Blanket of Snow Over Timpanogos


Original oil by Russell Ricks

Art size: 6” x 12” 

Framed size: 18” x 12”

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  Russell Ricks knew from a very young age that he would be an artist. As early as eight years old, he proclaimed to anyone who would listen, “My name is Russell Ricks and I’m an Artist!” Growing up in a creative household with six imaginative siblings, a musically gifted mother, and having a father that was a full-time oil painter and art teacher helped Ricks achieve that dream. All four of the Ricks boys have, at one time or another, pursued oil painting as a career. Although Ricks’ three sisters don’t paint, they design with fabric, food, and more. Ricks’ summers were filled with assisting students of his father, Don Ricks, and his Painting Vacations. Ricks would help set up easels and then learn to paint under the tutelage of Sergei Bongart, Milford Zornes, and his father. The workshops were primarily en plein air, instilling in Ricks a lifelong devotion to plein air painting.


Sergei Bongart left a lasting impression on young Ricks, giving him a personal introduction to art by a Russian Master. Ricks is also greatly influenced by Russian artist, Isaac Levitan. Ricks’ artwork reflected the serenity and historicity of his childhood surroundings of Rexburg, Idaho. Readily available were the subjects of old pioneer farms, river tributaries, Yellowstone National Park, and the Grand Teton National Park. Aspen forests, pastorals, and rural living have been recurrent themes in Ricks’ paintings over the years. They were what he became familiar with as a youth—they have become a part of who he is.


Ricks now resides and paints in Provo, a thriving community in central Utah. Here he has access to the diverse scenery of the Wasatch Mountains, as well as old historic pioneer homes and churches in the area. As a young adult, Ricks attended Ricks College, (now BYU-I), where he received an Associates Degree in Art. He received further formal instruction at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.


In 2015, Ricks was honored to have a Solo show at the highly acclaimed Springville Museum of Art in Springville, Utah. The show, Passages and Pathways, highlighted Ricks’ ability to capture the heart of rural life. In their words, “Russell Ricks invites the viewer to follow along as he evokes memories of places of historical and spiritual significance. He records firsthand the metaphorical and literal pathways that alert us to the timeless beauties of nature as well as spiritual and patriotic icons of small town America.” The winter of  2016-2017, Ricks was participated in the Oil Painters of America Western Regional Exhibition at the Illume Gallery in St. George, Utah and is a current Associate member of the organization. In 2012, he participated in Celebration of Fine Arts in Scottsdale, Arizona and was featured in the American Art Collector publication.


One of Ricks’ most iconic images, In Search of Sweeter Grasses, is now in the permanent collection of the Springville Museum of Art. Along with his fine art pieces, Ricks has produced a number of indoor wall murals for important corporate clients.


When not in his studio, Ricks loves to be in the mountains plein air painting, hiking, trail riding, camping and gathering material for his next projects. As far as hobbies, Ricks can be found reading a good book, getting creative with cooking, writing about and researching interesting subjects or spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren during his down time. Amidst a fast-paced world, Ricks’ artwork begs us to slow down, take a breath, and escape—if just for a moment—to a place of serenity and peace. It carries the viewer back to a simpler time, evoking a feeling of coming home.  


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