Ron Burns and his wife, Buff, live part-time in Scottsdale, Arizona in a house filled with desert light, half-crushed tubes of acrylic paint, canvasses in various stages of completion and, of course, Rufus.
Demand for Ron Burn ’s original work, limited editions, and his book continues to flourish on the strength of gallery sales, word of mouth among collectors, and media praise.
— Forbes magazine writes, “Burns’ style has become extremely collectible.”
— “Ron Burns’ canvasses of in-your-face dogs and cats drenched in Day-Glo colors are hot sellers,” reports San Francisco Chronicle.
— Sky magazine calls his style “eye-popping, irresistible … Andy Warhol meets Matisse.”
Ron Burns is an Ohio native whose professional life started in Los Angeles where he and Buff founded the graphic design company, Ron Burns Design. There his work won over high-profile clients including Dick Clark Productions, Xerox, and Blue Cross.
But this brand of success demanded a nonstop, 25-hour-a-day approach to living and working that grew less and less fulfilling. Ron Burns occasionally used painting as a pastime to deal with the intense pressures of commercial work. The 1987 Whittier earthquake rattled more than their design studio off its foundation, it forced Ron and Buff to completely reprioritize their lives.
Looking to escape the soulless-ness of business life in L.A., they moved to Sedona, Arizona. In this quieter, more spiritual setting Ron began to take painting seriously. He explored various styles and subject matter until finally he started painting vibrant portraits of their own dogs.
The color choices Ron is famous for today were present from the start.
“There’s nothing subtle or muted about a pet’s love, especially — especially — a dog’s,” says Ron. “It’s full-strength, heart-felt and wild-as-the-wind. So the green-apple colors, the fire-truck reds, the swimming-pool blues really chose themselves. Brilliant, saturated colors are the only ways I can begin to capture what each of us experiences with the dogs and cats that nurture us.”
Ron Burns begins each portrait with the eyes.
“Their eyes hold nothing back, whether it’s love or fear, heartbreak or admiration. Every portrait begins with the eyes — they have to — because from there all the life and personality radiates outward,” he says.
After Ron’s initial series of paintings of his own “kids,” he started visiting animal shelters and taking photos of other dogs and cats to use as models. After selling portraits of these images, he returned a percentage of proceeds back to support the shelters. This approach later lead to being named artist-in-residence with The Humane Society of the United States.
New York Daily News writes that Ron Burns’ style captures the “quiet heroics” of the life of dogs. It’s a style that has won over collectors, interior designers, auction bidders, and book buyers.
Ron Burns has been featured nationally on television and in print.
Ron Burns is presently overseeing a second printing of his book and is working on a number of exciting new projects.
Chasen Galleries supports The Richmond SPCA
The Ron Burns Gallery: