About Richard Perano

How I Became a Commission Artist in Atlanta

“Art is the mythical lifeline uncoiling beauty fashioned by heroes from a primordial past…”

As a boy, I was a bit obsessed with drawing. My main themes were dinosaurs, religious figures, and cartoons. While drawing, I lost all sense of time. It was and is very much like the feeling of the same name described in one of my favorite books, Flow, written by Miahly Csikszentmihalyi. I stopped drawing like clockwork when I hit puberty.

Many years later, in the early 2000s, I returned to drawing, primarily out of curiosity, when my daughter’s art teacher told me that if I began drawing again, I would pick up right where I left off at age 13. Admittedly, I was skeptical but soon discovered she was right. Almost immediately, I began devouring every art book recommended to me. I sought out well-known Artists in Atlanta for their guidance and occasional instruction. I worked by myself on the famous complete three-part Charles Bargue Drawing Course developed in the mid-1800s and reconstructed in the late 1990s by the living Artist, Daniel Graves.

Although I had no formal art training, my self-curated art education has included a careful study of human anatomy.  I attend regular studio sessions drawing and painting live models and have done numerous detailed drawing studies of works by the great Renaissance Masters. I am most interested in the miracle of the human face and body where the emotional imprint of a human life is expressly written. The journey of the Professional Artist is an adventure fraught with risk.

At this stage, I am increasing the scale of my artwork, painting in oils and acrylics, and composing pictures of transformative moments that cast light through the prism of human nature. Until recently, most of my work has been in graphite, charcoal, Conte Crayon, and pastels. However, I am fulfilling custom commissions and projects that interest me in professional fine art-colored pencils.

I have also been selling Giclee Prints of my work at local Art Shows in Atlanta. As soon as the pandemic allows, I will be returning from my virtual sessions to live studio sessions in Marietta. I am applying the essential fundamentals of drawing to oil painting.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature from Villanova University in 1977. At the time, I thought the risk of not knowing how a B.A. in English could lead to a career qualified as a prudent risk. I had chosen to focus on the subjects I loved, which were reading and writing.

I indulged my passion for certain writers who were unlikely to be found in any MBA program curriculum like Joyce and Yeats and Epictetus. I clung stubbornly to the belief that anything I needed to know to do my best work, I would learn from others or teach himself. Autodidactic is the mantra for me from the age of fourteen when I landed my first job.

Out of necessity, I remain employed in the industry, where I began working in 1983 as a stockbroker. I have every confidence that my mantra will continue to serve me well as I embarks on a new career as a Professional Artist. My journey to this exact point has taken what many would consider a lifetime. I see it as a homecoming to my beginning, compelling me grittily to a thrilling and mysterious future.