Organic Shape, Color, Composition, Texture

An Interview with Featured Artist Richard Vyse

by Kristin LaFollette, Mud Season Review Art Editor

What inspired your Punctured Mindscapes series? What themes do these works represent? 

The Punctured Mindscapes series was created from my imagination. It is all about favorite shapes like the circle in a small intimate square that has dramatic impact, even from a distance. The shapes, colors, composition, and textures are created organically. The punctured and folded paper add a three-dimensional effect. The viewer is free to interpret what they see and hopefully is attracted to the art!


What materials did you use to create Punctured Mindscapes?

I worked primarily in watercolor for this series on handmade paper in a square format (and in acrylic and staples). This series has the three-dimensional textures created by the punctured paper and the folded paper, plus staples create a metal texture on one of the pieces of art.


You write, “After years of freelance illustrating with crushing deadlines and exact specifications, I am now free to totally express myself.” Talk about this. What was it like being a freelance illustrator? How do you see this “freedom of expression” coming through in your recent work?

[I had to meet] crushing deadlines with many specifications as a freelance illustrator for newspapers and magazines for many years before totally focusing on fine art. I did a lot of fashion illustrations when department stores used art for their newspaper ads. My art for Macy’s appeared regularly in The New York Times and in Vogue, Mademoiselle, and many others. In recent years, I have been focusing on erotic art of the male figure which has appeared in many international art magazines and sells internationally.


Your work has been exhibited widely. Tell us about some of these experiences and where we can currently find your work.

My art has been exhibited in galleries in Manhattan, Boston, Honolulu, and Paris. 


You attended the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and taught at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. What was it like to be an artist in New York City?

I moved to Manhattan from Appleton, Wisconsin, to study art at the School of Visual Arts where I learned to draw fashion, art, etc. When fashion illustration was no longer in Vogue, I took more painting, life drawing, and etching classes and got into my first Manhattan gallery which represented my abstract art for over twenty years until they closed. It was at this point that I changed my focus to male erotic art (which I show and sell internationally). Over the years, I have taught art at Pratt in Brooklyn, Honolulu Community College, and the School of Fashion Design in Boston. As a freelancer, you work alone from home, so teaching was so rewarding in many ways.

What creative projects are you currently working on?

In this new year, I will continue to work on the contour line in black on white and another series in intense hot pink (that has already sold internationally).

By Kristin LaFollette
Kristin LaFollette is the Art Editor at Mud Season Review. Her artwork and photography have appeared in Armstrong LiteraryWest Trestle ReviewThe West ReviewThe Magnolia Review, and others. She is the author of Hematology (winner of the 2021 Harbor Editions Laureate Prize) and Body Parts (winner of the 2017 GFT Press Chapbook Prize). She received her Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University and is a professor at the University of Southern Indiana. Learn more about her work at