Cheryl A. Richey
My artistic journey is fueled by a desire to explore and understand nature’s mysteries and wisdom. A penchant for haiku poetry also influences my work. Each painting in my Pyrophyte series begins with quickly rendered marks on raw canvas, which are then ignited with fire to produce scorched and burned-through spaces. After sealing the burned cloth and laminating it to a primed panel, I paint with acrylic and add collage elements to achieve the final composition. In nature, pyrophytes are plants, including some tree species that have adapted to tolerate fire. I like the symbolism of resilience (perseverance and survival) in the presence of fire. I enjoy “making sense of nonsense,” trying to find meaning in haphazard beginnings. This process stretches my mind, pulls me into a discovery mode. I like the intellectual aspect of this part of the process. Ultimately, my work succeeds when I am able to integrate free experimentation and deep personal expression. I love the idea that a finished piece is like a haiku poem, an elegant visual metaphor for a profound truth.