Friday, January 17, 2014

My Most Humiliating Moment



The story of a fateful night when I entered a drag competition at a Shania Twain concert and learned that if you're going to bomb, bomb hard and hold your head up high.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Blue Surrender | War Paint Series

Blue Surrender, oil on canvas by Paul Richmond
Blue Surrender is the newest addition to my War Paint series. It measures 24" x 30." The original painting is available for purchase through the Lyman-Eyer Gallery HERE, but will be held until my exhibition this summer, opening August 22. Limited-edition prints are available in my online store HERE.

Special thanks to Brian Williams for modeling for this piece. 

Here are some additional detail shots of Blue Surrender.

Blue Surrender (detail)
Blue Surrender (detail)
Blue Surrender (detail)
Blue Surrender (detail)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Fresh Coat | War Paint Series

Fresh Coat, oil on canvas by Paul Richmond
Fresh Coat is the newest piece in my War Paint series, exploring ideas of masculinity, strength, and courage. I'm really enjoying loosening up and being more expressive with these paintings. I start by just scraping paint across the canvas with a palette knife and then build the image from there. Here's a pic of this one in the early stages.

Fresh Coat in progress
Fresh Coat measures 30" x 24." The original painting and prints are available through the Lyman-Eyer Gallery HERE.

Additional print sizes are available in my online store HERE.

Special thanks to Patrick Butler for modeling for this piece. 

I'm also excited to announce that the War Paint series will be featured in a two-person exhibition this summer at the Lyman-Eyer Gallery in Provincetown along with works by one of my favorite watercolorists, Kevin Peterson. The exhibit coincides with P-Town's Carnival, and the opening reception will be Friday, August 22. 

Here are some additional detail shots of Fresh Coat.

Fresh Coat (detail)
Fresh Coat (detail)
Fresh Coat (detail)
Fresh Coat (detail)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Brave Face | War Paint Series

Brave Face, oil on canvas by Paul Richmond
I'm back in the studio and painting with a vengeance! Here's the first piece in my new War Paint series -- an expressive exploration of strength, masculinity, and courage. I am inspired by the variety of ways in which people summon their inner strength to prepare for battle, and through this body of work, I hope to expand upon the notion of what "being tough" really means.

Brave Face is an oil painting on canvas that measure 24" x 30." The original painting and prints are available through the Lyman-Eyer Gallery HERE.

Additional print sizes are available in my online store HERE.

A big thank you to the fantastic models who were willing to get messy during the photo shoot for this series: Edwin Clark, Aaron Anderson, Brian Williams, and Patrick Butler!

Here are some detail images:







Sunday, June 23, 2013

Our Journey on the C-Bus of Love: A Road-Trip for Equality

Photo by Michael Key/Washington Blade
Two days ago, I had the privilege of finally marrying the man I love. It was unlike anything I ever imagined the big day would be. For starters, my fantasy wedding never involved spending fourteen hours on a bus because my own state has yet to recognize same sex unions. But I also never dreamed I would get to share my wedding with twenty-four other inspiring couples - deeply committed to one another and the cause of marriage equality - or work with two of the most passionate and creative activists I've ever known, Joshua and Stephen Snyder-Hill, and their amazing MarriageEvolved team who went so far above and beyond that my head is still spinning. And in my wildest dreams, I never would have guessed that Dennis and I would venture all the way to our nation's capital, stand before the U.S. Supreme Court and vow our commitment to each other just days before they make a historic decision about the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, and spend the rest of the weekend celebrating with our entire community (in person and through every social media platform imaginable) during the largest Pride celebration our city has ever hosted.

Our adventure began Wednesday evening when we were invited to share our story with 10TV News. Check out the video here:


The next day, we checked into the Westin Hotel in downtown Columbus, Ohio, and met some of the other couples for dinner at Milestone 229 Restaurant. It was very moving to hear their stories, many having lost family members and friends because of their decision to get married. There was a collective sense of enthusiasm and pride over the gigantic step we were all preparing to take the next day.






Bright and early the next morning, we boarded the bus at 5:30 AM and departed on the adventure of a lifetime. As you can tell by the picture below, let's just say I'm a bit more of a morning person than my handsome traveling companion. :)







We arrived in DC a little later than expected, and rushed to get ourselves dressed and primped in time for the ceremony. We took the bus to the Supreme Court and anxiously walked up to the front of the building where we were greeted by a crowd of friends, family, and supporters. It was truly overwhelming to walk around that corner and be so warmly welcomed.

Because of a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, we were not permitted to conduct the ceremony on the steps. In fact, we were not even supposed to be on the grounds at any point. So we lined up on the sidewalk in front of the building and Tiffany Newman began the ceremony. With her first words, I felt myself tearing up because the reality of what was happening swept over me. There had been so much preparation, excitement, activism, and anticipation, but now it felt like it was just Dennis and me taking the most important step in our lives. Here's a video of the ceremony and some photos:



Photo by Michael Key/Washington Blade



Photo by Michael Key/Washington Blade


Photo by Elizabeth North
Photo by Elizabeth North
Photo by Elizabeth North
And then something amazing happened. The guards were so moved by what they experienced that they gave us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Despite the ruling to the contrary, they allowed each couple to go up inside the Supreme Court building, emerge at the top, and walk all the way down the steps to the cheers of our guests. It was a moment we will cherish for the rest of our lives.

Photo by Florin Helf






Photo by Michael Murphy
Photo by Michael Murphy
One of the most overwhelming aspects of the day was the immense outpouring of love and support from our family and friends. I can't begin to express how much it meant to look out into the crowd and see the smiles and teary eyes of Elizabeth North, Nessa Warin, Tessa Cardenas, Pearl Love, Mara McKennen, Michael Murphy, and Bryce Keyser (DC's own Dolly Parton!). Not to mention the flood of Facebook messages, tweets, texts, etc. that kept our phones vibrating the entire day. Every single expression of support added greatly to our day, and we are so appreciative.

(left to right: Tessa, Pearl, Dennis, Paul, Nessa, Elizabeth, Mara, and Michael)




Dennis and Paul with Porcelain St. Clair. Photo by Michael Murphy


After the ceremony, we headed back to the bus and began our journey home, stopping in Hagerstown, Maryland for an unexpectedly fabulous reception at The Gourmet Goat & GG's Restaurant - complete with live music and cupcakes donated and delivered by a baker all the way from Florida. We arrived back in our hotel room in Columbus around 2:45 AM that evening, exhausted but profoundly grateful for all that we had experienced. There was even a surprise gift bag waiting for us in the room, with everything from chocolate-covered strawberries to wine, wine glasses, and more.

Saturday, we headed out to Pride at 10:30, where we marched just behind Josh and Steve, who were the grand marshalls of the parade. As we walked along High Street to the congratulatory cheers from the 300,000+ guests at this year's historic Pride celebration, I felt the support of the entire community behind us. It was so profound. I don't really have the words to describe it properly, but I think you can see it in our faces in this photo by our friend Eric Albrecht.

Photo by Eric Albrecht/Columbus Dispatch


Shortly after we reached the park, we celebrated with a first dance and cake cutting at the main stage. It was also an opportunity for the couples to present Josh and Steve with a token of our appreciation - a plaque with all of our names on it honoring them for their commitment to the cause of marriage equality.

Our first dance was to a song called "I Do" written by Teen Fiction specifically about the C-Bus of Love couples.


The beautiful cake was donated by The End Dessert Company, and it was as delicious as it was colorful!


Saturday evening, we celebrated with some of our close friends with dinner at Portia's Cafe in Clintonville. It was wonderful to be with all of them, tell stories and share photos from our big adventure.

Edwin and Aaron
Perri and Brian

Kelli and Ian
Michael and Melissa
Maria and David
Sam
And afterwards, I may have snuck off to Axis for a brief interlude to perform a dance in my underwear and high-heels for Drag-a-Palooza with Josh Snyder-Hill and David Donofrio (or as we call ourselves, The Parisia3)! :)

Photo by Cody Russell Kincaid
Photo by Cody Russell Kincaid
And that brings us to this morning, where we were thrilled to attend the annual Pride Brunch to see Josh and Steve honored for being this year's grand marshalls. Our friends Melissa and Michael joined us, and we were all deeply moved by Josh and Steve's powerful speech that included quotes from important activists like Rosa Parks and Harvey Milk. It really drove home the point that we can all make a difference by choosing to take a stand for what we believe in. I couldn't be more proud to have been a part of this important "road trip for equality."

Michael, Melissa, Paul and Dennis
Paul and Dennis with Stephen and Joshua Snyder-Hill
It feels so incredible to know that Dennis and I have made the ultimate commitment to each other. I love him so much, and I know that we are meant to spend our lives together. We are both deeply indebted to all of the amazing people who worked so tirelessly to make this dream a reality for us and the other twenty-four couples. Much love to everyone we had the privilege of sharing this special day with, especially the forty-eight other people who now have the same wedding anniversary as us. We are all connected now in such a meaningful way and I know we will remain lifelong friends.

Photo by Amy Ann Photography
I encourage everyone to support the work of MarriageEvolved. Plans are already underway for C-Bus of Love 2014, and you can bet we will do everything we can to support the next group of lucky couples who prepare to embark on this life-changing journey!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Noah's Gay Wedding Cruise: MarriageEvolved Edition



Several years ago, I painted Noah's Gay Wedding Cruise to express my optimism about the marriage equality movement. I believed we were on the cusp of great progress, and I chose to symbolize our inevitable victory with my own version of the Noah's Ark story. I painted a grand ark/cruise ship filled with happy gay and lesbian animal couples and a few human guests too (like Ellen DeGeneres/Portia de Rossi, and Elton John/David Furnish). There are even some drowning sinners (such as Ann Coulter, Larry Craig, Sally Kern, and Fred Phelps)!

Fast-forward to now. Indeed we have come a long way! Twelve states have legalized gay marriage, and important decisions about DOMA and Proposition 8 are being considered by the Supreme Court. Unfortunately I still live in a state where I am not allowed to get married, but Dennis and I have decided to do it anyway. We are excited to be a part of a special initiative by the group MarriageEvolved called C-Bus of Love. Along with 24 other LGBT couples (who also can't get married in their home states), we will be traveling by bus to Washington D.C. this June to get married on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.

In honor of this, I'm releasing a special new print -- Noah's Gay Wedding Cruise: MarriageEvolved Edition.





It's an update of my original painting with the addition of Joshua and Steve Snyder-Hill, the two founders of MarriageEvolved. Steve is the soldier who was booed during the Republican primaries last year after asking a question about Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The incident caused great controversy for the candidates who did nothing to discourage the crowd from booing someone serving their country. I can't imagine the bravery it must have taken to out himself on international television while on active duty. Together, he and Joshua have championed the cause of marriage equality, even fighting DOMA on the national level to establish equality for LGBT military spouses, and they won't rest until everyone in this country who wants to get married will have the right to do so. I'm proud that they are our friends and thrilled to add them to the crew of Noah's Gay Wedding Cruise -- especially since they are the co-captains of our own upcoming wedding excursion!

Here's a close-up of the portrait I painted of Joshua & Steve.


And here's a full-image of the special-edition print.


100% of the profits from the sale of Noah's Gay Wedding Cruise: MarriageEvolved Edition will be donated to MarriageEvolved to help pay for the C-Bus of Love trip and future advocacy work of the organization. It's an important, worthwhile cause and I encourage everyone to show their support by purchasing a limited-edition print today. They are available in three different sizes in my online store HERE.

13" x 11" - $35
20" x 16" - $75
26" x 20" - $150

Visit the C-Bus of Love website to learn more about our upcoming road trip for equality. And check out our wedding bio while you're there!