By LESLIE COLLINS
September 5, 2012
Ron Ulrich’s first attempt at painting on leather won him two prestigious awards at the Missouri State Fair this year.
A lifelong resident of Historic Northeast, Ulrich has been painting for 20 years but never tried the leather medium. Ulrich is also a former Kansas City Public Schools art teacher and has 30 Master’s hours in studio art. When he’s not painting, he’s molding abstract stained glass sculptures.
For his leather painting, he earned first place in the masters level of leathercrafting and first place overall in the leathercrafting division. Called “Celtic Heritage Dream,” his painting depicts the face of his best friend Greg McCoy, who’s fascinated with the Celtic heritage. Ulrich also used Celtic symbolism in his painting, like a snake on a cross and a man with a crook that symbolizes the saint who drove snakes out of Ireland. A sunburst in McCoy’s eye symbolizes the dream, Ulrich said.
It took Ulrich a week to create the painting.
Asked what was challenging about painting on leather, Ulrich said, “You can’t make mistakes because once the paint soaks in, you can’t back up.”
Ulrich said he hopes other Northeast residents will become inspired and enter their own crafts and items at the state fair.
Celtic Heritage Dream will be on display at Tandy Leather, 13720 U.S. 40, Independence, Mo., through the end of September.