The nature-inspired paintings of artist Larry R. Richardson were the headliners for a recent reception at the Art Circle Public Library. Several art patrons came out to view 25 of his pieces on display through the end of February and to honor the man who was named the library’s first featured artist of the year.

The collection includes scenes of the Cumberland River valley from Harlan, KY, down through Tennessee then northward through Land Between the Lakes Park, where the 688-mile stream meets the Ohio River. Richardson’s artwork is mostly in oil although a few are painted in acrylic and several prints are shown in the exhibit. There are several local scenes including views of Grassy Cove and the Big South Fork River, the Cumberland’s largest tributary. 

“I am honored to have my landscapes displayed here in such a classic Cumberland County building and in one of the most scenic parts of the Volunteer State,” Richardson said. 

Richardson grew up in Christian County, KY, to which he attributes his deep affection for the outdoors. As a youth, he spent many hours with his friends wandering the woods and fields nearby. 

After earning two degrees in biology, Richardson turned his desire for the outdoors and natural science background into a career as a naturalist, wildlife professional, landscape artist and writer. He once worked as the chief naturalist for Tennessee State Parks and wrote a trail guide for Cumberland Mountain State Park, he noted. 

Richardson also utilized his writing ability while working in the conservation field as editor-in-chief of the “Tennessee Conservationist” magazine. Advertising scripting, short stories and other editing chores are a part of his writing credits. In addition, he has penned books with well-known wildlife artists R.J. McDonald and Anthony J. Padgett as well as popular landscape artist Roger Dale Brown. His latest book, “Tennessee Wilderness — A Legacy Endures,” was just published by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation.

Retirement from Ducks Unlimited later provided Richardson an opportunity to re-engage with the art world. He is currently working on a personal art project to capture in paintings the natural beauty of the Cumberland River, which flows through Kentucky and Tennessee. More of his paintings, as well as his writing endeavors, can be viewed at www.cumberlandriverartist.com.

Richardson lives in Clarksville overlooking the Cumberland River with his college sweetheart and wife, Roberta. Both have master’s degrees from Austin Peay State University, where they began their journey together.