Ricardo Valbuena was born in Bogota, Colombia in 1960. At the age of nine his mother, who had become a widow when the artist was 2 years old, was posted as a Diplomat and sent to Vienna, Austria where the family (the mother and her four children) lived for two years. This started a life of international travel, which has continued to the present day in Valbuena’s life.
After Austria the family moved to Quito, Ecuador where they remained for three years. Then they went to Bilbao, Spain where they lived for four years, and where Ricardo finished his high school education.
In 1979 the family returned to Colombia where Ricardo was expected to go to university to study medicine. When he was due to start his medical studies, the National University went on strike for a few months. This allowed Ricardo, who had an interest in drawing and painting from an early age, to take a drawing course at the studio of, Colombian artist, David Manzur.
Two years later in 1981, after few months of medical studies, and three semesters of Architecture at the University of Los Andes, he finally made the decision to become a painter. He began working and studying on his own.
In 1982 he moved to London with the intention of studying art. The high cost of College for a foreign student, and the lack of funds forced him to continue to teach himself to draw and paint.
In 1986 he had his first one man show in London, and in 1987 his first solo show in Colombia, at the Museum of Modern Art in Bogota.
He remained in London until 1990. During this period he continued to exhibit in London, Bogota, and Paris.
At the beginning of 1990, tired with the city life and his own urban subject matter, he slashed with red paint all of the paintings in his studio and left London for South America in search of wild nature and open spaces. Later that year, a one man show of his "red slashed" paintings was held at Long & Ryle Art International in London with the artist in absentia.
After ten months of traveling through remote areas of Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Colombia, he settled in the countryside in Colombia and began painting landscapes.
As part of his quest he was invited to the Amazon basin, where through Ayahuasca initiations with native Shamans he discovered Yoga. He returned to his studio in the countryside to paint, and begin the study and practice of Yoga. In 1992, after two one man shows, one in Bogota, and one in London, he went to India for a six month Sanyas initiation course at the Bihar School of Yoga. There he was to remain for two years studying and teaching Yoga, as well as working in the art department of the Ashram. He also made time to travel through India.
At the end of 1994 he went back to Europe, and then to Morocco and the United States. He then returned to Morocco to paint for all of 1995 in the High Atlas Mountains above Marrakech.
In 1996 he had a one man show of his Moroccan landscapes in London. He lived for most of the year between London, the U.S.A., and the South of France. At the end of the year he returned to Morocco where he painted for most of 1997 in Marrakech, and the High Atlas.
In October of 1997 he moved to Ireland as a resident of the Cill Rialaig Project in County Kerry on the west coast of the island, and at the Origin Gallery in Dublin. In 1998 through 2000 he was to spend periods of time in Ireland painting and exhibiting in one man shows, both in Dublin and Kerry. He also spent time living and painting in Boulder, Colorado, and the San Francisco Bay Area of California in the U.S.A.
From 2002 to 2012 he lived and worked in his studio in Oakland, California, where he continued working and expanding on the different series of paintings of seascapes, fire, horses and figures, while exhibiting his work in group and one man shows in USA, Colombia, Canada, Ireland, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
In 2013 he moved his studio to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada of California, where he remained for two years.
In 2015, after spending some time in Colombia and having a One Man Show in Bogota in 2014, he decided to move back to his native country after 40 years in total living abroad.
He is currently living and working in his studio in Bogota, holding individual and group exhibitions in Colombia, USA, Ireland and Canada.