Richard Oversmith (b. 1971) paints vibrant, impressionistic landscape oil paintings during his travels across the United States, and also in far-flung destinations such as Italy, Cornwall, Bermuda, and Belize. When his wife and daughter wanted to become more fluent in French, the entire family spent six months in Brittany, where Oversmith made hundreds of sparkling seaside scenes.
Although he usually makes small compositional sketches before he starts a landscape painting outdoors, Oversmith must respond to changing conditions of light and weather on a minute-by-minute basis. He paints outdoors most of the year and, unlike most plein air artists, actually prefers autumn and winter, when the foliage is not so lush and visually overwhelming.
Though he occasionally paints outside on canvases as large as 36 x 48 inches, Oversmith is more likely to develop them back in the studio, working from his own oil sketches and reference photographs. Using his studio’s north-facing window, he has also earned a reputation for luminous still lifes, usually of flowers.
Oversmith came to plein air painting in an unusual way. While earning his B.F.A. from Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he spent a summer at London’s Royal College of Art, and it was there that he learned more about the long, proud heritage of painting outdoors.
Long committed to painting alla prima (wet-on-wet), he has turned for inspiration to such historic masters as Vincent Van Gogh, Nicolai Fechin, Isaak Levitan, Willard Metcalf, Claude Monet, John Singer Sargent, Joaquín Sorolla, Tom Thomson, and Nikolai Timkov.
Today Oversmith thrives in Asheville, in western North Carolina. Having explored much of the U.S. in search of a place to settle, he and his wife landed here thanks to its natural beauty, four-season climate, quality of life, and abundance of kindred spirits working in the arts and crafts.
Not surprisingly, three galleries represent Oversmith’s oil paintings in North Carolina: Grand Bohemian Gallery (Asheville), City Art Gallery (Greenville), and the Art Cellar (Banner Elk). He is also represented in Charleston, South Carolina, by Hagan Fine Art Gallery, and in Vero Beach, Florida, by J. M. Stringer Gallery of Fine Art.
To learn more about the artist and see more of his oil paintings, visit richardoversmith.com.