Inspired by 19th-century French military painters, such as Alphonse De Neuville and Jean Baptiste Edouard Detaille, New York City artist Ron Lesser is primarily known for depicting the Civil War.
Although his Civil War wall paintings are his main priority, Lesser has a much longer history illustrating the West.
You’ve surely seen the promotional posters he’s painted for movies such as High Plains Drifter, The Way West and Paint Your Wagon.
In the mid-1990s, however, computer-generated art horned in and opportunities for commercial illustrations dissipated. So even though Lesser had twice been awarded Best Movie Art of the Year by the New York Art Directors Club, the artist moved on and began to create Western gallery paintings.
When not painting the Civil War, Lesser portrays the Old West with art ranging from Western mail delivery to an Indian raising his prized Winchester above his head. Another series of Lesser’s paintings evolved from a Dell paperback series he once illustrated; the artwork is now available as limited edition, signed Giclee prints, titled “Smoke & Lace,” published by Edward Weston Fine Art. Some of these wild women were the featured art at the 2003 Professional Bull Riders and 2003 National Finals Rodeo championships in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Lesser admits he’s not looking to make a serious career out of his art, saying, “It’s just something I do because it’s fun to do.” Instead, he can only hope each stroke of his paintbrush brings to life the passion he feels for the West and all its wide-ranging characters.