'My interest in painting began in my youth while living and traveling in Europe. I could gaze at a painting for as long as time would allow, wherever there were paintings or murals. The paintings that engaged me the most were especially those that would allow me to believe I was standing were the artist stood and I was the artist observing/painting the subject or scene. I started drawing and painting in high school. Thus, I decided I would take formal classes in college, with 'fine art' being one of my majors, and oil portraits being my emphasis.' Ralph
As life often does, events took him down other avenues. However, after many years and various jobs, he realized that there was a deep void in his life. After some heavy self reflection, he had to admit it was painting. Thus, he picked up his brushes again with a completely different perspective on life. His paintings are not a highbrowed event, but an ongoing application of techniques observed from old and current masters and an evolution of his own abilities. To him, an effective painting is largely mastering the skill of painting, while achieving a visual stimulating composition which is inspiring.
Another portraitist correctly said: “Painting a portrait is not just painting a picture, it is the celebration of the person”. Thus, what he likes to set forth is an insight of the model's personality, a particular moment of mood, an expression or a special event in that individual's life. Furthermore, the objective is also to create an 'insight' that uplifts the observer. We all need more of these 'uplifting' moments. We need the arts to remind us how good life can be.
Ralph likes to point out that for him working through the whole process of a painting brings much contentment, while admitting that with each new painting there are still challenges, as he tries to set the bar high for himself, so that each painting is a stretch, with the goal that his current work is better that the last one.