Ronald Shelley
Specialty Painting

Ronald Shelley


Ronald Shelley has perfected his abilities as a professional illustrator, fine artist, and sculptor in a career
spanning over 60 years. He was born and raised in Rugby, England, and is a graduate of the Rugby
School of Art. He left England in 1956, arriving in the United States to work as a rodeo cowboy in Texas.
In the late 1960s, he moved to Florida, working as an actor, landscape designer, and illustrator. He is a
resident of Miami, Florida.
The artist renders his paintings in a seemingly effortless style that belies his mastery of the exacting
watercolor and acrylic techniques. Graceful depictions of cabbage palms in the Everglades, dramatic
tropical skies, and the subtleties of Florida’s changing seasons are the hallmarks of his style. His
architectural concepts, all hand-drawn and hand-illustrated for many of Miami’s renowned architects,
demonstrate his keen understanding of perspective, design detail, and the play of light on objects.
Ronald paints what captures his imagination--everything from fetishistic footwear and fantastic women
to factories powered by helmet-headed engines. Recent forays into sculpture such as his Heads series,
“Wheel-Fly” insects, Fish from Biscayne Bay, and South Florida Birds are created from mixed media and
found objects. His Wheel-Fly series was exhibited during Miami Art Week in December 2019.
His choice of subject matter is often based on his life experiences. The Jalopy Car series of paintings
arose from his brief job with a Jalopy car show in England preparing the “junkers” for various stunts and
learning how to perform those stunts. Ronald’s multi-year project is a book he is illustrating and writing
about his childhood experiences in World War II England. The War had a profound influence on his life
and on his decision to come to the United States.
The artist was commissioned to create public art for the Florida Art in State Buildings Program, and
exhibition artwork for three Collier County Government museums. illustrations for the Miami-Dade
Aviation Department, and US Air Force Homestead AFB, among others.
Ronald continues as a working artist, up every morning ready to take on new artistic challenges in his
home-based studio immediately upon returning from the local Cuban coffee window and morning chat
with fellow “cafecito” addicts.

Artist Statement:

My artistic direction, goals, and aspirations over a lifetime of work as a commercial illustrator, painting
fine art, and art simply as self-expression have always been an exploration. Recently, I have been
creating sculptures—something of a departure for me. All of it is a journey I hope will never end.
Something will make me curious and then I want to know more about it. How does it go together? How
do I represent what intrigues me about it? What piques my curiosity builds the intrigue that drives me
to depict the work of humans and the glorious perfection of nature.