Local

July 6, 2012

Airman leaves mark on base by overcoming fears

Tags:
by Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

He had been asked to paint it several times, but he didn’t think it could be done.

A known artist, Tech. Sgt. Andrew Rickert, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron Modular Repair assistant section chief, was asked by Master Sgt. Austin English, 56th CMS Test Facility section chief, to paint a complex mural in the test cell section break room, but it was unlike anything he had painted before. This picture would be three feet high and four feet wide and would depict a test being done on an engine in a hush house before its installation on an aircraft.

“I was overwhelmed by how much detail was in the photo they wanted me to recreate,” Rickert said. “I’m used to more organic subjects. The picture had nothing but concrete and metal in it and I’d never painted on such a large scale. I told him I think I’m going to pass.”

Rickert stared at the picture for days, telling himself to not get involved, but in the end he agreed.

“I told myself over and over I would politely say no thanks, but the next time I was asked I simply replied ‘OK,’” Rickert said. “Immediately I said to myself, ‘What the heck was that; what did we practice?’ But now I was committed to the project.”

After the textured wall was sanded down Rickert knew there was no turning back.

All paintings have an ugly stage, according to Rickert, but his break room audience didn’t know that as they stared at the foundation with their heads cocked sideways.

“As I experimented with this new style of painting, I learned through trial and error and used little tricks such as using tape to paint the hard lines on the floor, ceilings, walls and rails,” Rickert said. “I went through so many rolls of tape I must have depleted the hardware store of their stock.”

Rickert’s artistic past was a learning process similar to his experience with the mural. Pencil drawings were his strength and after a bad experience with an oil painting in 2004, it was years before he tried again. He said his first painting was great, but his second was horrible, and again, he put down his paint brush.

“I was at an art store when an old man asked me if I painted,” Rickert said. “I told him how awful my second painting was, and he asked me if I had gone back and figured out what I had done wrong. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I wanted to be a painter so bad I skipped the drawing and planning stage and just slung paint on the canvas expecting it to look great. That man changed my life forever, and I think maybe God sent him to nudge me in the direction I needed to go.”

The 15-year veteran is a self-taught artist who, in addition to painting portraits, also helps personalize going-away gifts for coworkers as he did for Chief Master Sgt. Rory Wicks.

“Rickert puts his personal touch on going-away gifts and everyone who sees his work is amazed by his abilities,” said Maj. James Blackman, 56th CMS commander.

Those abilities can now be seen through his creation in the break room.

The mural took a total of 60 hours to complete from start to finish, and through it all, Rickert gained new confidence in his ability to paint.

“When I finally finished the painting, my intimidation turned to confidence, and I had gained an appreciation for Sergeant English for encouraging me to do this project,” he said. “So for that I thank him, but hopefully he doesn’t have any more great ideas.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

My personal leadership philosophy

My personal leadership philosophy can be summed up in just a few words — people first, mission always. Some may mistake the phrase “people first, mission always” as a dictum to coddle unit personnel through adversity, but actually, my focus is on preparing them to overcome adversity. The mission will always press on, but without...
 
 

Work, family balance success marker

“Being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.” — Zig Ziglar In our careers, we frequently hear about the importance of having balance in our life and job. Some common...
 
 
Staff Sgt. 
TIMOTHY BOYER

Luke plays role in saving species

Staff Sgt.TIMOTHY BOYER A team of wildlife specialists prepare a Sonoran pronghorn for release into the wild at the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in Ajo. Sixty-nine pronghorn were captured this year. Of those, more tha...
 

 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Road closure Litchfield Road at Northern Parkway is closed daily 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Sunday to paint the bridge overpass, weather permitting. Northern Parkway will remain open. Reems Road and Dysart Road are alternate routes. For more information, call MCDOT at 480-350-9288. MLK luncheon There will be a Martin Luther King Jr. luncheon...
 
 
Senior Airman 
JAMES HENSLEY

MWD Roy — partner, friend passes

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY Staff Sgt. Scott Emmick, 56th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog handler, and Roy, 56th SFS MWD, play Dec. 14, 2012, at the at Luke Air Force Base kennels. The MWD and handler team plays to...
 
 

46 graduate ALS in class 15-1

The 56th Fighter Wing Airman Leadership School graduated 45 senior airmen and one staff sergeant Dec. 11 from class 15-1. The graduates are senior airmen unless otherwise noted. John L. Levitow award: Nathaniel Gladney, 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Distinguished graduates: Matthew Goodspeed, 56th Operations Support Squadron; Russell Hires, 56th Medical Support Squadron; James Gilmore, 56t...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin