Profile: Ron Beemer, Cowboy Artist

By Mike Thomas

The First Contest

In 1958, when Ron was sixteen, his father encouraged him to enter a contest to draw Elvis Presley for the premier of one of Elvis's movies in Minneapolis. Ron and his family lived in Mankato, Minnesota at the time. The contest was sponsored by a TV station and, at 16 years of age, he won the contest. Ron never had an art lesson, not even to this day, and this was one of his first works ever. His early formative years with his grandfather introduced Ron to his first real love in life: horses.

The Artist: "A Profile In Courage!"

Ron’s love for horses, all livestock, domestic and wildlife animals carried him eventually to the Northwest, to pursue his love for ranch work and the lifestyle that went with it. His early years of study of the Native American culture in Oregon has won him respect from the subjects. His art can be found throughout the United States, Europe and Japan, in both originals and prints.

In the 1980s, years of exposure and education brought out his skills in artwork with wildlife, cowboys and Native Americans. In his early years, he was befriended by tribes in Oregon and those friendships forged a period of extraordinary work. See and review the incredible pieces of art about a people who have suffered. Ron found ways to capture their soul, their life, their pain and their strength. One of his feature subjects is the icon of the Pendleton Roundup to this day, a celebrated leader who will never be forgotten, Chief Clarence Burke.

To look at any of Ron’s portraits for over a couple of minutes can prompt the viewer to start a conversation with the subject and actually expect to be answered back. His photorealism in colored pencil work is nothing short of phenomenal. But there is one more thing that I have never seen any artist do... He, in one picture, can capture the essence of the subject and their most intra-personal moment, and reveal the real sincerity of the human being behind the picture. This is his true talent: to capture the soul, the integrity and the sincerity of the subject, that made them who they are or were in life!

If Ron Beemer cannot see the integrity and honesty of the subject, he could not even consider a portrait, no matter how much money they might have nor how famous they think they are! Art is really about honesty; so is quality horsemanship and quality lifemanship. His life is dedicated to the horse, the quality of his understanding of the potential subject, and he will make the final decision about whether to do it or not, and money can’t buy what his decision might be.

Ron paid a huge price early in his cowboy years when he roped a mother cow, probably deep. The nylon stretched, broke and flew back eliminating 95% of the sight in his left eye. Over thirty years of hard-earned experience in photo-realistic art seemed to be near the end of the road. But somehow Ron just did not even know how to spell the word "Quit"!

It took years for him to continue to work as a cowboy and re-teach himself to come back to his former quality in full artistic detail. Years of discipline, hard work, heartaches, tears and perseverance and my friends, he more than succeeded.

His years at cowboying in Montana increased his sense of character, survival and yet find time to find the pictures of life that are really the most important and be able to show others what his one eye can see in his art. Friends: He sees more in the human character in his art than many of us will ever see in our fellow human beings, horses, livestock and wildlife and yes, our pets and maybe our own friends and family.

Ron and Valerie!

At 60+ years of age, married to his very dedicated wife Valerie, they are a team that the world needs to know! They are dedicated to the horse, life, and each other, having suffered many insults in life and never weakened. Subjects that need their inner soul, integrity, honesty portrayed with the horse and all creatures, great and small, can be portrayed by Ron far better than any possible photograph.

In this website I have dedicated it to the great “Trinity of Horsemen: Ray, Tom and Bill", that created "The Inner Circle of Quality Horsemanship.”

It is also true that Ron and Valerie must live up to the principles of the “Inner Circle and The Incredible Horsemanship and the Lifemanship" that creates, forms and holds the true integrity of the life bond and the commitment that one has for the other.

This, My Friends, is Ron and Valerie Beemer!

Proudly Signed:

Mike Thomas (Himself)