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“I think my art came about as a blessing in disguise. I had been an accountant for over twenty years and I really did not enjoy it.”
In July 1994 Ronnie was diagnosed with AIDS and had to be hospitalized. When doctors sent him home, they recommended that he get his affairs in order. In January 1995 the first protease inhibitors were released, drugs that looked promising for people with AIDS. He immediately started on that medication, but although it was abating the symptoms of AIDS, Ronnie still to this day has ongoing detrimental side effects from the medication. He fell into a deep depression over the course of five years. A friend suggested that he should take a healing art class for people with chronic illness. With great hesitation, Ronnie decided to give it a try since it was just one day a week for a couple of hours. “From that first day, my life changed forever. I've always had an appreciation for abstract art as young as I could remember.” Ronnie continues “I often go into hotels and corporate lobbies and admire the abstract art collection. Never dreamed I would be painting. This is when I realized this was what I was put on this earth to do.” Painting has a positive effect on Ronnie, both mentally and physically.
Further, in July 2011 Ronnie was diagnosed with stage four squamous cell carcinoma. Instead of going into a deep depression he immersed himself into making art. Ronnie found it to be healing while going through different treatments. Ronnie is ever so grateful to be eight years cancer-free.
Memory plays an important role in Ronnie’s creative process. He describes "I create to preserve life’s experiences and memories of places I have been. Most of my paintings are memories of my growing up in Lubbock, Texas. The landscape around Lubbock where I grew up played a great part in my passion for abstract art — the openness and flatness there. The surroundings look like a lot of nothing, desolate monochromatic, but when you stop and take in the details you see depth and subtle variations in colors.” Continuing to describe his process, “I begin a piece with gesso or other compounds to create texture. If I don’t build texture I feel naked just my rawness and me, art-less. Smoothness also implies nakedness and I feel I need to dress the canvas or sometimes boards. I find geometry of the imperfect rectangles to be my primary consideration for my work. Perhaps because it reminds me of West Texas self-containment. Past few years, my inspiration for making art is everyday life: seemingly whatever pulls at me, whether it be the state of the world or just in nature. I like to use many different colors. The different colors for harmonies and melodies that resonate of the canvas and reverberate in the mind and heart of the viewer. It’s like visual music. I want a person to be emotionally connected in his or her own way.”
Although he still has ongoing side effects from the conditions he is living with, as well from the treatments he’s received, Ronnie’s daily mantra is “Nothing Just Happens.”
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