Since 1994 Ron and Kay have spent each summer as
artists-in-residence at a historic resort in the Black Hills of
South Dakota. Surrounded by the 73,000 acres of pristine landscape
and abundant wildlife of Custer State Park, they seldom struggle
to find subjects for their paintings. They spend many weeks each
year in South Dakota and in other areas across North America doing
field research, sketching, photographing and video-taping wildlife
and their habitats. As you can see from the paintings on this
site, their travels extend from the barrier islands of the east
coast to the rugged mountains of the northwest. To learn more
about Ron and Kay, their
biographical abstracts are listed below.
Holyfield’s paintings exhibit a sense of presence that could
be created only through a deep love of subject as well as a mastery
of technical skills. His birds and animals look out from foliage
that is almost tangible. In each work you expect the wildlife
to have moved if you glance away. His power of design influences
the whole context and mood of his work bringing forth colors,
forms, and delicate subtleties to create exceptional works of
art. Ron has painted in most mediums but for the past 35 years
has worked only in acrylics, developing many techniques suited
to his style of painting.
Ron and his wife, noted artist Kay Williams, presently
live in the beautiful Tennessee River Valley in southeastern Tennessee,
near the Smokey Mountains. When they are not working in their
studio, or at an exhibit, Ron and Kay can often be found gathering
reference material for future paintings. They spend many weeks
each year doing field research, sketching, photographing and video
taping, wildlife and habitat. As you can see from the paintings
produced, their travels extend from the barrier islands along
the east coast to the rugged mountains of the northwest. Additionally,
since 1994, Ron and Kay have spent about three months each summer
in the Black Hills of South Dakota where they live with about
1500 Buffalo (Bison). Each year a good number of Ron’s paintings
reflect his impressions of the prairie, the Black Hills and the
wildlife of that area.
Ron’s exhibits of recent years include most
of the important nature and wildlife art shows around the country
and his work has been honored by many BEST OF SHOW and ARTIST
OF THE YEAR awards.
Some of Ron’s special honors include:
Juried into the 2009 Artists for Conservation
“The Art of Conservation” exhibition.
First Place Painting, all media, Pacific Rim
Wildlife Art Show International Art Competition.
Best of Show - 8th Annual Nautical and Wildlife
Art Festival, Ocean City, MD.
Best of Show - 24th Annual Virginia Beach Wildlife
Artist of the Year - Northeastern Wildlife
Exposition, New York State Museum, Albany, NY.
Paintings selected to be exhibited in the “ART
& THE ANIMAL KINGDOM” show at Bennington Center
for the Arts in Bennington, VT. 1996-1999. One painting was
purchased by the Center for their permanent collection.
Featured in “Getting to the Heart
of Art” article in Wildlife Art magazine.
Featured in “It Doesn’t Get
Any Better Than This” article in Informart magazine.
Kay’s passions for painting and nature have combined to provide her with a lifetime of inspiration. Her landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, where she lived much of her life, or of the east, where she now lives in the lovely Tennessee River Valley in southeastern Tennessee, or of western South Dakota, where she spends her summers, show a sense of place rarely seen. Her paintings reflect a love of her subjects that can’t be missed.
Kay paints only with oils and employs some of the techniques used by the old masters. Her major paintings take several weeks to complete because she paints in thin layers and each layer must dry before starting on the next layer. Glazes are used throughout the painting process to give the image depth and brilliance.
When not in the studio, Kay and her husband, noted artist Ron Holyfield, can usually be found studying, photographing, videotaping and sketching wildlife and the habitat that surrounds them. Together they have observed more wildlife behavior than many research biologists.
Since 1994 Kay and Ron have spent every summer in the Black Hills of South Dakota as artists-in-residence at a historic resort where she shares her talent and love of the natural world with visitors from all over the planet. A number of Kay’s paintings are her impressions of the prairie, hills and the multitude of wildlife in that part of the country.There is no doubt that many people are impacted by the power of her art as well as her views about the absolute necessity of nature in the environment.
Kay's accomplishments continue to accrue. Some of her special honors include:
- INVITED to exhibit in "Feline Fine: Art of Cats II" national tour December 7, 2014 – April 17, 2016
- JURIED into “America’s Parks II” national exhibition, 2013.
- JURIED into Oil Painters of America annual national exhibition, 2012.
- JURIED into annual Artists for Conservation “The Art of Conservation” exhibition, 2009.
- JURIED into Oil Painters of America, 2009.
- HER painting, “TATANKA SPIRIT”, was selected to be the image used for the annual Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup, 2008.
- INVITED to exhibit in “Paws and Reflect – Art of Canines” national tour May 6, 2007 – March 15, 2010.
- JURIED into Society of Animal Artists “Art and the Animal” annual exhibition, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2009.
- INVITED to exhibit in “Feline Fine: Art of Cats”,national tour October 12, 2002 – December 15, 2003.
- TOP 100 “Arts for the Parks”, 2000 and 2006; MINI TOP 100, 2006.
- JURIED into” Artstravaganza” at the Hunter Museum of American Art, 2001.
- SELECTED for Leigh Yawkey Woodson “Birds in Art”, 1992 and 1999 and “Wildlife: the Artist’s View”, 1993.
- SELECTED for “Wildlife: The Artist’s View” national tour, 1993.
- ARTIST of the Year, Patuxent Wildlife Art Show, Ft. Washington, MD, 1996.
- FEATURE article “Texture and Realism – The Work of Kay Williams”, Wildlife Art magazine, 1997.
- FEATURED, with Ron Holyfield, “Getting to the Heart of Art”, Wildlife Art magazine, 1993.
- JURIED into Society of Animal Artists, 1993.
- SELECTED artist for Craighead Wildlife-Wildlands Institute premiere fund-raising print, 1993.
Kay has participated in premiere art shows and events for many years. These include:
- Waterfowl Festival
- Southeastern Wildlife Exposition
- Patuxent Wildlife Art Show
- Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival
- Rappahannock River Waterfowl Show
- Southern Wildlife Festival
- Missouri Wildlife Art Festival
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in the Woods Studio