Robert Bystrom

I paint to inspire awakening


I paint to inspire awakening

...says Robert Bystrom who has been producing art since his introduction to the world of art in 1966 while on assignment with the US State Department in India. Many people today remember him best by his brush name, Newman Love, which he used exclusively for many years.

Beginning with lost-wax bronze casting and carving in stone and wood in India, he gained recognition with his innovative acrylic kinetic sculptures, with shows in Philadelphia by the late ‘60’s. His initial work on paper was sumi-e brush and ink, which led to experimenting with flashy colored inks and water, one piece of which landed on the cover of The Encyclopedia of Living Artists in America, 1987, while he was living in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“Going home,” how he talks about his time on Maui, where he met master artist and teacher, Dick Nelson, creator of the Tri-hue watercolor school—using multiple glazes of red, yellow and blue, which remains his medium of choice.

“I will always love the spontaneous surprises of drawing on wetted paper with colored inks, but after a day in the studio, I’ve got 20-30 paintings! I wanted an expression I could develop over time and interact with more than was possible with the inks. So I came up with a style that involves thousands of brushstrokes and is truly labor intensive! But I’m hooked on the depth of the 3-D effect that pops out as the transparent layers build, creating an illusion I haven’t been able to achieve with any other approach. I think of it as impressionism moved forward a couple of generations.”

An avid and outspoken ecologist, Bystrom is home in the Northwest corner of the States and loves the unexpected mood changes in the weather and the rich variety of the land, sea and sky particular to that region.

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