www . levesque-art . com
"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." ~ Pablo Picasso
Born in Oakland California and raised in San Francisco, Richard Levesque, or Dick as he prefers, came upon his love of the sea quite naturally. As a young boy he could be found mingling with the Italian fishermen at the Wharf one day, talking to Merchant Seaman on the Embarcadero the next or (his favorite) climbing the rocky cliffs at Lands End with his trusted dog "Teddy". For hours they would sit atop the boulders watching the ships come and go through the Golden Gate or just gazing fondly at the Coast Guard's 83 foot harbor entrance patrol boat quietly anchored at Bonita Cove. Once, Dick recalls with a grin, while he and his faithful companion were sitting on an outcropping of rocks at the oceans edge the patrol boat weighed anchor and came as close to the rocks as possible. "What a great bunch of guys" he thought as he returned their waves. A short time later the reason for their presence was more evident as a bright orange helicopter loomed over the cliffs toward the cutter and rocks. Daydreaming as he was, Dick and Teddy did not realize that the tide had come in swallowing the beach with water. Dog under arm, he jumped into the knee deep water and ran to the tree line where he managed to find his way home without further detection. Frightened at being discovered again, Dick and Teddy spent the rest of the summer days on a different beach or scampering about the caves under the Cliff House near the Seal Rocks.
Educated in public schools, he was not the best of students, once being told in the only art class he ever attended, that perhaps he would be better suited in woodshop. His interest in drawing continued to grow though (probably because of his teachers comment) and one day, while mowing a neighbors lawn she brought him out a soft drink. He learned that she was an artist and he was intrigued by her work. She eventually encouraged him to continue drawing, loaning him several art related books including one on anatomy. One day he proudly showed his parents a pencil sketch of a half draped nude that he drew from a drawing found in one of these books. That was the end of his drawing and any lawn mowing at this ladies house!
Dick's attraction to the sea continued, learning to sail with the Sea Scouts, making several offshore trips in their forty-two foot schooner Reliance. He soon entered the Coast Guard and retired after an exciting twenty plus years. It was during this time that his talents were rekindled. On a long trip with the Coast Guard to Panama, Dick began drawing cartoons for the ships newspaper and eventually pencil sketches of other ships and shore stations. He was soon in demand busily filling orders when he was not on duty. He had the opportunity to show his work locally, won several awards and was published in miliary magazines. When Dick retired from the Coast Guard and entered the private sector his days were filled with work and raising a family. His art took a back seat and lay dormant for several years. Dick and his wife lived aboard an old 32 foot doubled ended ketch for awhile and then a 35 foot Fantasia sloop for several more years. They both loved the peace and solitude they found at secluded anchorages. He has recently retired permanently and is now enjoying his free time renewing his previous passion for art and is again exhibiting. Dick is a member of several art organizations including the American Society of Marine Artists and has been designated an official Coast Guard Artist in that services art program. Now, with three grown children, Dick, and his wife Judy, reside in the country near Puryear Tennessee where nearly every morning he can be found in his studio creating more of what Dick feels he is meant to do. Although firmly planted inland, they are content being surrounded by nature only a few miles from the massive Kentucky Lake and about a twelve hour drive to the ocean should he suddenly have the urge to replenish the "salt" in his veins.