Ron Keas is the proud recipient of the Stars of Lake County Award for professional Arts.
Short biography of Ron Keas
Ron Keas was born in Salinas California in 1943. At an early age his creativity began to show. He studied violin beginning in the 3rd grade and continued through high school. He also learned to play guitar and keyboards. As a child, he sketched and painted pictures, specializing in portraits of friends and family. He built his own darkroom at the age of 12, and took pictures of people and nature. His favorite books were about artists and inventors. He built crystal radios, telegraphs, telephones, and experimented with optical devices.
Ron attended Camden High in San Jose, California, majoring in English, Spanish, and Art, winning many awards for his oil paintings in High School art shows. After graduating from Camden High, he went to San Jose City College for 2 years, majoring in Art and Photography. He left college early to join the Navy, and became a Naval Photographer after completing the Naval School of Photography in Pensacola Florida. His first assignment was in the Navy’s Mobile Photo Unit as a motion picture photographer and later on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Hancock off the coast of Viet Nam, where he worked as a photo lab technician.
Ron's first big break as an artist came in 1983, when the Cabbage Patch Dolls were so popular the stores couldn't keep them in stock. Ron latched onto the idea of painting oil portraits of Cabbage Patch Dolls. The local news channel 8, in Salinas did a TV news story about Ron's Cabbage Doll Paintings, and the story made it to Network News on the NBC Today show. National attention to Ron's art came around again in 1987, when Pope Paul II visited Carmel California. Ron's oil paintings of the Pope at Mission Carmel appeared on Network television, and in newspapers and magazines around the World.
In 1994 Ron began building his own web pages, and showing his art to the World via the Internet. At the same time, he and his wife Donna traveled to the major National Parks, and photographed them in 3-D, thus reviving the lost art of stereo photography in the form of color stereographs. He sold them on his website, along with a folding stereo-viewer of his own design for the next 10 years, and became known World Wide as an expert and consultant in 3-D photographic techniques. Among the people who took interest in Ron's 3-D photography was Arthur C. Clarke. He told Ron that his stereographs were among the best 3-D he had ever experienced. Arthur shared a print of one of Ron’s paintings to Neil Armstrong. The painting titled "One Giant Leap” was one of Ron's humorous works that shows a lion tamer/astronaut on the Moon with a pride of lions. Along with the print Arthur included message; "You never told us about this".
The Internet has been a great launch pad for Ron's ideas and creations ever since. In the year 2000, the Mars Rovers sent back images from the surface of Mars, and they were posted on the NASA website. Ron took those images and combined certain views to make the first 3-D stereo images of Mars to be published to the internet. This made the front page of the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
Ron lives with his wife in Lake County California, dividing his time between photographing nature around Clear Lake, and doing oil paintings. He has produced 3 nature DVDs. One is of the Redwoods, and two cover the four seasons of Lake County California. Ron's photography is featured on the covers and inside many or the finest Lake County Magazines, and is displayed on the new Lake County billboard on highway 101 in Ukiah. You can see a beautiful slideshow of his Lake County Photography on his website.
For the past 20 years Ron's favorite art subject has been Marilyn Monroe. His paintings of Marilyn can be viewed on his website. One of them is featured in the new "Marilyn in Art" coffee table book by Roger Taylor, and also appears on the back cover. Ron’s paintings of Princess Diana are featured in a similar book titled “Diana in Art” Both books are available from Amazon.com
Lake County California Photography
Ron Keas is known as the most prolific
Obama artist, having done over 30 oil paintings. His paintings
of Barack Obama were displayed in Denver, at Shepard Fairey's Manifest
Hope Gallery during the Democratic National Convention. Three
of them paintings are featured in the Shepard Fairey book "Art For Obama."
Two of them were published on the front page of the New York Times.
His painting of the First Family appeared in the Diversity Inauguration