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About April

Howard County

April Rimpo's picture
Sometimes April Rimpo thinks that she does not select her subject matter, it selects her. As a result, you will see landscapes, urban scenes, or paintings of people doing everyday things. In her artwork she strives to show bits of life that grabbed her emotionally and made her feel she had to tell the story. Rimpo works in transparent media, including watercolor and fluid acrylic. She believes it is the fact that these media flow unpredictably that inspire her.  They absorb her into the work;... more

Inner Stories Figurative Paintings

April M Rimpo's Inner Stories figurative paintings tell stories about the person portrayed as compared to a typical portrait. The stories could be their favorite activities, something about the culture they live in, or their history. These paintings reflect things the subject told April about themselves or maybe April's personal impression of their inner spirit. Lastly, these inner stories may reflect how the subject creates their own art.

  • ARimpo-LeadingTheWay.jpg

    "Leading the Way", watercolor, figurative, Maryland Artist April M Rimpo
    Leading the Way features Cyril Neville of the famed Neville Brothers. I was lucky enough to see him as a Special Guest at Voodoo Threauxdown during a set with Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. This close-up of Cyril shows how this experienced virtuoso naturally took over the stage and effortlessly led the other musicians through the songs. As he sang he pointed at other musicians to indicate it was their turn for a solo. What a joy to watch this master at work! The energy he brought to the stage had the crowd up on their feet singing and dancing with the performance.
  • ARimpo-MakingTortillas.jpg

    "Making Tortillas", watercolor and fluid acrylic, figurative, Maryland Artist April M Rimpo
    It was the happiness of this woman from Guatemala and the gesture of her hands as she went about making her tortillas that I wanted to share in my painting. That gesture told so much more about her life. It was the sense of joy she communicated with her expression that really mattered, so what more did I need from my source photograph? Sometimes finding that quality that drew you to take a photo is harder to find than you would expect. Details that you may not have noticed when you took the photograph start to interfere with the original inspiration.
  • ARimpo-WomanWithAWrappedHat.jpg

    "Woman with a Wrapped Hat", watercolor, figurative, Maryland Artist April M Rimpo
    This woman from Santiago, Guatemala was rewrapping her hat that is made of a long belt about 15 feet in length. This is a traditional hat in Santiago village. Other villages in Guatemala do not use this design hat. Her smile and the colors in the hat cried out for me to paint them. I wanted to emphasize the orange red color and use it throughout the painting as an integrating design element. As a result I decided to use a complementary color scheme primarily blue and orange with smaller bits of green. Watercolor, varnished, mounted, and framed.
  • ARimpo-AntiguanDrummer.jpg

    "Antiguan Drummer", fluid acrylic, figurative, Maryland Artist April M Rimpo
    I traveled to Guatemala for a workshop several years ago and our group was treated to music at our welcoming party. The musicians were a family, including the father and two of his sons, who provided the entertainment. "Antiguan Drummer" features the youngest son who was nearly hidden behind his drums and tortoise shell cymbals proudly playing his maracas taking part in the family business. Their closeness was evident in their performance. My goal with this piece to is show everyday activities - a way of life - in another country.
  • ARimpo - Wondering.jpg

    "Wondering", watercolor, gallery wrapped watercolor, Maryland Artist April M Rimpo
    "Wondering” experiments with vibrant color combinations & textures to create a compelling design but also to communicate a sense of wonder. Although there were no feathers in the model’s hair. I felt her expression communicated a spiritual moment and knowing she lived for year in New Mexico my thoughts wondered back to my visits to Indian Reservations in New Mexico. The feathers were added to increase the feeling of spirituality.
  • ARimpo-CornQueen.jpg

    "Corn Queen", watercolor, figurative, Maryland Artist April M Rimpo
    Corn Queen honors an artist who has one series of closeup paintings of multi-color corn. She is a masterful painter whatever the subject, but when I first met her she happened to be in the middle of the Corn. Since I have only painted corn twice, but in a much more abstracted manner, this painting was a true challenge. Much of my time was experimenting with how to paint corn realistically. I've included some gouache in this painting, using it in the corn to assist with achieving the roundness of the kernels.
  • ARimpo - WaterSprite.jpg

    "Water Sprite" a watercolor , mounted, varnished and framed, Maryland Artist April M Rimpo
    "Water Sprite" is a tribute to a friend who loves fish. I know this because she bought a painting I did of fish and explained how much she enjoys them. When she told me this, I thought I just had to do a painting of her swimming with fish with a smile from ear-to-ear. Shortly before this conversation I had started a series of paintings to try to accentual some inner story of the person that not everyone knows. With that brief conversation this painting was born.
  • ARimpo-Heritage.jpg

    "Heritage" watercolor   Maryland Artist April M Rimpo
    "Heritage" is is part of my Inner Stories portrait series where my goal is not a traditional portrait of a person but a look at the story of the person. Sometimes the "Inner Stories" is my emotional response to that person, how I feel they are inside. Others, like this, look back to her roots growing up in Vietnam. The inlays that surround her are derived from a Mother-of-Pearl inlay piece in her home that tells the story of the Trưng sisters, National heroes in Vietnam.
  • ARimpo-Transitions-A Self Portrait.jpg

    "Transitions: A Self-Portrait", watercolor, figurative, Maryland Artist April M Rimpo
    "Transitions: A Self-Portrait" is part of my latest series where I am exploring portraits that tell inner stories of the person rather than a traditional portrait. These portraits use non-traditional color schemes to better depict emotion and mood. In this self-portrait the use of abstract design elements help communicate my backstory. Each ribbon represents threads of memories and together portray a history of my life.
  • ARimpo-DreamingBig.jpg

    "Dreaming Big", watercolor, figurative, Maryland Artist April M Rimpo
    Dreaming Big pays tribute to an artist who paints Gestural Expressionistic paintings. I included my interpretation of one of her paintings as the background of this painting. She told me one time that she’d always wanted someone to do a painting of her lying on bottles of wine. She had even done a sketch of her vision, which had her lying on the bottle tops. Instead the design places her on a cushioned platform that contains bottles below. She is always dreaming, and her dreams seem big but before you know it another milestone is achieved.

Multiple Figures tell Stories of Life

April M Rimpo's paintings with multiple figures generally tell stories about events. The energy of the people and the event that brought them together is communicated through color choices and textures used in the painting. April's philosophy, "Using Color and Light to Tell Stories of Life" is highly visible in these paintings.

  • ARimpo-Let'sDance.jpg

    "Let's Dance", watercolor, figurative, Maryland Artist April M Rimpo
    The inspiration for Let’s Dance came from a trip to New Orleans during the French Quarter Jazz Fest. A great festival with 21 stages from small ones like this stage set up next to the French Market to very large stadiums. A portable dance floor was in front of the stage encouraging everyone to dance. The central couple appeared to be professional dancers and their movements and energy motivated me to paint the scene. I had fun brightening it up with color to reflect the energy I felt watching the dancers and listening to the lively music.
  • ARimpo-LettingLoose.jpg

    "Letting Loose", watercolor, figurative, Maryland Artist April M Rimpo
    The enthusiasm of musicians during a concert, giving their all to the audience, is the subject of "Letting Loose." Not only their enthusiasm but also their joy in delivering their best can be read in their expressions. The lighting of the stage made them appear like they were emerging from the darkness, partially obscuring the equipment behind them. I preserved a few reflections off microphones, drum sets, and other equipment by using a thin mixture of gesso and liquid acrylic medium on these areas before applying the background wash.
  • ARimpo-ShowingOffII.jpg

    "Showin' Off II", watercolor, gallery wrapped, figurative, Maryland Artist April M Rimpo
    The trombone player in The Preservation Jazz Band strutted across the stage like a rooster. His playing was magnificent hitting high notes and very low, as he extended the slide to its maximum length. He and his fellow musicians brought so much energy to the stage and such incredible music you could feel the electricity pulse through the audience. Smiles were pasted on all in attendance. My goal in "Showin’ Off II" was to bring that tremendous energy to you through my painting. I hope you feel the joy. Gallery wrapped Watercolor painting, where the image continues around the edge.
  • ARimpo-Duet.jpg

    "Duets", a watercolor by Maryland Artist April M Rimpo shows two musicians playing guitar.
    The perseverance needed by young artists, especially musicians, is so crucial to their success. When I hear and extraordinary performance I can't help but share it through my art. "Duet" depicts Monster Mike Welch and Vanessa Collier; both are award winners in the Rhythm and Blues Music Awards.
  • ARimpo-Percussion_ASeriousBusiness-web.jpg

    "Percussion: A Serious Business", watercolor showing drummers in a New Orleans parade by Maryland Artist April M Rimpo
    I loved the contrast between those attending the parade who were full of energy and cheer with the serious expressions on these drummers. It was another day for them. All of their focus on the beat. They're serious expressions made me laugh, so I had to share the moment in this watercolor painting where the focus and detail is in the drummers and their drums while the audience fades into the background.
  • ARimpo-ABetterView.jpg

    "A Better View", fluid acrylic painting on watercolor paper by Maryland Artist April M Rimpo, of a couple lit by the sun while crossing the street in search of a better spot to what the New Orleans parade.
    Juggling your position for the best view is a typical endeavor when waiting for a parade to begin. We arrived early and saw lots of juggling while the crowds formed. As this couple was crossing the street I loved how the light caught the edges of their shoulder and back of their hair. Capturing the contrast between those in the shade with the highlights and brightly lit clothing of the crossing couple was the focus and what brought me joy in this scene.
  • ARimpo-TrafficJamAtTheConcert .jpg

    "Traffic Jam at the Concert", fluid acrylic, figurative paint by Maryland Artist April M Rimpo. It shows a crowd at a concert building up in a large group waiting for the ticket takers. Those whose ticket has been taken have dispersed.
    Traffic jams occur everywhere: on streets, in narrow canals, in bicycle paths, and in stadiums. "Traffic Jam at the Concert" shares a moment as the crowds arrive for a concert, full of excitement and anticipation just to be held up in a jam waiting for tickets to be taken. As they break out of the jam they disperse as quickly as possible like being shot out of a tube, returning to their state of excitement and anticipation. This acrylic painting on watercolor paper includes both fluid and gel acrylics. April uses fluid acrylic the same as she does watercolor paint.
  • ARimpo-FishingDay .jpg

    "Fishing Day", fluid acrylic on watercolor paper, figurative paint by Maryland Artist April M Rimpo. It shows a fishing pier crowded with fishermen and women. They are in small groups interacting with each other as they fish..
    I grew up with a father who loved to fish. He didn't get to do it terribly often, but when he did he was the happiest I ever saw him. He either went out on a boat he owned with one of my uncles or went to a quiet spot, without the chaos shown here on this fishing pier. However, the interaction and camaraderie on this pier provides a different take, where fishing is almost of team sport. "Fishing Day" is a fluid acrylic painting on watercolor paper. April uses fluid acrylic the same way she uses watercolor.
  • ARimpo-Fluid.jpg

    "Fluid", a watercolor by Maryland Artist April M Rimpo, that shows a dance class with three teachers and their student, each working to develop a different set of skills.
    My poem "Fluid" is the best description if have of what this painting means to me. "The grace of these dancers is enthralling Their fluid movements remind me of birds soaring on high Some pass their skills to young birds ready to stretch their wings just beginning to learn to fly Like mother birds who nurture their young to help them reach their dreams" "Fluid" is a watercolor on watercolor paper that has been mounted, varnished and framed without mat or glazing.
  • ARimpo-SCurveDelivery .jpg

    "S-Curve Delivery", fluid acrylic on paper by Maryland Artist April M Rimpo, looks down on a food stand where people at tables take plates of food from a belt that curves around the tables and food stand.
    We went to the mall to watch skaters on the indoor rink, but before getting to the rink I looked down from the second floor and saw this fascinating food stand with a belt that curved around the stand and the tables presenting food options to the patrons. I couldn't help but wonder if those eating ever settled into conversation, as is typical in a restaurant. With food constantly dancing by on the belt, they look a bit transfixed with the food. How could I not paint this story. "S-Curve Delivery" is an acrylic painting on watercolor paper, mounted, varnished, and framed.

The Thrill of Cycling

Cyclists and bicycles have been a source of fascination for April M Rimpo and become one of the largest of her series. The geometry of a bicycle combined with the organic shapes of the rider are part of the attraction. April says, "Combine these fascinating shapes with the energy and beauty of riders whether in a race or just out for a ride, I'm compelled to paint their stories." The backgounds in these paintings are generally blurred to represent the world they are flying past with the wind in their hair. The riders feel like they are one with their bikes and that they could explore the world all day.

Most of the paintings in this series are done in fluid acrylic but there are a few watercolors included as well. In either media Rimpo's watermedia paintings are on watercolor paper, generally presenting her cycling pieces as gallery wrapped paintings with the image continuing around the sides. She feels that putting a frame on the cyclists would limit their freedom.

  • ARimpo-Movement.jpg

    "Movement", a fluid acrylic on watercolor paper by Maryland Artist April M Rimpo, depicts a man in a bicycle race.
    Capturing the sense of speed of the cyclist and the thrill of the race was enhanced by using flowing paint and indistinct shapes in the background. Partially fragmenting the figure also contributes to the sense of motion in "Movement."
  • ARimpo-MovementII-web.jpg

    "Movement II", a fluid acrylic on watercolor paper by Maryland Artist April M Rimpo, depicts a woman in a bicycle race.
    Painting bicycles and bicyclists as become a staple in my work. In "Movement II" the intent is to emphasize motion, speed, and energy. The abstract background implies landscape shapes she is passing. Letting the background flow into the image of the bicyclist felt right. By doing so the background becomes part of the shadows falling across her shoulders and legs.
  • ARimpo-Cycling-14X11-2017web.jpg

    "Cycling", a fluid acrylic on watercolor paper by Maryland Artist April M Rimpo, depicts a man in a bicycle race.
    I so admire bicycle riders for their strength and athleticism. I also enjoy the contrast between the geometric shapes of bicycles and organic shapes of the rider. In "Cycling" the geometry is shifted featuring the cyclist riding directly toward the viewer. Altering the background colors from reality helps you focus to the rider but also to augment the sense of the speed with which the rider is traversing the landscape as you wonder if there are flowering bushes in the background or something else.
  • ARimpo-Movement_III-web.jpg

    "Movement III", a fluid acrylic on watercolor paper by Maryland Artist April M Rimpo, depicts a group of riders in a bicycle race.
    Color is an important element in my art allowing me to set the mood, bring a bit of surprise to a painting, or help capture the interest of a viewer. That doesn't mean I don't think the lights and darks (value range) of a painting aren't the most important part to make a painting work. The goal is to have these design elements work together.
  • ARimpo-CyclingTogether-16X24-2020-web.jpg

    "Cycling Together", a fluid acrylic on watercolor paper by Maryland Artist April M Rimpo, the moment a group of cyclists are swapping positions in a race.
    When a local triathlon runs through our town I capture many photographs of them as they fly by. I love their interplay as they ride in groups or take turns swapping positions as they traverse the course. I abstracted the background to help bring focus to the riders but also to augment the sense of the speed with which they traversing the landscape. Unlike most of my cycling paintings, "Cycling Together" is primarily in watercolor. I did use a few touches of violet acrylic paint in the darker shadows on the road to cover a yellow underpainting.
  • ARimpo-MorningCommute-2015-web.jpg

    "Morning Commute", fluid acrylic, cyclists, Maryland Artist April M Rimpo
    In addition to the bike race that runs through town, we just have a lot of riders in the area. In this painting I decided to bring them together into one scene to depict a group of riders meeting to ride together to work. Part of my motivation to portray cycling commuters came from my trips on the metro to downtown DC. Next to the rails is a bike path and every day, regardless of the weather, I see large numbers of cyclists commuting to the office. This painting is a nod to those ecologically conscious riders.
  • ARimpo-MissingYou-webSm.jpg

    "Missing You", watercolor and fluid acrylic, Cycling, Maryland Artist April M Rimpo
    My inspiration for "Missing You" started in Charleston, NC. My husband and I were walking back from the waterfront to our hotel when I saw this bicycle chained to a tree at roadside. Weeds, grass and other plants had grown up through the sprockets of the wheels and woven through the bike indicating its disuse. Not knowing the story of why the bicycle was in such a state intrigued me. I wanted to relay the unknown story to others so they could add their story to the painting. Had the owner just been too busy to ride? Were they sick and unable to ride?
  • ARimpo-Thoroughfare-web.jpg

    "Thoroughfare", fluid acrylic, gallery wrapped, cycling, Maryland Artist April M Rimpo
    When I hear the term bicycle-friendly, the first place I think of is Amsterdam. The cyclists truly rule there. "Thoroughfare", celebrates an underpass that runs under Rijksmuseum; this scene depicts the entrance to the underpass. Early in its history this underpass was open to motor traffic, but is now only for cyclists. As you can see, it is heavily used.
  • ARimpo-ArtFest-20X12web.jpg

    "Art Fest", fluid acrylic, gallery wrapped, cycling, Maryland Artist April M Rimpo
    Since I enjoy painting people and bicycles, and this artist arrived at an art festival on a bike towing his table and art behind, I just had to include him in my cycling series. A nice memory that came back to me after completing this painting was how I once participated in an art fest at a lovely botanical garden where we also hung our art on the fence. I love how art can bring back memories.

April's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.