– By Deva Moore
Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder and Stevie Ricks is certainly beautiful inside and out.
Before you get to know, Stevie in person admiring her art will give you a glimpse into her soul. Just a glimpse… as she has many facets of interests and talents. Stevie is definitely not one dimensional. Like her artistic creations, Stevie is multi-dimensional. Her home is a haven for her animals. Her cats, dogs and little burro share her enthusiasm for the Hill Country.
Stevie Ricks has shared her art with the world, yes world, for more than 40 years. She has been an artist her entire life. Influences from her grandfather encouraged her to the arts as a child and she never wavered from her calling.
She is one of the lucky ones, from an early age, she never struggled with what do I do when I grow up; Stevie knew her livelihood and talents were one and the same. Not everyone is lucky enough to enjoy an art and realize a sustainable income through one’s passions. She was raised in a time when her mom taught her that she would need an income that would provide for her in any society in any situation. Her mom encouraged Stevie to pursue teaching initially. After securing the proper credentials Stevie taught art for many years to middle school and high school students successfully. Her choice to leave formal teaching and pursue art as a career came easily for her as she feels art is “in her blood”. While Stevie never took art specifically in her own public school years, she did take art in college. Stevie credits her inner being with her talent to art and channels that inner being in all of her work.
Stevie brings her abstracts to life for all who enjoy them. She encourages her admirers to not only “see” but “feel through touch” what each piece has to say. When creating a work, she not only paints but she puts physical effort into each piece. She handles the canvas no matter the size and she mixes the paint using a mixture she created herself with paint, water and heat. Stevie has painted every size from small to huge canvases for corporate offices. Each one is a unique and moving experience. Ford Motor Company, Alcoa and Dupont companies are just a few of the major companies who proudly display Stevie’s work in their organizations. Stevie has enjoyed great success in the United States, leaving her imprint on cities such as Chicago to Houston to Detroit to Reno never slowing down her exhibiting or creating schedule.
Stevie has always produced her beautiful works here in the United States but there came a time when an opportunity arose to travel the world in a rejuvenating and inspiring manner. According to Stevie, “My international experiences include an exhibition in Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia. I was fortunate to spend extended time with the cultures of South America. A Senator from Brazil saw my work in a Chicago gallery and invited me to come to Brazil to paint an exhibition for his galleries. He built me a studio in Brasilia where I painted for several months and produced a body of work for his galleries with much success and fond memories.”
She was also afforded such inspirational settings as Egypt, Peru, Japan, New Zealand, China, Ireland, Italy, Turkey, England, Greece, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and she then always returned to her quaint studio outside of San Antonio in the secluded Texas Hill Country of Boerne,Tx.
Through her travels Stevie has left her mark through art in over 600 private and corporate collectors throughout the world, including many here in the area. Stevie has worked with interior designers, commissioned work and person to person clients. Currently, someone who is interested in what Stevie has created or interested in taking art lessons from her may contact her to visit her studio by appointment only.
As an artist, it is important to Stevie that there are many textures in her work. She leaves some canvases in its natural state choosing not to completely cover the space with its story in paint yet incorporating the canvas in the story. Colors are chosen by the client if it is commissioned or by Stevie’s choice if starting a piece for public exhibit. She seldom uses black other than in accent and is surprised at the black tones that emerge when she has finished. The use of iridescent paints in some of her work brings an almost ethereal feel to her art. Stevie’s pieces are not to be traditionally viewed but each painting is signed to encourage the abstract work of art to be interpreted from many angles-there is never a true right side up or down.
Each painting is a singular piece of work and according to Stevie is a constant source of decision…each stroke requires thought and consideration. Painting for Stevie brings her peace, joy and a grateful heart for all she enjoys in life.
Her art came to fruition as a source of sustainable income when she sold her first piece to someone who bought it without meeting Stevie. It gave Stevie an awesome sense of validation. She said “that it was wonderful that someone liked my work on its merit and not because they knew me.” Competing, winning, and getting awards gave her clout, and it is what opened doors to gallery showings and made Stevie Kesner Ricks a name in the artworld. She explains, “I have won many regional and national awards including “Best of Shows” in the Rocky Mountain National Watercolor Exhibition, the Western Federation of Watercolor Exhibition, the Southern Watercolor Exhibition twice; The Southwestern Watercolor
Exhibition several times; the Texas Watercolor Society Exhibition; and the San Antonio Art League Onderdonk award. My work hangs in galleries in Chicago, Detroit, Reno, Miami, Pittsburgh. Through the Chicago gallery, I was invited to Brazil for several months to paint exhibitions in both Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro and concluded with new acquisitions by the Brazilian branches of Fiat International and TV Redo Global.”
Art enthusiasts knew who Stevie was. She had arrived. Stevie has a couple of words when asked what describes her art. She explains simply, “I feel grateful and joyous. I feel absolutely blessed and grateful for what I have achieved and received from painting and also from the public.”
Painting is Stevie Ricks passion and she puts her passion into each piece. Putting time and energy and effort into her work is what she teaches her students. Stevie told me “Even if one thinks they cannot paint, they should give it a try”. Painting does not require a special studio or location just a desire to create and a brush and canvas of some sort. Some works of art take only a short time of investment and others take months to create. A work of art is only completed when the artist feels it is complete. There is no set rules for art, just a passion for creating. Stevie allows her inner being to bring her art to life. Painting is an emotional venue for Stevie and she is very passionate about painting. Each work of art has a passion one sees, feels and absorbs.
Stevie exhibits kindness, compassion, and goodness and that is exactly what she wants her art to exhibit. And to those who view her work, she is successful in her endeavors. Stevie can be reached for appointments or art classes at 830-981-4171 or www.steviericksstudio.com.