“Artie first saw her coming into the clearing, “Hey, Russell, ain’t that your little sister? Hey, No trespassing! No girls allowed; Russell, tell her to go home!” “That ain’t my sister, I got no sister.” “I been to your house a zillion times Russell, I know that’s your sister; run her off.” “I got no sister…” Hannah yelled back, I’m gonna tell Mom, Russell!”
Bob Byerley (1941- ), spent his entire childhood in Kansas City, Missouri. He was an only child. His mother was a piano teacher and began teaching Bob to play at the age of five: When he was six years old he performed his first one-man concert. Throughout his childhood, he continued his musical education. He also showed a keen interest in drawing. His musical endeavors were enthusiastically encouraged, his drawing interests, not.
After high school, Bob decided to enter college, not as a music major, but as a pre-med student. He attended the University of Missouri at Columbia and in his junior year he was required to take three credit hours of fine arts for his pre-med degree. He signed up for a three-hour “Introduction to Art” class, and when he walked into the art building, saw the paintings, and smelled the turpentine, he knew he was home. He loved the art and after one semester, made the hardest phone call to his parents that he had ever had to make; “Mom, Dad, I’ve decided not to be a doctor, I’m going to be an artist! Silence———-”. Bob went on to receive his Bachelors and his Master’s Degree in Art from the University of Missouri in Columbia. After graduating, he taught painting and drawing at the University and also at Missouri Western College in St. Joseph, Missouri.
At the age of thirty, Bob quit teaching and began painting full-time. His primary focus, for many years, was still-life; still-lives rendered in a very detailed, fool-the-eye realistic style. In the late 1980’s he began to paint children as the center of interest in his work and in that particular genre, he found success. Bob is now internationally known for his realistic portrayals of children in nostalgic settings; settings that reflect his vision of a “kinder and gentler” childhood.
Bob’s work is represented in many fine collections, and his work can be seen in thousands of galleries throughout the world.