About the Artist
About Ricky Trione
Ricky Trione is a Christian artist who is physically blind but spiritually sighted. A Fairhope, Alabama native, he enjoyed drawing very realistically in pen and ink until two separate accidents took his vision in both eyes. What could have been career-ending for an artist turned into a path marked with purpose. Ricky now works in a 3D style that includes thick texture paints and molding compounds that allow him to feel his way across the canvas.
Ricky’s left eye was permanently damaged in 1993 while serving in the U.S. Army as a captain. Seven years later, a large strip of tire tread from a passing truck on the interstate struck him in the other eye causing permanent blindness. No longer able to do pen and ink, Ricky learned to create art by using textures with the help of a fellow artist. In losing his sight he gained a world where color and texture were more important than perfection, a world where art was fun again.
Perhaps the greatest piece of this story is Ricky’s use of his disability to encourage others. The former rehabilitation counselor uses art to inspire and motivate people of all ages and abilities. His greatest joy is visiting schools, hosting art camps, and being a part of events that offer hope and inspiration. His unique lessons demonstrate the joy of being creative and artistic, no matter what obstacles come your way.
Ricky’s love of art dates back to his early childhood. In 1957 his 17-year-old uncle was paralyzed from the neck down. His grandmother, refusing to let this define her son, purchased art supplies, sent off for mail order art classes, and placed a paintbrush in his mouth so he could paint independently. As a young boy, Ricky watched as his uncle flourished into a notable portrait artist despite his disability.
Much of his formative years were spent with his uncle. This time period in his life served as a blessing and not only influenced his art, it also led to a calling as a rehab counselor upon discharge from the military. His uncle’s passion for art and perseverance despite challenges inspired and shaped Ricky in many ways.
Ricky continues to find inspiration all around him. As a Christian artist, many of his paintings are based on scripture and pay homage to the beauty and wonder of the Gulf Coast where he grew up.
One of his favorite Bible verses continues to be one of his most requested commissioned pieces. Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Ricky translates this verse on canvas into a message of doing the right thing, even when it’s the hard thing.
Learn more about how Ricky creates in this brief video.
Videos about Ricky
(WKRG NEWS) Brianna Hollis. October 2020. FAIRHOPE, Ala. — It took going blind for artist Ricky Trione to start painting in color.
(FOX 10TV) Studio 10 TV Show. August 2020. Shelby Meyers interviews Ricky Trione.
(UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA) Ellen Schwartz, Danny Beard, Chris Largin. 2015. "Alabama Art Seen 2015".
(FOLEY MIDDLE SCHOOL / JOHN F. KENNEDY CENTER) August 2012. The ESL students at Foley Middle School were chosen to participate in learning how to tell a digital video story with a professional team from the John F. Kennedy Center for 10 days. They received thousands of dollars of video technology from the Kennedy Center. The ESL chose to tell a story about local blind artist, Ricky Trione, because they said he made a very big positive impact on their lives during art lesson visits with them.
(LOCAL15TV.COM) May 2012. Blind Artist Ricky Trione visits the Fairhope Elementary School, selected as a "COOL SCHOOL" by Local 15 TV WPMI of Mobile, Alabama.
(J. LARRY NEWTON SCHOOL) April 2012. Ricky Trione shares his Tactile Style of Art in April 2012.