Artists of the Outback Creative] William Ritchie
Artist of the Outback Creative - William Ritchie
I am originally from Warrnambool in the Western District of Victoria. Growing up in this setting I was inspired to draw, paint and learn and this is where I developed a passion for the natural environment, wildlife and its conservation.
More recently this fascination with the natural world has followed an academic route, with the completion of a PhD in biological science. In my artworks, I try to combine my understanding of biology with passion for wildlife and nature in realistic and detailed artwork. It is this knowledge, understanding and appreciation that allows to more accurately present my chosen subject matter in a way that realistically represents their natural state.
I currently live and work as an artist in the scenic Macedon Ranges in Victoria. Since moving here my work has been heavily influenced by the local landscape and the plants and animals that inhabit it. My preferred subject matter has always been and continues to be landscapes, plants and animals. I am available for commission work, workshops, presentations, demonstrations, judging, original artworks and prints.
“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it” – Salvador Dali
I find inspiration comes in many forms, it is almost always from a personal encounter or experience. The initial spark of inspiration can be a fleeting moment, an expression, an interaction or perhaps a chance encounter. You know it when you see it and it lights an irrepressible spark that forms a captivating mental image. As the image is turned over in the mind it is deconstructed, refined, and reconstructed to plan a process. When the image is held in the mind in a solid state and the construction path is clear, work can begin.
In all my artwork, I try to create a feeling or invoke an emotion. I believe this adds a personal aspect to my work, one that reflects who I am and my experience. I believe this is essential to creating truly original artwork that accurately represents the subject and experience. If indeed perfection is unobtainable, that does not diminish the reality that it is worth striving for.
“The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding" – Leonardo da Vinci
I find it is an essential part of my process to directly observe my subjects and I very seldom work on something I have not seen. This process of observation allows me to not only understand the form, anatomy and physical attributes of my subjects but to also gather an understanding of their personality, behavioral characteristics and how they interact with each other and their environment. For all my artwork, I generate my own reference material which can range from notes, sketches and photography to simple observation and memory. While I often aim for a highly realistic aesthetic to my work, I rarely work exclusively from photos but they are definitely a useful and important resource. I find that understanding the subject is far more important to a great artwork than a photo. I seek to capture my chosen subject as I have experienced them, full of life, personality and character, evocative and/or emotional, yet artistically complex and considered.
With every new painting I aim to try something new, to challenge myself, push personal limits and extend my capability, both technically and conceptually. A critical part of my creative process is study. I am always poring over books and any available information that explores the techniques of the masters, the principals and design elements behind what makes a great artwork. As part of this process I take time to examine the works of my favorite artists and read whatever they have written regarding their creative process, ideas and techniques. I find this highly beneficial to refining my own techniques, methods and ideas.