Art is fun. It is for pleasure. And for Ron Legault, doing whatever he wants, whenever he wants, is what ignites his creative passion.
He says art is where he goes to play, and it is through this act of playing where he lets his materials surprise him.
“I do it for pleasure and passion,” Ron says. “And I want the viewer to feel the passion that went into that blue piece, or whatever piece. If I don’t have any passion, I’ll say, ‘Oh, this sucks.’ But you don’t throw it away. You look at it and wonder what to do next.”
Creativity has always been a part of Ron’s life. But as a professional creative director for magazines for 30 years in Hong Kong, his decisions were never final.
“I always had a boss saying, ‘My boss doesn’t like purple. You cropped the head. Oh, move it over. Move it up. Move it down.’ You’re constantly taking direction. And when I came back to Canada, I said, ‘Oh, I’m just going to open my studio and just paint.’ If I like purple, I do purple. If I crop the head, I crop the head. I decide. I love it. It’s so freeing.”
This freedom provides his philosophy when it comes to what he does. He is constantly switching gears, finding inspiration in something new and running with it, whether that inspiration comes from an old photograph of Greta Garbo in a tuxedo or a bunch of handmade rice paper he found while on his travels in Thailand.
“My goal is to have fun and be creative and explore and don’t get stuck in the same rut.”
His approach to any subject is not necessarily to recreate it, but to provide his viewer with an impression of it, to allow them to experience or feel it. So, a tree may only be represented as a simple line or the ocean as angular shades of blue, but he works the surrounding area to provide an atmosphere to situate it.
“What I want to do is I don’t want to paint the tree,” he says. “I want to feel the nature. I want to feel the green.”
And all of this goes back to the idea of play. If someone else sees his art and enjoys what he does, he takes pleasure in that. But truly, he paints for himself and the creative freedom it affords him.
“It’s therapy. It’s fun. So what? If they don’t sell, they don’t sell.”
By Nathan Durec