By Bonnie Gangelhoff
High Plains Drifter. The Way West. A Man Called Horse. New York painter Ron Lesser used to create movie art, including award-winning posters and storyboards for these classic western films. He has also painted pieces for the covers of books by legendary western writers such as Louis L’Amour. These days, however, Lesser devotes much of his time to creating paintings of Native Americans, cowboys, and the Civil War. “I am trying to tell a story,” he says. “I like people to look at one of my paintings and feel like they could step into the scene.”
Lesser is known for his attention to detail and for capturing the high drama of life in the West in the 19th century. Native American figures, whether they are posed or engaged in battle, are often set against the magnificent mountains and luminously colored skies of the frontier terrain. “I am always trying to make the work authentic, like it may have looked back then,” Lesser says. To achieve this accuracy, the artist reads, researches, and consults with experts.
Lesser says he is inspired by the works of some of the country’s top artists as well as illustrators such as Norman Rockwell and N.C. Wyeth. He is represented by B&R Art Gallery, Canyon Country, CA.
Featured in “Artist to Watch” March 2005