"I live near the Adirondacks and enjoy the great natural beauty and historical significance of upstate New York. The Adirondacks are unsurpassed for artistic inspiration, particularly the rolling hills, mountains, farmlands, lakes, and rivers; and the atmospheric effects of light, fog, rain, and mist, and snow. I find transparent watercolor the ideal medium to capture this beautiful landscape and shifting moods. I love to create luminous and colorful watercolors that depict serenity, harmony and beauty.
Each color theme reflects my emotional response to the subject, with playful choices of color that may or may not relate to the actual color of the subject. My approach is to push color to express emotion, delight the eye, be daring perhaps, and enjoyable. I rely on my imagination for color choice and hope viewers see a pleasing painting that reflects the fun I had painting it. During the pandemic, I have been thinking of the surrounding beauty of farms and farmlands, and in particular, the added struggles of hard working farming families. I have been painting farms and barns and completed more than 30 watercolors. My paintings do not accurately reflect an existing farm. I take parts, eliminate parts, and add parts to form the composition. I also use my own color scheme, without utilizing actual colors. I also incorporated figures in many of the paintings, either as the main or secondary center of interest."
Tom Ryan grew up in Schuylerville, developed an early interest in art, and enjoyed the beauty of upstate New York. He became a professional engineer and founded a successful engineering firm. During his engineering career, he started oil painting, but found a passion in watercolors. He studied watercolors with Betty Lou Schlemm in Rockport, Massachusetts.
Tom retired early to pursue watercolor art and to teach watercolor painting. He was awarded signature membership in the North East Watercolor Society and is past president of the Upper Hudson Valley Watercolor Society. Currently, with Sue Beadle, Tom is co-leader of an active regional plein air painters’ group they founded, Plein Air Adirondack.
Tom was juried into several annual exhibitions of the North East Watercolor Society, and the Adirondack National Exhibition of American Watercolors. In 2000, Tom received an individual artist grant from Saratoga Arts for a project involving the historic Bow Bridge in Hadley. One of the outcomes was a published book he compiled “The Art and History of the Bow Bridge” that includes his own art as well as that of several other adults and children. “Applying paint to paper is both challenging and exciting,” explains Tom. According to Dee Sarno, former Executive Director of Saratoga Arts, “Tom has obviously captured these feelings through his art. His vivid watercolors have been recognized with awards in numerous juried shows and are in many corporate and private collections.”