Richard Trumbull

Richard Trumbull is an American artist, born in the Midwest, and living in San Diego, California and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  He is known for his portraiture and for his abstracted landscapes and has exhibited internationally.


From a recent review (Hope Palmer):  “Richard Trumbull is less interested in local representation and more interested in abstraction to express the essence of the experience. He paints in a suggestive rather than a descriptive mode. We are the ones who complete the image.


In these paintings with their viscosity of paint we see an ongoing dialog with abstraction. Unfettered falling lines of color mixed with layers of previous strokes create a rich mélange of texture and color that skirt an immediate reading of a known place. At once familiar because of tonal values and shapes we only secondarily become aware of something richer and deeper.


The paintings don't rely on local color, but they have a spectral light all their own. These are the kind of paintings that don't release everything upon a first visitation but insist upon active participation from the viewer. The luxuriant color not often found in conventional representation lingers long after our encounter. The deftness of the strokes and a willingness to play as Trumbull makes use of each corner of his canvases is truly refreshing.”


Trumbull writes:  “In an interview before his death the astonishing  Stephen Sondheim said, talking about art, that ‘the world is chaotic, life is unpredictable, there are no reliable forms,  Making forms gives us solidity in the world of unpredictability.  That’s why people make forms, make painting, music, stories.  Stories with a beginning and a middle and an end.’  This quote spoke to me and illuminates what I hope is available in my painting:  an experience of the surround which is not literal but conveys the clear and understandable feeling of place.  During Covid, the beach at Torrey Pines became a daily, comforting presence to me in its grayed out hues and its changing sounds and its changeable weather.  When I began this last series of paintings I found myself returning again and again to the experiences of being there.  I couldn’t shake the influence so I gave into it.  Thus the paintings you see in this exhibition.  To name drop one more time, Tolstoy said ‘Words are for ideas, art is for feeling.’  That’s what I’m going for here.