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Writings about the work of Ron Mills-Pinyas

Ron Mills goes to the studio like the rest of us go to our beds. He goes to the studio just as we go to our kitchens for food. He goes to the studio as we breathe. Yes, he breathes, eats and sleeps like the rest of us; but, really, what does he do there, in the studio?


While “painting” describes the material conditions of Mills’s physical effort, it fails to adequately account for the metaphysical conditions of his emotional engagement—for to paint (especially, but not exclusively, as an “abstractionist”) is to confront one’s being, raw and uncensored. Mills paints his life; he paints to be. He fashions his becoming in the studio. His canvases invite us to do the same—both in contemplation before them and, simultaneously, to go to our own studios (and, if we don’t have one, his example encourages us to construct our own).

From Painting to Be, by critic Brian Winkenweder, Ph.D.

Glance and Look Away

            --after the paintings of Ron Mills


By Lex Runciman


No brogue or cup or moonlit pewter tree, 

                                                            but color,

color shading over color into color, line sure, 

                                    line gone, luxury, yet line, 

the eye by intensity urged, 

by volume and quiet not quite silence, 

                                                as though logic itself 

has become night snowfall or maple forest light,

                                                            July light 

that, if one could manage the acuity and patience, 

could become what always it is: 

                                                an intricacy

unsayable, and, in its multitude, whole. 

                        So glance and look away 

and look again to follow an idea entirely optic, 

wordless, yet as though reading words, 

                                    silent, yet a music composed.  

After which the world of objects 

                        makes welter and surprise –

voice is melody, 

and words feel like sight. 



Stand in front of a painting.
Watch your breathing for a while until you have cleared your mind. Look at the painting.
Do this for a long time.


~ John Gregory, September, 2011 

Downloadable catalog of images and the critical essay "Painting to Be" by Dr. Brian Winkenweder


Ron Mills-Pinyas' work is so evolved and so fully realized... it is like a force of nature. Illuminated layers of rich color evoke the elemental qualities of fire, water, and minerals, while the subtle details within the layers spark the idea of an underlying narrative or mythology. Discovering imagery within his highly stratified abstracts is second nature. Viewers are so drawn in by his work that it has amassed global appeall.


~ Jennifer Cutshall, owner Verum Ulitimum Gallery, Portland, Oregon, 2015

Ron Mills paintings point to what in creation is, fragile, even possibly frail in a world of powerful simmering explosions of color and beautiful molecular sub realities.


The delicate and sometimes daunting balance in nature we sense when we see Mills’ s best work has nothing to do with insubstantiality, but rather his work evokes what is truly essential, uncovering the fundamental nature of being beyond individual parts to show true essence. We see organic raw material mingled to become enigmatic organisms with self will.


Are we viewing construction or deconstruction? The emerging or submerging in the primordial soup of life? Are we witnesses to active forces creating, evolving slowly from essence through individual definition of parts to the final becoming of an organism or are we viewing the reverse process?


The becoming is governed by the essence of what is trying to push to the foreground. It can feel threatening because it feels unstable to the observer and unveils what we have always feared deep inside, that the world is capricious and unpredictable. We are confronted with the dichotomy of creation, good and evil, but mostly the uneasy feeling of randomness in creation. The possibility, likelihood, of this wantonness in creation challenges our determinist view and the sense of order we labor to bring to our lives.


We can experience the deconstruction of what is, threatening what we think as concrete and real. In Mills’ paintings we do not know if we are seeing the beginning or the end, but we know we are seeing the essence of organic life going through molecular metamorphosis with all its colorful, textural, and at times terrible beauty.


María Isabel Piñas Espigulé, March, 2010 


Las pinturas de Ron Mills ponen en evidencia lo que es tenue en la creación, frágil y delicado, en un poderoso mundo hirviendo con explosiones de color y hermosas subrealidades moleculares.  El precario y formidable equilibrio en la naturaleza que sentimos cuando vemos los mejores trabajos del maestro Mills no tiene nada que ver con insustancialidad sino que su trabajo evoca lo que es realmente esencial.  Descubrimos lo elemental en la naturaleza del ser más allá de sus partes individuales.  Vemos la mezcla de materia prima orgánica convirtiéndose en enigmáticos organismos con voluntad propia.  ¿Qué estamos contemplando?  ¿La construcción o la deconstrucción?  ¿Lo que emerge o lo que se sumerge en el caldo primitivo de la vida?  ¿Somos testigos de poderosas fuerzas creando con lentitud, evolucionando la esencia primordial hacia la definición individual de partes para finalmente convertirse en organismo o estamos presenciando el proceso inverso?


Lo que está empujando al primer plano en las pinturas de Ron Mills se rige por la esencia de ese ser emergente.  Es posible para el observador sentir ese devenir como una amenaza al sentir la inestabilidad latente en ese mundo misterioso que el maestro Mills nos muestra.  Un mundo que nos enfrenta con lo que siempre hemos temido muy adentro, que el mundo es veleidoso e impredecible.  Nos enfrentamos  a  la dicotomía de la creación, lo bueno y lo malo, pero principalmente nos enfrentamos al sentimiento incomodo y alienador de la aleatoriedad de la creación.  La posibilidad o más bien la probabilidad de esta inconstancia en la creación desafía nuestra visión determinista  y el sentido de orden que nos esforzamos en traer a nuestras vidas.  En el trabajo de Mills podemos experimentar la deconstrucción de lo que es, amenazando lo que pensamos es concreto y real.  No sabemos si estamos presenciando el principio o el final pero sabemos que estamos presenciando la esencia de la vida orgánica a través de la metamorfosis molecular en todo su colorido, textura y a veces su terrible belleza.

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