Ronald Llanos describes himself as a visual journalist. “My images are inspired by people and by the places I travel to or frequent,” he says.
Ron collects drawings in a sketchbook while people watching in a café or walking through Los Angeles neighborhoods. He creates thousands of quick sketches of people engaging in city life: talking with friends, walking past businesses carrying shopping bags, pushing a baby carriage or talking on a cell phone. These vignettes become the subject matter for zines – small self-published magazines that tell a story about a particular place at a moment in time. You can see more of Ronald’s images and follow his blog here.
In preparing the artwork designs for the Expo/Western Station, Ronald spent time filling his sketchbook with drawings of people and activities he observed around the station area. He then mapped the art panels at the platforms to unfold like the pages of an open book. A series of 16 watercolor paintings describe scenes from the local neighborhood.
Ronald’s watercolor paintings have a fresh, spontaneous quality to them. The task of translating his translucent washes of color into a hard, permanent material was a challenge. Artisans at Mosaika Art & Design traced Ronald’s designs onto ceramic tile and added thin layers of glaze to preserve the feel of the artist’s hand in the work. Next the work was fired, cut into small pieces and placed within the panels.
Speaking about the artwork for Expo/Western Station Ronald says, “I feel that if I search within myself for that which I find interesting about the places and people of those areas, I might be able to communicate with people across time.”
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