Ron Thomson reveals that he still has his first drawing which he drew at less than two years old. His mom had given him one of those pens that you could click the back and get a choice of different colors, and it kept Ron busy for two hours, according to his mother. When Ron was five years old, he was at a day care and drew an underwater scene with different fish, whales, octopus and such, and a caretaker told Ron that he had a "special gift"-Ron says, "I guess we all like to feel that way." Ron read Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain as a child. At that time, he realized that space and depth are created by tricking the brain into seeing different shapes and colors that the brain uses to interpret the scenes around us. In the creative process, "we often lose all sense of time and become lost in the moment-a powerful time/space to be, and a secret to unlocking the unlimited creative potential we as human beings share ... not just with visual art ... but any of the arts, like cooking, gardening, parenting, or any aspect of 'loving' the world around us and being 'present.' When we do this, amazing things begin to happen!"
While he was self-taught at first, Ron did attend workshops, studied art and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Florida State University-however, he said that "the act of turning theory into practice is a journey all artists must travel on their own." He mentioned John Singer Sargent, N.C. Wyeth and Kim English as some of the artists he likes. Ron hopes that from his art, people will realize beauty can exist anywhere, anytime, and will pay attention to their lives. Ron advises other artists not to be afraid of mistakes; mistakes are how artists learn. Each "mistake" is an opportunity to improve. He says, "The biggest difference between a novice and an expert is the expert has made countless more mistakes on his journey!"
Three years ago, Ron did a group of paintings in acrylics and gold leaf on tarpaper to try to tap into a folk/craft art tradition. He discovered that working in a different medium changed how he allowed himself to be "creative." Until then, he didn't realize how tightly his point of view had constricted him as an artist; he thinks this limitation comes from trying to find your own artistic style. Then, as artists, we choose to paint in a certain way and, after a while, this becomes a "safety zone," and we forget that every time we stand before our easels, we can choose something different. Trying different mediums is a great way to "smash that wall down."
Ron enjoys painting things that are fun to paint, also selling paintings ... the more the better! He likes finding a balance between the two. He considers himself fortunate that he enjoys painting things people like to buy. Last year, Ron won "Best of Show" at the Jubilee Art Fest in Daphne AL, and won the Alabama Artist Award twice at the Arts and Crafts Festival in Fairhope, AL. While he has not entered many shows and contests, he has been featured many times for regional events. He says that shows and contests often seem arbitrary and random and don't pay the bills. Ron says the ultimate compliment one can pay him is to love a painting of his enough to buy it!
Ron Thomson will be teaching an oil and/or acrylic workshop, Luminous Passages, at LAAG on October 7-10. For more information contact Joel McLain at or 225-766-2353. Don't wait-take advantage of the Early Bird pricing before September 7.