Monday, February 18, 2013

Meet Artist Ralph Strong, Spring Obsession Open Division Artist

Ralph Strong

Art Entry:  O-132  “Roman Market”  Open Division, Spring Obsession
Acrylic 12” x 16”

I was always interested in drawing, but eventually decided to follow an education toward engineering for reasons of practicality.  I had taken only two classes in art at Solano College in Suisun, California before beginning my career in engineering.  A good deal of mechanical drawing was required in both of my two engineering jobs.  For several years, I pretty much designed highway and water systems, including creating engineering maps with pen and ink.  Eventually, computer aided drafting (CAD) replaced the ink work and a dozen years later I retired.  This work experience, I think, had been chosen by myself to allow my early interest in drawing to continue in the engineering venue, and has given my retirement painting a certain technical accuracy approach, that now seems to me maybe a bit restrictive, and less fluid or expressive.  On the other hand, the tedious nature of my work experience gave insight in laying out a drawing or painting and more importantly, the patience to push through difficulty and complete it. 
After retirement, with the kids grown, my wife, Cathy, and I spent a lot of time at our summer place in Groveland California just west of Yosemite, where Cathy encouraged me to take some art lessons with Jim Leitzel, a local artist who happened to have a lifetime in art and instruction.  I found Jim and his style of teaching to be a true find, and with my newfound retirement time, I plan to continue and enjoy the experiences of painted art.

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