Jay Ryan Exhibit at Marion Art Center!


March 6th through April 18th

In The Cecil Clark Davis Gallery

Jay Ryan – Recent Watercolors

J Ryan Studio Mirrors 42 x 60 watercolor

“Studio Puddles and Successive Approximations”


Artist’s Statement:  Jay Ryan

I’ve squinted at the sun since I was a kid.  I first remember painting at six during Saturday morning classes at the Civic League in Framingham, Massachusetts.  I don’t think I ever begged to go and I’m not sure whether I liked it or not.  But, my guess is…I was changed from the experience.

I had coloring books as a kid…all kinds.  But I never colored like my friends.  I can remember layering color on top of color on top of color…mixing two and three or four shades to make better, brighter greens…richer, more interesting browns.  And deep, deep, dark purple shadows.

In sixth grade, my teacher figured I had some kind of artistic ability because I included little drawings on all the papers I turned in.  My report covers were spectacular…the content inside, well, I’m not so sure.  It was enough for her to send me off to a special Friday afternoon group with the art teacher.  I was happy to be there, doing something I liked to do…all the while missing Science class and believe me, I wasn’t really missing Science.
And it was art classes that got me through junior high and high school.  I didn’t knock myself out studying (there was that science again), but  I read loads of books and filled more than a few sketch pads that I wish I had today.  They were filled with pen and ink drawings, copies of movie ads and magazine photographs.  One of my dad’s cousins began to feed my hunger for art books.  The hunger became an addiction.  That collection still grows today;  it stands somewhere between library and hoarding.

Somehow I made it to college and after two years of education and liberal arts classes I took a class in color theory.   All of a sudden I began to understand why I saw the world the way I did.   I became fascinated by the ways in which light and color impact all we see.  I took more art classes and began to make the key connections between learning, vision, history, artists, creating, literature, humanities, culture…and life.  After graduation I had the good fortune to teach Art in several public schools.  The joy and fun of having students discover their creative selves was extraordinary!

This is the sentence that explains a twenty year absence from creating in paint:   I became a school principal.   Today, most every day, I paint;  people, the occasional still life, landscapes—or, a narrative mix of all three.  In watercolor, very occasionally oil or pastels, but mainly watercolor…for its puddles, for its light, for its successive approximations of what I see, and for how it allows me to share those visions with others.

Within the puddles and successive approximations are beautiful, layered, abstract shapes and colors that, from a distance, create a real sense of memories and stories, but up close they (hopefully), create the belief that you, the viewer,  are there seeing, the subtleties and nuance of light and shadow while engaging with the people populating them.  By working on a large scale, I want viewers to enter my visual world and see the intricacies of color that create the light and depth and shadows of ordinary life surrounding them.

Stop in and see Jay Ryan’s Watercolor Exhibit.  It’s not to be missed.  While Rochester Memorial School and its students miss their principal, they wish him the best in pursuing his first love.

Visit www.marionartcenter.org for more information and hours.

Visit www.destinationhometown.com for more local happenings.

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