Illusions of Grandeur • Featured Artist: Ron Gordon
Whether a small-scale painting or an immense mural, Ron Gordon’s bold creations exemplify magnificence and ambition.
Gordon’s grandmother helped cultivate his passion for art. He received painting lessons from her at the age of 10. Gordon told she taught him to paint landscapes and flowers with oils. “Not that I wanted to paint flowers then,” he quipped.
By the age of 13, Gordon was winning art awards and commissioning his works. During his junior high and high school years, Gordon designed posters for garage bands and created prize-winning parade floats. He declared his decision to pursue a professional art career and honed his natural talent through college studies.
Gordon said he worked as an art teacher in Michigan and then as a graphic arts designer for the oil and gas industry in Houston. After years working in graphic design, Gordon revealed he had been called to another purpose. He served as Head Master at a Christian Academy for 10 years. “I had a higher calling. It was a lot of work building a small school,” he shared.
Throughout his tenure, Gordon’s art supplies remained unused in boxes. He disclosed, “I didn’t think I’d paint again.”
Fortunately for many companies and collectors, he returned to painting. Gordon stated he created projects part time such as product packaging, a children’s book, murals, and faux finishes. “I was not looking for fame or glory, but looking for a living,” he admitted.
Gordon solicited himself to designers and businesses along with the aid of his trusty projector, “Sparky.” He soon secured mural work from an automotive company and the Houston Zoo.
Gordon informed, “It’s the 1000 mile-an-hour rule. I put in the time to learn and develop. I learned to work fast and accurately.” In fact, he was enamored with large scale as a child. It’s no wonder Gordon excelled as a muralist and reveled in the format. He said, “I saw the Alec Guinness movie, ‘The Horse’s Mouth.’ It captivated me; the life of a mural artist.” Gordon believes he is much better at large scale. “It was frustrating realizing I had a good sense of design, but tweezer dexterity issues. I’d end up smudging much of my work,” he expressed. One of Gordon’s larger works includes thirty 20x30 panels at a Baylor Medical facility.
He also produced seven collage pieces for a children’s hospital in Dallas. Gordon told of his surprise and flattery to obtain commissioned work from a medical building installation; having known his name is not on it and most people don’t pay attention.
Illusions of Grandeur
Gordon’s recent mural will grace the entry and three-story stair well of the Galveston UTMB administration building. He partnered with a company to capture his 4X6 panels digitally with a high-resolution, moving camera similar to a scanner. The panels are printed on metal and powder coated.
Murals are not exclusive to his current portfolio. Gordon’s smaller works are acrylic and mixed media. The pieces are intuitive; meaning he doesn’t sketch or use photographic images. He explained, “I use lots of layering. It’s a big part of my identity; typically 20 layers at the least. I make impressions of impressionist paintings.” Gordon concluded, “I want to work to be happy; to do more to uplift.”
Indeed, his vivid, colorful paintings and murals elevate the atmosphere of any facility and brighten the mood of those who gaze upon them.