Ronald Betram Colgrove (American, 1930-2020) was a nationally-acclaimed artist specializing in oil paintings and pen & ink drawings. He was born July 17, 1930, son of the late Bertram Charles and Doris Anna (née Hoffman) Colgrove, and had a brother, the late Kenneth Colgrove of Louisiana. With over sixty years of experience, Ron's fine art was displayed throughout the U.S.A. over the last several decades earning him multiple awards, including first place at the Greenwich Village Show in New York. Colgrove’s most notable art drawing and painting work was his pen & ink series of four European castles. Ron was a native of Buffalo, NY and graduated from The Albright Art School, which later was affiliated with the State University of New York at Buffalo, NY. After graduating from The Albright, he was predominantly interested in pen & ink drawings using a crow quill flexible dip pen until someone asked him if he was color blind. About that time and because of that remark, he began working with color using acrylic paint. Somewhere along the way, he started silk screening his pen-and-ink drawings and then hand water colored them. He also served in the NY State National Guard Signal Corps, achieving the rank of Sergeant First Class.
After a 40-year career as Chief Artist at Cornell Aeronautical Labs (Calspan) a research and development company in Cheektowaga, NY, Ron retired in Central Florida and began devoting all of his passion for art. His pen-and-ink European castle series has sold in the hundreds. He continued to work mostly with oil, but still took commissions for pen-and-ink drawings several times a year.
He exhibited at many one-man shows throughout the United States including Western New York and Central Florida, winning national and regional awards for his graphic designs, pen-and-ink drawings, and oil and acrylic paintings. For example, he was awarded first place in the Greenwich Village Show in New York. His paintings hang in numerous private collections throughout the United States, Canada, Spain, and France. Ron compiled and published Buffalo's Architectural Heritage, a book containing pen-and-ink drawings of historic Buffalo, New York, buildings. This compilation is used in the architectural classes at the State University of New York at Buffalo and can be borrowed from the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System. His book has sold over 2,000 copies throughout Western New York. The October 1997 issue of The Artist's magazine and the July 2004 issue of Drawing Board magazine had published articles about his pen & ink technique using a crow quill flexible dip pen.
Ron, along with his first wife Ruth Marion (née Talbot), invented and patented several children's toys and games. Several of his educational games were sold through the DLM educational catalogs for use in schools. He enjoyed playing tennis well into his 80's, as well as playing chess, table tennis, billiards, basketball and working out at the YMCA along with his second wife, Audrey (née Farrance). Ron had an easy-going and creative personality and fostered a love of the outdoors in his children over years, and their various grandchildren gave him many opportunities to paint them. Ron passed away on December 9, 2020, in Mount Dora, FL.
(Source: Biographical information from the artist’s website colgrovefineart.com; and legacy.com, online obituary and portrait photo, "Ronald Betram Colgrove", originally published in The Buffalo News, December 18, 2020.)