By Julie Osterman
It was almost inevitable that Marty Ricks’ career would involve fine art. His father, painter Don Ricks [1929-1996], ran an art business with Russian artist Sergei Bongart [1918-1985], and he grew up surrounded by art and artists. “I swore I would never become a painter,” Ricks recalls. By 17 he began working as a frame maker and now owns a framing business in Utah. But the desire to capture the beauty of the West on his own canvas emerged in 2001, when his growing business was hit by the aftermath of 9/11. “I had to analyze whether I wanted to ramp up again, but I knew I had to do something intensely creative,” Ricks says. “I started to paint, knowing that art could consume all of my creativity. I soon decided that’s what I was going to do.”
A tonalist painter, Ricks portrays bucolic scenes of trees, mountains, streams, and the occasional farmhouse. He cites painter Russell Chatham as an influence on his work, as well as his late brother, Doug, who was a poet and artist. “Doug taught me to value, above everything else, the mood,” Ricks says. “That is what I always try to achieve.” He is represented by Authentique, St. George, UT; Jack Meier Gallery, Houston, TX; Meyer-Milagros Gallery, Jackson, WY; Meyer Gallery, Park City, UT; Reflection Gallery, Santa Fe, NM; Tierra Montana, Livingston, MT; and Williams Fine Art, Salt Lake City, UT.
Featured in “Artists to Watch” May 2006