Ricky Schaede: Courage to see things differently

June 14, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

The morning of our interview with award-winning artist Ricky Schaede, he had been to Mono Amaranth Public School, teaching youngsters about painting abstract, on a program funded by the Dufferin Arts Council.

“I love working with kids,” he commented, “they’re so much more free. I don’t know when we lose it but we do.”

Mr. Schaede also teaches for Dare Arts twice a year. “It’s great to work with at-risk kids in Toronto.”

His coming to and settling in Orangeville, where he and his father share their home, took place in 2013. At that time, he had been writing and finished a science fiction novel.

Then, as he said, “I was lost for a creative outlet. I had been painting before I started writing and I went back to that.”

Part of his life is working at Euphoria Cafe on Broadway. “My boss offered me to have an art show in the autumn [early in his being in Orangeville]. At the same time, there was a mural competition which led to forming Club Art. I won the mural competition and we decided to have an event.”

Eventually, he and Jacklyn Hancock, one other member of Club Art, took it over and run the programs in a space at the Mill Street Library.

“There’s better attendance now than there ever was,” he was happy to say. “For me, it really lit the spark to paint again.”

He’s now sharing his time among working at Euphoria, where his art is displayed like a “mini art gallery,” and working at Maggiolly’s Art Supplies, teaching there sometimes, doing his own paintings, which he sells, although “most of my money comes from art classes.”

Always wanting to stretch his wings artistically, he had connected on Facebook with a teacher based in Austria who “runs these seminars all over the world.”

How seriously did he take his dreams?

Mr. Schaede says he dreamt about going to meet the teacher, Phillip Rubinov Jacobson at his apartment in Spain.

“He and his wife weren’t there but they had left a key and food inside for me to eat. The next morning, I was helping them  build a gym. They don’t actually have an apartment in Spain – or a gym.”

Then, “the next morning [really], I booked to go to Austria.” He went in 2015 and 2016.

It was there that he studied the Mische technique of painting, an early Renaissance technique. It is a combination of intensive preparation and numerous steps to a final result, beginning with forming the sometimes very detailed figures and design with waterproof India ink and proceeding with elaborately made egg tempura, followed by a series of steps of covering the picture in different coloured paints. This is painstaking but the results are quite remarkable and worth the time consumed.

In his current painting style and subject matter, he follows, to a greater or lessor extent, the lessons he learned in Austria.  He uses them to influence the results of his own visions, once again intensely detailed, sometimes taking “hundreds of hours” and shimmering deeply with the light the Mische technique produces.

All this is given to his mind’s eye, which rests mainly in space, where he believes his own understanding of spirituality in our view of space can blend the spirit with science for a fuller experience of thinking and perceiving what space is.

His ambitions are not strange: “to get my work in the the USA,  magazines; improving my work and submit my work – connect with the right people. If ever I get to show in another country, I can go. There’s actually more of an appetite for my art, that I do is more popular in the States.

“I want to work on improving my craft – learning about painting – it’s helpful to do a workshop here and there.”

Responding to an invitation to do so, he philosophized,  “I just want to tell people, like, there’s a whole spectrum of art and not to box yourself into one thing. People get stuck on one kind of art but there’s all kinds of art outside the normal. I have had an exhibition of my Change of Everything show at Headwaters Gallery [at the Alton Mill] and shown my work at the Wellington County Museum.”

He added, “For me, art work is a chance to explore the mysteries of the universe, the deeper contemplations of life. Art accesses the deeper part of ourselves, not just for the of something pretty.”

Naturally, Ricky Schaede hopes readers will visit his website: He has plenty to say there too, including his remarks in the all-important artist’s statement, which every artist is expected to make.

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