Ranulph Bye – 2

Self-portrait of Ranulph Bye circa 1940

Self-portrait of Ranulph Bye circa 1940

Interviewee:  Ranulph Bye
Date of birth/age at interview:  June 17, 1916/62
Interviewer: John Shuman
Interview date: August 30, 1978
Interview location:  Spring Valley, Bucks County
Interview length: 20 minutes
Time span discussed: Bye’s career over 35 years

Summary:  Ranulph Bye’s ancestor was given a Buck’s county land grant by William Penn in 1699. Ranulph was a highly and widely recognized American watercolorist. He primarily painted landscapes, seascapes, and buildings, producing over three thousand during his very active career. The interview addresses mediums that Ranulph used and experimented with, the vanishing landscapes of Bucks County that he liked to paint, and his travels to find his subjects. He touches on his teaching work that stabilized his income over 30 years.


Time markers:
00:00 – Ranulph talks about his watercolor style (background noise disappears after first minute)
00:45 – search for subject matter
01:25 – prefer to paint on location, occasionally sketches or photographs scene and finishes later in studio
01:52 – not avant garde artist; interested in good design
02:55 – paintings sent to shows, many in New York area; awards, juries
03:55 – contemporary painters and their influence on paintings
04:45 – comparison or current work and that from ten years ago
05:10 – growth in work, possible use of other mediums like, acrylics, oils
06:55 – worked in oils before watercolors, watercolors sell better
07:40 – early life; Bucks County locations for subject matter
08:35 – recent subjects he enjoys, 19th century buildings and architecture; railroad station paintings
10:15 – painting city stuff; New York and several Pennsylvania towns.
10:44 – gradual diminishing of the agricultural scenes he likes; planning short trips for new subject matter
12:20 – membership in national art associations, not local ones
14:15 – growing number of professional artists
16:38 – sources of materials he uses
17:30 – his 30 years of teaching, auxiliary income source; the stabilization of his income from selling painting

Ranulph Bye interview 1.
Ranulph Bye interview 3.

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