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Ramon Vilanova

Ramon Vilanova was born into a blue collar family that actually discouraged him from painting but pushed for what they would think to be a more practical profession. Born in a small town outside of Barcelona in 1947 he decided he would become a “Plein Air Artist.” It is a fertile land in the Northwest region of Spain that Vilanova paints today. As a self-taught painter he began his “lessons” at age 16 when his aunt gave him a box of paints and an instruction book. His work has been shown in individual and collective exhibitions at museums of France, Germany and USA. His work can also be seen at Museum of History of Gerona, the Museum Deu in the Vendrell, Museum of Vitafranca, the House Museum Prat de la Riba in Castelltercol, the Museum Manolo Hugue of Caldes of Monbui, Museum of Granollers, as well as the collective at the Palace Meca in Barcelona in Spain. Truly a “Plein Air Artist,” he awakes with an intrinsic joy of putting together his easel, paints, and travels for days until he finds the sublime . . . what is not in your face. He hikes around until he finds himself immersed in poppy fields, sunflower fields, newly bloomed tulips, or overlooking a bay standing by a bluff. He struggles with the wind, while the sun and light source eager to lay down the beauty that he is surrounded by. He works with anything that he can find, being a palette knife artist first, he finds himself using sponges, brushes, paper, and yes, his own fingers to create a texture that is so exciting. He is by nature a colorist, loves to mix different pigments on his palette to see what he comes up with to define the beauty before him. Trained as a draughtsman, his architectural education assists in his understanding of composition. He has superb and precise drawing skills, which despite the powerful effect of explosive colors one experiences on first viewing, are the Skelton of each work. Ramon is at once a simple man and yet a extraordinarily complex and thoughtful. His greatest loves are his family, his beautiful home, and painting. He and his wife painstakingly built their aerie, literally one brick at a time on the side of a mountain. Every plant in the terraced gardens surrounding their home was planted by hand, with irrigation systems and rainwater catchments, all designed by this diverse master of his own surroundings . . . so much attention paid to both detail and color. He paints on only untreated linen, and will even reverse the canvas so he can work on a textured, rough surface. With his heavy impasto and beautiful pigment runs, his canvases are both exciting and brilliant. There is nothing forced here. He chooses to dis-regard the handicaps of conventional exploits in his head of “the Horizon Line should be no less than one-third of the canvas” but throws the foreground in your face as he finds himself immersed in this beauty. Vilanova frequently donates his paintings to the Red Cross in South America, Spain and Africa.