Hoquiam Landscape Artist Richard Eaves Woods Journals His Travels in Watercolor

'Friday in the Boatyard' is an image from one of Richard Woods’ trips to Port Townsend. Photo credit: RIchard E. Woods

Richard Eaves Woods joined the Grays Harbor art community in 2018.  His luminous watercolors of landscapes and people in their daily activities journal his traveling life. Born in Seattle, he is happy to have returned to the Pacific Northwest. “I’m in my element, here,” he says.

Richard Woods standing in front of his Road Town painting
Richard Eaves Woods won first place in the San Diego Watercolor Society International Exhibition with ‘Road Town,’ a Caribbean market scene. Photo credit: Christine Vincent

The Beginnings of Richard E. Woods Artistic Career

“My second-grade teacher warned my parents that their boy would grow up illiterate because he was always drawing,” he shares.

Woods’ family moved to Concord, California, when he was in seventh grade. He received his first formal art training in eighth grade, at high school. He especially appreciates a teacher who taught the summer art courses he participated in for four consecutive years. “I learned 95 % of what I know about art there,” Woods says.

When he was a sophomore, Woods won third place in the Concord Art Association Show. However, his early success did not lead him to become an artist, yet.

Woods Life in the Coast Guard

Joining the Coast Guard, Woods eventually worked as a public affairs assistant, traveling to Coast Guard stations to write reports with photographs for public relations.

He remembers a tour to Kodiak Island, Alaska. “I did a lot of painting there because there wasn’t much else to do,” Woods says. “In summer, the sun rises at 4 a.m. I painted a small picture of the sunrise. A week later, an officer at the station, who knew I was an artist, asked me to paint a pair of identical paintings of the sunrise east of Kodiak, one for himself and a second for his aunt. When I showed him the small sunrise, I had done the week before, he loved it. The man even happened to have a few paint and fabric samples of his aunt’s new home décor and asked me to use the colors. They were fine. Yes, I do commissions!”

Richard Woods calls this painting of the tractor in front of the Grays Harbor Farmers Market, titled ’50 Shades of Rust.’ Photo credit: RIchard E. Woods

Richard E. Woods Becomes a Full-Time Artist

During his traveling life, Woods would paint as much as time allowed, but art was never the focus of his life. After he retired from the Coast Guard in 1996, he worked at a few jobs. In 2009, he was unemployed and troubled by tragedies in his life. It was then he made a decision: “No better time than the present. I am an artist now.”

Living in Reno, Nevada, he backpacked into the High Sierra, sketching and photographing. Back home, he transformed the images into paintings.

Occasionally, Woods would do some still life – florals, people, or animals – but he basically considers himself a landscape artist. “I am working somewhere along the borderline where California Impressionists meet Realism,” he shares.         

‘Sharky’s Store’ is a watercolor rendering of the popular store in Ocean Shores Photo credit: RIchard E. Woods

Woods’ Endeavors as a Grays Harbor Artist

Woods has become very productive as a Grays Harbor artist, showing his work, entering competitions and being active in the community.

In 2017, Woods won first place in the San Diego Watercolor Society International Exhibition with a large 25 X 42 watercolor titled “Road Town.” This typical Caribbean market scene shows the dark silhouettes of a figure sitting in a chair and of a hen with her chicks against a colorful display of clothing. Woods painted it while on a cruise with his wife and shipped it to San Diego to enter the competition.

Participating twice in the Pacific Northwest Plein Air Competition, held annually by the Maryhill Museum in Goldendale, Washington, Woods enjoyed competing with 30 to 40 artists creating plein air landscapes of the area. His beautiful “Klickitat Fishladders” was painted there. He had some sales at the museum gallery and intends to participate again.  

Harborites will recognize familiar local sites among the artist’s recent work, including “50 Shades of Rust,” a close up of the landmark rusty tractor in front of the Grays Harbor Farmers Market, and Sharky’s Store in Ocean Shores.

“Friday in the Boatyard,” was created on one of his trips to Port Townsend. It is one of two paintings he entered into the 2023 Grays Harbor College Fall Gala. He also exhibits in the Harbor Health Regional Community Hospital Healing Gallery, and the Alder Grove Gallery at the  Aberdeen Arts Center.

Richard Woods painted his first nocturne, ‘Tree of Life, in Kalaloch,’ in the fall of 2023. Photo credit: RIchard E. Woods

Richard Woods Takes Over Art Drives

In October 2023, Woods realized that his artwork had come to a stop. So, he has taken on the task of resurrecting Art Drives.  Started in 2017 by Meri Swanson and sponsored by Michael and Sylvia Dickerson, this nonprofit organizes artist studio tours.

Art Drives conducted two studio tours in 2018 and 2019, before COVID. Swanson retired from the leadership and the organization seemed doomed. Woods decided to come to the rescue and take over the leadership. The Dickersons are still on board. Look out for future Studio Tours on the Art Drives website.

For more information, visit the Richard E. Woods website and the Richard Eaves Woods Arts Facebook page. You can also email him at rewoodsarts@gmail.com or call 775.530.1930.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email