Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Christmas Surprises

Many, many years ago, when Brad and I were students at BYU, we became friends with the Richmonds.  We had a lot in common--Brad and Vicky worked in the same office as technical writers, Brad and Vicky and Ron had all grown up in Denver, we even had our first daughters within months of each other.  I remember dressing Heidi and Brette up for their first Halloween--Brette a blond tiger and Heidi a minuscule ladybug.  I remember them coming to our house and borrowing our video camera to announce their second pregnancy to Ron's parents who were serving as mission presidents at the time.

Most of all, I remember walking through the HFAC's main gallery to see Ron's MFA show.  You see, Ron is a gifted artist--something I've always wished I could be.  While he was dabbling in acrylics and oils on one floor of the HFAC, I was upstairs in a classroom, learning about flying buttresses and rose windows.  He lives the dream--one of the minority of artists who actually makes his living as an artist. 

When we left for Chicago in the fall of 1992, Ron gave us two of his MFA show paintings.  My choice--an oil-on-paper abstract lesson on the play of light--was sadly torn in our move to Arizona in 1995.  Brad's choice--an abstract view of The Narrows at Zion's Canyon--hangs in his office.
Ron's work has evolved over the last two decades.  He has moved from abstract art to symbolic realism--work that is spiritual and deep, yet subtle in voice. You can view his work here. When viewed in person, his paintings draw the viewer inside--forcing you to analyze not only his exquisite brushwork but his intent behind painting what he did.  A carefully folded red cloth atop a vacant chair is a profound account of Christ's Atonement, as are the folds of a beautifully rendered white cloth on an empty table. His work has been part of traveling collections at the Church Museum of Art, and one of his pieces is on permanent display at the BYU Museum of Art--where his career began.

Brad has loved and admired his work forever, but now that Ron's all famous, his paintings are no longer available to friends for free.  I decided that this was the year I would surprise him.  I contacted Ron and asked for recommendations from his private collection.  He emailed me photos of several, and I fell in love with one--an image I had never seen him use before.  He boxed it up and it arrived just in time for Christmas.

I think Brad was surprised.
It's called, "Pause," and it now hangs in our living room. I am amazed that how he rendered the glass bowl so effortlessly, and the imagery really speaks to me.

I am so glad that I can call Ron my friend, and I am proud to be one of his first admirers.

Little did I know that Brad had a big surprise in store for me as well . . .


  1. Ooo I can't wait I hear the rest if the story. I love this artist.

  2. Wait what you leave it hanging like that! What was your surprise??

    And what a beautiful painting.

  3. ..........uh you must have pressed "publish" before you meant to. .......

  4. lol @ Tauna...can't wait to hear the rest of the story.