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Earthy, Symbolic Mixed Media Works by Rick Gillis

A mixed media artwork of abstracted birdsBirds, acrylic and mixed media on board

Painter Rick Gillis specializes in earthy, symbolic mixed media works that range in subject matter but all express a deeper narrative meaning. Rick‘s works frequently have an antique look and feel that gives the viewer the impression of relics from a time long passed.


A mixed media artwork of an abstracted cityCities Bore Me, tinted gesso, burlap, gold leaf and wooden lettering on wood


Rick’s most recent works are eclectic both in material and subject. In several pieces, the artist incorporates strips of burlap that add interesting abstract texture, as well as creating an visual parallel to ideas of work, rural living and a sense of blue-collar Americana. Despite this often-romanticized underlying theme, many of Rick’s recent works seem to have an edge of protest or political anger. Grotesque, skeletal figures and moments of isolated text offer the viewer emotional clues without a direct answer or instruction.


A screen capture of Rick Gillis' art websiteThe front page of Rick's art website

The highly symbolic edge of many of Rick’s works reminds me a little of the work of David G. Taylor. Where David’s works tended more toward the spiritual and esoteric, Rick’s works hint at issues that are more immediate and visceral. 


A photograph of a sign reading White RoseWhite Rose, photograph

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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