Richard at the
Tempe Art Festival, 2014 with the Flying Puffin Version 1

Richard at the Tempe Fall Art Show, December, 2011

A group of Platypus at one of
Richard's outdoor shows

The full dimensional Panda
with "Sun Gong" , introduced at Richard's One Man show in
November, 2005

Portraying the presence and expressions of sea life and animals in sculptural forms motivates  Richard Vest as an artist.  Born in San Francisco, he is the son of a commercial fisherman who operated salmon boats out of Fisherman's Wharf for 35 years.         

Although Richard did not share his father's love for commercial fishing, the enthusiasm and dedication to succeed exhibited by his father were driving forces for the artist. 

Richard started drawing early in public school, winning many awards throughout his educational experience.  After graduating from high school, he attended San Francisco State University earning a BA in Fine Art and also one in Design/Technology, coupled with a Secondary Teaching Credential.  While teaching art in the San Ramon School District in California, Richard worked part time on his art, selling it throughout the state.  He left teaching in 1989 to pursue a full time career as a professional artist. 

Currently he exhibits his sculptural pieces across California and Arizona with collectors throughout the United States. His work has won Best of Show awards in fairs and art exhibitions, with pieces shown in exhibitions at the Richmond Art Center and the Haggin Museum in Stockton, California. 

The artist completed a wonderful commission of work for Nick's Restaurant in Pacifica, California enhancing the sea theme of the ocean and restaurant. 

Richard's work, both realistic in style and large in scale, expresses the "feeling and presence of the animal.  You can see into the animal's soul, he says, and realize they are complete and deserve our respect". 

To achieve the realism and expressions the artist works from his own original drawings in his 1800 square foot studio followed by selecting wood with enhancing grain and color that will work well with the creature he is carving. 

Each piece is "free hand" carved subtracting wood until the work is completed.  Using a subtractive method of sculpture, (whether you are working wood or stone), there is only one shot in getting the animal's presence", he says. " You don't add material back on". 

Pieces are finished with a hand rubbed Tung Oil finish and some have a water based lacquer finish applied.  Each is signed and copyrighted by the artist and suitable for indoor display only and also comes with a beautiful gold foiled "Certificate of Authenticity" certifying that it is an original creation by this artist. 

Richard enjoys membership in many organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, National Wildlife Federation, Marine Mammal Center, The California Academy of Sciences and the International Sculpture Center. 

He lives with his wife Rexine, making their home in the Sierra Foothills where he also has his studio. 

Come see a unique style of carving and sculpture at one of the shows this year.

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2008-2024 Richard Vest All work represented on this site is copyrighted by the artist.
No part of this site or the sculptures depicted may be reproduced by any means