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Hi, I'm Gene Ritchhart, I was born at home in July of 1955 as the son of a sailor. Pop was the first to spank my bottom ! Since my father was a navy man I spent most of my life in San Diego,Ca. Growing up I also spent time in Oak Harbor and Bremerton, Washington. I graduated in 1974 back in El Cajon, California. I doodled and sketched in my early years as a lot of kids do, but I found I enjoyed drawing and painting in highschool. I was one of those lucky students that had an art teacher who cared and influenced his students in how much fun it was to paint.
Upon graduation I enlisted into the army and spent my tour of service as a mechanized infantryman in Germany. I had the oppurtunity to see a lot of Germany as a driver. It was while stationed there I started to paint in watercolors after driving by a grove of beautiful sunflowers nesttled in the side of a hill. I did a few peices for some of the NCO's while staioned there. After the service I returned home which had again changed geographically back to Bremerton, Wa. Home was where mom and pop were; And they had moved back to Washington. Using my GI Bill I attained my AA Degree thru Olympic College in 1983. I painted in acrylic and found I really loved them ! Any canvas I worked on would dry in an hour and I could go back in to make any changes I felt necessary. Durning my two year degree I would often hike and camp all over Washington. My sketch books and camera were always with me. Except for an eight year job in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington has been my home . Now I'm a little past half a century old and I still love to explore this state.
The newest chapter in the life of this artist is a move from Olympia to Arlington, Wa. My wonderful wife had a job offer we could not turn away from. So be on the look out for new photos and paintings of the North Cascades. From where we live the mountains are close by and are already calling to me. Well alas the mountains still call but a job oppurtunity moved us to ELMA, Washington. So goes another chapter of new images to capture and share.