Born in Columbus, Ohio, Ron was a student whose artistic talents were immediately recognized. He has been interested in art since he was 4 years old and growing up in Columbus, Ohio. His mother pursued art as a hobby and took correspondence courses. The young Hicks would scan the critiques of his mother’s works and then trace some of the assignments himself.
As his talents became known in his neighborhood, he was called on to draw things for community events. Throughout high school Ron won several awards and contests, including Best of Show at the Ohio State Governor’s Art Show. During this period Ron was invited to attend Saturday art classes at the Columbus College of Art and Design and later received one of the highest scholarships awarded to attend the same school.
Hicks eventually moved west, where he graduated from the Colorado Institute of Art and studied with Quang Ho at the Art Students League. As a class monitor for Ho, he spent extra time talking and listening to him. Today he credits his teacher with exposing him to a new way of seeing. “A light bulb was turned on. I started seeing things in terms of shapes and edges, texture, line and color,” he says. “I no longer saw painting as a way of just transferring information; I started looking at what I wanted to say in a piece.”
After winning Best of Show at the 1994 Art Students League Exhibition, Hicks began painting full time. Since then, his career has escalated and he has become one of America’s finest emerging artists. Hicks worked for a time as a freelance illustrator. He also worked as a manager for a satellite dish company while he painted at night. “Maybe it’s three years of night painting that gave me my subtle palette,” he says half-jokingly.
Hick’s works have been characterized as a blend of representational art and impressionism. Some critics have compared them to paintings by Rembrandt and Daumier. The artist translates his own moody visions with a muted palette and rarely uses pure color. He finds tremendous variety and range in gray, which suits the atmospheric qualities of his compositions. Ron’s paintings move beyond simple documentation, capturing mood, gesture and layers of emotion.
You can learn more about Ron Hicks through the following links: