Structure: Ronald Brown's structure is dependent on the relationships between strong verticals and horizontals, with some strong diagonals; stability is achieved by the use of right angles.He enjoys breaking a fundamental art school rule by placing the center of composition at the exact center of the canvas rather than slightly off to the side. An absolute and austere symmetry is hence achieved. Light and Color: Though dependent on observed or photographically recorded light, Ron's handling is purer and more intense, using the full strength of oil paint to achieve a luminosity which is pictorial, not photographic. Shadows: Shadows provide the fugitive or delicate element in most paintings contradicting the strong architectural frameworks. The presence of shadows implies the passage of time and introduces a time element in the paintings which makes them less rigid or fixed. This is where the poetry in the work lies. Technique: Composition and initial layers are laid down in acrylic. The top layers are worked out fastidiously in translucent oil paint, which gives the works their richness and luminosity. Subjects: He chooses fragments of banal reality (architectural interiors, exteriors, windows, plants) but by concentrating on them, purifying them, and intensifying the light he brings out a sense of mystery and poetry lurking behind the ordinary appearance. In his insistence on the "frozen moment," shadows, and intense light, Bowen is closest to the work of the great 20th century American realist, Edward Hopper.
"If I were to define my style of painting, I would call it 'Transcendental Realism.' It is my intention to present to the viewer an image that is on the one hand concrete and close to life, yet so filtered, strange and bordering on the abstract that he may be led into a state of contemplation and meditation. There is a minimum of anecdote in my painting in order to allow the viewer space to create his own story, to discover his own mystery." -Ronald Bowen - American Embassy Art Show (Guest of Honor), Paris - May 1996
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