My name is Roger Ricketts and I was born in Wolverhampton in 1947. My love of art started from childhood. I would enjoy experimenting with different colours and shading. By my twenties, I was painting ‘stills’, which included fruit, bottles and animals. When I became a father in my thirties, my art took a back seat, but I would never lose my passion for it and in my forties, I picked up the brush once again when I was inspired after visiting a famous Scottish castle.After moving to Redditch and finally retiring from my day job in my sixties, I started to experiment with
different styles of painting including new scenes and landscapes – mountains, boats and the ocean. Recently, I have begun to use resin in my works, which I feel gives my art greater depth, allowing me to elaborate my designs even more by being able to add layers which bring it to life and create a 3D effect.
The art that I now create is broad and I enjoy painting different topics. I have no fear when trying something new – over the years, I have used many different mediums from oils to pebeo to resins. My grandson has designed and created a website for me, where I can display my artwork for people to browse online.
I have also recently started making coasters and keyrings from resin, which I display and sell along with my paintings in local exhibitions throughout the year. I am hopeful to continue experimenting with different types of art for many years to come, from my home “studio” in Redditch.
Tell us a bit about your creative process
The process to create one of my recent underwater-themed resin pieces is a long and careful, but very enjoyable process. First of all, I have to have the idea in my head of what I'm going to create and be able to picture it finished on the board. Getting inspiration and ideas can take some time, but once I have the mental plan, I start by spraying my circular board to match the colour theme and background of the piece. Using artificial aquarium foliage and backing, sprayed to match the colour theme, I position them on the board with great precision to create the best 3D effect. Now into the middle ground - the subject. This could be a turtle, squid, octopus, shoal of fish - anything that is the main subject of that piece. The entire piece is sealed with about three different layers of resin, each layer is left to dry for at least 36 hours before adding more. Moving into the foreground, more foliage, real shells, glitter, stones and pebbles are positioned to create the scene. And that is the typical creation process of one of my underwater themed resin pieces.
Where do you usually work from?
All my works are created from my home in Redditch, in my "Kitchen Studio" - the only flat surface that is perfect for working with and then leaving to dry is on top of my cooker! This means I have to plan my meals to make sure they don't use my oven when I'm painting.
My home "Oventop Kitchen Studio"
What makes your work different?
I think my paintings and style of painting to be completely unique to me because I've never seen anything quite like my work. Using artificial aquarium backing, artificial plants, resins, real natural shells, glitter and non-traditional circular boards, I think is quite unique to me.
What is your biggest source of inspiration?
My biggest source of inspiration is bright, powerful, "In Your Face" colours that symbolise happiness and life. I can get inspiration from anything at all - from a walk in the woods to the flowers in my garden. They can all spark ideas for new creations in my head.
What advice do you have for new artists just starting out?
The advice I have for new artists is, just keep painting. Do not give up. If your first painting doesn't go to plan, move on and have another go. Keep painting. Try your own style of art and experiment with your own new, different ideas.
How has your Lockdown Life been?
Throughout lockdown, my painting has slowed as exhibitions have been cancelled and less people are seeing my art; however, I have kept myself busy by baking delicious treats that my neighbours, family and friends have enjoyed test-tasting! During lockdown, my family have come together via a weekly virtual meetup, competing in various challenges from ‘funniest thing on your head’ to baking and photography! I am hopeful to continue experimenting with different types of art for many years to come.
How can people get in touch?