Born and raised in Yonkers, NY this artist of Italian descent has devoted his life to portraying the history he loves. A professional artist for over 30 years, his subject matter has varied little from his primary interest, the American west. After graduating with a degree in commercial art from Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie, NY where he learned the basics of composition, color and design, he worked for a publishing co. in Manhattan as an assistant art director. During that time he started developing his artistic style while painting in the evenings. After experimenting with different subjects his love of the American West won out. He states, “When I was young the paintings I most admired were those of Frederic Remington and I still get a chill when I stand in front of one.”
Painting Western subjects comes naturally to this artist. His interest and fascination with American Indians with their free roaming way of life and strong family structure has enabled him to produce paintings of unequaled excellence. He started selling his paintings in the early 70’s through the Douglas Gallery in Stamford, CT. During that time he developed quite a following which encouraged him to make the big decision to quit his job and to paint full time.
He soon started to travel the west to see it all first hand. Hiking in the back country of California, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Montana, Alaska and Canada in all weather conditions he was able to observe nature at its best. His paintings reflect his hands on knowledge as he always strives for authenticity in his work. Many collectors have commented that his snow feels cold and his water feels wet and they can sense the different textures he paints whether they are hard stone or a soft feather.
Richard Luce feels what he paints, and as you look at his work, you feel it too. Each piece evokes a very special emotional response. It is easy to believe him when he says that he gets “ideas from everywhere, from everything. I see something; I go outside for a second; I listen to music; I just get ideas … they come to me. And I decide on the mood I want, and then develop it:" Each Luce painting is unique, different from the last, or the next. Singly, and as a group, they stand as a tribute to his enthusiasm and love both for painting and for the West.
The area where he truly excels is in his portrayal of the American Indian. His paintings reflect their quite dignity and strength. To better understand how they lived he has read many books and over the years he has often camped in primitive gear in his own Tipi to wear the clothes, hear the sounds and smell the wood smoke. The insights these experiences give him are of great importance in understanding the subject and trying to portray it accurately.
“I am an artist, and I paint what I imagine, what I feel, what’s in my mind. That’s what it is to be an artist.” ~Richard Luce