Nicole Renee Ryan is a contemporary watercolorist, oil painter, and muralist from Mercer, PA, working in Pittsburgh.
She is obsessed in painting her memories of the natural world. These memories are misremembered, wrong, overly romantic or tragic and are defined as much by what is missing by what is present. Parts of the landscapes shift and become their own active subject, playing moving and breaking away.
Nicole’s goal is to recreate a place you know you were but can’t quite pinpoint. Spending enough time here with what is real and what is not real causes leads to a feeling of déjà vu. Were you there before? It feels real but it is hard to say. Did I just imagine this? These are questions for the viewers as they view the artwork set up from the most realistic to the most fragmented. The landscapes at the end of the line are almost figurative with shapes seeming to float out of the landscape becoming an active character. Strange things happen here in these imagined landscapes.
These paintings are both places and un-places. A memory of a place almost lost. Misremembered. Imagined.
In 2015 Nicole was awarded a residency at the New York Student’s League at Vytacil and a fellowship at VCCA. She was also nominated for Pittsburgh Emerging Artist of the Year for 2016. Nicole is featured in a just-released book of watercolors by North Light Books, Splash 15: Texture.