Ralls Jennings, the artist ,with Billie, the critic & reluctant model, photo ca. 2008
I am more of an appreciator of art than a dedicated artist. If I were a wealthy man I would own art by Pieter Brughel, Jan Ostade, and Caravaggio but I'm not wealthy so I have to content myself with the best that I can do.

My painting over the years has been very, on again, off again. Some years I will finish fifty paintings and in other years it may be ten or twelve or none.

But I always enjoy art whether it is mine or someone elses.

My painting career has spanned many years and numerous locations.

I have lived and painted in various cities in the South East of the United States and also Mexico.

Today my wife and I have a home in North West Georgia and a residence in Atlanta where we have business interests.

While I have never had formal training in art the opportunity to experience multiple enviorments and to the styles of various other painters has been an education in itself. I studied many books on art and painting to the extend that it is not accurate to say that I was self taught.

I learned a lot about oils and pigments in Mexico. Some painters there use only hand ground pigments from the surrounding country side.

My web page gallery has pictures of the older paintings when I could find them along with the newer ones. You can observe the change in style that happened over fifty years.

Billie and I have lived in Trion, Georgia for over forty years and we still call that home. We have a house and studio in Trion and lately spend a lot of time there. We also have an apartment in Midtown, Atlanta we also call home. You might find us in either place.

Since I didn't attend an art school I have never learned what type of art I do.

I am influenced mostly by the Dutch and Flemish masters of the sixteenth century such as Pieter Brugel, and Adrian Ostade and of course by the Mexican artists I met while living in Mexico.

Whatever I am, I like to think of myself as an entertainer. I start out entertaining myself as I plan a picture. If it turns out good then I'm entertained. I can hope it entertains others.

Media

My paints and painting panels have varied greatly over the years. The first paintings were done on sign cloth. At the time I worked at Fulton Mills in Atlanta as their plant engineer and we manufactured sign cloth. Over the years I have painted on card board, concrete, glass, wood panels, fiberglass insulation and of course canvas.

I have always made my own panels for painting. These days I use wood panels if the painting is less than five square feet and canvas panels if the painting is larger. It has to do with weight. I like wood but it gets heavy in the large sizes.

Paints

My paintings done back in the sixties were done using oils from the art stores that came in tubes.

In the nineties when I was in Mexico I discovered cheap. The Mexicans wrote the book on how to create art on zero budget. A variety of stones, clays, bricks and oxides were hand ground to create the colorful paint pigments. The standard oil was a cheap house grade linseed oil. I am sure that other vegetable oils were used.

I didn't use acrylics until 2007. I had already encountered acrylic paints used in construction and remodeling activities and I knew their virtues. As far as the painting is concerned there seem to be equal pros and cons in comparing oils with acrylics. It's hard to tell the difference in the finished product.

Acrylics win when it comes to cleaning up. It is a pure joy to be able to use water rather than thinner or turpentine to clean brushes and pallets.

But in the end I went back to the same basics that the old masters used and that is a vegetable oil mixed with raw pigment. There are several vegetable oils that work satisfactorily for me but linseed oil mixed with a little wax is my preference.

I use some tube paints along with the pigments.

The Canvas

To me canvas is a cloth. But to an artist it seems to be what they paint on. It can be plywood, plow blades, windows, stretched canvas or anything that will take paint. I prefer the term, paint panel.

I make my own paint panels and today they are limited to canvas and wood panels.

Over the years however I have painted on many different materials.

Type of art
Since I didn't attend an art school I have never learned what type of art I do.

I am influenced mostly by the Dutch and Flemish masters of the sixteenth century such as Pieter Brugel, and Adrian Ostade and of course by the Mexican artists I met while living in Mexico.

Whatever I am, I like to think of myself as an entertainer. I start out entertaining myself as I plan a picture. If it turns out good then I'm entertained.

Then I can only hope someone else is entertained.