Hicks’ art on display in Vail

Caramie Schnell
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily

When people look at Ron Hick’s paintings, they want to know more about the story he has created on canvas.

“Of course there is no definitive story and each painting is left to interpretation by the individual viewer,” said Marc LeVarn of Vail International Gallery. “Ron’s a figure artist, but his real goal is to portray emotion and psychology that reflect the complexity of mankind. Very few painters can show interaction between groups of people or convey an interior dialogue the way Ron can.”

Based in Denver, Hicks’ is a nationally recognized oil painter who regularly exhibits across the country. Hicks teaches a popular workshop at the Denver Arts Student’s League and has been showing his work at Vail International Gallery for X years. A new exhibit is on display beginning today.

1. VD: People look at your work as romantic. Do you see yourself as a romantic artist?

Ron Hicks: Yes, but while a lot of the things I depict in my paintings have a romantic twist to them, I would not characterize myself soley as a romantic artist. I believe I am a mixture of many things – atmosphere, mood, or emotion to name a few. If I had to describe my intent for most of my paintings I’d have to say that under the narratives mentioned above they are really about very abstract ideas – using the relationship of shape, value, color and edges in an attempt to achieve maximum variety and balance.

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2. VD: Some of your art has a sense of being set 50 or even 80 years ago. Was most of your work created with this feeling of the past in mind?

RH: For quite some time I tried to keep a timeless quality in my paintings. I’d purposely leave things such as sunglasses, certain styles of clothing, or settings that did not have anything to do with my vision, out of the work. I liked the fact you could walk up to a piece and not know when it was or what exact era it was painted. I am starting to play around with combining more contemporary settings.

3. VD: In L’Apres-du Midi, your largest work in the show, are the couple about to kiss, or is something else going through her mind?

RH: It’s funny you should ask. I like to keep an open idea about what the painting is truly about. Some time ago I was at my opening and I was approached by several people with several interpretations about what the painting meant to them. Since then I decided to … let the viewer emotionally respond to the work for good or bad. So in my mind I have an idea but who knows?

4. VD: How did you choose your subjects for this show?

RH: Mostly by inspiration. I may be sketching and then and idea will pop in my head. I then call on a model or go through some reference from travel to support the idea and hope God is smiling on me.

5. VD: What inspires you to pick up the paint brush?

RH: The good Lord, my wonderful wife Sharon, and a burning a desire to express myself. Everyday I wake up and can’t wait to get out to the studio to work. It seems like there is so many ideas and so little time.

6. VD: You’ve had some solo exhibitions in New York City, tell me about that.

RH: New York is always a treat. I have been showing at the Arcadia Gallery for nearly 12 years and have had at least eight one-man shows. Doing shows there has been a great opportunity to explore new ideas and approaches.

7. RH: You use a muted palette. Why do you stay away from pure color?

RH: I’d say my muted palette started just after college while exploring shape and value as an idea. So color wasn’t as important to me. I ran with it, slowly adding more color with time. Actually most people would be surprised to find my palette is very colorful. I see color in all ranges from pure color to next to none. In other words it’s just like light and dark. It’s hard to say something about either idea without having some reference of both. How can you say something is light without dark? So color is the same for me – I really see most things less chromatically or desaturated. So when I really want to say something about color it reads better with less effort. So let’s say I was painting a very red scarf. If the colors around the scarf were more saturated it takes away from the red scarf; it’s importance is diminished.

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