Bob Byerley was born in 1941and spent his entire childhood in Kansas City, Missouri as an only child. His mother was a piano teacher and began teaching Bob to play at the age of five. At six year of age Byerley performed his first one-man concert. Throughout his childhood he continued his musical education, but he also showed a strong interest in drawing. Byerley's musical endeavors were enthusiastically encouraged, but his drawing interests, however, were not.
After high school, Byerley decided to enter college not as a musical major, but as a pre-med student. He attended the University of Missouri at Columbia and in his junior year was required to take three credit hours of fine art for his pre-med degree. He signed up for a three hour "Introduction to Art" class and when he walked into the art building, saw the paintings, and smelled the turpentine he knew he was home. He loved painting and after one semester, he made the hardest phone call to his parents that he had ever had to make; "Mom, Dad, I’ve decided not to be a doctor. I’m going to be an artist!" Silence------
Bob went on to receive his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Art from University of Missouri at Columbia. After graduating he taught painting and drawing at the University and also at Missouri Western College in St. Joseph, Missouri.
At the age of thirty, Bob quit teaching and began painting full time. His primary focus for many years was still-life paintings rendered in a very detailed, fool-the-eye realistic style. In the late 1980’s Byerley began to paint children as the center of interest in his work and in that particular genre, he found success. Byerley is now internationally known for his realistic portrayals of children in nostalgic settings that reflect his own "kinder and gentler" childhood. Considered a modern day Norman Rockwell, his classical and ultra realistic interpretations of the everyday experiences of the child awakens in the viewer long forgotten memories. His works combine the precise academic painting techniques of the Old Dutch Masters with the heart and soul of a Norman Rockwell painting.
Byerley’s children are real, not fabricated or cutesy. In his paintings, imagination abounds. His children interact naturally with fairies, elves and surrealistic imaginary animals. He paints children doing things rather than viewing things; his kids are alive with vitality and mischief.
Bob Byerley is known as one of the foremost painters of children today. His works can be found in private collections nationwide.