Every now and again, we get off the island to explore other local enclaves. The greater Seattle area is rich with independent shops, cafes and restaurants and our team can often be found taking little day trips, spreading some love around the region. On one such adventure we found ourselves in a beautiful coffee shop in Old Downtown Renton, drooling over the specialty pours and the art installation by Rick Moreno.
A muralist by trade, Rick has channeled his love of color and nostalgic vibes into a collection of original paintings and prints titled "1973". The grouping pays homage to some of our favorite icons of the past and as soon as we saw it, we knew it would fit in around here just perfectly.
Meet Rick and learn more about the series during the next West Seattle Art Walk on Thursday March 12th from 5-8p.
How would you describe what you make?
I paint memories that tug at the heart for certain generations and spark imagination for younger viewers of a by-gone era of Americana.
I do this because, for me it is deeply personal and relatable. I play with the colors in a retro look, but love to add my own flair in the process.
What drew you to this medium and style of work?
I have always felt most comfortable in acrylics. I am not relegated to this medium, but for me it is very flexible in its application.
Can you tell us about your favorite piece in the current collection?
I have a hard time choosing just one. Simply because there are memories of my childhood in every piece. But, stylistically, the yellow phone. I love the clean lines and the phone number was my childhood number. It’s funny how you remember things like that....
If you could collaborate with anyone (living or not), who would it be and why?
I have artistic leanings in many artistic genres. In modern art, I am inspired by works by Paul Klee and Gustav Klimt. I love their use of color, concept and texture. Pop Art by works of Roy Litenstein, his vibrant imagery and larger than life “in your face” graphics are so dramatic. The elaborate Trompe l’oeil murals from Graham Rust, are so inspiring...I gravitate to all of these art styles in one way or another.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Be authentic and have fun in the process. Paint what you love, not what you think others will want.
Can you describe your favorite part of the process in your work?
I enjoy painting! But sometimes I wonder if I get more on me or on the canvas. I have ruined many t-shirts along the way. I I have a couple of sweatshirts that have literally ¼ inch of paint encrusted on them. They are my badge of honor. My favorite part is when I feel a piece is complete and I inscribe my signature. I am already thinking of my next piece… It seems one painting inspires the next.
When you are in the studio, what are you listening to?
I particularly love to listen to guitarist Pat Metheny. But I love Motown, Smooth Jazz, and 70’s Rock, i.e. Eagles, Jackson Browne, James Taylor. Also, newer artists like Lauren Daigle, Jordan Smith and John Mayer.
What is your most treasured handmade possession or piece of art?
I have a 4 ft. x 4 ft. modern art piece I painted in 1993 that lives in my living room. I call it “Controlled Chaos”. This piece reminds me of a time in my life where I felt God truly embraced me during a very dark time in my life, thus “controlling my chaos” with His grace and love.