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Richard Nocera


These paintings are born of gesture, but they are not accidents. They embody both a task and a journey, making me aware of what it means to give and to receive.


The process itself is reflective. I close my eyes and breathe. I open my eyes and immediately strike (or stroke) the surface with the loaded trowel. That strike is it: I limit each piece to one engagement. I produce multiple paintings at a time in this manner, back to back, leaving little if any room at each generative moment for reconsideration or contemplation. That can come later — for the viewer as well as for me.

Although I emphasize spontaneity I carefully plan its implementation, working deliberately while leaving room for chance. I commit to my actions’ initial trajectory but not to their destination. The movements of hand and tool can begin one way – one physical direction, one mental direction, one spiritual direction – and end in another, very distant from the beginning.


The integrity of that mark is its source, and its source is me. Each engagement holds me personally accountable, confirming over and over again that what I give I receive, and thereby what I receive I give. The process and the mark itself encourage me to be mindful of what I receive, physiologically as well as psychologically. To this end, I only paint outdoors: clean air, clean light, clean mind. And I restrict my palette, my tools, my time, and my judgment in order to keep simple and keep simplifying. All this, in order to eliminate obstacles between me and the expression, and between the expression and the viewer.


There is certainly a ritual or ceremonial aspect to my working method. I’m constantly engaged in repetition, even as my movements become involuntary. My paintings, clearly process oriented, are the physical manifestation of their own making. I’m preparing them either for birth or for death; in either case, I know I must let them go.

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