About Myron

For nearly 50 years, the globally acclaimed paintings and drawings of the late Myron Barnstone stayed hidden from the world.

A native of Portland, Maine, Barnstone’s own artistic vision evolved from his first painting as a student at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University, England, in 1958. Through years of disciplined practice, Barnstone became proficient at creating work in the tradition of the classical masters. He utilized both critical thinking and the exacting science of geometric design, dubbed the Golden Section. The Golden Section brings movement, drama and life to his pieces.

When he lived in Europe in the 1960’s, Myron Barnstone sold many pieces and staged several highly lauded exhibits.

Despite his own success, Myron grew frustrated that contemporary art schools failed to provide students with a strong foundation. Instead of teaching fundamentals of drawing, they simply urged students to ‘do what felt good.’ He made the life-changing decision to stop painting, and start teaching. While Myron desired to give the next generation of artists the proper tools, he never wanted his own creations to limit his students’ artistic vision. He locked away over 500 paintings, drawings, and photographs, and destroyed hundreds more.

Myron Barnstone the Master Teacher

During the 35 years he taught at Barnstone Studios in Coplay, Pennsylvania, Myron Barnstone stressed to his thousands of students that “talent was a word used by the lazy to dismiss the work of others.” Only through diligent practice and countless hours of hard work, he warned, could they truly understand epic art, and create their own.

In elaborate dissections overlaying masterpieces by greats like Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Picasso, Myron Barnstone illustrated their precise application of geometric principles. Those techniques brought movement, depth and feeling to design, sculpture, photography, and any other artistic medium.

A good measure of Barnstone’s effectiveness is how hundreds of his alumni are art instructors, authors, sculptors, professional artists, and leaders in industrial design, pastels, photography and even animation. They fill key positions in global corporations, and their work is held in private and public collections around the world.

The New Generation of Barnstone Studios

It wasn’t until after Barnstone’s death October 29, 2016 at the age of 83 that his daughter, Catherine “Cat” Barnstone Szafran, took on the responsibility of becoming the new director of Barnstone Studios. She relocated the facility to Thurmont, Maryland, an hour outside of Baltimore. Cat continues to make his recorded classes available through Barnstone Studios, and is revealing Barnstone’s own work to the world.

Barnstone is described as a modern abstract figurative painter who is related to the ‘School of London’ artists. That group includes Ron Kitaj (who was a friend of Barnstone), Francis Bacon, and Lucien Freud. Barnstone was a virtuoso draftsman and master anatomist, and applied his traditional fine art training to create a powerful framework for his forceful and vibrant expressionist style.

In March of 2018, ArtistAngle Gallery in Frederick, Maryland hosted the American debut of Barnstone’s work. Most of the pieces in the exhibit had been locked away for half a century, and many had never been seen by the public. The 5-month revolving show drew wide acclaim, and visitors from around the country.
Barnstone’s legacy continues with the Barnstone Art Education Project, working with individuals and schools to share the video series of Barnstone’s drawing and color theory classes. Distinguished alumni teach Barnstone Method workshops and serve as Barnstone Master Guides, nurturing the next generation of artists. Barnstone Studios also works with museums and galleries to schedule exhibits, and sells both original works and gallery-quality prints.