Atmospheric paintings by Richard Schloss
Richard Schloss, “SB Backcountry,” 1982, oil on canvas, 28 x 40 in.

Get a quick dose of inspiration in this Q&A with Richard Schloss on his atmospheric art, his inspiration, and the single-word answer to his most commonly asked question.

Q: At what point in your creative path did you begin to focus on atmosphere?
A: When I first started painting I looked at Monet’s cathedral paintings. 40 paintings of the same gray stone façade. He obviously wasn’t painting the building, rather he was painting the air and the light. This I believe was one of the first things that piqued my interest in atmosphere and light.

Atmospheric art by Richard Schloss
Richard Schloss, “Gaviota Coast,” 18 x 24 in.

Q: Tell us about your personal favorite painting (of yours) and why it’s a favorite:
A: This one (above), which I am working on now, is my favorite. As they say, “my best painting is my next one.”

Atmospheric art by Richard Schloss
Richard Schloss, “Thousand Steps, Morning,” 1990, oil on panel, 20 x 16 in.

Q: What’s the most common question you’re asked, and what’s the answer?
A:: “How do you paint water? the light? trees? the atmosphere?” And similar questions for which there is no answer except “practice.”

Q: What advice would you give to other artists who strive to achieve atmospheric effects?
A: The advice I would give is to study how atmosphere and light work, then observe the different effects whenever you can. The best way to observe nature is to paint it.

Atmospheric art by Richard Schloss
Richard Schloss, “Evening Light Looking West,” 1987, oil on panel, 12 x 18 in.
Atmospheric art by Richard Schloss
Richard Schloss, “Thousand Steps, Sunset,” 1989, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 in.
Atmospheric art by Richard Schloss
Richard Schloss, “Beach Sunset, Hope Ranch,” 1985, oil on canvas, 32 x 24 in.

This interview was originally published in 2018 in Plein Air Today


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