Letters

Letters 10-20-2014

Doctor Dan? After several email conversations with Rep. Benishek, he has confirmed that he doesn’t have a clue of what he does. Here’s why...

In Favor Of Our Parks [Traverse] City Proposal 1 is a creative way to improve our city parks without using our tax dollars. By using a small portion of our oil and gas royalties from the Brown Bridge Trust Fund, our parks can be improved for our children and grandchildren.

From January 1970 Popular Mechanics: “Drastic climate changes will occur within the next 50 years if the use of fossil fuels keeps rising at current rates.” That warning comes from Eugene K. Peterson of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

Newcomers Might Leave: Recently we had guests from India who came over as students with the plan to stay in America. He has a master’s degree in engineering and she is doing her residency in Chicago and plans to specialize in oncology. They talked very candidly about American politics and said that after observing...

Someone Is You: On Sept 21, I joined the 400,000 who took to the streets of New York in the People’s Climate March, followed by a UN Climate Summit and many speeches. On October 13, the Pentagon issued a report calling climate change a significant threat to national security requiring immediate action. How do we move from marches, speeches and reports to meaningful work on this problem? In NYC I read a sign with a simple answer...

Necessary To Pay: Last fall, Grand Traverse voters authorized a new tax to fix roads. It is good, it is necessary.

The Real Reasons for Wolf Hunt: I have really been surprised that no one has been commenting on the true reason for the wolf hunt. All this effort has not been expended so 23 wolves can be killed each year. Instead this manufactured controversy about the wolf hunt has been very carefully crafted to get Proposal 14-2 passed.

Home · Articles · News · Features · There’s Always Something New...
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There’s Always Something New from Richard Asher

Al Parker - July 9th, 2012  

As a youngster growing up in New York City, Richard Asher’s early artwork drew attention from his teacher.

“I doodled on my test papers in elementary school and I got in trouble for it,” he recalls with a laugh. “I was not The Art Kid in my neighborhood.”

Asher’s family was involved in financing and banking, but he never had an affinity for those fields. But, ironically, after graduating from the University of Miami and a two-year stint in the U.S. Army, he worked in accounting for almost five years serving well-heeled clients in the Hamptons.

Seeking a change, Asher moved to Denver where he managed a restaurant for six years. It was in Denver that he began doing some illustrations. “I was mostly self-taught,” he explains. “I had taken a basic drawing class at Miami and got a B. I hated to study, hated to go to class. I mainly did (art) because I just enjoyed it. I enjoyed experimenting with different media and techniques.”

After moving to Michigan and spending a decade in Grand Rapids, Asher headed north to Traverse City 14 years ago. Despite having no teaching background, he spent several years as a substitute teacher for TCAPS.

ARTISTIC CURIOSITY 

Over the years Asher’s artistic curiosity has resulted in elaborate abstracts in acrylics, impressive watercolors and intricately detailed works in colored pencils.

“I think I like colored pencils the best,” he says. “It’s a medium that requires a lot of patience. It takes time, but the results can be marvelous. With pencil you can be very detail oriented.”

A few years ago, one of his pencil works was chosen for publication in “The Best of Colored Pencil 2” by the Colored Pencil Society of America. One of 145 entries published out of more than 1,000 submitted to the group.

At his cozy studio/gallery on Front Street in Traverse City, Asher provides framing services and sells both original works and prints.

“I’ve always been an advocate of prints,” he says. “I feel art should be shared by everybody. You have to make it affordable for people who, perhaps, can’t afford to buy an original.”

Several of Asher’s works reflect his love of history. He has created ornate works featuring Mayan gods, Samurai warriors, medieval knights and American Civil War scenarios.

CIVIL WAR RE-ENACTOR

The Civil War is one of Asher’s favorite historical topics and he’s an active re-enactor of the conflict. In 1993, during the 130th anniversary of the crucial battle at Gettysburg, he and several members of his Michigan unit were among the thousands of re-enactors in the film “Gettysburg,” which featured Martin Sheen, Jeff Daniels and Tom Berenger.

Despite being from Michigan, Asher and his pals portrayed Confederate troops, since the director decided he had more than enough Union soldiers. It was no problem for the Michigan boys to dress in their Rebel garb and take their place during the filming of the Battle for Little Round Top and the ill-fated “Pickett’s Charge.”

Civil War buff Ted Turner, who produced the film, had a cameo appearance as a Confederate officer who was cut down while leading his troops in The Charge. After the movie was completed, Asher used several photos taken during the filming to create a watercolor portrait of his fellow re-enactors.

SOMETHING NEW

Recently Asher has a couple of new projects to keep him busy. “I got bored with watercolors and am now learning acrylics,” he says. “I’m doing abstracts, basically patterns and shapes and colors.”

And he’s working on a series of colored pencil drawings for a book he is preparing.

“It’s an anthology of social groups,” he explains. “Sort of a guidebook for people watching.”

He’s finished about 30 drawings of different social groups, including bikers, park chess players, mimes, nudists, drag queens, re-enactors, parrot heads, Goths and others. He plans on using 80 of them in the more-than-a-little-humorous publication.

“These are all glimpses of American life,” he says. “I’ve been working on it for a couple of years and my enthusiasm for the book hasn’t diminished at all.”

To learn more about Asher’s artwork, stop by his gallery at 441 East Front St. in Traverse City or contact him at (231) 932- 8638 or ashergallery@yahoo.com.

 
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