About The Artist
A lifetime working with wood
Working with wood has been a lifelong passion for Ron. At a young age, he enjoyed the outdoors and had an appreciation for wildlife. When not hunting and fishing, he was always drawing or making something in wood.
Wood became a very important material in his life.
In high school, Ron specialized in drafting, woodworking, and machine shop, and upon graduation, accepted a position of structural draftsman. Two years later, he applied to a community college for a forestry course, since he felt a career in the outdoors would be more enjoyable. After graduation, Ron worked as a Resource Technician with the Ontario Government, primarily in northern Ontario.
In 1977, Ron's friend Mike Paradis introduced Ron to a book by Bruce Burk. The book called "Game Bird Carving", inspired Ron to try bird carving. Waterfowl was his main interest, but he also carved birds of prey, song birds, big game animals and various wood signs. For the first twelve years, his wife Susan skillfully painted the birds with acrylic paints, after which Ron painted the birds and fish with acrylic paints.
A visit to the Ward World Competition in Maryland in 1987 furthered his interest in bird carving. A small display of fish carvings caught his attention, as he had never seen fish carvings before. Even though he continued to carve birds for another twelve years, those fish carvings remained in the back of his mind.
A full size bald eagle carving completed in 1999 would become his finest bird carving and most challenging. A brook trout carving was made and positioned in the eagle's talons.
In the summer of 2000, his family moved from northern Ontario to London, Ontario. In the fall, he entered a competition with a twenty inch brook trout on a wall plaque, and won first in category, open class. Many competitions were to follow. While visiting a taxidermist in 2001, Ron was in amazement of a brook trout taxidermy group he had on display. From then on, Ron wanted his fish carvings to be more artistic and show more action.Perseverance
For thirty seven years, Ron has had to cope with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. It can also cause inflammation of other organs of the body. Autoimmune diseases are illnesses that occur when the bodies tissues are mistakenly attacked by their own immune system. It is typically a progressive illness that has the potential to cause joint destruction and functional disability. In 2010, Ron underwent surgery for a total knee replacement, completely eliminating severe pain and dramatically improving mobility.
Many people who see Ron's carvings wonder how he is able to do such fine work. Through determination and self confidence, Ron is now considered by many of his peers to be a world class fish carver. At the 2007 World Fish Carving Championships in Reno, Nevada, his Leafy Seadragon carving was judged Second in World Decorative Lifesize, and also Second in Saltwater Fish.
Ron hopes he can be an inspiration to others who live with a chronic disease or disability.