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Sketch Pad

Richard Schemmerer
Born to be
by Kathy Anderson

successful knitwear designer in his hometown of Munich, Germany, Richard Schemmerer eventually tired of the fashion mill, gave it up in 1986 and moved to the United States to pursue art and spirituality. After stays in San Francisco and Hawaii, he spent two years in Paris before finding Portland in '96. Now a rebirthing teacher, yoga practitioner and Reiki master, Richard can hardly keep up with himself.

Mood swings
Richard Schemmerer's art is meant to engage the senses, make people stop for a moment and open up to the feelings brought about by a given piece.

"Some days I want to wake up the world, other days it's just about a sense of being," he said. "Sometimes I do theme shows, other times it's just about expression of form and colors that create vibration."

"Dancing for Peace"

Sometimes Richard's works include elaborate poems or mysterious titles, other times they must speak for themselves and allow for individual interpretation because they can evoke different moods at different times.

"Life is full of dichotomies, which inspire me to explore the internal workings of the outer universe and the inner psychological processes of the human mind," he said.

The human condition is close to Richard's heart. He aspires to use his art as a tool for communication to create what he describes as a bridge between human souls that meet in the jungle of life as it unfolds.

"I never question the merit or value of art and I am driven to unleash my creative potential in a multitude of ways," he said.

From time to time
Richard just published his book "Reconnection with the Power of Love – Conscious Creation through the Intelligence of the Heart," which presents love as the ultimate art form. He's now working on a new book about peace from within.

"See me the way I am"

"I teach the art of loving all expressions that manifest in our environment," he said.

"Art has the ability to describe inner and outer worlds in a symbolism that sidetracks our judgmental protective mechanism and trick our intellectual faculties so that we are able to have a direct emotional encounter with our extended intuitive senses."

Richard studied with many great artists but avoided too much academic exposure in an attempt to keep his personal artistic expressions free from preconceived notions of what art is or is not.

"I love to break established rules but find inspiration in all time periods and walks of expressing life," he said.

"All is sacred; nothing is too holy not to be expressed in new ways and new media. I live in a time frame that is nonlinear and I allow my creative process to overlap with different styles from diverse time capsules."

The art seen
Some of Richard's favorite artistic expressions are dioramas that freeze-frame a feeling or make a sociopolitical statement.

"Feed me Love"

"I don't have a favorite artist or any preference of style," he said. "I'm able to admire somebody's craftsmanship as well as the unfinished presentation of a concept. It takes courage to express one's self and, in that, one's purpose is fulfilled – being an expression of the divine is the greatest artistic manifestation."

Last month Richard worked on several Portland art events intended to inspire people to vote. He was in Art for Democracy at Gallery 500, Art to Get the Vote Out at Brian Marki and Think Peace at the Alberta Arts Pavilion. He now has plans to be in SinTax, a group show featuring pop art.

Richard's glass art can be found on the Oregon Coast at White Bird Gallery in Cannon Beach and he designs for the Fashion Incubator, Gallery Fix and Dragon Lily.

"I've had agents and belonged to DIYs," he said. "You can see me setting up on a street corner in Portland or the downtowns of the world."

Rebel yell
Some people know they want to be a doctor at an early age; Richard was born to be an artist.

"Let go – now"

As a child he dressed up in his parents' clothes and pretended to be an actor, a painter, a dancer, a wizard. For the holidays he created handmade gifts for his relatives and recited cheesy poetry.

When Richard received his first brand-new bike he immediately pulled out his cheap acrylics and painted it lime green, yellow and purple.

"My father was very upset and had me clean the bike with paint thinner in front of our house for everybody to see," he said.

"He didn't know it, but from then on I was going to rebel against standardized beauty and find creative outlets in all expressions of life."

Medium cool
Richard started writing poems with unhappy endings and carving creepy masks out of fallen tree bark. Once, in a creative rush, he painted the basement in wild, abstract colors only to again be told to wash it off after his parents found out.

"Art was a curse in my parents' eyes and would lead to social ruin," he said. "My prescribed future was to be a bookkeeper for my father's car shop.

"Alone again"

"My whole being started to focus on escape. At 21, I started my own business in Munich, where my soul emerged on this planet."

Richard began by creating crazy outfits. His first suit was half black and half green – vertically – so when viewed from the side only one color was seen.

Soon he was painting on cars, coats and shirts; from there he explored almost every artistic medium available.

"Creativity had no specific framework to me and helped me to reshape a stifling rigid society," he said.

"I found true freedom of expression in art, using it as a tool to communicate my own internal processes or to portrait other peoples' lives and circumstances."

Richard will always be an artist even if nobody else appreciates his work.

"I am just a tool for Creation to express itself," he said. "Art is an expression of the divine in me, a window into my soul, and that is reason enough."

E-mail Richard at Launchitnow@aol.com, visit his Web site or find some of the poetry he's penned for this e-magazine under the name of Ray Solar. You can reach Kathy at kanderson138@comcast.net, and draw on other Sketch Pads.

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