Rystron Paintings

Rystron Paintings and the artist reviewed
The first two Rystron paintings purchased in 1999.
  Framed. (16-1/2"x 14-1/2")
Exactly what can be said about an artist / painter, that one would swear did not exist, were it not for the colorful paintings left in their wake? Perhaps, the paintings are meant to speak for themselves? The style is somewhat unique. The colors are bold. The brush strokes are powerful. The signature, in itself, is a work of art! 

The typical Rystron painting is an abstract collection of brightly painted colors, usually separated by golden lines. It would appear that the background was painted, followed by and abstract drawing in gold. Then followed by a set series of colorful paint applied between the lines, and finished with a stroke of lighter paint over the bold colors to accent and give shape to an otherwise flat canvas. Simple... but at the same time complex. A style that you either like or you don't.


If you are here, you are likely looking for information on the artist / painter RYSTRON. If you have spent more than 15 minutes looking, you already know there is no tangible information available. 

In that vein, I have no solid information to add to the great unknown void of information for RYSTRON. Information herein, is based on my my thoughts.

Contact info:

Here, is what I do know. In 1999, my wife and I had just built a new home and we went with the basic white walls throughout the house with the exception of wallpaper in the kitchen and bathrooms. That meant that we had lots of white space that needed some color. 

As a photographer, and user of the best slide film ever... Kodachrome... I was used to, and preferred, bright colors. An art dealer in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida had a couple of colorful paintings that we purchased. They were small 8" x 10" acrylic paintings on canvas and they had matching, very ornate frames and were signed by the same artist. After I received them, I thought they were interesting, they met my color preference and I started looking for additional paintings by this Rystron person.

In a short period of time, we had purchased 14 Rystron paintings and had a couple in most every room. Most were framed and sizes varied, 30"x24", 24"x20", 20"x16". They all came out of Ft. Lauderdale from two art dealers. All of them, with the exception of one, exhibited bold color schemes... and that one exception was painted with soft pastel, Easter looking colors. 
         ( "Night Rider" shown way below, right. )
- NOTE -
All frames were removed from the photo's of these paintings and replaced with a simple black border.
There are more questions than there are answers when it comes to the artist Rystron. The universal questions that people ask about things are  of course:

The answer to the question WHAT, I think we have covered, as there are a number of paintings that provide this answer. So far I have not seen anything other than acrylic paint on Canvas with the Rystron name. So far!

The answer to the question WHY is likely not to be known for sure until a couple of the other questions are answered. Why does an artist paint? Expression? To tell a story? To earn a living? It makes them happy? There are likely dozens of reasons... but what motivated Rystron? From where did the inspiration come? 

Well, at least for the 36" x 24" painting shown to the right, the answer to the inspiration question came from Picasso's "WOMAN WITH A BOOK". Picasso's painting is shown at the right, immediately below the Rystron version of this painting. Also shown is an 8" x 10" Rystron painting of the same scene that is a simpler version of the larger painting. 

This knowledge leads to another question without an answer... How often were the same paintings completed by Rystron in various canvas sizes? And then, how often were the Rystron paintings based on other works of art? And the other big unknown... how many paintings of the same subject were done? One? Two? A dozen of each? Dozens?

Another example of imitation is shown in the three painting image shown to the below right... but in this case, I am not sure who is imitating who? The painting at the far right of the three is an 8" x 10" Rystron owned by a collector in Miami, the one in the middle was for sale on the internet and the painting on the left is owned by someone in Fort Lauderdale.
The Beginning 
The Questions
The 36" x 24" Rystron painting shown below is depicted from Picasso's "Woman with a book". 
Picasso's "Woman with a book" is shown above.
The 8" x 10" Rystron painting shown above belongs to Ruth in Tennessee
 ^Gates signed painting              ^Internet Painting               ^Rystron Painting
My speculation is that each of these are an imitation of another work of art somewhere in the world, but who knows? The background on the two paintings on the left is eerily similar. The Rystron is reversed, but each painting reflects the same dress / skirt accessories. Note how the low wall in the center painting is simplified in the Rystron painting and missing in the far left painting. Two extra doves in the two at left, but not in the Rystron Painting.
So, without more information we will not really understand the answer to the question WHY. 
That leaves us to move on to the question of WHERE?
My money is on South Florida! My first 14 paintings came directly out of Fort Lauderdale and most of the others Rystron paintings that I have, also have a Florida connection. Miami, Naples, Ft. Meyers and Palm Beach. One Rystron painting (shown at the right) that I purchased from a Virginia couple has a card on the back indicating it was framed by FastFrames in Palm Beach Gardens by Derek in June of 1999. I contacted the owner of the business and Derek is long gone and they could provide no info on the original owner or Rystron. 

This all leads to trying to answer the big question of WHEN? Well, I for sure know that there were paintings available from dealers in 1999. That in itself is not indicative that they were new paintings in 1999, but I can attest to the fact that the one's that I did purchase at that time are "pristine" and did not show signs of "hanging around". 
Rystron painting purchased in Virginia, with card on back indicating it was framed in Palm Beach Gardens in 1999.
Having a collection of paintings from the same artist may perhaps allow for some extrapolation of observation as compared to what one might see by looking at a single example of a painting. By looking at multiple Rystron paintings, it would seem apparent that the artist's skills grew with experience. The experience would come from time and repetition of skill application. 

I guess what I am trying to say here is that it looks like the paintings were completed over the period of a couple of years. That time frame would be shorter if the repetition cycle was advanced. To me, it looks like confidence in ability to paint in this style grew. Look at the pair of paintings at the right, both by Rystron. There are differences that, to me, indicate growth and confidence in style and brush stroke application. Kind of like... hey I have done this before and it gets easier and more refined with each time it is done. So WHEN is an unknown variable... who knows?
Rystron painting at left owned by Bob in SW Florida
Rystron painting at right owned by Heather in Atlanta
The same, but different!  In one, the flesh toned paint is worked and in the other there are more simple brush strokes. Compare the two. Look at the lines, the differences. Could the differences come from skill development? Confidence in painting in this style that comes from repetition?
Two paintings of the same subject. The painting on the left is a 20" x 24" canvas, while the one on the right is a 16" x 20" canvas. Which of them was painted before the other?
That leaves the big question to be answered. WHO is Rystron? And the answer is, I don't know. It is not for lack of trying to find information about the artist. Currently, there just doesn't seem to be any information available, which seems strange considering the capability of technology and information systems today. Which leads to other questions, like why is there no information available?

Okay, to set the record straight, I do know something about the who of Rystron, but I have absolutely no documentation to support what I know. As is stated above in the beginning, in 1999 I already had a collection of 14 Rystron paintings and I was, of course, curious as to know about the artist. At some point in 2000, I did an internet search using "Dogpile" which was the preferred search engine of that period, as compared to "Google" of today. So I did a search and got a hit.  I will paraphrase what that one short paragraph hit said. I remember it, because it was kind of an "ah ha" moment, because I had learned about the artist of all my paintings.

It said that the artist IAN RYSTRON, was a painter specializing in abstract works. He was one of a group of painters working for a company supplying the art market out of Southeastern Florida.

Okay... trust me, every year since then, I have searched the internet in vain to try to find that one little blurb. I remember the name Ian, because at the time, I only knew one person with that unusual name and it stuck with me. I remember reading the information to my wife.
What I don't know is if this was the Rystron that we want to know about. I have found no information on the Ancestry site either.

So with this information, I have always asked myself about the "art market" in Florida. My thought is that one major potential outlet of this art market would be furniture stores. Every furniture store I was ever in always had framed paintings hanging on the walls that surrounded the furniture suites. Is it possible that "Rystron" was completing sets of abstract paintings that would be distributed to furniture stores throughout Southern Florida? Hence the multitude of paintings... the variety of size of paintings, the distribution across Florida and the ornate frames?
I don't know... What are some other possibilities?

Technique of the Paintings
The Rystron paintings are known to have been painted in a variety of canvas sizes. They all have the similarity in appearance of having been painted as a flat canvas and then stretched over wood frames. I say this, as opposed to the paintings being completed after being stretched, because the paint, including the gold lines, wraps around the sides and sometimes actually appears on the backside. Not likely something that would occur, if one was painting on an already stretched canvas. 

Flat would also better suit what appears to be one of the common denominators with Rystron Paintings... the gold lines. These all appear to have been done with something that would allow for very long, continuous, consistent strokes. Perhaps a paint pen? Some other device? I can't imagine loading a brush with enough paint to make the strokes without reloading the brush. The circles and shapes also appear to have been completed in one continuous motion as opposed to stopping to lift the brush, reposition and paint another direction. It would appear that the starting point of each stroke of a gold line has a "blob" of paint. Paint Pen or Brush?

As noted earlier, it appears as if the starting point was to put down a background. It would appear that dark was the preferred color shade for backgrounds... perhaps they all started as black backgrounds?  

Next came the gold lines. Then, the painting came to life, with the application of colorful strokes in a set, series of colorful paint, applied between the lines, and finished with a stroke of lighter paint over the bold colors to accent and give shape to an otherwise flat canvas. Apply some strokes of blue, red or orange to the black background and it suddenly take on a whole new, colored appearance. Look over the seven paintings above and to the above, right while just focusing on the gold lines and the backgrounds. See what I have described?

So, I wonder if all of this technique is learned from painting on black velvet? Or perhaps just the learning that starting with a black background allows for detailed, colorful paintings could be achieved with minimal paint? 
The Rystron paintings are known to have been painted in a variety of canvas sizes. The size given is the outside dimensions of the mounted canvas frame, based on paintings in my collection.

8" x 10"
12" x 16"
16" x 20"
20" x 24"
24" x 36"
38" x 48"

These are pretty much standard wood stretcher sizes.
Size of the Paintings
The seven paintings above and to the above left are part of the original 14 paintings from 1999. 
The technique section to the left discusses the use of black backgrounds, gold lines and application of color and highlighting that is apparent in these paintings
One of my favorite paintings that shows the great Rystron technique is shown above. Note the hair.
... and what about the Signature?
Is it possible this was an "early" Rystron? 
The gold lines are mostly painted over and the paint is "worked" on the main subject.
The only Rystron painting done in pastel colors is shown above. Fluid motion... the Night Rider.
The Rystron signature varies only in small ways as evidenced by the 24 Rystron signatures shown above. 
The Ending 
Here is a bad analogy for you regarding Rystron.

Looking at a set of Rystron paintings and trying to determine anything about who the artist is... how the artist thought and the techniques the artist used is kind of like looking at fossilized dinosaur poop and trying to describe what the dinosaur looked like and how it thought. All you can tell from the poop is what the poop looks like and maybe what the dinosaur ate. Perhaps all we can tell by looking at a Rystron painting is what color paint was used and nothing about the artist's thoughts, habits and life.  

We can surmise that skills, confidence and abilities grew with the experience that comes with time. We can appreciate the art aspect of the paintings. Still, we don't know all those answers to the important questions asked above. 

Perhaps through the creation of this web site and making it known that there is an interest in the artist, and interest in answers to those questions, that someone will come forward with sustainable, concrete evidence to help us understand Rystron. 

Short of that information, all we have is poop!
Picasso's "Young Girl with a doll" is shown above.
Rystron's painting of a Girl with a doll is obviously taken after Picasso's painting shown to the left.
Jumping back to the discussion above about Rystron imitating the works of Picasso, and then looking at the painting of the abstract woman to the right, one would again wonder. The 12 x 20 inch painting to the right was available for order directly from Goangdong, China for $16 (Orders for 4 already taken).

So the questions would be, "Is the Chinese artist imitating the Rystron paintings shown above?" Or was the Chinese artist and the two Rystron paintings shown above taken after another work of art that is yet to be defined?
A painting that was for sale in China for $16.       >>>
An imitation of Rystron or both Rystron and the Chinese artist imitating another work of art?
This 20" x 24" painting is a larger, more detailed version of the 8" x 12" shown in the original 14 paintings from 1999 (WHO) section above.  
This 20"x24" Rystron painting has a label on the backside indicating the title is "Cleopatra on the Nile".

It would appear that Picasso wasn't the only artist that was imitated by Rystron, as exibited by the next three paintings. These paintings are taken after works of art by GUSTAV KLIMT. In the late 1800's - early 1900's, Klimt was noted for his paintings, murals, sketches and other objects d'art. Klimt's primary subject was the female body, which is interesting because of the number of Rystron works that are also females.
 ^ Rystron Painting owned by Angee
in Oklahoma City
 ^ Gustav Klimt Painting titled "DANAE"
 ^ Rystron Painting owned by Angee
in Oklahoma City
 ^ Gustav Klimt Painting titled "THE KISS"
 ^ Rystron Painting
 ^ Gustav Klimt Painting titled
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