Bio – Exhibits – Honors

Biography:

Virginia artist Robyn Ryan celebrates life through art; the making of it, the appreciation of it, and the sharing of it.  She expresses joy in her artwork through her perception of and reaction to the world we live in and the creatures we share it with.

Robyn is inspired by living things; their mystery, complexity, shapes, movement, energy, personality, environment, and relationships with each other.  She captures her subjects in “candid” moments and “glimpses” frozen in time for the viewer to engage and linger with.  Robyn enjoys conveying the underlying idea, impression, or “essence” she wishes to highlight for each subject vs. solely creating a “photo-realistic” or “pretty picture”.

Known for her animal and nature related subject matter, Robyn’s artwork is characterized by her use of rich color, bold textures, and most recently by physical dimensionality.  Robyn creates her art in a variety of water and mixed media as well as sculpture.  Exploration and incorporation of new techniques and materials continue to enlarge her artistic vocabulary.  She is drawn to the tactile aspects of her media; the flow of the pigment and water, the building of physical textures, and creating three dimensional pieces.

Robyn typically works on multiple pieces at one time, often due to the drying time required prior to subsequent steps in her water media works.  This practice helps her prevent boredom, offers a path around occasional “sticking points”, and ensures a “fresh” eye when returning to each piece.  This also allows the different works and series to inform and influence one another, continually sparking her creative process.

Robyn’s current work explores different ways of manipulating physical visual layers, for example:  Her “Acrylic Layer” pieces consist of multiple applications of acrylic gel with paint, collage, and mixed media applied to or embedded between the layers.  Robyn selectively “subtracts” paint on a layer she is working on to expose what lies beneath.  Five to eight distinct and relatively thick clear gel applications create physical visual distance between each layer and allow the viewer to “see through” to enjoy the “sparkle” of the deeper layers visible through the clear gel.  In her “Set Free” pieces, Robyn explores the idea of freedom, not only in the subject matter and compositions, but also in how she floats and arranges the diptych and triptych paintings overlapping at varying levels and angles, breaking free from the surface and conventional display norms.

Robyn considers it a privilege to have the ability, inclination, and opportunity to create beautiful and engaging artwork and to explore the expression of her ideas related to those things which inspire her.  Sharing her art with others to bring joy into their lives brings Robyn great satisfaction and motivation in pursuing her artistic journey.

Education:

~ Independent Study Workshops with Katherine Cheng Liu (2016-2020)
~ Intensive Studies Seminar with Skip Lawrence, Katherine Cheng Liu, Christopher Schink, Fran Larson, and Alex Powers (2005-2008, 2010-2015)
~ Orkney Springs Summer Workshops with Gwen Bragg, NWS. (2011-2014, 2018, 2020), Linda Moldanado (2015-2016), Lisa Semerad (2017)
~ Pastel Workshop with Lynn Goldstein (2012)
~ Kinetic Sculpture with Joe Miola (2012)
~ JMU Orkney Springs Summer Workshops with Gwen Bragg, NWS. (2000-2010)
~ AAEA Equine Sculpture Workshop with Gwen Reardon, AAEA. (2003)
~ JMU Orkney Springs Summer Workshops with Jean Cauthen, Herb Olds, Elizabeth Arbaugh, Don Crow, and Rebecca Humphrey. (1995 – 1999)
~ The Art League School with Jane Simanis & Steve Prince. (1996, 1998)
~ Studied with Judy Wengrovitz, NWS. (1972-1977)

Affiliations:

~ Artists in Middleburg (AIM) (2019 – 2020)
~ Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts (2013 – 2020)
~ North Windsor Artists (2010 – 2020)
~ Virginia Equine Artists Association (2004 – 2020)
~ Art First Gallery (2011 – 2019 Vice President 3 yrs, BoD 1 yr)
~ Loudoun Sketch Club (2013 – 2015)
~ Virginia Watercolor Society – Sustaining Member (2002 – 2006, 2013-2014)
~ American Watercolor Society – Sustaining Member (2002 – 2006)
~ National Watercolor Society – Sustaining Member (2002 – 2006)
~ Patron Member of the American Academy of Equine Art (1995 – 2006)
~ Art First Gallery & Studios, Coop Gallery (1997 – 1999 Vice President 2 yrs)

Selected Exhibitions and Honors:

2020

  • “Turning Points” Featured Artist Exhibit, Frame Designs Gallery, Fredericksburg, VA
  • “Turning Points” Artist Talk, James River Artists League, Richmond, VA
  • Co-Juror “MORE Things Considered” Exhibit, AIM Gallery, Middleburg, VA
  • “All Things Considered” Juried Exhibit, AIM Gallery, Middleburg, VA

2019

  • “GASP” Juried Exhibit, AIM Gallery, Middleburg, VA
  • “The Glories of the Untamed: Wildlife up Close” Juried Exhibit, Third Prize, AIM Gallery, Middleburg, VA
  • “Through Field and Forest” Featured Artist Exhibit, Highmark Brewery, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Art Attack, Public Sculpture Demonstrations, Fredericksburg, VA

2018

  • “Set Free” Featured Artist Exhibit, Art First Gallery, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Featured Artist Exhibit of Recent Work Frame Designs Gallery, Fredericksburg, VA
  • “Drawn Together” Exhibit, 810 Gallery, Fredericksburg, VA
  • North Windsor Artist “Voices in Color” Exhibit, The Arts Center in Orange, Orange, VA

2017

  • Featured Artist Exhibit and Acrylic Layers Workshop, Frame Designs Gallery, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Virginia Equine Artists Association Exhibit, The Backdoor Gallery, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Invited Workshop Instructor, Loudon Sketch Club, Hillsboro, VA
  • “Members & Friends” Exhibit, Middle Street Gallery, Sperryville, VA

2016

  • Fredericksburg Center for Creative Arts (FCCA) Members Gallery Solo Exhibit, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Featured Artist, Caledon State Park Art & Wine Festival, King George, VA
  • Fredericksburg Center for Creative Arts (FCCA) North Windsor Artists Exhibit Members Gallery Solo Exhibit, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Art Attack, Public Sculpture Demonstrations, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Featured Artist Exhibit “Wild Things II”, Art First Gallery, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Invited Participant, Equine Art Exhibit, Weigand Gallery, Galax, VA

2015

  • Guest Artist, Gallery on Madison, Middleburg, VA
  • Sculpture Demonstration, Gallery on Madison, Middleburg, VA
  • “The Horse in Art” Virginia Equine Artists Association Exhibit, Gumenick Family Gallery, Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, Glen Allen, VA
  • Loudon Arts Council “Hunt Country Harvest Ball and Art Show”, Middleburg, VA
  • “Scarlet Season” Exhibit, The Backdoor Gallery, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Art at the Mill Fall Juried Exhibit & Sale, Burwell-Morgan Mill, Millwood, VA
  • Art Attack, Public Sculpture Demonstrations, Fredericksburg, VA
  • “Scale” Juried Exhibit, Live an Artful Life Gallery, The Plains, VA
  • Associate Artists Exhibit, The Backdoor Gallery, Fredericksburg, VA,
  • Featured Artist Exhibit with Photographer Darren Barnes, “In Their Element”, The Backdoor Gallery, Fredericksburg, VA

2014

  • North Windsor Artists Group Exhibition in concert with Jack Darling Exhibition, Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Piedmont Virginian Showcase, Juried Exhibit by Piedmont Virginian Magazine hosted by River District Arts, Sperryville, VA,
  • Featured Artist Exhibit, “My Favorite Things Too”, The Griffin Bookshop and Coffee Bar, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Group Exhibit with Virginia Equine Artists Association, River District Arts, Sperryville, VA
  • Group Exhibit, “Drawn Together”, Jarett Thor Gallery, Colonial Beach, VA
  • Featured Artist Exhibit, “Wild Things”, Art First Gallery, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Clark County “Art at the Mill”, Millwood, VA
  • Montpelier Center for Arts and Education Virginia Equine Artists Association “Year of the Horse” Exhibit, Montpelier, VA
  • The Griffin Bookshop and Coffee Bar Featured Artist Exhibit  “A Few of my Favorite Things”, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts (FCCA) National Juried Exhibition “It’s Small…”, Fredericksburg, VA

2013

  • Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts (FCCA) National Juried Exhibition “It’s Small…”, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Featured Artist on ArtsyShark.com
  • Piedmont Virginian Showcase, Juried Exhibit by Piedmont Virginian Magazine hosted by River District Arts, Sperryville, VA
  • Clark County “Art at the Mill”, Millwood, VA
  • Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts (FCCA) National Juried Exhibition “Abstraction & Reality”, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Gallery Flux “Art of the Horse” Juried Exhibition, Ashland, VA
  • Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts (FCCA) Regional Juried Exhibition, Fredericksburg, VA
  • North Windsor Artists Exhibition, Theater Gallery, Central Rappahannock Regional Library, Fredericksburg, VA
  • “Drawn Together” Exhibition, Atrium Gallery, Central Rappahannock Regional Library, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community (VMRC) Tenth Annual National Juried Multimedia Exhibition, Harrisonburg, VA
  • Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts (FCCA) National Juried Exhibition “Lines & Edges”, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts (FCCA) Regional Juried Exhibition, Fredericksburg, VA, (Honorable Mention)
  • Ongoing display of artwork with the North Windsor Artists at Liberty Town Arts Workshop,  Fredericksburg, VA
  • “Drawn Together” Book Release Exhibition, Backdoor Gallery, Fredericksburg, VA

2012

  • Solo Exhibition “Autumn Layers & Other Recent Work”, Studio A Gallery, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Book Release “Drawn Together – Artists of Fredericksburg Vol 2”
  • Featured Artist Exhibit “Woods & Water ~ Real and Imagined” with Ruth Ann Loving, Art First Gallery, Fredericksburg, VA

2011

  • Solo Exhibition “First Impressions: Equine Composites & Italian Memories”, Studio A Gallery, Fredericksburg, VA.

2009

  • “North Windsor Artists Member Exhibition”, Wide River Gallery, Colonial Beach, VA

2008

  • Solo Exhibition “Catitudes & Other Recent Work”, Studio A Gallery, Fredericksburg, VA.
  • Selected as contributing artist, “The Horse Gift” Mural, Mural Mosaic

2007

  • Solo Exhibition “Recent Work”, Studio A Gallery, Fredericksburg, VA.
  • Solo Exhibition “Equine Celebration & Other Recent Work”, Mad Hatter Bistro, Farmville, VA
  • Organizer for Fredericksburg Art Studio Walk, Fredericksburg, VA

2006

  • “Equine Celebration” Solo Exhibition, The Steward School Paul R. Cramer Center for the Arts Gallery, Richmond, VA.
  • Solo Exhibition “Recent Work”, Studio A Gallery, Fredericksburg, VA.
  • “EQUUS” Exhibition.  The Deland Museum of Art, Deland, FL.  Juried by Alan Reingold.
  • “Virginia Fine Arts Festival”.  The Highland Center for the Arts, Warrenton, VA.
  • “Carousel of Colors” Exhibition.  The Piedmont Artist’s League, The Highland Center for the Arts, Warrenton, VA.
  • Arts in the Alley Annual All-Media Art Show & Music Festival, Purcellville, VA

2005

  • “Equine Shapes & Other Recent Work” Solo Exhibition.  The Atrium Gallery, Central Rappahannock Regional Library, Fredericksburg, VA.
  • Twenty-Sixth Virginia Watercolor Society Juried Exhibition.  McGuffey Art Center, Charlottesville, VA.  Juried by Carole Barnes.
  • Pots & Palettes, Fredericksburg, VA.  Display of Artwork by Invitation 1998 – 2005.  Featured Artist, June – October 1998.

2004

  • Inaugural Virginia Equine Artists Fall Exhibition 2004.  Virginia Horse Center, Lexington, VA.  Juried by Eve Fout.  Awarded First Place in Watercolor for “Oatlands Start”.

2003

  • Featured Cover Artist “The Chronicle of the Horse” (Friday, November 7, 2003   Issue) “Patience”.
  • Laredo Center for the Arts 11th Annual International Juried Exhibition.  Sponsored by Michelob Light.  Juried by Carol H. Fairlie.
  • National Society of Artists 21st National Juried Show 2003.  Alvin Community College Art Gallery, Texas City, TX.  Juried by Donny Hickmott.  Awarded Two Honorable Mentions for “Finishing Touch” and “Rough Life”.

2002

  • 20 Years at Orkney Exhibit, Invitational, James Madison University, Sawhill Gallery,    Harrisonburg, VA.

1999

  • Art First Gallery & Studios – Display of Artwork in Monthly shows from 1997 – 1999. Featured Artist, January 1997 and May 1998.

1998

~ Art Designs & Frame Designs Gallery, Fredericksburg, VA.  Display of Artwork by Invitation 1995 – 1998.
~ Pots & Palettes, Fredericksburg, VA.  Featured Artist, June – October 1998.
~ Display of Artwork by Invitation at Great Meadows for Gold Cup Steeplechase.

1997

  • Central Virginia Watercolor Guild Juried Art Show, Charlottesville, VA.  Juried by Margaret Huddy.  Awarded Honorable Mention for “Fourth Generation”.

1996

  • Fredericksburg Juried Media Show, Hurkamp Park, Fredericksburg, VA.
  • Virginia Horse Festival Equine Art & Photography Show, Lexington, VA.  Awarded Best in Show & Reserve Most Popular for “Turning Four on a Dime”.
  • 45th Annual Fredericksburg Fine Arts Exhibit, Fredericksburg, VA.  Awarded Honorable Mention for “Reflections”.

 

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