Richard Kooyman

I live and maintain a studio with my partner, the painter Melanie Parke, in NW Lower Michigan two miles from the ‘big’ lake as we like to say.

I have always made things with my hands. My mother was the fastest knitter I’ve ever seen and every Saturday morning my dad would be repairing something around the house. He even built a television from a kit when there was such a thing.

Painting is making something visual. There is so much craft that goes into a painting; stretching the canvas and preparing it, selecting types of oil paint and mediums, building tables to work on, and making a functional studio. I love all those aspects.

But then there is the art of painting which is my primary focus. The subjects I choose to paint and the way I choose to paint them are filled with choices whose meanings change as I change. Why do I paint landscapes? Why do I paint them the way I do? Most importantly, what happens during the painting process that surprises me, challenges me, and pushes me in ways that excite me?

Earning my MFA from Ohio State University I have been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Artist Grant, a Michigan Arts Council Grant, and The Michigan Governor’s Award in the Arts. I have also been an artist-in-residence at the Vermont Studio Center, The Heliker- LaHotan Foundation, The Antico Borgo Finocchieto in Tuscany, and a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome.

Why do I make paintings?
Fleeting visual phenomena along the Lake Michigan shoreline and deep within its forests fuels ideas for my paintings.
How the sun sparkles at the edge of a wood, or the sun or moon reflects light on the water, are occurrences I find compelling. They point to something in nature that is bigger than me.

I like simple and direct brushstrokes in my work. I’m striving for temperate colors and brushwork that have an emotional connection to a place and time. My process is both visceral and somewhat intuitive. I like to think of my paintings as things that can hold energy and from which you can go and receive that energy back.

I make paintings because I believe it is still one of the most important personal, social, and political acts a person can do.

Studio Visits
If you would like to visit my and Melanie Parke’s studio and see the work in person please email- richardkooymanart@gmail.com

Paintings can be professionally and safely shipped via UPS. Works too large to ship via UPS (over 48” x 52”) are securely crated and shipped FEDEX truck freight anywhere in the US.
Contact me about sending works on approval.