I am an Artist,  Wyoming

I am an Artist: Ricki L. Klages

Why are you an artist?

Being an artist feeds my soul.

What inspires you?

Nature and the land; gardening; my children; my students; other artists; storms and the sun afterwards.

Is your work influenced by Art History?

As a child I moved all over the world (Army family). I was able to see art from many cultures, but ultimately I am inspired by Victorian artists and their overblown narratives and heightened color. Art history is something all creative artists must know to understand where we came from and why we are where we are.

What is the role of color in your work?

I am Baroque in my color aesthetic. I understand color through oil paint and NEVER limit my use of color! Color is one of my ways of expressing the power of image and narrative.



How does nature, the land, landscape,the environment affect our creativity?

It is where we all came/come from and I think it holds our (sometimes) unconscious connection to our humanity. Does it form it? I can speak for myself that these things hold real meaning for me as an artist and they affect my creativity very tangibly.


What is the role of the artist in our society?

Although the role of artists has changed through the centuries, I see the artists’ role now to be many things. They can include the commentator, the provoker, the educator, the decorator or the innovator. Sometimes the best includes all.

and in Wyoming?

Wyoming has a legacy of landscape, wind and cowboys. That is a strong influence on a lot of work coming out of this state. There are many who are drawn to the clarity of thought that isolation and quiet can provide and residing in a state that has that and a pure and stark beauty can establish a very creative environment that doesn’t always strictly adhere to creative work coming from more populous or obvious creative hubs. It encourages individualism.

Where do you see yourself as an artist in 5 years?

Better than I am now.

What are your ultimate goals as an artist?

To keep learning.

What does art mean to you?

Personal freedom and point of view. Beauty and magic and melancholy and joy.