Marty Ricks

Growing up around art and immersing myself in creative, art-related business endeavors, I suppose it was inevitable that I would eventually pick up the brush and paint. I grew up in southeastern Idaho amid the environment created by an artist father, Don Ricks. All three of my brothers at one time or another had made their living as artists. I was the only one who resisted the urge to paint until after September 2001 when the New York attacks nearly destroyed the business that I had built. The love of art was always present with me but I began a career early, age 17, as a picture frame maker, creating frames for artists of renown from all over the country. Later my desire to create drove me to bigger endeavors culminating in our opening a showroom at 3rd and 57th street in New York City. We were making mirror frames and furniture for the design trade and were experiencing enough success that we felt we were ready for New York. Our firm had also completed several major architectural projects including domes for religious buildings as far away as Brazil. After 9/11 I re-evaluated my life and resolved to make some changes, most significantly to become a painter. I have been actively pursuing an art career since that time. My brother Douglas Ricks was, in many ways, my tutor in the world of fine art. My father passed away in 1996 and Doug followed him in 2003. Doug had a great artstic sensitivity and a very extensive knowledge of art and artists and revealed to me many of the artists who would shape my work. The work of Russell Chatham has always haunted me, even before I became a painter. George Inness’ work has had a great influence on me as well as the Russian impressionist work of Sergei Bongart, who was my father’s teacher and partner in an art workshop program in Idaho. Students of Sergei, Ovanes and Galust Berberian have been major influences on my work as well. I suppose the most important influence on my work has been nature herself which has been a refuge and a place of solace as I have had an ongoing “love affair” through various pursuits including hunting and fly fishing. My work is an attempt to communicate my deep love of the outdoors and the spiritual foundation of the natural world.