Jean Ryan

Growing up on a small farm put me always in touch with nature. Helping my parents in gardens and fields, I became very aware of the effect of weather and seasons.

I find much of my inspiration for painting in nature. I do not seek to portray the reality of nature, but the feeling of it, and its effect on me. My work is usually abstract, though sometimes using images that connect it to a real object or event. My pallet tends to be earthy and limited.

I work primarily with acrylics, cold wax, and encaustic. The layering effect of thin acrylic washes with added textures suggest many things to me. I do not generally set out to paint a specific object, but a theme, sometimes being led off in an entirely different direction.

For me, the excitement is always in discovery, and the discovery others might make by what they bring to the painting.

In some ways the wax processes are similar to acrylic washes. With cold wax I employ many layers of color, sometimes scraping back to reveal a previous color and history. Encaustic is an ancient painting process employing beeswax, damar resin, and oil paint melted together. It too involves layers of color melted (fused) into one another. It is a very fluid medium. Layers can be very thin and transparent giving depth, or melted together making new colors. It is one of the most durable forms of painting, employed by ancient fishermen to decorate and waterproof their boats, as well as the Egyptians to preserve their mummies.


A2L - Arrowhead Artists and Artisans League


78C S Catawba Avenue
Old Fort, NC 28762

Tel: (828) 668 1100

Opening Hours
(JAN - MARCH) Wed through Sat - 10am to 5pm, Sunday 1pm to 4pm
(APR - DEC) Tue through Sat - 10am to 6pm, Sunday 1pm to 4pm