Richard Burke, Pinedale
Richard Burke grew up in central Oregon and the Flathead Valley of Northwest Montana. From early childhood he was absorbed with discovering and drawing everything in the natural world. Having several family members who explored falconry, since his youth Richard was captivated by birds of prey and the grace of flight. Likewise, the beauty, tranquility and drama of the mountains and forests have always drawn him. In painting, he desires to discover and communicate nature’s ever varying harmonies of light and space. For this reason, he chooses to live and create in the western Wyoming.
Considered a self-taught artist, Richard’s formal education was in Religious Studies. He worked as a minister for almost two decades, but he continued painting, carving and sculpting in every available moment. For years Richard carved decoys for Ducks Unlimited and captured many bird species in wood sculpture. Eventually it became clear that his passion for art was deserving of a more prodigious effort. It was his desire to focus on sculpting and painting landscapes full time which pulled Richard away from all other pursuits. Currently, he is fully dedicated to the process of creating work in his studio in Pinedale, Wyoming.
Richard long appreciated the work of Auguste Rodin and Edgar Degas. As a sculptor, Richard’s work is almost exclusively concerned with avian form. Working in a variety of materials such as stone, wood and bronze he depicts birds balanced, at rest and watchful. The posture and gesture of the subject is usually the concept. Often the perched bird is caught glaring over a shoulder with a look of distain, as if interrupted. His most current work strives to expose the characteristics of the materials utilized in the process.