Through his art and writings, artist and author David Rickman recreates the worlds of the past for the National Park Service, various state parks, museums, historic sites, and publishers in both North America and Europe. Recent projects include illustrations for Castillo San Marcos National Monument and many works for the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.
Rickman credits childhood visits to historical sites and reading with his interest in the Anza Expedition. He wrote his first historical study of the Spanish “soldados de cuera” in college and, after graduation, helped briefly with costuming the Santa Clara County contingent of the bicentennial reenactment of the Anza Expedition. Years later, he was commissioned by the Western National Parks Association to create twelve paintings depicting scenes from the journey of the Anza expedition.
Rickman combined his over thirty years of research with help from two Anza expedition scholars, the late Don Garate of Tumacacori NHP and the late Bernand “Bunny” Fontana. To assist with his paintings, Rickman also traveled much of the Anza Trail by car in 2003 to get the feel of the land, even crossing the Colorado River on the same day the Anza Expedition did, though nearly 230 years earlier.
Currently, Rickman is researching, writing, and illustrating two volumes on historical clothing for California State Parks and illustrating a wayside exhibit for Brown Versus the Board of Education National Historic Site.
You can see Rickman’s Anza Trail artwork online flickr account by searching “David Rickman Anza”.