More about me

From the time I was very young, I knew I wanted to be an artist.

I was born in Fort Worth, Texas, one hot August day, moved to the Chicago suburbs when I was nine, only to return to Fort Worth after graduating from high school (I discovered I'm not a fan of snow).

I attended TCU as a Nordan Fine Arts scholar, where I earned a BFA in drawing and painting. After graduating, I spent several years working as an art director and graphic designer in St. Louis, Santa Barbara, and Ft. Worth, before entering graduate school at the University of North Texas, where I earned an MFA in Painting.

I taught, painted, and exhibited in the North Texas area, and worked as a freelance graphic designer for about 15 years, until I joined the corporate world as an IT worker (self-taught) to better support my growing family. Though I didn't always have the time to exhibit, I continued to make art.

While in grad school I started focusing on work about my friends and family in various settings - mostly unapologetically mundane and familiar. Rather than “telling a story” that had a beginning, middle, and end, I preferred to construct open-ended narratives - scenes without a clear-cut beginning and end -- like a loose page from a novel, or a single frame from a film.

Over the years, I’ve found that making art is how you find out what matters to you. Until you are emotionally engaged in your subject, you’ll never create anything important. because if it isn’t important to you, it will never be important to anyone else.

Art is ultimately about language: how we communicate, not just what we communicate. It’s what makes a grocery list different from a poem.

After 20 years of slinging electrons across the internet for a living, I finally retired from corporate life, and (for better or worse) have turned my focus back on my career as an artist.

Thank you to all my friends whose unflagging support and encouragement have kept my eyes focused on the arts.

For more information, including lots of tedious reminiscences, visit my other site, the Ralph Art Website Project (www.ralphart.com). More art, including constantly updated pages from my sketchbooks, and old design work.

Self portrait at 64; acrylic on paper, 22 x 30 in, 2018
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