Ron Byrum:
rural countryside of North Carolina

I was raised in the rural countryside of North Carolina. My parents were hardworking, strict, religious people.  I stayed in their disfavor as my ambitions and love for art was considered a waste of time and paper. My escape from this harsh environment became rooted in a silent world of fantasy, creation and the privacy of my mindís eye. I knew I had a love for art and the desire to pursue it burned within, yet I too came to believe it was a waste of time.  Over the years I have used my talents in situations which would arise but never really pursued it as a career.

When I met my wife, Sherry and she saw my drawings she felt I had a natural talent.  She has encouraged me to draw and paint and even attempted to get me to enroll in the Memphis Academy of Arts.  However, making a living and raising children left our hope for college unrealized.  I worked as a house painter for a long time and art was my hobby.  In the late 1980ís faux finishing and decorative painting became popular and I found a way to use my talent to make a living.  I started doing work painting murals and doing sign work.  For the past ten years I have been self-employed as a decorative painter and recently completed my largest project at String ĎN Things music store in Memphis, TN.  I call this kind of work "art by demand".  By that I mean I do what the customer wants. I prefer my art because I paint what I want.

I have only just begun. I feel as though the seed of my existence has sprouted and greenery will The Art of Ron Byrum, 2001flourish and colorful beauty will bloom in my future and joy for those who I reach through my colors.

Fantasies of unseen things flow through my imagination and find their way to colorful expressions.  Emotion provokes me into lashing of shapes. A child wishing to be rescued materializes into the knights in shiny armor and a deep emotional spiritual experience allows the life after to be expressed in the here and now.

Untrained, having never learned anything about the art world, I feel explosive as images pour out on to my canvas. I believe nothing is ever what it appears to be. Some of my work reflects my unique perception of the world, some are from my spiritual, social, personal experiences and some are fantasy, or are they? Excitement engulfs me each time I pick up my brushes because I learn more every day and become closer to my real meaning for life.

In November 1999, my wife posted a couple of my watercolors on ebay and they sold. Slowly we have put more up and they sold.  My wife (the computer nerd in the family) created a web site for my art. A lot of the work on the web site has been sold on ebay. I plan to enter the Folk Fest in Atlanta, Georgia in August. It will be the first time I have entered an art show.  My goal is to make a living selling my art.

Ron Byrum
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