Sunday Compulsion: Ron Throop (Why I Paint)

Welcome to “Sunday Compulsion,” in which creatives answer one question: Why do I create? Here’s artist Ron Throop:

I began an expressionist career as an autobiographical writer, revering the American masters Henry Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and Henry Miller. The latter would paint whenever the writing blocked his freedom. I too found this to be very helpful. When I write, I am tight. When I paint, I am light. Painting is never frustrating. However, writing is a lot like bricklaying. It is linear, and sure, there is a place for that in my psyche, but it must make room for physical play and surprise. I can express so much more in a painting, especially one with a pertinent title. Kenneth Patchen did this with what he called “picture poems”. He is worth looking up to get more of an idea about what moves me. For pay I worked many jobs in the restaurant business as a cook and chef. I also tutored at home both of my daughters until their teenage years, and then enrolled them in school.  My children came first, always, so my lust for expression (which is terribly strong), often sat on the back burner until it boiled over. In my early 30’s I began to nurture it into a regular regimen. Found a feel and haven’t looked back. No more line cooking for me. I am too old for hollandaise. 




“KI + 2S -> KISS” 2014. Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24″

I believe that words and images are easily connected. Text, like anything in a painting, can be used to promote the painter’s propaganda. Craft and ability have their place, to be sure. But please make me think. I do not want art that cannot make me think! I have a television for that. 



“James Mott, Via PTSD, Mutilates Young Henry’s Politics” 2014.
Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24”



I like titles. It gives me, the painter, the last word. You want to see something else and not be told what I am thinking? Go make it yourself. 

“Nothing But a Stranger in This World” 2017. Acrylic on paper, 11 x 15”

The process of painting can bring temporary untethered freedom, the future promise of practice, growth, self expression, liberation, eternity in an afternoon, trancing, the joy of man’s desiring, judgment, forgiveness, laughter, and a very content and satisfied melancholy.

* * *

Ron Throop (b. 1967)

I am a determined man. Unlike Henry Miller who arrived in Paris at the age of forty suspecting that he was an artist but needing six months of stimulation-by-poverty to prove it, I have known all my life that I am another one in a long line, both ignored and distinguished, to have the (mis)fortune of that mysterious element “X” inside me. I am forty-nine years old, a dutiful husband and father, and dedicated practitioner of acrylic painting and self-liberation writing.

I live in a cedar shake cottage along the shore of Lake Ontario. 

All days I wake up with a charged exuberance and hope that begins to wane with the rising sun. By mid-afternoon I accept failure as a routine chore of this modern day art business. This is good. It keeps me upright through supper and doing the dishes. At dusk, after a long day of wonder and work in the studio, I take dreamy walks with my wife down to the lake. I am so lucky to have life and love even if career success is a crapshoot each year I come closer to the big sleep. Oh well. I paint. I write. There is always posterity to think about. Then night and gentle sleep and another day of sublime torture.

I have hundreds of paintings like these for sale, all very affordable. This year, believe it or not, I have become an internationally known painter. I have shown work in Moscow and St. Petersburg Russia and Liverpool England. I am a practitioner of the modern movement called Stuckism (look it up please), and its founder Charles Thomson has recently written that I am a key figure here in the U.S. My paintings are colorful, lively, of the moment, and affordable. I could even make them more affordable if you like me.

I cannot get enough of paint. I am the art crazy old man at late mid-life.

To learn more about Ron and his art, visit these sites:

Ron Throop Art

Ron’s blog

Round Trip Stuckism

Stuckism Invitational at Watkins Glen



“Always Six Seasons at the Table for the Magnanimous Narcissist” 2017. Acrylic on cardboard panes in old wood window, 34 x 36″