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Ronald Parker, "Golden Evening," 2013, oil on canvas, 18” x 36”.
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"Rocky Mountain Afterglow"
Ronald Parker, "Rocky Mountain Afterglow," 2013, oil on canvas, 18” x 36.
By Maureen Latta
The accomplished realism of Ron Parker’s recent western landscapes is all the more impressive considering he started using oil paints only last year.
Parker was already a successful artist when he joined his daughter at her oil painting class. “I thought, hey, this is wonderful stuff,” he says. “Why didn’t I use this before?” Mixing and blending directly on the canvas was a revelation. “The oil paints allow me the facility to paint absolutely anything. I can go across the painting with one coat and then come back and highlight the painting with a second coat.”
The Victoria-based artist makes it sound easy, but he has worked hard since he began producing watercolour vignettes of birds 35 years ago in the style of the late Fenwick Lansdowne, a Canadian wildlife artist. Parker, who is self-taught, took advantage of architectural rendering skills he had learned as a student at the University of British Columbia, and eventually established himself as a wildlife artist. He was successful enough that the Royal Canadian Mint commissioned him to create a set of collector coins depicting the sea otter.
Later, Parker moved on to acrylic landscapes that used a style focused on basic forms and rhythms. His newest work returns to a refined photorealist style. He credits his photographs – which he shoots in early morning and late evening – for his skilful handling of light.
Parker is represented by Webster Galleries in Calgary and three B.C. galleries: Avenue Gallery in Victoria, the Plaza Galleries in Whistler, and the Peninsula Gallery in Sidney. His work is priced at $2,000 to $10,000.