Entries by Michael Ryan

Savvy Painter Podcast

As far as “podcasts” go, I’d pretty much restricted myself  to “This American Life”, listening attentively while furiously going nowhere on my partners crosstrainer. I’ve an artist friend who listens to podcasts while working in her studio, inconceivable to me. But I do get it, it occupies her conscious mind and allows her unconscious free […]

Edward Hopper at Fondation Beyeler

Detour to Basel Damn! Hopper at the Beyeler in Basel and I was going to miss it. Luckily however, a vacation in Italy planned in January remained on track despite Covid-19 and actually because of the virus the show was extended. Having already planned to drive made traveling safe, only having to take precautions in hotels […]

A New Reality

Quiet city                  Aaron Copland’s orchestral work “Quiet City” has entered my mind in the last weeks. It has been so strange. Watching the news every day, hearing of the deaths, the suffering, the fear. The lives of friends, family, in fact everyone’s life has been turned upside […]

Studio Practice in the time of Corona

      Empty Streets         Change is always strange. And I’m not minding the shift, my studio life is actually enhanced by it. The quiet and empty streets remind me of weeks spent on Zen Buddhist retreats in France and in America. As a writer friend expressed it in an email […]

Studio Practice

Discipline I found this drawing in my New York storage unit this past November. It depicts the small bedroom I shared with my two older brothers, in fact, my first studio. I vividly recall standing in the hallway back then, intensely concentrating on getting every detail depicted, I somehow felt that it was VERY important. […]

New Year’s in Paris

Paris apartment    When a French writer on my home exchange network approached me for a swap with my live-in atelier in Amsterdam I didn’t hesitate. Her place on Rue de l’Université close to the Seine and the Grand Palais was on the 4th floor without a lift but it didn’t matter, we had our […]

Portraits (again)

Early Dutch Portraits             I arrived in The Netherlands in 1982 and quickly painted some 50 portraits within three years. But the commissions represented more than just the painting of my patient sitters, they were also a doorway through which I entered into Dutch life and culture. I traveled the […]

Sunday Afternoon at Museum Voorlinden

Anselm Kiefer Art opens the eyes. And hopefully your consciousness. At Museum Voorlinden I usually experience both and it actually begins with arrival. After bumper to bumper traffic from Amsterdam, narrow residential streets leading to the parking area, a short walk and then WHOOSH….. the expansive vastness of the Museum’s landscaped terrein opens up to […]

Blasts from the Past (part 2)

Home Back in Holland. But not empty handed…. The physically, emotionally and psychologically draining work of emptying my storage unit in New York is done. Sounds dramatic, but it’s not simply keeping what you want and tossing the rest. This was a final act of separation, from my country, culture and a good deal of […]