CS Coates & Scarry

Pretty in Pink: The Art of Richard Butler

Q: Can you talk briefly about the process of creating one of your pieces? My paintings start from a photograph, usually my daughter or a friend, which I mess around with in Photoshop. This is the basis of my painting. A painting can be photographed and put back into Photoshop several times and virtual changes made to get an idea of what may be done. This is more the case with large paintings. The idea however is not to make a photorealistic painting. I enjoy the qualities of paint and marks.

Q: What makes a good day in the studio? A good day in the studio is one when I don't want to leave.

Q: How do you spend your time when taking a break from painting or making sculpture? There really isn't very much time when I am not making or writing something. I get dreadfully bored if I am not making something

Q: What artists inspire you? I am inspired by a lot of things, not always visual. Old postcards, illustrations you name it.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about the subject of your pieces? My daughter Maggie is the subject of most of my paintings, I thought that if I used the same figure most of the time that figure might be seen as more of a cypher than a portrait per-se, besides, I enjoy recording her youth in this way.

Q: How is the arts scene in your hometown? I don't take too much notice of the 'art-scene' in this or any other town. Art is a pretty solitary endeavor for the most part.

Q: Do you collect art yourself? No, I don't really have a collection as such, a few pieces here and there, a million books though!!

Q: Who is the most inspiring person of the 21st century? Too soon to tell!

Q: Which living artist would you like your work to be displayed alongside? I think I’d like my work to be shown alongside some wonderfully baroque sculptor, any ideas?

Q: Three things that you hate? Parties where I don't know anyone, being totally lost while driving, being late to an airport.

Q: Three things that you love? (that I feel like sharing): good food, painting, good conversation

Q: How long do you spend in the studio a week? I have a studio in my house too and work a lot on the computer so 6-10 hours a day?

Q: What kinds of people collect your work? People of exquisite taste of course!! Ha-ha

Q: Do you believe art makes a difference in the world today? Art makes no difference to the big money machinations of government, but a great deal of difference to the quality of our lives.

Q: Do you do commissioned work? No I have never done or for that matter been asked to do a commissioned painting

Q: What do you listen to when working? What I listen to varies from talk radio to Pandora radio (which I think is awesome!) to oldies that I dig up.

Q: What other medium would you like to explore and why? I would like to try sculpture. I have had many ideas but lack the skill to make them.

Q: I saw you once in L.A. back in 1983 at a turning point in my life "Pretty in Pink" was huge. What came first the music or painting? Painting came before music for me. I went to the Epsom Art School before I started the Psychedelic Furs so I'm a painter who sings rather than the opposite. For more info contact

Share this