Rene Cardona has grown and transformed as a painter and is still doing what he loves since The Hornet last interviewed him in 2015.
Revisiting the article on Cardona, he attended Fullerton College in 1991 and had a pleasant experience with instructors. “They allowed me to be who I was rather than putting me in the conformity of the classroom,” said Cardona.
He sees his style changing from his early twenties when he painted very tightly to more recently in his forties when he paints more loosely.
“But if I want to paint tighter all I have to do is put my glasses on,” said Cardona.
He uses all oils to paint and it takes him approximately three to four days to finish a painting.
He found success early on in his career by gaining representation and displaying his artwork in galleries.
Lately, Cardona has taken a hit in the industry due to the rise of social media and despite being “a struggling, starving artist but still being somewhat successful,” he encourages young artists to stay in school so they will have all the opportunity in the world to take on teaching positions and so forth in the future.
“Being an artist has been a gift experiencing the whole totality for the ultimate hardship and ultimately the holy God, so while my brother had kids I had the chance to discover spirituality through art,” said Cardona.
Social media made it hard to be an artist according to Cardona, although there are upsides to the technological advancements, like keeping in touch with friends. The downside is the difficulty of selling paintings.
After discontinuing business with his agent, he came to the realization that he needed a nine-to-five job which he found in a day job working at the Environmental Protection Agency as a private contractor.
“Art helps through the most difficult of times and is proven to help those in high-stress situations by channeling negative energy into positive creativity,” said Cardona.
He does not mix any of his paints on a palette, instead he mixes them directly onto the canvas and he enjoys painting armor and horses.
He draws inspiration from Arthurian folklore, old English and myths of dramatic knights.
His brother was a star athlete in college and went on to become a coach and have children which is in stark opposition to Rene Cardona the artist.
“I realized I didn’t have what my brother has, and all I have are the clothes on my back, but through art I have learned a lot about mortality and coming to accept that things are gonna die,” said Cardona.
The Fox Theatre was originally built in 1925 as a part of a chain but was permanently closed and was abandoned in 1987.
Located in downtown Fullerton, the historic building with an Italian Renaissance architectural style has been home to several events over the years like this one.
It was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 2006 and has since been due for restoration.
“We came [to the Fox Theatre] in the fifties while we were in junior high, that’s the same balcony and those stairs- people used to sneak up there,” said Paul Smith and Eloise Grime while reflecting on their visits to the theatre before it was shut down.
“Looking at the big picture, we want to have this theatre restored by 2025,” said Leland Wlison, president of the Fullerton Historic Theater Foundation.
It may speed up depending on the endowments from major players in the process and the $2.5 million coming from the state should help complete the murals that are being redone.
The only major change to the interior design will be that the balcony will not be accessible or in use to the public.
The theatre holds approximately 700 bodies and will have the original decoration concepts.