40 Prominent People | Richard Schmid

Richard Schmid
Painter • New Hampshire

Richard Schmid

Distinction: Often acknowledged as the greatest living painter in the representational art world, Schmid has set a high standard across all genres—landscape, figurative, and still life—and has taught and inspired many of today’s noted artists.
What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the art world during your career? I’ve seen a widespread turn away from what we call modern art, and a strong turn toward highly skilled and serious content in American painting.
How do you define success? It’s not about money or fame—it’s seeing what I intended to paint actually unfold on my canvas.
People would be surprised to learn that … My talent is not a divine gift or a product of my genes.
Where do you find inspiration? In my daily life.
What role has Southwest Art magazine played in your career? It has kept me connected to the wider world of art beyond my studio.
Describe yourself in one word. Grateful.
If your home or studio were on fire, what one thing would you save? Besides Nancy and our cats, the computer hard drive with the archives of my work.
What do you hope to accomplish in the next 10 years? Survival, four new books, many videos, and learning Italian.
Any regrets? No, my many mistakes and missteps in life were part of the complex chain of events that brought me to my present life.
How would you like to be remembered? With the same fondness as I remember Mozart, Schubert, Socrates, et cetera.

Featured in “40 Prominent People” in May 2011.