Gleason Fine Art will host a First Friday reception on Aug. 3 from 5 to 7 p.m. for acclaimed still-life painter Abbey Ryan. This young artist shot to fame when she was selected by Oprah Winfrey to be the featured artist in O: The Oprah Magazine. Since then, Ryan has added more than a dozen magazine, book, newspaper, and radio features to her resume.
Abbey Ryan creates exquisite still-life paintings. Look closely at a Ryan pear, for example, and you will see the world in a single piece of fruit, round, sensuous, blushed perfection. Or look at her peanut butter and jelly sandwich and understand the pure joy of biting into that nutty, creamy, salty sweetness.
Ryan's background includes both fine art and science. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in both fields. However, it is her studies with master painter David A. Leffel at the Art Students' League in New York, combined with her travels to Italy, that continue to have the greatest impact on her work. Her fascination with the painters of the Dutch Golden Age reflects her own Dutch ancestry.
In her paintings, Ryan investigates simple natural and handmade forms positioned in space so that their context is subdued. Applying the discipline of science to her art, she finds that painting daily provides her with the calm and focus necessary to make the small, gemlike still-life and trompe l'oeil paintings she favors.
“’Focus,' I think, is the operative word. Ryan's approach has always impressed me as contemplative, conveying a quiet sense of devoted attention,” wrote Charles Parker, Lines and Color. “Her subjects are traditional - largely fruit, cheese, and other small food items, often accompanied by pottery or metal ware. These are approached in a manner inspired by 17th-century Dutch still life, with objects emerging in deep chiaroscuro from dark backgrounds."
Friends, collectors, and fellow artists are invited to join us for a glass of wine or beer and the chance to meet artist Abbey Ryan Aug. 3, from 5 to 7 pm, at Gleason Fine Art, 31 Townsend Ave., Boothbay Harbor.
"Abbey Ryan: Poetic Realism" runs from Aug. 2 through Sept. 3. Call or email the gallery at 633-6849, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Or, visit gleasonfineart.com to view Abbey’s show and our entire collection of contemporary and estate art. Summer hours at the gallery are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.