Artist Ron Larimore fell in love with Taos long before his move here – and long before he professionally picked up a paint brush.
“My wife, Carol, and I visited Taos in 1981 and we bought the first of what would be many pieces of art from the local artists and galleries here,” Larimore reminisced. “We kept coming back for the beautiful outdoors and the skiing, and our art collection kept growing.”
With the walls of their home filled with the works of others, Larimore now has his own studio and gallery, filling its walls with his own works.
Opened four years ago, Ron Larimore-Taos studio/gallery sits at the north end of Taos Plaza, its picture windows looking out on the bustling local scene. Often the artist is standing at his easel inside, framed by the light from those windows and with another work-in-progress underway.
Larimore has garnered a reputation for his representational art: local landscapes, of course, but also those he’s sketched or photographed during his travels and brought back to the studio to recreate. Bursting with saturated color and capturing an exquisite sense of shadow and light, Larimore’s paintings are full of an energy and expressiveness to which clients are easily drawn.
“It’s a very personal transaction between an artist and the person who buys the art,” he mused. “My paintings are from moments of my life, inspired by what I see or what I think I saw. When someone wants to acquire a painting of mine, I know they are bringing a bit of myself into their personal space. It’s a relationship where, in the end, I want them to be really comfortable with the exchange.”
The congenial Larimore seals the deal. His warmth and genuine getting-to-know-you conversation is a welcome diversion for locals and tourists. “I guess it’s a holdover from my former days but I love meeting new people and, if they’re visiting, hearing about what brought them to Taos.”
Larimore, who grew up and worked in the Midwest, is referring to his retirement from a high-powered career with Edward Jones before his move to Taos in 1999. It was his life’s work but the inevitable stress propelled him to explore painting as a means of relaxation.
“I had read somewhere that when you are doing something creative you can’t focus on anything else,” he recalled. “so I bought a watercolor set on a whim and figured I would give it a try as a release from the day-to-day pressures of my work.”
“I love the outdoors and began painting en plein air,” which he continued for several years after moving here. In 2011, however, “oil painting became my passion. It’s been one more lifelong learning experience: when I started with oil, I didn’t even know how to clean the brushes!” He laughed.
“I’ve been fortunate to have the guidance and camaraderie of artists here who were helpful in getting me started: Rich Nichols, who helped me develop my approach to oil painting; and Walt Gonske, whose critiques have taught me the difference between what I see and what I feel,” Larimore said, noting the two deserved a special shout.
Make a visit to Ron Larimore - Taos part of your next foray to the plaza. Bonus: You’ll be greeted by two friendly King Charles spaniels named Chester and Molly. They’ll want your undivided attention, but do break away to consider the art. Your day will be better for it.
Ron Larimore - Taos is located at 135 North Plaza, where the flags fly every day. For further information about the artist and the gallery please visit larimore.faso.com, or call (575) 770-4462.