Artist Rich Gombar

An example of fine art by Rich Gombar

Photo of Rich Gombar

The Artist Says:

I feel you are capturing what painting should be all about.
Lydia Renee Gralla


I am an artist, but I like the moniker ‘painter’ much better. I grew up in the very industrial city of Bridgeport, Connecticut. When I was young, in that environment there seemed to be little to do with the visual arts, but I knew from an early age that being an visual artist was what I wanted to be. I wanted to paint pictures. Surrounded by industry in many forms, I took solace at the local beaches, marveling at the play of light, and how elements so simple as sky, water, and land could be so beautiful. I also found inspiration in the red brick factories, the railroad, the hard light and toughness of the city streets, anything that caught my eye, something that could be translated into a painting.
My uncle—a dentist who liked playing banjo and the arts in general—gifted me with a set of Grumbacher Soft Pastels, a big set in wooden box, that I have used for years and still have. And when walking around downtown Bridgeport, I found an art supply store that offered art classes in the back room. This is where I met Frank Covino, a portrait artist and teacher. He had a traditional approach to painting, and I learned in a very classical way how to mix color, do underpainting, block out a painting and, most importantly, how to finish it. It was a lesson on learning to be disciplined, to paint or draw every day. He also made it fun, and related stories of his own life growing up in Brooklyn, which was very much like mine.
I applied to Frank’s alma mater, Pratt Institute, was accepted and really started on my journey. After graduating, I spent more than 25 years in New York City working a variety of jobs to support my art [...]

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