It is always a joy to watch a local creative at work. Sir Roland Richardson, clad in his well known straw hat, is an artist of St. Martin who revels in the beautiful light of the island.
His roots in the Caribbean date from the 1700’s and many call him the father of Caribbean Impressionism. He is a master of multiple mediums who embodies the impressionist technique in both lifestyle and canvas.
En Plein Air, translates to in the field or from a living subject. I first became a fan of this type of painting during my time spent on Nantucket. On island we would often see artists in the moors or tall grasses by the ocean capturing the beauty of the landscape in their oil paintings. Richardson’s subject matter is often the vivid flora found on Saint Martin, brilliant in color and dreamy to the observer. He is considered a leading artist in the School of Caribbean Art, and has earned recognition worldwide.
If you are lucky enough to visit the island, make sure to stop by his gallery in Marigot. The charming two story 1840’s Caribbean building is filled with his artwork. You’ll have a hard time choosing a favorite amongst the original oils, watercolors and limited-edition prints. Often he holds workshops at the location which include creative talks about technique. If you’re really fortunate, you’ll catch a glimpse of the familiar straw hat en plain air out and about on the island. Perched on a bluff, paintbrush in hand, he sill be instantly recognizable!
All photos courtesy of Roland Richardson Gallery.