Ron Hamer started drawing at the age of 4 to make his grandmother smile. “I would draw Ant Man and the ant forces,” he recalled with a grin, “I would show them to my grandmother, and she would be smiling.”
Ron is a very accomplished artist who has won several awards and whose paintings are in high demand. He is fearless with color when he paints, and is quite a colorful guy, too.
“They would ask in elementary school, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ and I would say that I wanted to be an artist,” he said.
We have his sister to thank for the fact that he started selling his work. “She inspired me to start selling my drawings when I was a teenager,” he said. “Kids would need pictures for their assignments, and I would draw them and charge them a dollar a piece.”
He studied comic book drawing, and even wrote a book called Win or Bust Card Shark Game Book. He got a copyright on the book, but was told that he needed a patent on it. The cost was “out of reach.” He had written and illustrated it, but longed for more artistic endeavors.
He worked a variety of jobs, was in the military for a short time, but eventually ended up in Wichita Falls, where he had spent part of his childhood. But things weren’t going well for him, and he found himself living at the Faith Mission, a homeless shelter.
But his story, like many others in history, turned around when it seemed that he was at his lowest point. Jane Spears Carnes to the rescue. Jane is an artist in Wichita Falls who is well renowned and extremely talented, and she also has a big heart. She was teaching art classes at Faith Mission, and Ron was one of her students. Under her tutelage, he began to hone his artistic skills. At the mission, he painted a very detailed mural of the city of Jerusalem in Christ’s day and time, along with accompanying Bible verses and a legend. “She saw the mural and told me that I could sell my paintings,” Ron said.
“I thought I had to be a millionaire to oil paint, but that is what I wanted to do,” Ron explained. “And later I found out that you don’t have to be millionaire. I started painting and had my first exhibit 5 or 6 years ago,” he said. “That is when I fell in love with oil painting.”
“My paintings are what helped me get out of the mission,” Ron explained. “I would add what I made with my paintings and a side job, and together, I made enough money to stay out of the mission.” Ron then started renting a studio in Big Blue Building downtown, and later moved to a studio with Marsha Wright-Reeves and Janelle Michonski. He then moved to the Seventh Street Studio when it opened.
He likes to paint outer space in a “free loose contemporary style” and enjoys using his imagination to paint fantasy as he sees it; and his vision colors his world.
“I show my art at the Wichita Falls Art Association Gallery, the Seventh Street Gallery, and the Kemp Center,” he said.
“This was always something I wanted to be, so I am living the dream,” Ron said.
What started out as a way to make Grandma smile, is now a reason for those who view his art to smile.
– Cindy Kahler Thomas
Ron Hamer, surrounded by two of his paintings, loves to explain what is going on in his fantasy paintings.