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Rick Berry: Otherworldly Figure Paintings and Portraits

Oil painter Rick Berry has a flair for creating expressive portraits that blend realism with a sense of otherworldliness. His artwork, which seems to have one foot in the world you know and one in a world you don’t, has been called “heartbreakingly beautiful”—a sentiment I can agree with.

Juror, seen below, depicts the power of body language strikingly well. Leaning back, hand beneath chin, this figure appears to be deliberating with much angst. The beauty is in the translucent colors which allow us to see layer by layer the anatomy of her delicate frame as noted in her gently curving spine and precise musculature.


Dark cavities within the painting, specifically, in her right arm, allow us to see deeper, perhaps even inside to her bone structure. There is so much raw emotion in this painting, and so much real vulnerability in this figure—perhaps because she is nude—that it’s hard to look away.

Next, FM Signal to me is very haute couture, or high fashion. This conclusion lies in the figure’s elegance—the way she wraps her arms around herself while arching up a shoulder. It’s dramatic and the lines created are fabulous.


Immediately we see the roundness of her shoulders, which beautifully complements her boxy headdress. Then, full lips, high cheekbones and a bold hairstyle that accentuates her attractiveness.

Soft ivory and peach colors in the background bring the figure forward and add a warm glow to the overall portrait. Capping it all off, white brushstrokes near the bottom of the painting remind me of dozens of doves flying upward, signifying purity and the enlightenment of womanhood.

Lastly, Blow is just out-of-this-world moody, mysterious and powerful.


Crimson hues drench the painting, adding soft texture to the figure’s garments. Note the circular movement in the piece as the figure pulls her cloak more tightly around herself. Even the composition tells a little more of the story—our upward viewpoint makes the figure appear to be towering menacingly over us.

That pale skin and white, wind-whipped hair only accentuate her blood-red eyes, which gaze into our very souls. Although unnerving and spooky, there’s much beauty to be found in the painting’s floral colors and elements, which transition from soft to bold at the drop of a hat.

Rick has pages upon pages of eerily fascinating portraits begging to be explored. For an inside look at his work, do yourself a favor and check out his website today.

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Natalie Norrell is a western artist who enjoys working in an impressionistic style that also hints at realism.

“It’s a versatile and endlessly challenging style which implies detail,” she says. “I encourage the viewer to ‘finish’ areas of the artwork in their own unique way.”

Natalie’s work as an art therapist is. . . read more

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