Inside the Studio

Ron Piller

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?

The Mystery! The beauty that exists when there is structure next to chaos, light coming through darkness, and little things next to large things. I love discovering totally new relationships between marks and bits of color on a painting that I have been looking at forever, but I had not yet seen their connection …… although, it was always there.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

I was taking a painting workshop at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, Calfornia, and I was struggling to make a straight line when the instructor shared with me a simple way to do it! I really believe that a person does not have to have a tremendous amount of knowledge to be successful, just one or two techniques that can be used with passion. PASSION, hard work and being open to learning from mistakes are the key to being successful. What seems to be a mistake often turns out to be a wonderful catalyst to learning and the opening of new areas of opportunity for creative progress.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?

MUSIC! All the time! Everything from the Fifties and the Sixties! Cambodian love songs! Classical music, Bob Dylan, and Jason Mraz.  And I play it loud!

If you could have one piece of art in our life, what would it be?

“Tuna Fish Disaster” by Andy Warhol. When I received my first drivers license in the sixties the very first place I drove to was “Gallery Row” on La Cienega Boulevard  in Los Angeles. I walked into a gallery (the Ferus Gallery) and was thrilled to see over thirty different ‘Campbell Soup Can” paintings by Andy Warhol lining the walls. After examining the work I mustered the courage to inquire of the gentleman behind the desk the price of one painting. He replied, “one hundred and twenty-five dollars, each.” I had $1.50 gas money in my pocket and said, “thank you.” Missed opportunity!

Who are your favorite writers?

My favorite writers are Henry Miller, Honore de Balzac, Gustave Flaubert, E.E. Cummings, and Nicholson Baker. I also love to go on Tuesday nights to “Redondo Poets” open mic night at the ‘Coffee Cartel’ in Redondo Beach. What fun!