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in his 90th year

Private View Saturday 21st June 2008 noon - 5.00pm
Wine served - All Works for Sale
Exibition Finishes Sunday 13th July 2008


Where enquiries of prices are made on the gallery, the work is subject to availability and the price to change.

A detail of "Black Barge" oil on board 51 x 61cm



In his 90th year Ronald Ronaldson shows no signs of slowing up. In recent months, he has been know to complete up to six oils in a month and continues to amaze us with the rapid, expressive approach to his work, resulting in paintings full of colour and paint, applied with skill and dexterity.

Born 1919 in Newcastle upon Tyne Ronald won a scholarship to the Junior Technical School where he was taught technical drawing (to his dismay, no art) and later practiced in watercolour. He eventually retired in Suffolk as a Medical Laboratory Scientific Officer. It was as a seaman in the Royal Navy in the 1940’s that he took up the brush and purchased his first oil paints in Cape Town, on a port of call and since that time has been self taught and passionate about art.

Ronaldson has been included in publications and exhibitions from Northumbria to East Anglia and is known for his paintings executed up and down the country, particularly along the East Coast. First with the Northern Artists, later in East Anglia, he has exhibited with Colin Moss at Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery and with Donald McIntyre, Audrey Blake and Richard Sorrell at the Phoenix Gallery. Roland Suddaby, curator at Gainsborough’s House (1970-72) invited Ronaldson to have a solo exhibition but typically hating any fuss Ronald refused. It is not surprising that Suddaby recognised in Ronaldson the same marked tradition of landscape painting from the second half of the 20th Century which also appears in his own work. We first saw Ronald’s work in a group show with the Suffolk Art Society at Gainsborough’s House in 1988 and invited him to exhibit in one of the early mixed exhibitions at Chappel Galleries. It took us until 1993 to persuade him to have a solo show with us, as the exhibition following Roderic Barrett who was another admirer of Ronaldson.

Ronald has little time for those inadequate art works hailed as the new avant garde, so called modernists of recent years, seeing them as distractions from the essential course of art. His own methods in painting do not change. Although rapid, the paintings are not completed without consideration or reworking. If necessary, he is unafraid to scrape back the paint to the board. He will wipe off the lot, making piles of oil paint, and reconstruct the composition. This energy is imparted to the viewer through landscape and still life, infusing them with an intensity of light.

Ronald Ronaldson has emerged as an enduring force after nearly sixty years of painting. Some works fall by the wayside, expected in such an outpouring, but so many will go on working for those of us who experience that spontaneous joy in response to a genuine expression of art. We have had great pleasure producing this book which gives but a small indication of the treat in store at the exhibition.



Phoenix Gallery, Lavenham
Suffolk Art Society (founder member: Society formed by Ronald McCausland White at the Phoenix allery, Lavenham)

Bury Art Society

Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury (1970–72 under curator Roland Suddaby)
Chappel Galleries, Essex: various mixed exhibitions
1991, 92
Laing Competition (touring)
1993, 97, 04, 08
Chappel Galleries, Essex: Solo Exhibitions


Dictionary of British Artists since 1945 1st and 2nd editions by David Buckman (1)
Dictionary of Artists of Northumbria by Marshall Hall
Artists at Walberswick by Richard Scot

“Moon Reflection” oil on board 52 x 66cm

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