Freeland painter Richard Rhydes says that art has permeated his life for as long as he can remember. 

When he grew up in Montana watching his illustrator father, Cowboy Artist Irvin “Shorty” Shope, work from home, Rhydes knew he and his sisters would do something creative. He chose architecture, which naturally includes a whole lot of rendering. Rhydes has been a self-employed architect for close to 50 years.

Double Bluff Barn     oil on linen     $1,400

“Early on in my career I perfected a rendering technique using colored felt tip markers and colored pencils over black and white prints,” Rhydes said. “In all instances the color was used to push the two dimensional image into a perceived third dimension by using shades and shadows to give it depth, enhance perspective, and let it read.”

n 2009, he took the plunge and began his education in painting with a six-week intensive by island artist, Libby Berry, at her New Renaissance Academy near Bush Point.

As he gradually retires from architecture, Rhydes finds himself painting more and more. 

Third Street Langley, Pastoral     oil on linen     $1,100

“I have an excellent studio; small, but with good light and separate from the house.”

Berry taught him about the lights and darks of oil paint; how to read a color wheel as it relates to the black-and-white tonal scale; and how to under paint, moving the image from dark to light, cool to warm.

Rhydes paints mostly landscapes, but is slowly moving toward street scenes with figures. All that rendering, and the prolific life of his artist father, may have had its effects on Rhydes. After 50 years of drawing to build, he now draws to capture his surroundings in paint.

“I spent many rainy days as a very young boy with opened books on the living room floor mesmerized by the drawings and paintings of Charlie Russell and Frederic Remington. They will always be my heroes,” the artist said.

In 1990, the painter legally changed his name to Richard Henry Rhydes. It’s a play on words he said, “Richard rides to live. In Indian fashion, I am a ‘Horse Dreamer.’


The Wetland Pond    oil on linen     $1,200

Foxglove     oil on linen     $550

To purchase or inquire about Richard Rhydes available work,
please contact the gallery at 800/858-5063.