Ron Edwards - Tropical Australian Folklore and Bushcraft.


Ron Edwards... Honorary Doctor of Philosophy, Australian folklore and bushcraft authority, saddlery expert, teacher, writer, poet, illustrator and visual artist... had an impressive record of artistic accomplishments.

For many years, with his artist wife, Anne, Ron could be found in the shade of the big banyan tree at Port Douglas markets on a Sunday morning.


Ron Edwards at his stall under the banyan tree at the Port Douglas markets


Surrounded by paintings of horses, boats, island life, local scenery and scores of his illustrated books, Ron usually spent the morning chatting to passers–by as he worked on his latest painting.

Sad Note: Sadly, Ron died in 2008 so you won't be able to find him under that banyan tree any more. But my guess is that his spirit lives on there and in the islands of the Torres Strait that he so enjoyed visiting with Anne.

I have left this page about Ron and his life and art on my site in honor of that life and his influence over the poetry, song and paintings of the region.


Watercolour painting of yachts sailing in the inlet at Port Douglas
Painting of yachts near the old sugar wharf in Port Douglas

In 1950 Ron Edwards founded the Rams Skull Press, which is the largest publisher of books on Australian bushcraft and folklore in the country, now managed by his family.


'Pawpaw Breakfast' - painting of garden scene with figures and rooster

'Pawpaw Breakfast'

Painting of nude seated figure in garden

'Anvil'

He became president of the Australian Folklore Society and has 120 books in print, their subjects ranging from children’s stories to bush crafts and folk music. Once, when Anne was ill and Ron needed to be the cook, he even wrote his own recipe book! I remember being amused when he told me how he had turned what may have seemed a negative into a resounding positive!


Watercolour painting of the beach and sugar wharf in Port Douglas
Beach and sugar wharf, mountains beyond

Ron Edwards was a well recognised visual artist, with awards from Swinburne University, the Advance Australia Foundation and the Order of Australia medal being amongst plaudits earned over the years.

He was always good for a yarn but, although he is no longer under that banyan tree his stories live on in his delightful, inexpensive small books about Australian folklore and bushcraft.




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Watercolour painting of small town, Mena Creek, dark, stormy clouds gathering'Mena Creek', watercolour

'Mena Creek'


Outback


Woman in mangrove creek, catching crabs'Crab Catcher', watercolour

'Crab Catcher' detail


Anne and Ron at Port Douglas