Nicole Renee Ryan is a watercolorist, oil painter and muralist from Mercer, PA. Nicole paints imagined landscapes, but surprisingly, she’s not all that interested in traditional landscape paintings, instead she uses the landscape as a means to explore the concept of memory. Her interest in the importance and fallibility of memory arose during college while getting her degree in psychology from Washington & Jefferson College.
Her goal is to recreate a place she felt she had been at but can’t quite pinpoint. As memories move from reality to abstraction, it becomes easier to misremember things, or think they may have just been a dream. This hazy area is Nicole’s source of inspiration. She uses color and shape to create ethereal landscapes that illustrate the purgatory between memory and imagination, the real and the unreal.
In 2015 Nicole was awarded a residency at the New York Student’s League at Vytacil and a fellowship at VCCA. She was nominated for Pittsburgh Emerging Artist of the Year for 2016. In 2017 she was awarded a Flight School Fellowship through the Heinz Foundation. She has exhibited paintings in the Heinz History Center and The Butler Museum of American Art. Her works have been exhibited in NYC, Chicago and Miami.
I paint journeys through imagined spaces and misremembered places. These landscapes are based on my memories of memories. These landscapes include things remembered and things forgotten represented by half realistic and half abstract shapes, things real and unreal.
Parts of the landscape shift and become their own active subject, playing, moving and breaking away expressing the loss of memory with imagination filling the gap.
I work in oils and watercolors in an intuitive way. I am mis-remembering and imagining as I work. I explore and create a world through my brushes one small brushstroke at a time.