Website & All Paintings © Copyright Ron Schwartz
My first art lessons, at age nine, were at the Saturday children’s’ classes at the Philadelphia Art Museum. That was a long, long time before Rocky Balboa ran up those steps! The teachers at the museum and other schools in Philadelphia taught me the principles of art.
I attended a high school for commercial art training then earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in commercial art at the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts). I learned pen & ink drawing from Henry Pitz, Illustration Department Head at the time. I also studied drawing and sculpture at Fleischer Art Memorial. After graduation, I took more painting classes with Alexander Abels at Tyler School of Art and learned the art of jewelry fabrication under Stanley Lechztin and Albert Paley.
I worked as an illustrator for Holt, Reinhart & Winston book publishers in Philadelphia then at the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. After leaving the newspaper, I worked for Animation Arts as their Art Director.
In 1972 my wife and I moved to Scottsdale, Arizona. There I was a freelance illustrator which led me to a job at the Arizona Republic newspaper. I became Art Director for the newspaper’s ‘Arizona Magazine’ and remained in that position for 10 years. During that time, I also designed and fabricated commissioned pieces of jewelry in silver and gold.
The opportunity to paint on a full time basis began in 1985. I began to enter art shows and continued to exhibit my work in local galleries. I took the time for painting lessons with David Laffel.
I like to paint diverse subjects. When I see something that grabs me - and I never know what that might be - I start thinking about applying paint to canvas or board.
My painting style comes as a result of my Illustration work. It’s tight, clearly delineated and maintains (I hope) good craftsmanship. The term applied to my work is usually ‘realism’ or ‘photorealism’. I am influenced by the works of many artist - Masters such as Thomas Eakins, John Ruskin and Winslow Homer. Contemporary artists like Clark Hullings, Richard Schmid, Robert Bateman, Andrew Wyeth & Ray Harris Ching.
I work in acrylic as well as in oil. I take photographs, do onsite drawings and make notes to help me capture the scenes. At other times, I work en plein aire. The photographs help when I can’t remain at a location for an extended time or when the 100+ degree heat gets to me.
My work has shown in many art shows, galleries and museums. As a member of the International Guild of Realism, I have taken advantage of the opportunity to enter competitions and show my work throughout the country. I have been fortunate enough to have received numerous awards. Over the years, I have given private lessons in painting and taught graphics at a college.
I still consider myself a student as well as a teacher. At the top of my easel I have a plaque with Michelangelo’s statement - “I am still learning “.