Gwendolyn Alexis Richard: Sisters of Flora
I rarely make sketches for my paintings. I like to paint in an unrestrictive fashion, repositioning my subject, if needed, to reflect my mood, my environment, or the current thoughts invading my brain. My paintings are created from one thought, one beginning idea, evolving over time, directly onto the canvas, usually without referencing a sketch or study. Once completed, the painting is open to interpretation, evoking feelings, conjuring up emotions relevant to the private thoughts of the viewer. Sisters of Flora is an ongoing series of whimsical paintings that explore my obsession with fresh flowers and their relationship to memory, flora and the female figure.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Gwen’s pursuit of her passion for the arts, was supported and nurtured significantly, when she received a full scholarship to Xavier University. There, she obtained degrees in Art Therapy and Fine Arts, while mentored by renowned visual artist, John Scott. In the years that followed, Gwen worked as a Therapeutic Art Specialist with mentally and physically disabled children and adults. During this same time, she completed many murals and also worked as a contributing cartoonist/illustrator for Crescent City Parent Magazine in New Orleans. Currently, Gwen is the Community Development Director for the Acadiana Center for the Arts, administering state, local and privately funded arts grants programs for Acadiana, since 2006. In her spare time, Gwen enjoys creating contemporary fresh floral designs, which is the catalyst for her current series, Sisters of Flora.