My art background is based on an interest developed early on growing up in Texas. I loved art from high school to college and then to a career in advertising in the Dallas area. In the beginning in advertising I was in the creative end and later in production.
I retired from a 33-year career in advertising in 2005 and began thinking about a retirement career. I began painting in watercolor in May 2006 after reading many books and taking a weekly watercolor course from Tom Wellman, President of Southwestern Watercolor Society at that time, at the Irving Heritage Center.
Since then, I have taken workshops from Nita Leland, Carl Dalio, Naomi Brotherton, Arne Westerman, Mark Mehaffey, Ratrindra Das, Jane Jones, Skip Lawrence, Leslie Frontz, Maureen Brouillette, Andy Evansen, Michael Holter and Richard Stephens. I have been accepted into many local and regional shows and have managed to win some awards.
I am Publicity Chairman and former newsletter editor of the Southwestern Watercolor Society. I received my Signature status in SWS and to the Texas & Neighbors exhibitions in 2014.
I started painting abstracts early on just to experiment with the challenge of something entirely fictional. Because it was “non objective” and didn’t have to be green grass and blue sky, I concentrated on the juxtaposition of shapes, lines and texture. It was exciting to me and still is to plan out a design composition that combines good shapes with interesting texture, line and harmonious color choices to make an exciting painting.
I like to experiment with collage elements that compliment the design and add interest. I also like the ability of acrylic to “paint over” an area that is not working and helps resolve design issues. My paintings may not be for everyone and everyone may not understand what my intention might be but my paintings are my own and most viewers find something not like other non objective abstracts they may have seen.
I am unique in that I can switch from objective to abstract at will. I feel that the objective work I do still needs work that my work in the last year or so has improved. I love to paint plein air and relish in the opportunity to tackle the landscape (natural or urban) with excitement to produce a painting of the scene before me, despite the conditions.
“My inspiration comes from nature and the endless variety of its textures, shapes, values and colors. From the most complex to simple scenes, anything is possible as subject matter for a painting. I like the complexity of architecture and how it relates to its natural surroundings. I am still fascinated with the amazing qualities of straight watercolor. The feeling of the brush on paper and seeing colors mix with other colors. The excitement of the outcome is exhilarating.
With acrylic abstraction I like the ability to experiment with collage, texture, line and a myriad of other techniques to achieve a cohesive design and composition of shapes that are interesting and make a painting that everyone would like.”
Ron Stephens joined Fine Art America on March 6th, 2011.