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Upping the Game…

You’ve seen my posts and added pages for my handmade jewelry items, but I’ve finally stepped up to creating some pieces in solid 18k gold with fine stones. Working gold is similar to working with silver, but it takes some capital outlay and there is waste when sawing and filing (I try my best to catch it all for later smelting). Here are pics of these first two rings with the solid 18k bling. One is a spectacular, pick-of-the-litter, Ethiopian Welo Opal, the other is a gem quality Chrysoprase cabochon. They will soon be available in the *store page* for my handmade jewelry creations. Hope you like them…

Welo Opal Size 7
Gem Chrysoprase Size 6.5
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Another Creative Branch: Fabric Design by RLODesigns

I recently learned (with lots of help from YouTube) to sew.

That’s right–I bought an old Singer sewing machine and have began sewing some small items. But first, I had to take the sewing machine apart and replace all 5 of the gears and reset the timing. All of this effort has led me to explore the art of textile and fabric design.

I’ve got a Design Shop at Spoonflower, where you can see my first ventures in this field.

None of the designs are available for purchase yet, but that will come soon enough.

Here’s an example of one of my designs along with a link to the Spoonflower shop…

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While my easel has a freshly primed linen canvas on it right now, I’ve also been working on another separate area of creativity for the last two years or so…

Jewelry making has always been on my bucket list of skills to explore and above you can see a few of my ring creations. I like to use sterling, fine silver and 18kt gold, along with various stones and cabochons. Each piece is entirely designed and hand crafted at my work bench from scratch, from crucible to jewelers bench. Here is a short video showing the elegant, long oval, Sleeping Beauty turquoise ring in the photo on the right, above.

And here are examples of my work in thumbnail format…

A sample of various designs by RLO

If you have interest in creating a special, custom gift for you or a loved one, let me know. I have some exceptional opals (and other stones) right now that are just screaming to be made into incredible, one-of-a-kind rings. You can email me at

For now…just go to the menu bar at the top of this page and click on “Store,” to see the links to my paintings and my jewelry creations.

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Ramona Grasslands Preserve with the San Diego Plein Air Painters

#pleinair #art #painting #oilpainting

The Winter rains have brought the Ramona Grasslands back to life.

The last time I visited the Preserve, the scene was dire–the parched grass and oaks were severely stressed. Many of the trees were beyond recovery, as evidenced by the piles of firewood left by the Forestry Service. But… the recent rainy Winter has turned the situation around. Currently, this Spring, there are live streams of flowing water crossing the grasslands.

I recommend you visit the grasslands soon, before the arid months dry up the profundity.  I took my camera along today on my plein air painting outing and captured some images.  Here they are in a short video for your enjoyment…


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The Signature of the Artist…

Signature(s) of Ronald Lee Oliver

The coup de grace…

The finishing flourish for any oil painting is the artist’s signature.

I use two signatures to finish my pieces.

I sign my paintings with my last name, “Oliver,” or with my initials, “RLO.” I use the latter when it fits better than the larger, “Oliver” signature.

The signatures above are a montage from various studio and plein air works. The simple lines of my signature indicate and compliment the style of painting conveyed in the works. The brush strokes remain as applied, informing the viewer by impression, rather than tightly rendered or controlled imagery.

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Hawaiian Floral Seascapes!

Like the ocean?  Like Hawaii?  Like flowers?  Why not combine all three in a series of Hawaiian Floral Seascape paintings!?  I’ve been working on just this feat, recently and really enjoying the process. It allows for the play of some bold, complimentary colors and the challenge of arranging a pleasing composition.  Here is a composite of four, recently completed panels (12×12 in. oil on deep cradled birch).  I haven’t run out of flowers that are suitable for this series, yet, so there may be few more forthcoming!

Hawaiian Floral Seascapes ~ Original Oil Paintings by Ronald Lee Oliver
Hawaiian Floral Seascapes ~ Original Oil Paintings by Ronald Lee Oliver

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Pua Melia (Plumeria)

Pua Melia (Plumeria) 12x12 in. Oil on deep cradled panel
Pua Melia (Plumeria) 12×12 in. Oil on deep cradled panel

Blue Hawaii and white coral sands form a backdrop for the close-up of this fragrant sprig of plumeria blossoms. The plumeria flower is one of the most recognizable flowers of the Hawaiian Islands. They come in a variety of colors from creamy white to vibrant yellow and a deep, luscious red.  If you ever visit Hawaii, bring some freshly cut plumeria or a fresh plumeria lei to your room for the most amazing and relaxing room freshener that will last for days to calm you and make you breath deeply of the intoxicating scent.