Living A Creative Life: Alice Rich

September 9, 2021

Alice Parmelee Rich has been involved in the art field, and in art related businesses, most of her life. Since the millennium she has followed her true passion, creative expression through painting. Alice’s large, atmospheric landscapes and semi-abstract works often have a hard edge. They are included in numerous private and public collections throughout North America and Europe, and she has her own gallery on Granville Island.

Studio 13 Fine Art, which I share with a studio mate, is a work and exhibition space. It’s a gallery people are welcomed into, which is wonderful for interacting with the general public. You’re certainly not feeling isolated – in fact, most people ask me: ‘How do you work with all the interruptions?!’ I’m fortunate to have another large studio / workspace on Gabriola Island – a very creative community with lots of artists and Arts Council involvement.

A typical day: I’m pretty slow in the morning – I like to do some exercising; I meditate; I have my tea and coffee; then there’s emails and stuff like that, and by noon I’m ready to paint. I like to clear everything off my plate before I get to the easel.

I’m extremely curious, very observant and I love to find the beauty in life. I’m always looking, thinking and seeing. It’s a way of life – a constant observation.

I don’t paint anything specific in a landscape and that’s what I love about it – the process of being able to use the paint any way I want, leaving out a lot of information, which allows the viewer to describe it their own way.

A good exercise is to actually move away from your palette. I tend to use a lot of blues and greens and often have little battles with myself where I say, ‘Here you go, you’re going to put this out – something completely different.’ But inevitably, some of my go-tos creep in.

I’ve been playing again with the face-mounted plexi that you do at Opus and it looks really cool. It’s so vivid and it almost brings the light in more. It’s a print but it’s also a lovely piece of work in the end.

For 16 years, I was a single parent, and concentrating completely on my creative business really gave me a flexible lifestyle. If one of the kids was sick, I was still working from home. It wasn’t without worry, like, ‘How will you afford the next round of printing?’, but I’ve always been entrepreneurial – I’ve always made my own money, my own way.

Sometimes you have to just visualise where you want to be, the work you want to do, and keep it going.

Watch and Listen to Alice Full Interview in the Opus Visual Podcast