Like that of the Renaissance artists (who worked with multiple mediums), Mike Ryon accomplishes many different mediums on equal footing...oils, acrylics, watercolours, pen & ink, conte crayon, pastel, and pencil & charcoal. Some artists can accomplish many of these mediums...Ryon works on several different mediums in one day... fascinating...considering one lays down oil colour pigments dark to light and the opposite for watercolors light to dark...." a real right to left brain zinger". His subject matter is as varietal as his mediums of choice from contemporary, abstracts, landscape, cityscape, crowd scenes, seascapes,people portraits as well as, equestrian, pet, and birds of any feather.
Ryon's large 30" x 40" watercolours are rare for the medium. He created a 30" x 40" work of art for the 1998 Winsor & Newton, North American Competition only to find the largest category they had for the competition was half that size. He went back to his studio and painted the same painting in half the size to win Second in North America. As art critic and reviewer Eliza Hilliard stated, "Impressed?" "You should be, this Charlotte artist's use of watercolour is unparalleled. Most watercolour artists favor smaller paintings. If you have ever worked with even the most rudimentary set of watercolours, you understand the problem of moving color without forms blurring into each other, or the almost inevitable streak caused by too much water. It's called cabbaging. The larger the piece, the more these problems occur."
Ryon has obviously solved this problem. Recently, he completed, a multi paneled piece of the Charlotte skyline. The finished size....ten feet long and three and a third feet high...in watercolor!
Ryon's works are drawing national attention in oils, acrylic and watercolour. The list of accomplishments are quite notable starting with being accepted into an exhibition of the American Watercolor Society (exhibiting on Fifth Avenue, NYC at the Salmagundi Club). He was selected as a finalist in the Cambridge Art Association National Competition (he was one of nine watercolorists chosen out of 4600 entries). The painting he entered was on display with the other finalists at the Federal Reserve Bank Gallery in Boston. The jurors for this competition were quite significant: Peter Rathbone, Senior Vice President and Director of American Paintings and Sculpture Department of Sotheby's in NYC, and, Eliza Rathbone, Chief Curator at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C.
Aside from a multitude of regional shows culminating in First Place winner and Purchase Award winner in the NC Watercolor Society, he was selected as a licensed artist for the famed Biltmore Estate, America's largest privately-owned chateau.
Ryon grew up in New York and Chapel Hill in his formative years and has been living abroad on and off for the last two decades. As a youth he was taken by both, painterly art and exacting draftsmanship, which helped guide him on to study architecture at North Carolina State University. After NCSU, he served a tour of duty in Vietnam and continued at Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, FL where he graduated in Commercial Design and Illustration. His fluid style coupled with astonishing patterns of color weave through Ryon's oil paintings, portraiture and corporate abstract paintings rounding out an immense diversity of subjects, style and interests.
"A very prolific artist abounding with talent, innovative color sense, variety...his handling of water in his paintings, either still or flowing is extra-ordinary"...
Dr. S.L. Ingrum, Chicago Art Collector
"A brilliant colorist, fluid draftsman, intriguing architect of space, form and light...what can I say!...even the "abstracts"!
Art Historian, Susan Saward, Ph.D.