RICK KERSTEN's life and his art have been
since he was a child growing up in
Arizona. "It was clear to me,
at a very young
age, what I wanted to do. I just wanted to create
things, whether it was paintings, sculpture,
greeting card art, murals,
cartoon strips, designing stores and
restaurants or decorating bulletin boards for my
I truly love what I do."
Rick obtained his art training through a variety
of life experiences. During his formal training at
University, he worked in many
advertising agencies in the Phoenix
also freelanced as an artist for the popular
show "Wallace and Ladmo." In his
senior year at the university,
commissioned by Del Webb Corp. to create
their hotels and restaurants.
After ASU, Rick found himself in the Navy
the Vietnam War, where he did many
paintings and illustrations of
life in Vietnam, the
Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan.
of these illustrations were published in
the Navy Times newspaper.
While in the
Philippines, he completed a mural for the main
building on the Subic Bay Naval
Upon returning to Arizona, Rick and his brother
formed Kersten Brothers Studios, a
design studio that specialized
designs for the retail market. This eventually
Kersten Brothers Greeting Cards, a
production, sales and distribution
more than 9,000 accounts in the United States
and 14 foreign countries.
In 1985, the publishing and distribution part of
business was sold. Rick is still involved in
licensing Kersten Brother's
artwork, but his
primary focus is now doing what he loves most,
painting the southwest.
When Rick paints on location
he usual works with pastels, because of the light moving so
fast he has to work quickly. "Color has a very emotional impact
on me. There is a delicate feeling in the desert. Colors change
and you have to be aware of everything that surrounds you.
Color has to look and feel like a warm summer rain or a bright
sunny day." Combine this love of color with the drama of the
Grand Canyon and you have some of the most energetic and passionate
paintings Rick has produced to date. With his experiences
of river rafting the white waters of the Colorado River and
hiking into the canyon, his visual knowledge has grown. "There's
such a spirituality in its remoteness that i will never feel
I have captured even a small portion of it."