Personal Life of Houston Artist John Ross Palmer

Bobby and John

Houston Artist John Ross Palmer with his English Pointer, Bobby.

The Hardest Working Man in the Art Business ®

The John Palmer Art Gallery & Studio in Houston, Texas is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and by appointment.  Call 713-861-6726 or Text 281-224-0968 to book a a special appointment to visit or request a private meeting with Houston Artist John Ross Palmer.

Early Years

John with horse

A young John Ross Palmer with his horse, Blu.

John Ross Palmer was born on January 10, 1974 in Houston, Texas. He is a fifth generation Texan and a third generation Houstonian. He has Canadian roots on his mother’s side of the family that connect him to his great-great-grandfather, Philip S. Ross, an icon of the accounting industry. From an early age John Palmer exhibited a self-taught talent for art, but unlike a great number of artists, an uncanny ability to conduct business. One of John’s first businesses was selling soft drinks to his four siblings. He ran the business out of his closet and charged a quarter per drink. John’s inspiration, for both his art and his business prowess, is his mother Ada Palmer. John Palmer’s mother ran a successful “yards” business, where she and her two boys mowed lawns for those in and around the Alief suburb of Houston, Texas. Her business flourished until John, age 16, went into direct competition with her. She taught him well. In addition to his thriving landscaping business, prior to working as a full-time artist, John loved working as a bartender and exotic dancer at the legendary J.R.’s Bar and Grill in Houston, Texas, operated a local Houston convenience store and even for a brief stint (as a young and impressionable man) sold products for the multi-level marketing company Amway.


John Ross Palmer was Mr. Gay Houston 1999.

In high school, John excelled at a number of activities including his high school football team, student government and scouting. John is extremely proud of earning his Eagle Scout badge by his senior year. Only an incredibly small percentage of scouts achieve the honor of Eagle Scout. As a method of coping after the unexpected death of his father, John gathered up the money he had, went to Michael’s on Weslayan in Houston to buy paints, brushes and canvases, and used these tools and strokes on the canvas to heal. Painting allowed John Palmer to release the inner grief, frustration and pain after his father’s untimely death.

John Palmer No. 52

John Palmer No. 52 at Alief Hastings High School


When you collect artwork from Houston Artist John Ross Palmer, you are acquiring a piece of the man’s spirit.  Palmer is positive, fun and hard-working.  He loves to be the center of attention, and, he has a booming voice.  John loves to wear sunglasses.  When you see him wearing sunglasses indoors, it’s because he’s sensitive to light and bothered by floaters.  This artist loves to paint in front of a crowd, but, he enjoys privacy while he’s hanging his paintings. He is sweet and uncommonly generous.  Palmer is fiercely protective of his husband and loyal to his friends.  Work is his passion.  His favorite restaurant is Tony’s.  At the end of the day, he’s exhausted and enjoys his dinner in bed. He can fix almost anything and his favorite drink is champagne. Palmer is a cautious driver and loves the fact that he’s left-handed.  His favorite expression, when he loves something, is to remark “that’s VIP.”  It’s hard for him to relax.  When he attempts to relax, he likes to work on his artwork.  Palmer and his siblings have a strange and strong nostalgia for the Houston Mexican restaurant Felix.  It’s hard for Palmer to finish a meal because he becomes to enraptured in the conversation.  He has an obsession with the office of the President of the United States no matter which party.  He leaves the activism up to his husband and focuses on creating art. He always has anything and very often he carries a backpack full of any type of supply one would ever need.  For several years he’s cut his own hair and he doesn’t like to go to movies.  He is one of the worlds’ most prolific letter writers and thrives on sending his collectors notes and postcards from all of his travels, or, just when he’s thinking about them.  He is unbelievably warm-natured and very often has to set up a fan to blow directly onto himself.  He absolutely adores his pets: Bobby, Nancy, Pete, Walter and Julie.

John and Bobby

John Ross Palmer with his backpack, sunglasses, Bobby and a fan.


Ryan Lindsay and John Palmer

Ryan Lindsay and John Ross Palmer

John met attorney Ryan Lindsay one evening at Meteor in Houston in 2002. They became a couple on July 31 of the following year and have been together ever since. Their commitment ceremony was on October 13, 2007 at the Lovett Inn in Houston, and they were formally married in Toronto, Canada on July 4, 2008. John Palmer and Ryan Lindsay were married again at the White Porch Inn in Provincetown, Massachusetts on July 4, 2009. In February of 2009, Ryan Lindsay left a successful family law litigation practice to begin working full-time for John Palmer Art. The couple’s enthusiasm for love, life and travel as well as their commitment to impeccable customer service is the lifeblood of the magical business of John Palmer Art. For their fourth wedding ceremony, Palmer and Lindsay were legally married in Washington, DC on the sunny afternoon of October 23, 2010. After the sixth largest state in the United States of America, New York, legalized gay marriage in mid-2011, John and Ryan rushed there to say their vows again under legal circumstances. They were married on the afternoon of Saturday, November 5, 2011 at the historic Stonewall Inn located at 53 Christopher Street in New York City. The Stonewall Inn and the riots there sparked the beginning of the modern-day global gay rights movement. On Tuesday, December 4, 2012, John and Ryan were legally married in the Town Hall of Greenwich, CT by Justice of the Peace Nick Edwards. It was a simple but incredibly sweet ceremony. In 2013, Palmer and Lindsay tied the knot again at the gorgeous Hartwell House Inn in Ogunquit, Maine.  On the artist’s birthday in 2015, Palmer and Lindsay said their marriage vows in snowy Chicago, Illinois.

So, that’s one commitment ceremony and seven legal marriages (to the same person).

Maine 5

Lindsay and Palmer share a kiss after their Maine wedding in 2013.

Palmer’s husband Ryan Lindsay is a graduate of the University of South Carolina Honors College and the University of Houston Law Center.  He won a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship where he studied in a Masters of Public Health Program in South Africa in 2001-2002.  Lindsay currently is on the Board of Directors of the Rotary Club of Houston.  In 2016 he was accepted a Director with the Texas Lyceum.  His primary LGBT activism is through the Victory Fund where his co-chaired the Houston Champagne Brunch in 2015 and 2016.  Lindsay is a Class XXXI graduate of Leadership Houston.  Lindsay was inducted into the D.W. Daniel Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015 for his accomplishments in junior tennis in South Carolina.

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