Roger Ricketts – Mixed media artist

Can you tell us about yourself and your background as an artist/maker?

My love of art started from childhood. I would enjoy experimenting with different colours and shading. By my twenties, I was painting ‘stills’, which included fruit, bottles and animals. When I became a father in my thirties, my art took a back seat, but I would never lose my passion for it and in my forties, I picked up the brush once again when I was inspired after visiting a famous Scottish castle. After moving to Redditch and finally retiring from my day job in my sixties, I started to experiment with different styles of painting including new scenes and landscapes - mountains, boats and the ocean. Recently, I have begun to use resin in my works, which I feel gives my art greater depth, allowing me to elaborate my designs even more by being able to add layers which bring it to life and create a 3D effect.

My Home “Kitchen Studio” Setup

Tell us a bit about your creative process.

The process to create one of my recent underwater themed resin pieces is a long and careful, but very enjoyable process. First of all, I have to have the idea in my head of what I'm going to create, and be able to picture it finished on the board. Getting inspiration and ideas can take some time, but once I have the idea, I know exactly what I'm going to do. The entire process from getting the idea to the finished piece can take just under a month. Once I have my mental plan, I spray my circular board to match the colour theme and the background of the image. Using artificial aquariam foliage and backing, sprayed to match the colours, once again, I position them on the board with great precision to create the best 3D effect. Now into the middleground - the subject. This could be a squid, turtle, octopus, shoal of fish - anything that is the main subject of that piece. The entire piece is sealed with about three different layers of resin, each layer being left to dry for at least 36 hours before adding more. Moving into the foreground, more foliage, real shells, glitter, stones and pebbles are positioned to create the scene. And that is the typical creation process of one of my underwater themed resin pieces.

Where you do usually work from?

All my works are created from my home in Redditch, in my "Kitchen Studio" - the only flat surface that is perfect for working with and then leaving to dry is on top of my cooker! This means I have to plan my meals to make sure they don't use my oven when I'm painting.

Have you developed any unique or unusual techniques in your work?

I think my paintings and style of painting to be completely unique to me because I've never seen anything quite like my works. Using artificial aquariam backing, artificial plants, resins, real natural shells, glitter and circular boards, I think is quite unique to me.

Tell us about a favourite piece of work and what it means to you.

My main two favourite pieces have got to be "Pond Life", which is one of my underwater themed resin works, and "Dragon", which I have done very recently. In Pond Life, I think it's special to me because I have a pond in my back garden and it helps me to imagine what's going on deep down, below the still, plain surface, reminding me of my pond and that life is also going on down there. At the time of writing this, Dragon is my most recent painting. What I like so much about it is the mix and blend of colours because I love bright and powerful colours.

What is your biggest source of inspiration?

My biggest source of inspiration is bright, powerful, "In Your Face" colours that symbolise happiness and life. I can get inspiration from anything at all - from a walk in the woods, to the flowers in my garden, they can all spark ideas for creations in my head.

What advice would you have for artists who are just starting out?

The advice I have for new artists is just keep painting. Do not give up. If your first painting doesn't go to plan, move on and have another go. Keep painting. Try your own style of painting and experiment with your own and new, different ideas.

If you sell your work, can you tell us more about how you do this?

I participate in many local exhibitions, where my art on display there can be purchased, I also display every single piece of art on my website at where people can browse my art and make enquiries.

My two favourite works, Pond Life (circular board) and Dragon

How has lockdown changed your creative process?

Throughout lockdown, I have slowed down the amount of paintings I have been doing, with exhibitions cancelled and less people seeing my art, it has slowed. But now, moving forward and looking ahead to the other side of lockdown, I have got back to painting more again.

Tell us about any future projects you have planned.

I don't really plan my art ahead - I wait for an idea to come to me, then I make it reality.

See more of Roger’s work on his Worcestershire Artists page.

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