P. M. Ritchie Writings



“The only influences on my work, I believe, are writers. Hemmingway, for his honest approach, clear, strong, simple. No adjectives, no wasted space or thought. I would like to be able to paint like this.”

“My philosophy about my work is a simple one. Motivated by what I read, see and hear, and then think about, from what is happening in our world and its human and environmental resources. More than anything, I am aware of human relations; therefore I paint and draw the human figure in this context. I also love the mountains and corners of landscape. I like to think that I can share this awareness through my work.

I use the simplest of mediums. Anything complex tends to stand in the way of an idea as it develops. Because I work slowly and often discard, my work only survives when my head, and I expect my heart, tells me that it must. As a result my collection is small.”

“Wanting to depict a division between two areas in a landscape by drawing a line, I realize as I work, that from my point of view there are no lines in nature. As I look out the window, the window sill turns over, goes outside, and becomes part of the hill beyond. The line of the hill disappears into the orchard, turns over, goes away and becomes a part of the lake in the distance.

So it is with the human figure: an edge of the arm turns over to the other side of the arm and back and around again, up, over to the shoulder and into the body.

To resolve this problem, I find I can separate areas either in landscape or in the human figure, by the blending of tone values, by inter-relating various parts of the painting, not by lines, but by light and shade, and cool and warm tones, the human figure eventually fades into the landscape and as one is dependent upon the other, they become one.

To me there is a timeless and infinitive relationship between the human figure and the environment, and light is their medium.

Light, and what it does to shapes and forms, the emotion it can generate is a subtle and important part of my painting.

The mountains, the sea and corners of the landscape are important to me and I like to think that I can share their impact through my work. I am always looking; I am an observer. I like being on the periphery, watching.”