuxet tribe had died of contagious diseases.

The life of Squanto

The life of Squanto

I’m amazed how these two men’s paths crossed; one Pilgrim, one Native American. I imagine how it must have seemed that all was lost to both of them. But on that bleak ship in sight of the cold bay before them and what ahead of what would be a terrible winter, William Bradford added his signature to the Mayflower Compact. It would be called the foundation of the United States Constitution by President John Adams. And then with spring, came Squanto, teaching William Bradford and his company to hunt and fish and plant in this new, free land for them, even speaking their native language English.

William Bradford by Douglas Rickard

William Bradford by Douglas Rickard

Mayflower Pilgrim drawing in progress

Mayflower Pilgrim drawing in progress

What a significant friendship these seminal figures of early America, two diverse Christian brothers must have had. I’ve drawn their portraits as stylized oil pastel illustrations which you can purchase as signed giclées, Pilgrim wall art and history themed stationery too, and not just at Thanksgiving!

Plymouth settlement

Plymouth settlement

Pilgrim Fathers Scrooby

Pilgrim Fathers Scrooby

Quote Source:
(1) William Bradford. March 16, 1621. William Bradford (Governor of Plymouth Colony), “The History of Plymouth Plantation 1608-1650” (Boston, Massachusetts: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856; Boston, Massachusetts: Wright and Potter Printing Company, 1898, 1901, from the Original Manuscript, Library of Congress Rare Book Collection, Washington, D.C.; rendered in Modern English, Harold Paget, 1909; NY: Russell and Russell, 1968; NY: Random House, Inc., Modern Library College edition, 1981; San Antonio, TX: American Heritage Classics, Mantle Ministries, 228 Still Ridge, Bulverde, Texas, 1988), pp. 79-80. “The Annals of America”, 20 Vols. (Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1968), Vol. 1, p. 66. Marshall Foster and Mary-Elaine Swanson, “The American Covenant – The Untold Story” (Roseburg, OR: Foundation for Christian Self-Government, 1981; Thousand Oaks, CA: The Mayflower Institute, 1983, 1992), p. 28. William J. Federer, “America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations” (FAME Publishing, Inc., 820 S. MacArthur Blvd., Suite 105-220, Coppell, TX 75019-4214, 1994) William Bradford, p.66

Remembering Manhattan in Peach, Purple and Pink

Over the years, I’ve used wilder colors and heightened those colors even more. I think when you have happy memories of a place you visited, you think of more than just what you see. And maybe you can remember one of your first visits along 5th Avenue. Wasn’t everything, yelling, jumping, singing out at you in a wonderful way? So I thought my drawing of the Metropolitan Museum deserved every fresh color out there.

New York City museums

New York City museums bit.ly/NYC-Metropolitan-Museum-of-Art

Light energy filled NYC cityscape art

Light energy filled NYC cityscape art

Check out the video below where I remember my first time drawing architecture like this and how things have changed since.

NYC Fauvism

NYC Fauvism

Manhattan in Bloom - Steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Douglas Rickard

Manhattan in Bloom – Steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Douglas Rickard

You can carry this lively art on a tote bag or scarf, or as an iPhone case or throw pillow as well as extra large metal wall art and canvas art.