Ralph Oberg2013 Artist
2013 Artwork for Sale
About the Artist
Ralph Oberg was raised in Colorado, where his lifelong love affair with wilderness and wildlife developed. Extensive plein air landscape work throughout the West, from Alaska to Arizona, supports and inspires the studio work he is now doing with wildlife subjects. In 2012, he received the Trustee's Purchase Award at Western Visions, and the Western Heritage Purchase Award from the Montana Historical Society. He has also been honored with the 1988 William E. Weiss Award at the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale. He has exhibited at Masters of the American West and Prix de West, and his memberships include the Northwest Rendezvous Group, Society of Animal Artists, and Plein Air Painters of America.
What artist inspires you? Why?
Carl Rungius, because he truly knew wildlife and wilderness from first hand experience. He understood animal behavior as well as anatomy from his years of hunting and knew the wilderness colors and values from his many on-the-spot landscape studies in the wilds of the Wind Rivers and the Canadian Rockies.
How do you come up with an idea for a new piece of artwork?
I just stare at a blank canvas until drops of blood appear on my forehead. That line borrowed with thanks to the book, " and Fear." Actually, there are a couple of approaches I use. Field studies, photo references, and full-size drawing on the canvas. I don't draw small much anymore. I like to see the image develop true to size. Much trial, error, and correction before painting, and after. An idea can be narrative, storytelling, or compositional.
Where is the most inspirational place you've visited lately?
When not painting animals, I love to paint mountain landscapes. I recently traveled to Nepal and Switzerland to broaden my mountain experience and have enjoyed painting them both for a one man show at Trailside Galleries in September 2012. I will travel to Alaska again this coming August to see the wild North Slope of the Brooks Range, a place I know will be inspiring.