"The post apocalyptic rebuilding of the Earth has been a subject my work has always explored. This painting depicts the rebirth of the planet without human
inhabitants and references the return of the dove to Noah's ark, signifying a new beginning."
Flight from Noah's Ark 2013
Oil and Acrylic on Panel, 14 x 20 (35,5 x 50 cm)
Retail price $ 4,500
"Christopher Columbus" is a depiction from a future point of view of the explorer landing in the new world. The imagery is influenced by science text book illustrations with the use of cross sections and diagrams which I have used often in my work."
Oil and Acrylic on Panel, (55,8 x 112 cm)
Retail price $ 8.000
"This work is inspired by Theodore Gericault's painting of the same name. The raft in my painting floats above the ruins of an abandoned theme park which
Florida has become known for."
Raft of the Medusa with Tethered Drone 2015
Oil and Acrylic on Panel, 30 x 37 (76 x 94 cm)
Retail price $8,500
Your paintings are very detailed. How long does it take you to complete a work?
An average painting takes a couple of months. Once I have a drawing I begin with building the structure, then apply venetian plaster as the base and back ground on which I paint. At this point I begin the imagery and lose track of the hours it takes to complete.
What is unique to your practice?
My viewpoint of the Florida landscape. My paintings are post apocalyptic landscapes based on the Florida environment. I use both natural elements such as the slash pine coupled with man made manicured designs of golf courses. Other Florida elements are architecture from old hotels and their signage found along the coast, and iconic Disney references such as the monorail and EPCOT's Spaceship Earth.
Do you have models for the animals and the unique landscapes you are painting?
I work from research and photographs I have taken over the years. I begin my work with preliminary sketches of a concept, and then develop the idea with a collage. The collage is a very useful tool to work on the composition and color values I'm using in a particular piece. Composition and balance are very important to my work.
You often use crab claws in your work. What do they symbolize?
There are two reasons why I have used the crab claw in my work. The particular crab claw I use is the Florida stone crab. It reinforces the concept of the Florida based subject matter of my work and the the post apocalyptic setting where there has been a shift in the order of the food chain.
Aerospace is also a common theme in your work. Why?
The aerospace imagery is influenced by my experiences as a youth. My home town is two hours south of NASA, so whenever there was a launch we could watch the spacecraft ascend into orbit from our front yard. Also, in the 1970's and 80's space travel had a connotation of hope and progress that is important in my work, even in a post apocalyptic setting.
By day you work as a construction contractor. Does this inform your artistic practise?
Working for a contractor has exposed me to many building techniques for the structures that I paint on and the materials I use.
When did you start painting?
I became serious about painting in my mid teenage years. As children we all draw and paint, artists just never grow out of it.
What inspires your work the most?
Developing my own work. I really enjoy looking at all types of art and design, from a landscape painting from the 15th century to contemporary architecture.
What is yout favorite place to be in Miami an/or in West Palm Beach?
In the ocean.
Rick Newton is a native Floridian born in West Palm Beach in 1967. He resided in his home state, in the town of Juno Beach, until moving to Boston where he earned his BFA with honors from the Massachusetts College of Art. Relocating back to south Florida in 1997, where he currently resides, he taught at the Alexander Dreyfoos School of the Arts for one year. He has also given presentations and lectures on his work at Florida Atlantic University and taught workshops at the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art (PBICA) under Michael Rush. Rick Newton has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, and is included in private collections across the United States and in Europe.