Self Portait with a Hat (2003)
Ron joined the Coast Guard in 1970 and served as a seaman aboard the USCGC Winnebago, stationed at Honolulu, Hawaii. A year later he was transferred to the 14th Coast Guard Districtís public relations office. During the remaining three years of his enlistment, he worked on a monthly publication called Pacific Shield. One of his responsibilities there was to create a cartoon series entitled Ensign Bafflestir, in which he lampooned the military bureaucracy. During his off-duty hours, he continued to paint as a hobby. In 1974 he was discharged from the Coast Guard and moved to Tahiti to work as an easel artist. After six months of struggling to find a painting style, he returned to Westlake Village, California.
Marlett family went to many art exhibitions during the 1970s. The two
that had the greatest influence on Ron were the shows of Norman
Rockwell and Vincent Van Gogh. The expertise reflected in Rockwellís
realistic paintings created in Ron a strong desire to emulate the
masterís style, and Van Goghís paintings were an inspiration to live
the life of an easel painter. After studying the lives of many famous
artists, he became convinced that the only way art could be created was
for the artist to see his painting as a full-time job. This belief has
stayed with him his whole life, and this can be seen in his work by the
writing on many of his stretcher bars that include the hours it took
him to create the painting.
became a full time student majoring in art at Pierce College. He also
was very active in painting Tahitian subject matter and displaying the
paintings at sidewalk shows. One of the most interesting exhibitions he
produced was at the Los Angeles Pacific Design Center in 1976. The
large gallery was filled with 25 paintings and every night a Polynesian
show of Tahitian musicians and dancers entertained the guests.
1978 he returned to Tahiti and lived in the district of Mahina for six
months. Galerie Winkler helped him sell his paintings and encouraged
him to extend his visa, but the desire to finish his education drove
him to return to California in 1979.
the next five years, Ron concentrated on his education, and in 1984 he
graduated from California State University at Northridge with a
Bachelor of Arts degree in applied arts. He developed a portfolio of
acrylic illustrations and attempted to become a freelance illustrator. The
politics of commercial art did not appeal to him, however, and he began
yearning for his dream of being an easel artist. In the fall of 1986,
he was accepted as a contracted artist for Martin Lawrence Galleries,
which allowed him complete freedom to paint any subject matter, and
paid him up front for his original paintings.
the four years he painted for Martin Lawrence, Ronís paintings could be
described as experiments in geometric composition. In order to supply
Martin Lawrence Galleries with four paintings a month, Marlett began to
paint at a fast pace. The realistic style he first started out with in
1986 began to change into an impressionism style by 1989. Once the
bridge was crossed between realism and impressionism, he began to
experiment with color. The last three paintings he sold to Martin
Lawrence Galleries were impressionism paintings that used bright,
intense colors. His vibrant acrylic paintings later became known as pop
impressionism. In 1990, AG Publishing bought four original paintings
from Marlett and used them to publish thousands of posters. AG
Publishing also accepted two more originals on consignment, which
placed the total number of pop impressionism paintings at nine. Toward
the end of 1990, Ron became interested in giving his full attention to
a family business that his younger brother Rich proposed. Ron stopped
painting in the pop impressionism style and began refining his skill in
Marlett conceived The Archaic Images Company for the purpose of
publishing Ronís military art. The most successful painting that Ron
created in this period was Assault on Battery Wagner. The painting depicts the heroic charge of the 54th
Massachusetts regiment against a Confederate fort during the American
Civil War. Limited edition prints were made of the painting and were
sold under the same name as the original.
Of all the paintings he created for Archaic Images, a still life painting called Still Life with a Sword-Billed Hummingbird
became a pivotal point in his career, because the baroque still life
inspired him to devote the majority of his painting subjects to the
still life genre.
From 1963 to 2015, Ron Marlett has painted 275 paintings. Today Ron continues to work on his realism paintings and his impressionism paintings. With Ron's realism paintings, he uses a procedure that is quite labor-intensive, involving under painting, detail painting, and glazing, combined with an extreme attention to detail. Ron also works on his impressionism paintings that have a completely different technique from his realistic paintings. Ron's impressionisism paintings are created with tiny diagonal lines. All this contributes to the long hours it takes him to create his art.
California Teaching Credential in ArtCalifornia State University, Northridge (2003)
Bachelor of Arts