Friday Fun Five

Happy Friday! This week’s guest is Paul Richmond. Thanks, Paul.

To know more about Paul Richmond, check out or see what he’s up to on twitter (@paulrichmondart) and Facebook. His latest painting, Glistening with Dark Leaves, was inspired by the work of Walt Whitman and is available as a limited-edition print in three sizes.


1) What are your top guilty pleasure movies (you don’t feel guilty about)?

That’s a difficult one because I usually don’t feel guilty for liking anything. But I’m going to go with a camp-tastic movie called Sextette that was made in the late 70’s and starred Mae West. I may feel a tinge of guilt over this one simply because my deep enjoyment is for reasons that were most likely not intended by its creators. I love Mae West and think she was amazingly ahead of her time. And I also love the fact that she made a movie where she played a six kitten, lusted after the world over, when she was in her mid-80’s. There are scenes where she seems to struggle to stand up, let alone walk across the room. But that doesn’t stop her from seducing an entire team of young Olympic athletes and every other guy staying at the same hotel as her — ON HER HONEYMOON, by the way  — and dropping sexy one-liners like the queen of Twitter before it was even invented. I don’t know how she convinced people to make this movie, or what wattage of light bulb was used to illuminate her so severely that she spends many scenes looking like a pure white feather duster propped up in the corner, but I recommend everyone track down a copy and watch it immediately. Preferably while wearing something lacy and dripping in jewels.

2) Pancakes, waffles or crepes?

Waffles. I have an obsessive personality and when I get on a kick, look out. My parents recently bought me a waffle maker. Which means that now, as soon as my feet hit the floor each morning, I have an immediate urge to start mixing up waffle batter.

3) Spend all day in the library or in an amusement park?

Sorry smart people, I have to go with amusement park – but only if I can pick which one, which would be Dollywood of course! Where else can you literally skip down a swirling rainbow-colored road leading to an entire museum of Dolly Parton’s wigs and supportive garments? Right after college, I almost convinced a friend to take a mural painting job at Dollywood with me, which would have meant LIVING AT DOLLYWOOD for an entire winter and painting a giant mural of her on a wall at the entrance of the park. I didn’t even care what they paid us – I was ready to sign us up! But my friend was a bit more practical, and raised some legitimate (albeit boring) considerations – such as the likelihood of our paint freezing as we stood outside all day in the middle of a Smoky Mountain blizzard painting Dolly’s giant curves. Details details!

4) What is your favorite word?

“Yes!” I get excited about new projects and ideas and I always take on way more than I probably should. Like a few months ago when I was asked to paint a giant portrait of James Franco for a film he was making – and I had to have it finished in a week so I could deliver it to him on the set. This was a painting that would take me a month or more under normal circumstances, but with enough caffeine and determination, anything is possible. Several of my friends told me afterward that if they had been in my shoes, they would have been too afraid to take on the project because of the time constraints but then they would have regretted it the rest of their lives. Meanwhile, before I even fully processed whether it was humanly possible, I had already answered YES and was en route to the art store for supplies.

5) Where would you pitch your tent if you could camp anyplace in the world for one week?

I’m not sure what this camping thing is you speak of. I don’t vacation anyplace where I can’t plug in a hairdryer. 🙂 I do love to travel though, and it would be hard to pick a favorite destination. I took a trip to Florence and Rome when I was in my early twenties and I would love to go back there again with the hubby sometime. It made a big impression on me to be surrounded by so much history and art. I felt the same way when I visited Athens, Paris, and Madrid. So basically just give me my man and a couple passports, ship us off to the other side of the world somewhere, and I’ll be happy!

Paul Richmond is an internationally recognized visual artist and activist whose paintings draw inspiration from his own Paul_WarPaintexperiences as a young gay man. He graduated from Columbus College of Art and Design in 2002 and came out of the closet shortly thereafter. Since then, his artwork has become a vehicle for exploring and understanding his own journey, as well as developing a dialogue with other members of the LGBTQ community.  Influenced by his own struggles as he came to terms with his sexual identity, he seeks to challenge social constructs that exist around sexual orientation and gender roles. His career has included exhibitions in galleries throughout the United States, as well as publication in numerous art journals and anthologies. His work is collected by individuals from around the globe. In his role as the Associate Art Director for Dreamspinner Press and their young adult imprint, Harmony Ink Press, he has created over two hundred and fifty novel cover illustrations. He is a co-founder of the You Will Rise Project, an organization that empowers those who have experienced bullying to speak out creatively through the language, visual, and performing arts. Paul shares his life with husband, Dennis Niekro. They were married in a group ceremony with twenty-four other LGBT couples in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building in June 2013. Together, they are committed to using their artistic talents to raise equality awareness.


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