Richard Kooyman

Fleeting visual phenomenon seen along shorelines and deep inside forests fuels the ideas for my landscape paintings. How the sun sparkles at the edge of a woods, or glimmers of light reflected on the water are represented with simple, confident brushstrokes.
I strive for temperate colors that create an emotional connection to a place and time in my landscapes, imaginary gardens, or paintings that recall the beauty of Italian frescos.

In my abstract paintings I’m looking at how subtle shapes and colors form a relationship to each other.
The author George Saunders says that a story is basically a “system for the transfer of energy”. I want to think of my abstract paintings as places that holds energy for you.

I have been fortunate to have been awarded artist residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, The Heliker- LaHotan Foundation, The Antico Borgo Finocchieto in Tuscany, and recently a VA residency at the American Academy in Rome. I have also been a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Artist Grant, a Michigan Arts Council Grant, and The Michigan Governor’s Award in the Arts.

I make paintings because I believe it is still one of the most important personal, social, and political acts a person can do. Making a painting brings new ways of thinking and looking to our consciousness.