Original Oil paintings
As an artist-as-philosopher contemplating the meaning of “being” in nature in the twenty-first century, Ron Kingswood’s captivating oil paintings conjure a new vision of the natural world. Employing impressionism, his favored painting style, to create light and form, texture and pattern, his work ventures beyond representation into the silent visual language of painting, initiating a powerful visual experience in the viewer.
Wildlife is Kingswood’s muse. Born in 1959, and living all his life in Southern Ontario, he paints what he sees in the countryside near his home on the northern shore of Lake Erie. An avid birder, the natural world has played an important role in the development of his paintings. He writes, “These paintings are conceived in the quietness of nature or the silence of a studio. In silence, beyond the noise of the world, germinates this seed called creativity. Clarity of inner vision originates in silence.”
Kingswood began painting with watercolors at the age of nine, depicting the animals he observed on hunting trips with his father in a traditional, illustrative style of North American wildlife painting. In 1979, Kingswood began formal training as an artist at H. B. Beal Art, in London, Ontario, where he received a strong foundation in art history. If you try to write with a wide general audience in mind, your story will ring false and be bland. No one will be interested. Write for one person. If it’s genuine for the one, it’s genuine for the rest.
While establishing a successful career as a wildlife artist, he also pursued a degree in Bird Ecology and Ornithology at The University of Western Ontario. In the mid-1980s, he turned from acrylic paints to oils. He also made a radical change from representational realism to a distinctly impressionistic approach in order to incorporate a deeply emotional reaction to color. The influence of modern masters Cezanne, Matisse, and Mark Rothko may be felt in his work.
Kingswood meticulously deploys compositional elements, using color relationships in unconventional ways. Each painting presents a uniquely poetic vision to consider. For example, the very concept of reflection is held to a mirror in Kingwood’s Blue Heron. A body of water reflecting the surrounding woodlands and sky provides an encompassing landscape. In the foreground, moving toward the bottom right of the painting, is the image of a blue heron in flight so vividly rendered that it nearly pops off the canvas into mid air before our eyes.
At the top right of the painting, where in conventional perspective the background in the far distance would be in soft focus, appears deftly painted yellow dashes in the abstract shape of an arrow pointing toward the left of the picture plane, and compositionally in direct counterpoint to the heron pointing to the right edge of the painting. Yellow is also a complementary color to the blue of the heron.
What is Kingswood’s intent in introducing contradictory design elements? Though many paradoxes are represented here, the question of the perception of beauty and context remains open for the viewer to contemplate, awakening memories of how one sees while in nature—recreating fleeting experiences born of constant change in the light, atmosphere, and vistas over the course of a day trekking in the wild.
What is “reflection” and what is “real” in the painting is left to the viewer’s imagination, invoked in an intimate reverie shared between artist and viewer. Through his synthesis of both representational and abstract painting, Kingswood succeeds at silently making a profound statement, and ultimately sharing his passion for both nature and art in a brilliant tour-de-force.
Each of Mr. Kingswood’s paintings is uniquely innovative in scale and treatment. One senses his deep connection to nature in each poetic, koan- like composition and the absolute clarity of his palette.