Welcome to our Member Spotlight! We are delighted to present Ron L. Oliver from Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia.

Ron creates a variety of colorful art, such as abstracts and portraits. To see more of Ron's artwork, visit his gallery: http://community.art-is-fun.com/photo/photo/listForContributor?scre...

When you view his portfolio, be sure to click on the images to view them larger!

Please join us for this interview with Ron:

How would you describe your art?

Personally, I would call my work a collection of whimsies, many are abstracts but I keep coming back to nature for inspiration. That is, I try to have fun with what I am doing and find some balance, on the one hand, yet on the other hand I want some images to be more perturbing, more provocative… like knocking the canary off its roost. I think that many times people need to stop doing what they are mindlessly doing and simply ponder better answers to the questions of life. Ideally, I want to stop the viewer long enough for them to think things out.

How long have you been an artist and how did you become an artist?

I remember first doing portrait drawings in charcoal when I was about twelve. Then I was an art minor in college and had my first exhibition at age 27, which was only a tad successful, but then I worked for nearly a lifetime as a social worker and university professor of counseling, e.g. I researched bullying behaviors and wrote a number of journal articles and co-wrote two books on school bullying prevention (The Bullying Prevention Handbook I & II) and put ¨art¨ on a back burner. I would take it up as needed for both pleasure and emotional survival. Since retiring and for the past three years I have devoted myself to it on a full-time basis. This means I try to work each day at it. However, at first, I took classes in watercolors with Lilia Yepes, a professor at the Institute for Bellas Arts here in Cali, Colombia. I had had so little experience with watercolor and it had been of such long term interest to me that I simply had to learn more. More recently I have been working more with inks and acrylics.

What is your favorite medium and why?

Watercolors are still my favorite. With the addition of glycerine, I have learned that they can become much bolder. But they start out with such fine subtlety… they can be simply beautiful.

Pick one work of art from your Art Colony portfolio and tell us the story behind it. Why does this piece have meaning to you? What steps did you take to create the piece?

The work I called Desplazado, i.e. Spanish for Displaced Person, (shown above) is the most meaningful work I have done in the past year. It features a fellow that had both parents killed by the guerilla in an outlying area and he escaped to Cali for safety and survival. He has been homeless ever since and lives by his wits, i.e. he´s a street person. I also live in Cali, Colombia and have for the past eleven plus years. I ran across this fellow and he willingly posed for the watercolor portrait. As it was my first watercolor portrait I had much fear of messing it up. But, alas, I don´t think I did. It seems to show his personhood, his character. I guess I got lucky. I did a pencil drawing first, then came over in light colors and added the shading and green background as a final step.

Tell us about one medium, technique or style that you would like to try working with (that you have not tried before) and why you would like to try this.

I have some experience working with clay, doing small ceramic pieces, mainly pots, but I have never done figurative sculpture with it, i.e. large pieces. I would dearly love to attempt it, but it is also frightening.

Is there an element of making art that you enjoy the most, and why?

What I enjoy most is seeing how the work has dried the morning of the day after I did it. There is an element of surprise as to how it dried and how that changed the work that is much like a kid hurriedly opening presents under a Christmas tree. I love it.

If you could imagine the “perfect art day” for yourself, what would it be like?

The perfect art day is one where the breathing is easy… simply enjoying the creative process as it develops and ¨going with it¨ … going with the flow, looking for the flow and enjoying it.

If you could spend 24 hours with one artist, living or historical, who would you want to spend the day with and why? What would the two of you do?

There are two artists, both post-impressionists, Paul Gauguin and Vincent Van Gogh that I consider to be tops. They did their work from deep passion and did it all so well. I like the colors Gauguin balances and I like the intensity of Van Gogh´s work. I would spend the morning asking questions, trying to figure out how they think and feel about what they were doing, and spend the afternoon simply watching them work.

Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring artists?

Since I have few clues about the world of art, I have little advice to share. I guess I would tell someone aspiring to art to go to an art center, e.g. NYC, and embed themselves for the long haul toward self- discovery.

Anything else you'd like to mention that I didn't ask?

There needs to be a “How To” book on infiltrating the art world. For example, how does one get ¨found¨ or ¨recognized¨? Connect with galleries and professionals in the field?

Views: 387

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Many congrats Ron.....lovely interview and wonderful art......enjoy your couple of weeks of member spotlight......xx

congratulations, ron oliver.

Wonderful Ronald very inspirational Art thank you for sharing your thoughts and your work is great

Thank you for your interview, Ron, and sharing your thoughts. I like your paintings and the fact that each seems to be inspired by an underpinning idea or motivation. Enjoy your POTW!

Thanks for sharing your beautiful art. I enjoyed your interview also!

Congrats Ron!

Congrats and thanks Ron for the inspiring  interview

Wonderful interview, very inspiring art work! It was a pleasure to learn more about you.... very interesting.

Congratulations Ron for being featured artist of the week...thank you for sharing your art journey with us and your marvelous art works....very interesting reading....enjoy your week!

Congratulations Ron!!!! Enjoy your week... have always enjoyed your art!

Great art, love the vibrant colours!

Thanks for the encouraging words... it´s a bit like living out the song Home on the Range :)

Reply to Discussion



New to the site? Check out our Guide to Getting Started.

Please take a moment to read our Member Guidelines. Thanks!

Need help?

If you need assistance with this site, please visit the Site Help forum where the moderators and/or other members will assist you.


The Art Colony is a fun online art community for artists of all abilities working in painting, drawing, mixed media, sculpture and handicrafts! Join us and share your art, ask questions, receive tips, and make new friends!


It is 100% FREE to join the Art Colony and always will be!


Artist and Owner of The Art Colony                      

The Art Colony is co-run by a fabulous team of enthusiastic moderators:






© 2020   Created by Jane Miles. All Rights Reserved.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service