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This is a short path of a much larger journey, walk with me...

My brothers, my sisters - I so quickly forgot - I am an only child.
L-O-V-E wasn't the spelling of the name at all.
A door - where it led, I wanted you to follow; but that wasn't your plan.
You held me close with your lies, deceit, and empty promises - and for a while, I felt ...
You bathed in my pain, I could only wonder, ' why does this please you?'.
Trust- a fool's word. I pronounced it well, and you enjoyed my performance.
I lay down for you, broken, bled for your amusement- and for a while, it felt...
The dark - it seemed everyone wanted me to stay down.
except me.
The journey continues...
"Don't let the world's excuses be yours." – REAP13

That brief journey we took was a synopsis of my life. My name is Ron EA Powell (REAP13), my parents came from a family of farmers in Jamaica and found it fitting to give the initials from the proverb, ‘As ye reap so shall ye sow.’ I am proud to have these initials represent my heritage, my art, and my strides in life. I was born in Newark, New Jersey. I majored in Fine Arts at New Jersey City University, and studied figure drawing at The Art Student League of New York, New York City, N.Y., and now I currently work at Tiffany & Co., as a Graphic Designer. I feel the strong and bold uses of color from the Jamaican culture reflect through my paintings, and living in New Jersey has aided in molding my subject matter and compositions.

My senior year of college I was exhibiting at galleries such as the Cinque Gallery in Soho, and Rush Arts in Chelsea NY. I also interned at Trillion in NY as a web designer, and I freelanced as a fashion Illustrator for a couture Manhattan shoe designer. Things were looking up and as common as any life story tragedy struck. I say common because we’ve all faced the world’s obstacles that have been presented to us in some way or form. It was unique and uncommon for me because it was my own. It was a culmination of events that all seemed to compile at one time that placed a great load on my spirit. I didn’t paint for about the next two years. I worked nights at a warehouse as I maintained a web design company with my college buddies. Those next few years I learned and experience much about myself- where I didn’t want to be for the rest of my life, seizing the day, and not letting other’s excuses dictate the inhibit what you want from life.

I went for a job in the shipping department of Tiffany’s where I worked my days there and my nights as a supervisor in the warehouse. This gave me a small window of sleep and a smaller one for my art, but I saw ‘a path to a door I wanted to walk through’. I used the extra money to get my life back on track, pay for supplies/framing, and enter shows such as the 2005 The New York Art and Film Festival. Following my heart and spirit now I left the warehouse job that was now offering me a design position and stayed with Tiffany’s in the shipping department. I showed my portfolio and pushed my resume whenever an opportunity posed itself there.

As fate would have it about a year later a graphic design position opened up and management decided to give me a chance. The first painted I completed after my hiatus was a commissioned piece for one of my co workers and friend there named ‘Fisher of men’ - an oil painting of Jesus and his disciples that conveys no matter how hard the waters, God still saves. Experiencing life/death, love/heartbreak, and pleasure/pain- I always say my eyes long to bleed, which means to me I embrace and appreciate life’s past and future for its emotions it chooses to bestow upon me.

Unfortunately being quite the introvert at times, I may not give all the straightforward answers you may be looking for. I use my artwork as a vessel to express my feelings many times over. My Armor series of portraits was reflections of my own strengths/weaknesses I drew from the people around me. I believe portraits should go beyond the just a ‘likeness’ of the artist. It’s a brave journey into one’s reflection and soul. It seeks to encompass one’s inner fears, desires, and passions in an honest way. The spirit cannot deny that the eyes long to bleed from insight. So my advice to give is to persevere, stay focus and determined to achieve your goals.

I hope that if anything from this journey you realize you are not alone in your struggle.

"Don't let the world's excuses be yours." – REAP13

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Replies to This Discussion

Do you work from pictures, plein air (sp?) or memory-your portraits have a great photorealistic quality -skintone, light, texture that I want to produce in my own. I have just recently attempted the portraits and put them down because i could not get the "life" in them.
You are truly blessed with a wonderful gift. I admire the spirit and life you have captured in these portraits.
Thanks Lisa and Taffie; I mainly work from photos due to my schedule but I would imagine plein air would push the life in a painting even more. One of the things I learned about painting portraits is that everything is a shape affected by light. Try not to feel overwhelmed by the likeness, break the object down to it's value and shape and observe how the light affects it. I always think of that line from the Matrix movie (I know cheesy, but so true) when the boy says that the real truth about the spoon is 'there is no spoon'.
Your art as with your words denote much love and caring. The "journey" you describe is one that I think most of us travel but with different roads and bridges and diversions along the way. But each is important for it gives us the ingredients for our work. I admire your art for the soul and beauty that shows though. Pathways are not easy and often show us things we would rather not have to face but for some reason it makes the outcome so much more rewarding. I hope that your rewards are satisfying and make your work in the future that much more esteemed. Thank you for sharing.
Thats definitely one of the things I want to convey here is that we all have our struggles to bear, its one of the common traits of an artist. We have to look to persevere through them to harvest those rewards; and I know at times hard, but not feel that 'rain cloud' is only and always over you. Thanks Katharine, I really appreciate the insight.
I haven't been on this site in a while and I just decided to click on this today. Your work is astounding!
Your use of color and light is amazing. Whatever your challenges have been show in the tension in your paintings especially the last one. It is hard to believe that these are from photographs!
Best to you!
Thank you Christine; even though I work from photographs, I keep in mind that they are just reference for the painting and I don't look to bind myself to it's colors or 'rules'.
The psychological tension you great is wonderful. What medium are you working in? Best, Tracy
Hi Tracy, thanks, I mainly work in oil on canvas or wood.
Hi Ron. I know your story only too well. I have lived it for many years, giving up my art for many years. Life sometimes gets in the way and I had commitments and priorities that didn't allow much time for that which I was most passionate about. I recently had the privilege to meet you at the gallery opening Jan. 14. I was the artist exhibiting next to you. Unfortunately we didn't have much time to talk though I would have liked to very much. It's never too late and I realized that a couple of years ago when I picked up my brushes again and have to say I have never been happier. I'll never set them down again. I'm new here and still trying to navigate the site and have yet to upload my work. I have to say that it was pleasure viewing your work. You are a very talented artist. Best regards....Brian Pier
Hey Brian, wow its great seeing you on here! The Agora show was wonderful, and I love your paintings. Your use of color in landscapes really evoke different emotions that go way beyond painting scenery. I'm happy to hear you can relate to my story, and I'm with you - not putting that brush down again! Its great we can stay in touch now on here, take care.



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