Father/Son: Small Works by Michael S. & Michael J. Ryan
Iowa Artisans Gallery hosts the exhibit, Father/Son: Small Works by Michael S. & Michael J. Ryan, August 31 – September 30, 2012. This collection of paintings focuses on landscapes in the 11x14 to 16x20 inch size range.
Michael comments, “there is a strong art strain running through my family. My grandmother and my aunt had close ties to Grant Wood and Marvin Cone. My aunt studied with him at the Stone City Art Colony. My mother was a painter and always had art in our home. In other words, art was always valued in my family. I was always interested in it and I believe (my son) Michael became interested the same way —art was always around him, and was talked about, appreciated, and practiced. I can't remember a time when Michael wasn't drawing or otherwise pursuing creative activities.”
Michael Ryan, father of Michael J., has painted the upper Mississippi River Valley for more than forty years. Educated at Drake University, Old Dominion University, and The University of Iowa, Ryan was fortunate to be mentored by a number of accomplished artists, including Byron Burford, Michael Tysack, and Joe Patrick. Trained as an abstract painter, Ryan turned to landscapes thirty years ago as a means to increase his audience and give people easier access to what his paintings were about. At the same time, each work carries the abstract artist’s concern for line, color, and design.
Son Michael J. Ryan, whose work draws from the Impressionist and mood-landscape work of prior centuries, now lives in Fort Collins, Colorado. In painting the landscape, he focuses on “its unpredictable beauty and its humbling brutality.” He comments, “the constant evolution of Colorado's front range is a powerful reminder of the destructive and creative forces of the environment around us. The goal is to channel this energy through paint and use it to express the mood and feeling of a particular space in time."
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