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Ronnie was a proud and impactful ArtLIfting Artist until his passing in late 2023. His family requested that we continue to share Ronnie’s story and creative talent with the world.
“I think my art came about as a blessing in disguise. I had been an accountant for over twenty years that I really did not enjoy.”
In July 1994, Ronnie was diagnosed with AIDS and had to be hospitalized. He was sent home, and doctors informed Ronnie that he should get his affairs in order. In January 1995, Protease Inhibitors came about, which were drugs that looked promising for people living with AIDS. He was immediately put on that medication. Although the medication was helping, Ronnie lived with ongoing side effects until his passing. He fell into a deep depression over five years. A friend suggested that he should take a healing art class for people with chronic illnesses. 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 had always had an appreciation for abstract art as young as I could remember.” Ronnie continued “I often go into hotel 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 had an unmeasurable positive effect on Ronnie, both mentally and physically.
Memory played an important role in Ronnie’s creative process. He described “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 and monochromatic, but when you stop and take in the details, you see depth and subtle variations in colors.” He continued on to say “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 the geometry of the imperfect rectangles to be my primary consideration for my work. Perhaps because it reminds me of West Texas self-containment. [For the] 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 resonate with 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.”
In July 2011, Ronnie was diagnosed with fourth-stage Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Instead of going into a deep depression, he immersed himself in making art. Ronnie found it to be healing going through the different treatments. Ronnie was grateful to live 10 years cancer-free until his passing. Through Ronnie’s experiences, he developed a balanced, thoughtful perspective, which was reflected in his daily mantra “Nothing Just Happens.”
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