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RONNIE FORD


RONNIE FORD


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From the artist It is a delight for me to present my second solo exhibition at Ode to Art. In the past five years that I have been represented by Jazz Chong and her wonderful gallery and staff, Jazz and her husband, Edmund have become great friends and have shown me and my wife great kindness, hospitality, generosity and warmth. Through the gallery exhibitions and showcases, the workshops and artist-in-residence programmes, Carol and I have had the wonderful opportunity not only to bring my works to a new audience here in Singapore and worldwide, but to meet new clients, collectors, and most important of all, to make dear friends. It is through these friendships that we have been able to learn more about this wonderful city and its history, its culture and its peoples. To those of you have enjoyed my work, to collectors and fans, I thank you for your friendship and support. I really appreciate it very much. To those of you who are new to my art work, I hope you will find something within it that brings you pleasure and peace. It is with honour and gratitude that I present my latest exhibition "Rhythms of Nature."

Ronnie in Africa—Old Photo


Hilltop Village Cote d’Azur | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 100 x 50 cm

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Foreword It is with great pleasure and pride to have Ronnie Ford in Singapore for his second exhibition with us, titled Rhythms of Nature, here at Ode to Art Raffles City. If one ever makes the mistake of dismissing landscape painting as monotonous and uninspiring, one only needs to refer to Ronnie’s paintings to dispel such a misconception. The fields, trees, seas and skies of his paintings are not just animate objects that collectively present a conventional beauty that are easily overlooked; instead, they reflect astonishing spirit and character of a place, giving it human qualities and emotions such as joy, contentment, sorrow and anticipation. His paintings can hence be perceived as magnificent projections of the modern desire to flee from the cacophony of everyday life into the calm, vast, meditative spaces of the natural world. I am always bowled away by the subtlety and vibrancy of Ronnie’s paintings: since my first meeting with him several years back, I have been intensely struck by his ability to communicate emotions through silent works of art. Travelling through Bordeaux, which is located in Southwestern France, recently, I had the honor of witnessing the landscapes that are so often painted by Ronnie over the years. Previously, through my conversations with Ronnie, I have learnt how his technique and style are extremely effective in conveying the unique personalities of the places that he visits. I did not realize how true this was until I came upon the landscapes and sceneries of Bordeaux with her trailing landscapes, countless chateaus, vineyards and wineries. The serenity and tranquility of the Bordeaux landscapes are captured perfectly in Ronnie’s works even as they seemed unreal with the vibrant use of colors and textures. In hindsight, our memories of a place are always more vivid and palpable as compared to seeing it in real time. Ronnie, instead of just capturing and painting the landscape of a place, has fully cap-

tured our mind and imagination and integrated them with the spirit of a place; the true essence of Bordeaux reflects clearly in his canvases. I now understand why Ronnie keeps revisiting the scenes of Southern France as I have been fully captured by the place, as Ronnie has, too. One key point of Ronnie’s style of painting is that he rarely paints on location, but chooses to “look, photograph and sketch” his immediate impressions of the landscapes he traverses, before returning home to paint them in detail. As such, his paintings commemorate the authenticity and rawness of his most instinctive responses to these landscapes, and convey a sense of deep-seated intimacy with his subject matter. His art has also evolved to explore and articulate the epistemology of Asian art, perhaps due to the fact that he has lived and worked in Hong Kong for more than ten years. His paintings are bathed in vibrant, compact colors that bring the entire landscape to life; coupled with usage of other mediums to create the textures and depth, his texturescapes become a unique and distinctive experience of viewing art for art lovers. Leveraging our fantasies of nature with utmost sincerity, they are real in our minds in spite of the more toned down colors in reality. They bring to mind the sobering truth that all forms of life, however exquisite they may be, will eventually wither away. The breathtaking hilly slopes of Ronnie’s Swiss Alps and the rich ochre of his expanse of blossoming fields remain timeless on his canvas. In line with Eastern philosophy, his paintings display acceptance of our ultimate mortality, but also seek to celebrate the occasional moments of beauty in our lives. Lovers of vibrant postImpressionistic works will be enthralled by Ronnie’s obvious commitment to the sentiment and style of the former, and contemporary art enthusiasts will appreciate his sensitive and re-


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freshing take on a subject that has been studied by artists since the beginning of time. In an art world where concept has become more pivotal than technique, it is ironic that it has become so difficult to admire objects and subjects of unembellished simplicity. It is my opinion that Ronnie bucks the trend and proves that honest, understated works can too be uplifting and engaging. I would like to express my gratitude to Ronnie for his friendship and am very happy that we are to have his second solo exhibition, Rhythms of Nature, in Singapore once again. His commitment and passion for nature and landscape painting have inspired me to contemplate my own relationship with nature and find qualities in it that I was previously impervious to. It is my sincerest hope that the viewer will too be moved by the grace and majesty of Ronnie’s landscapes. I hope you enjoy his solo exhibition, Rhythms of Nature.

Autour du Chateau | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 120 x 150 cm

Jazz Chong, Director Ode To Art


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Meules de foin | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 152 x 35 cm

(Previous page) Close up of Hilltop Village Cote d’Azur

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Beyond the Lavender Field | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 50x100cm

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Souvenirs de la Belle France | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 120 x 150 cm

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Symphonie d’Ete | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 120 x 150 cm

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Summer’s Harvest | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 50 x 150 cm

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Rhythms Of Nature | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 150 x 20cm each

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Le Petit Chateau | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 120 x 150 cm

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Island Dreams | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 50 x 100 cm

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View from Uelli’s Garden | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 40 x 120 cm

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Les Couleurs de la Belle France | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 120 x 150 cm

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Printemps, St Paul de Vence | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 120 x 120 cm

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Breathing Nature | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 120 x 140 cm

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Reflective Moment | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 50 x 150 cm

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Coucher de Soleil Printanier | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 30 x 90 cm

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L’Esprit de France | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 120 x 150 cm

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Close up of L’Esprit de France

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Midsummer Medley | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 30 x 90 cm

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Stillness of Summer | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 80 x 150 cm

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Purple Majesty | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 40 x 40 cm

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Pommiers en Fleurs | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 80 x 120 cm

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Changing Light, Emmental | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 80 x 80 cm

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Emmental Spring | Mixed media on wrapped canvas | 80 x 80 cm

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Artist Statement I echo the sentiments of many an artist when I say “ I create because I must”. A passion for colour was awakened in my soul when I was very young and spent some time in Africa. Drawing and painting from an early age, I survived the transition from loving drawing and painting as most children do, into my teens when enjoyment became passion. With a love for both sculpting and painting, I began to wonder how to marry the two together to make something new and unique; my first Texturescape was born. Forty years later, my explorations and experiments with many different media and techniques, my journeys through plein air painting - the figurative, the surreal and the super real, op art and pop art, had led me to my philosophy and method of working today. Similar to many past masters, both western and Asian, I found that I got caught up in recording every miniscule detail of what I saw before me when painting en plein air. Sometimes this said little of the real spirit of the place. So, I decided to make rough notes and sketches either on the spot, or sometimes from memory, hours or even days later. This information filters through my mind. Weeks or months later, I sit in front of my blank canvas. An image jumps into my mind’s eye—I take out my research material for reference and the landscape painting appears by itself on the canvas, pouring out of my soul, capturing the essence of what I have seen. My landscapes take the viewer on a journey. Nature never ceases to amaze with her subtlety and vibrancy, her density and variety of texture, her attention to detail, her sense of space. In my paintings, I hope my viewers, like me, get

to enjoy the cross lights of dawn and dusk, the rich tapestry of wild meadows, the confetti of autumn, the mirrored reflections on still lochs and ponds and the sparkle of the waterfall. Journey around the contours of the vineyards and lavender fields, march with the trees across the horizon, and lose yourself in the open spaces. Enjoy the rhythms of nature and if my works bring you peace and joy, then I have achieved my goal.

A.

First year at art school—Watercolour from life

B.

Acrylic painting of Carol

C.

Gouache painting art school

D.

First Texturescape at age 16. Made with wood, sand, string, plastic, fishing net, paper and pva and acrylic

E.

Aged 18—Gouache, pva, varnish, paper, string

F.

Gouache on graph paper. Optical sunrise. Chosen for art school museum exhibition


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D.

A.

E.

B.

F.

C.


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Biography Ronnie Ford was born in Dunoon, Scotland and studied at the Glasgow School of Art. He taught art in Scotland, England, Germany and Hong Kong for a total period of thirty years during which time as Head of Department and Director of Art he regularly exhibited his own work. Ronnie has been highly successful as a full-time professional artist for 13 years since he launched his career with sell-out shows in Hong Kong and London. He has built a strong international presence with successful group and solo shows in Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore and the USA.

In a juried show in USA he was awarded an Honourable Mention as well as voted the People’s Choice Award for his work. His proposal for a large installation was one of 15 selected for an exhibition opening at the Sydney and Berne Davis Art Centre, Florida before going on a tour of the USA. Ronnie’s bas-relief painting of Buddha was chosen as a centre piece for an exhibition in the Homage to Buddha show at the daas Gallery in Florida. Ronnie was invited to contribute work to the 21st Anniversary of the opening of Sydney Berne Davis Arts Centre, Fort Myers, Florida.

Ronnie’s work is in private, public and corporate collections worldwide, including the French Consulate, Hong Kong, Bank of South Australia, Strathclyde University, NHS Scotland, and English Schools Foundation. He has several commissioned pieces in the Cotswold House Hotel, officially opened by Sir Terence Conran and he has donated works to Princes Trust, Esther Benjamins Trust, Society for Aids Care, Mary’s Meals, Muir Maxwell Trust, MacMillan Cancer Care and Smileawi among others.

Sponsors of Ronnie’s shows have included Virgin Atlantic Airways, Remy Martin and Mega Reve. He recently formed the Vibrant Arts Movement, promoting young artists and musicians in a creative spiral of art inspiring music inspiring dance inspiring poetry and inspiring food. He has recently worked with the Vibrant Arts Band, German composer, David Hueger and 8 times Emmy Award-winning flautist Kat Epple.

His work has appeared on television several times and was used as a major feature of MTV music video by Canto pop and film star, Sammie Cheng. Ronnie’s work has been featured several times in Elle Decoration, Eve International, Boutique, The Tatler, Homes and Interiors, Scotland and Scottish Field. His work has also been reviewed in Ming Tao, South China Sunday Post, The Hong Kong Standard, The HK Magazine, Uptown Magazine, The Saturday Herald, Cover Magazine (Hong Kong), Bonita NewsPress, Talk of the Islands and Florida Weekly.

He is a regular artist-in-residence at Ode to Art Gallery in Singapore, where he leads workshops for adults and children.


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Recent Exhibitions and Events 2016 Rhythms of Nature, Ode to Art, Singapore 2015 Edinburgh Art Fair with Strathearn Gallery Hong Kong Art Fair with Ode to Art, Singapore Torrance Gallery Edinburgh Artist-in-residence, Ode to Art, Singapore Strathearn Gallery, Crieff 2014 Singapore Art Fair with Ode to Art, Singapore Gateway Festival, Vibrant Arts, Dunoon Affordable Art Fair, Hong Kong with Ode to Art, Singapore Edinburgh Festival Exhibition. Torrance Gallery, Edinburgh Spring Exhibition, Torrance Gallery, Edinburgh Hong Kong Art Fair with Ode to Art, Singapore 2013 Solo Show, Ode to Art, Singapore Sydney Berne Davies Anniversary Exhibition, Fort Myers, Florida New Owners’ Inaugural Exhibition, Strathearn Gallery, Crieff Torrance Gallery Edinburgh 2012 Kings Road Gallery, London MacGregor Fine Art, Glasgow Vista Palace, Monaco Greens and Blues, North Berwick Torrance Gallery, Edinburgh Iona House Gallery, Woodstock Ode to Art, Singapore

2011 Vista Palace, Cote d’Azur Kings Road Gallery, London Kranenburg Fine Art, Oban Ode to Art, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur Torrance Gallery, Edinburgh Iona House Gallery, Woodstock Hong Kong Art Fair Kings Road Gallery, London Vibrant Arts, Roggenburg, Germany 2010 Kings Road Gallery, London MacGregor Fine Art, Glasgow daas gallery, Fort Myers, Florida Sydney and Berne Davies Art Centre, Fort Myers, Florida Kranenburg Fine Art, Oban Chelsea Art Fair Art Monaco REO Art Fair, London Kranenburg Fine Art, Oban King’s Road Gallery, London MacGregor Fine Art, Glasgow Cadogan Hotel, London Torrance Gallery, Edinburgh Howl Gallery, Ft Myers, Florida Strathearn Gallery, Crieff Glasgow Art Fair Affordable Art Fair, London


R HY THMS OF NATUR E RONNIE FORD First published 2016 Ode To Art Raffles City 252 North Bridge Road, Raffles City Shopping Centre, #01-36E/F, Singapore 179103 Tel: +65 6250 1901 Fax: +65 6250 5354 Ode To Art Kuala Lumpur 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, The Pavilion, #06-24E/F, Kuala Lumpur 55100, Malaysia Tel: +603 2148 9816 Fax: +603 2142 6816 info@odetoart.com odetoart.com Š Ode To Art 2016 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Printed and bound in Singapore


Rhythms of Nature by Ronnie Ford