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Profile: Ron Louque – Where art and science meet

For Ron Louque (pronounced Luke), the study of nature began as a young boy in the bayou country of Louisiana. At the age of nine, he enrolled in a taxidermy correspondence course, which led him seriously into the world of birds and animals and their natural habitats. The young boy who had an unusually strong attraction to birds and nature, was preparing for his life’s work at this early age by sheer instinct. By the age of eighteen, the young naturalist had become an expert taxidermist, and following high school, enrolled as a zoology student at Louisiana State University. Up to that time, he had not been introduced to art, and had never even thought of being an artist. In his second year at LSU in 1972, however, Ron discovered art through the Museum of Natural History curator Ambrose Daigre, and graduate ornithology student-bird illustrator John O’Neill.

Since his humble beginning in 1972, Louque has made major advances both in his knowledge of art and in his reputation as an artist. He has had no formal art training, but has learned much from his friend and mentor Adolf Sehring, a highly esteemed master, realist painter. Louque emphasizes the use of light and composition, which add dramatically to the impact of his paintings. This orchestration of light, combined with a masterful arrangement of the elements of nature, enables Louque to create depth and atmospheric effects, which are essential to good art.

Now after 28 years of professional discipline in his field, Louque has emerged as a nationally known artist. He has designed conservation stamps for the National Wildlife Federation, painted covers for Ducks Unlimited and many other magazines, won the 1984 World Championship Wildfowl Painting Competition sponsored by the Ward Foundation, and has won an incredible 27 state conservation stamp art contests since 1985, a record which has earned him the distinction of being one of the top five stamp artists in the nation. His crowning achievement however, came when he was chosen as the winner of the Federal Duck Stamp Art Competition.

The artist has also become highly diverse in his range of subject matter over the years. A feat that few artists are able to achieve with a high degree of proficiency. In addition to wildlife, his portfolio now includes landscape, still life, and figure paintings, as well. Louque believes in giving credit where it is due, and always thanks the Lord for giving him talent and success as an artist.

The artist is also thankful to the many conservation organizations that help to preserve the wild places he has loved so dearly since his childhood. Through his studies of nature over the past 30 years, Ron has come to realize the importance of preserving our natural wilderness areas and wetlands. He understands the important role that nature plays as a healing power to our souls in the stressful society that we live in. “If we don’t do our best now to preserve these natural areas, we will be doing ourselves, our children and grandchildren a great injustice,” he says. “We must be good stewards of the natural resources that have been placed in our care by our Creator.”

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