Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Richard Jahn, a local artist, and a local firefighter

  • Saturday, June 30, 2018 10:00am
  • Life

Local artist, Richard Jahn has always been resistant to any class or instructor who tried to force him to fit into a mold.

“I didn’t want anyone to try making me conform. The artist inside of me was fine — and I didn’t want to change. I decided to go for it and do my own thing,” he said.

It has always been important for him to remain “authentic” as he paints from his own heart. In his vivid richness of color and movement in paintings of the Pacific Northwest, I see his love and appreciation for the natural beauty of our area. The freedom and freshness of his style captures the spirit of our environment.

I met with Richard at LA Frames in Renton where his dynamic artwork is on display, including his largest so far, the 36”x 48” South Fork of the Snoqualmie River. Many of his works are representative of scenes around Puget Sound — this display includes several prints. Owner, Woody Smith was helping Richard set up.

Richard told me, “I have always thought of myself as an artist.”

Even as a young child, he would constantly be drawing. He was inspired and encouraged by his art teacher in the eighth grade. When his art was entered in the Renton Annual Art Show for the first time in 1986, he took second place out of several hundred entrees. He has won many awards over the years, including a first place in a Tukwila art show, and a People’s Choice Award in Maple Valley.

He enjoys reading about the life stories of other artists. Picasso was still a working artist when Richard was in school. “I like Picasso’s freedom of expression to create art so spontaneously and with such bold uniqueness,” he said.

It occurred to me that this is exactly what I would say about Richard’s art, as well.

From 1991 to 2013, Richard served as a fireman for the city of Renton. I asked him if he had lots of time to paint while waiting to slide down the pole and go to a fire. He explained to me what was really required of him in serving the city in this position.

Richard has two memories that stand out from when he was a firefighter. One was of saving a young man who had collapsed at a job site from cardiac arrest, and another was saving a man who was choking in a crowded restaurant. It was obvious that he found reward and personal fulfillment in that roll.

His artistic creativity was utilized as well. All the fire stations discovered his skill with designing site information drawings for use by crews responding to a scene. For this purpose, he learned to use computer drawing software and this knowledge was also transferable to his art career.

“I think digital imaging is an important part of who I am as an artist. Besides painting, digital art is important for the prints that I make. This is the bread and butter of my art business,” Richard said.

Richard’s artwork can be found in many homes in Washington, as well as all around the country and as far away as Paris. He has explained and demonstrated his painting process in public forums, such as the South Hill Artist Association. A group of aspiring artists often meet with him.

“I like to play different types of music at these sessions and whenever I paint,” he said. “When you paint, it opens up another part of your brain and really helps you to appreciate music on a different level.”

He finds Renton to be very supportive of arts and the artist. His work was recently on display at the Renton Wine Walk and will be part of this year’s Renton’s Annual Art Show.

I have attended this event for several years, and it’s wonderful to see so many of our local artists and their work.

The 2018 show is July 27th, 28th and 29th at the Renton Community Center during the IKEA Renton River Days festival. The show is juried by recognized professional artists, art educators and knowledgeable art collectors.

You can visit Richard’s website: www.richardjahn.com. Writer Jaris English can be reached at silverpen45@gmail.com.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Life

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat AWD
Car review: 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat AWD

By Larry Lark, contributor If you want something truly special, get in… Continue reading

2021 GR Supra 2.0
Car review: 2021 GR Supra 2.0

By Larry Lark, contributor Cars seem to be built for stages of… Continue reading

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport
Car review: 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport

By Larry Lark, contributor Subaru has made a few tweaks to improve… Continue reading

T
Car review: 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

By Larry Lark, contributor The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab Custom… Continue reading

2021 Lexus NX 300h
Car review: 2021 Lexus NX 300h

By Larry Lark, contributor The 2021 Lexus NX 300h luxury sports utility… Continue reading

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe High Country
Car review: 2021 Chevy Tahoe 4WD High Country

By Larry Lark, contributor Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) for short, in the… Continue reading

Mazda’s 2021 CX-5 compact sports utility vehicle. Courtesy photo
Car review: Mazda’s 2021 CX-5 compact sports utility vehicle

By Larry Lark, contributor Mazda’s 2021 CX-5 compact sports utility vehicle continues… Continue reading

2021 Hyundai Elantra SEL
Car review: 2021 Hyundai Elantra SEL

By Larry Lark, contributor Compact sedans are not in vogue now, but… Continue reading

2020 Honda Insight. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2020 Honda Insight

By Larry Lark, contributor Honda’s Civic and Accord have been bestsellers for… Continue reading

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE

By Larry Lark, contributor With each passing year Toyota continues to refine… Continue reading

2021 Toyota Corolla XSE. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Toyota Corolla XSE

By Larry Lark, contributor Toyota’s venerable Corolla received a bumper-to-bumper, wheels-to-roof transformation… Continue reading

2021 Volkswagen Atlas. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Volkswagen Atlas

By Larry Lark, contributor Volkswagen’s full-size Atlas SUV received a bold refresh… Continue reading