The May Featured Artist, Ron Sumner, presents “Brush with Nature,” an exhibit of watercolors featuring wildlife. In a realistic manner, these paintings show the artist’s deep love for birds and animals. Whether painting the feathers of a California quail or the horns of a Hartebeest in the fields of Kenya, his renderings bring these creatures to life. “To do these subjects justice,” says Sumner, “I must not only capture the right colors and textures, but be anatomically correct.” Detailed studies of each subject and its relationship to its environment are important steps in the painting process.
Sumner generally uses Arches 140 lb. rough watercolor paper, which allows for wonderful transparent washes and has a forgiving surface. He does not use preliminary sketches but has in mind certain images of size, colors and technique, which can change as the painting progresses. For example, some paintings use a very detailed technique, such as controlled overlapping washes, while others are more painterly. “God, I just love painting,” Sumner enthused. Also included are California landscapes and a large oil painting of Yosemite.
Ron Sumner received his BFA at the California College of Arts and Crafts, after which he was a technical illustrator for some years. Today he is a full time painter. His work has received several prestigious awards, including Best of Show at the Society for Western Artists. His portrait of John F. Kennedy is in the permanent collection of the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.