<font color="#808080">JENKINS, Ron</font>

More Ron Jenkins:    Federal Duck Stamp Print 

1932 - )

There should be two Ron Jenkins one to do artwork, and the other to pursue his many hobbies. One of the most interesting of these is falconry, and we hasten to add that a falconer is not a bloodthirsty assassin, but a rather abstracted and inefficient hunter who is more than satisfied with one small kill, if that, for a day's hunting. The bag is insignificant, and incidental.

The lure of falconry lies in the thrill of having control of a magnificent and beautiful bird of prey (in Mr. Jenkins' case, a Harris' hawk; he lost his falcon to an infection), in the temporary escape from everyday pressures to the world of nature, and in watching the wild and free flight of his bird which culminates in an obedient return to his fist. Add to this the satisfaction of training such a creature, along with Ron's liking for birds, and the idea of an artist's being also a falconer doesn't seem so outré.

Pennsylvania terrain is not particularly well suited to falconry (although it depends somewhat upon the kind of bird one owns), so if the Jenkins family should ever move to Wyoming or some other place with wide open spaces, we know at least one reason for their going.

For the moment, however, Ron Jenkins can properly be called a Pennsylvanian, since he was taken from Pawtucket, Rhode Island (where he was born on August 18, 1932) to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, when he was only three years old, and has lived there ever since. He graduated from Carlisle High School in 1950.

In January 1951 he joined the Marine Corps and after boot camp at Parris Island he was sent in turn to California, Korea, and Quantico, working most of the time as a telephone lineman. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant within three years, and after his separation from the Corps in January 1954, he returned to Carlisle to marry Marian Decker, a high school sweetheart.

Mr. Jenkins attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Art throughout the academic year 1954-55, but increasing family responsibilities prompted him to drop his art education temporarily to go to work for a savings and loan association. It was a job he was to hold for ten years, but in the meantime he began a correspondence course in art that ran from 1958 to 1962. He did freelance artwork whenever he had a spare moment.

Mr. Jenkins works in any medium, but he says that the fast-drying media of opaque watercolor or polymer seem to suit him best. He works fast, and although he will tackle any subject, birds arc his favorite; his work on them goes especially fast. In fact, he spent so little time, comparatively speaking, on the 1964 painting of canvasbacks that won the duck stamp contest for him that it gave him mildly embarrassed pause; he had almost not submitted it at all. Fortunately, it did get tucked inside a package of "better" paintings and got sent to Washington.

In July 1966 Mr. Jenkins began free-lancing full time. He has illustrated a number of stories for the Pennsylvania Game News and the Pennsylvania Angler, besides having done three covers for each of them in 1967. His work has also appeared in the National Geographic magazine and the Modern Game Breeding magazine, and is in several private collections.

Mr. Jenkins says his studio looks "like Fibber McGee's closet." Right now it's overflowing with pictures and sketches of Wyoming scenery and wildlife that he brought back from a trip he took in the summer of 1967. While he was there he helped some researchers work with grizzly bears and got some invaluable reference material on the safest, most gentle kind of bear that exists: an immobilized one. He is working on a bear painting now.

Besides being a member of the Outdoor Writers' Association of America and of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers' Association, Ron teaches art classes from time to time and gives speeches on art and conservation.

The Jenkins roof (in 1965) shelters not only Ron, Marian, and a burgeoning studio, but five young Jenkinses, all boys, ranging in age from 3 to 12, the hawk, and a dog. We can presuppose hunting and fishing gear for six, an insect collection, assorted rocks, minerals, and seashells, bicycles, sleds, boots, toys, and 313 unmatched mittens. There may be some confusion in the household at times.

Russell Fink Gallery P. O. Box 250 Lorton, VA 22199
Voice: 703-550-9699 Fax: 703-339-6150