The High Life - Dall Sheep by Ron Van Gilder


Ron Van Gilder

Van Gilder earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design focusing on graphic design and printmaking. A keen interest in life drawing resulted in his winning the schools’ figure drawing competition in his senior year. Ron feels the knowledge gained through the study of human anatomy increases his ability to accurately represent the structure of animals. Ron continues to develop his skills in figure drawing by working with live models on a regular basis. After graduating from college Ron was drafted and served three years in the army during the Vietnam Conflict. He trained at the military photography school and because of his college degree in design he was assigned, as a photographer, to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Photography would become invaluable as a reference gathering tool in his future work. Ron believes the popularity of his art is the result of painting from his own personal experiences. He thoroughly enjoys the outdoors and is an avid sportsman. Most of his hunts are photographic rather than the traditional but his name does appear in the Boone and Crocket Records of the North American Big Game. “My paintings reflect these encounters and are my way of sharing the experience. I hope that others will appreciate the places and subjects I find so enjoyable to paint.” With nearly 150 limited editions in print, Van Gilder’s success is indisputable. The public and critics alike have praised his works and bestowed upon him numerous awards and honors. He has been named as the “Artist of the Year” for Boy Scouts of America, the Minnesota Waterfowl Association, Minnesota Ducks Unlimited, and the Wildlife Heritage Foundation. Ducks Unlimited has twice named him “Flyway Artist of the Year” and in 1990 he was given DU’s highest artistic honor as the “International Artist of the Year.” He has also designed state duck stamps for Minnesota and Maine. In 2008 a book “Brushes with Nature – The Art of Ron Van Gilder” was released covering his amazing artistic career. As a dedicated sportsman Ron Van Gilder is involved in efforts to assist in the preservation and reclamation of natural habitats. This dedication inspired the restoration of a marsh on his own property in central Minnesota where he lives with his wife Holly and their son Forrest.

Learn More About Ron Van Gilder



“Hunting big game is often an extreme sport where facing tough conditions is the norm. Of all the locations, sheep country can be the most formidable. Living the high life will put the greatest demands on your body, mind and equipment.”