Ernie Bynum is an example of a consummate painter—one who is extremely accomplished and skilled at his craft; creating paintings that speak from his inner self. That inner self brings to the viewer reminiscences of places he has either lived or visited throughout his lifetime, including North Carolina, New England, New York City, Taos, New Mexico, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Saba, Netherlands Antilles and Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Painting for the past 25 years, Bynum says “Painting is a process that begins with no preconceived notions of what I will paint. My subconscious is in control and as I put my brush or palette knife to the canvas I am never sure what will appear. I have a vision of where I’d like to get to—perfection—which is never achieved, but something I continue to work and strive for. His ability to work on a piece for extended periods of time speaks to his commitment to create paintings and not pretty pictures. His use of luminous and color with layers and layers of paint are what create the mystery, intrigue and inner life and light in his work drawing the viewer through the picture plane into this deep mysterious essence.
He may work on a piece for a week or more, put it away and let the oil paint set and then after what could be weeks, months or even years, he will go back to the painting and continue on his process of creating yet another spectacular piece of art; sometimes abstract, sometimes abstract figurative, sometimes paintings with Roosters or Bulls, the latter two which speak to the animals which are bold but beautiful, but always with the presence of self. Bynum frequently paraphrases a statement used by well known and highly respected artist, the late Romare Bearden when he says, “painting is like a fish swimming upstream against the current.” He is always working harder to create that special feel and appeal that invites the viewer’s attention.
Susan Rand Brown, author, college professor and journalist wrote in 2011 that Bynum’s work, “…captures the essence of the artist’s emotional response to that shimmering first light: we see a faint moon high in the sky, its shadowy reflection visible in the lake. In between is the mystery of the veiled middle and the way the canvas seems to breathe in and out.”
Bynum received his BS degree from Fordham University and graduated cum laude with an MA from The University of Chicago. He spent many years as a Psychotherapist before embarking on a new career—a painter. He spent 5 years studying art history and studio practice at the Art Students League in New York City. This period of time gave him the foundation from which he then went on his own and began creating the stunning images that one sees today.
His work has been exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions in Provincetown, MA, New York City, South Beach, FL, Arroyo Seco, NM, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Saba, Netherlands Antilles. His paintings are in private and corporate collections throughout the USA, the Caribbean, Europe and Australia.