top of page

Artist Statement

I've painted most of my life; in between being a teacher, producing films, writing screen plays and writing songs. Painting was a place I visited from time to time, but now I feel  I have finally come home, and I don't want to leave. There is peace of mind, and this is where I want to stay for the rest of my life. My mom painted into her 80s as will I hopefully! 

I paint when I am drawn to a certain emotion that a particular setting or image evokes. Often this emotion might reflect my position at that time, or just something I'm challenged to capture on canvas. I've always liked subtle colors, blues, grays.


  • Legends Ridge home parade, Franklin - 2009

  • Annandale home parade, Brentwood - 2010

  • Ronell & Co. gallery downtown, Nashville - 2011

  • Gallery One in Belle Meade, Nashville - 2014

  • Imagine Gallery at The Factory, Franklin - 2014

  • MBA art show, Nashville - 2017

  • MBA art show, Nashville - 2022 & 2023

  • A judge in the Cheatham County Art League Exhibit - 2023

  • Franklin Art Crawl - April 2023

  • Harding Academy Art Show - May 2023

  • The Stable Reserve, Downtown Franklin - July & Aug 2023

  • Harpeth Hotel, Franklin - 2023

  • Artclectic - 2023



  • Member of Oil Painters of America

  • Member of The Arts Council of Williamson County


Bio Bits

  • Upon arriving in the US from South Africa, at the age of 23, I was commissioned to do a portrait for Burt Reynolds.

  • I lived in LA for 17 years wearing multiple hats but also doing commissioned paintings for architects and designers.

  • After completing my first painting in Nashville, Shelter From The Storm, I was approached to have it featured at the Legends Ridge home parade. It was sold right away and It is still my most popular Giclee print. 

  • I owned a gallery, Ronell & Co., at The Arcade downtown Nashville from 2009 to 2011 where my paintings were featured during the art crawl. 

  • I was featured in Nashville Arts Magazine in 2010.

  • In 2015 I took a painting hiatus, but I've recently reinvigorated my passion for painting and returned to the studio!

  • Some of my favorite painters are Joaquin Soroya, John Singer Sergeant, Ilya Repin, and Chase Chen. 

About: About Me
About: About

Review by Art Critic and Art Historian, Micha Hannemann

“There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in” – from Anthem by Leonard Cohen

Ronell’s paintings are engaging, fascinating and powerful visual narratives that transform us to another place and time. 


Deeply sentimental and evocative, the art contains messages that resonate with all of us. The paintings are detail orientated due to the artists’ close examination of her subjects. Studying nature, its elements and moods results in remarkable and haunting paintings. 


Ronell takes us on an incredible journey into the seemingly ordinary everyday world, that when seen through her eyes, become transformed into magical and dreamlike places. She breathes fresh air into old places and shows us that human nature can triumph over adversity. 


Ronell achieves this outcome through her unique painting technique. A deliberate portrayal of fragments or glimpses of a scene, accentuated by unusual compositions and angles from which the subjects are approached. The mundane becomes unreal, alluring and striking. 


Ronell is an established and accomplished painter who is comfortable in her remarkable art making technique. Ronell paints what gives her joy, and, in the process, she transfers that joy to the viewer.


Ronell’s stories are wide-ranging, yet they reflect an overarching theme of hope...…there will be sunshine after the storm and grey skies are not necessarily depressing but healing.


Ronell’s palette is elegant and tranquil, combining mostly cold colors with a splash of warmth, and light with textures. Moments are captured: the moon shining through the clouds onto the break of the wave on the beach; an open door shows a hint of the interior of a church lit up with beautiful light streaming in from the outside; in an old barn the light streaks pass through the cracks in the walls as they fall onto the floor; the sun peeks through the clouds after a big down pour – all moments that evoke deep feelings within the artist.


Ronell’s compositions have deliberate arrangements. The placement of her subjects, generally on a third, not directly in the center of the painting, have enough foreground and background to balance them - adding to their aesthetically balanced and pleasing effect, and the elements of mystery that they contain.


Specific moments in time, such as the delicate wedding canopy with the lone figure on the beach, create a captivating scene. The setting sun has beautifully illuminated the drapery and turned the light pink, the long shadows on the beach and the brightly lit canopy create an exquisite surreal image, as if out of a dream.


A strong contributor to Ronell’s individual style is her characteristic technique. She starts by applying a layer of textured gesso onto her canvas. Thereafter her brush strokes are applied with distinct crisscross patterns, using wide flat brushes, delicate highlights are then meticulously and selectively placed, followed by a final layer of matt varnish which adds the unique sheen and crispness to her work. This process not only results in stunning canvasses but contributes to the story telling intensity. The stories contain layered meanings, archaeological elements, patina, and history. There is a huge element of multiplicity. It can be as simple as a reference to the numerous layers of paint applied to an old building, or as deep as the reference and tribute to the countless layers of experiences. The primitive church in the Cades Cove area of the SmokeyMountains, tells stories of countless funerals, weddings, baptisms and worship, joy, and tears.


The depicted stories relate to everyday cultural practices. Visual images collected by a well-traveled artist, gathered over several decades and carefully selected and curated into this body of work.


There is a re-occurring theme of nostalgia. There is a longing to a time gone by. Ronell displays a great sensitivity and admiration of her subjects, which is particularly noticeable in her painting of the abandoned buildings on Mozambique Island. There is a joyful reconnection with special and cherished objects from the past, noticeable in the still life, with the silver teapot. Perhaps alluding to- a longing for-, and a homage to the artists’ place of origin.


Ronell is emphasizing the importance of finding stillness, quiet-time, and the deliberate emptying of our minds. She shares how liberating and exhilarating this feeling can be. 


It is important to take a break, to become silent, to reflect, to preserve and treasure, that which is special and meaningful to us. We need this mechanism to survive and cope in this ever changing and fast paced life we find ourselves in.


Ronell’s paintings are amazing images filled with light and hope.


“We are so privileged to be gathered in a moment like this when so much of the world is plunged in darkness and chaos…. ” Leonard Cohen, Live in Concert in London, 2009.

Written by Micha Hannemann, Art Historian and Art Critic (Specializing in Contemporary Art), 2 November 2022

bottom of page