In the mid-90’s, the good people at the historic Downtown Presbyterian Church began to make space in an old, unheated and unused part of the building available to young, up-and-coming Nashville artists. A very popular move, the offer did not lie untaken for very long. About 7 years ago, Richard Feaster joined that string of grateful painters and sculptors and claimed a high room on the south side. Heavenly light streams into the space early in the day through the dramatic portal of glass and wood that looks so different here on the inside. Inspiration sometimes is illusive for artists but it seems to be more accessible here - between the natural light and the nearness to rooms of worship, Spirit is ubiquitous. The floors and walls are unfinished, freeing Richard from concern about messing the place up. His abstract works usually begin with a “pour” of paint onto a stretched canvas lying on the floor. Painting in layers, he then applies mixtures of aluminum or graphite powders and rubbing alcohol in abstract swirls and darts and dashes. Then onto the wall for a period of days or weeks of considering, pondering, and what-iffing before re-cranking the process. Since Richard frequently changes directions along the way - an additive process, as he describes it - the final result rarely matches the original concept. When other artists are in their adjoining studios, a hum of mutual energy develops. Sometimes, they exhibit or volunteer together, but when it comes to work time, Richard prefers to be alone and quiet. No music, because he doesn’t want to disturb any worshipper in the chapel that lies just on the other side of the wall. When he’s not in the studio, Richard can usually be found a few walking blocks away at his position as a registrar at the Frist Museum.
From the artist: “Paint, by itself, develops its own language of circles, drips, runs, and strokes. I use that language in my paintings.”