Ron Buttler found his favorite pastime when he was young and remembers always drawing and painting, and creating posters in school that were mounted around the classroom.
As an adult, work and family life became important, but off and on he found time to paint. He graduated from college and went to work for General Electric and also studied art and art history at Empire State College.
In 2006, Buttler retired from General Electric in upstate New York after 30 years of service, with early retirement at 58. When he retired, he told his wife they should go somewhere warm.
‘‘I packed the camper and headed south. When I got to Tennessee, it was cold at night; then I tried North Carolina, and it was still cold at night. Next, I stopped in Aiken, and it wasn’t cold anymore and the corn was already waist high. I had found our retirement spot.”
At the time, he did not know Aiken had such an active art community.
Since retiring, he is drawn to experimenting with different mediums. “I like to create a scene that will make a viewer wonder what is happening in the painting or create an emotion,’’ he said.
He finds time to paint most days in his garden studio. “I crank up rock ‘n’ roll and paint to the beat.” When he works in oils on a landscape, he will block out various colors in the background and let them dry before working on the details in the style of Georges Seurat, who painted with dots (pointillist technique) to create shadow and sunlight.
His dramatic 3D works are mixed media using acrylics, oils and other materials. He has works depicting Bible scenes such as “Am I My Brother’s Keeper” from Genesis 4:16. Buttler has won awards for his landscapes and his 3D Embryonic Breakout work in the abstract experimental category at a recent show in Aiken. His latest 3D piece is called Three Sheets in the Wind, which is a nod to an old nautical saying.
‘‘I used three old sheets, a mask and gesso to create the piece. The 3D pieces take a while because I am using my imagination to create the scene. There is a current trend for using more texture, similar to the bas-relief,” Buttler said.
Buttler is a member of the Ridge Spring, Aiken and North Augusta artists’ guilds and the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art in Augusta. Five pieces of his art are on display at Hitchcock Health Care in Aiken, where he will be the featured Artist of the Month in January for the Aiken Artist Guild.
“I enjoy the art guilds and learning about upcoming shows. Deadlines and art shows keep me motivated,’’ he said.
His works are in private collections. Buttler can be reached at buttler@