Abbey Ryan

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Abbey Ryan
AbbeyRyan AmericanPainter InTheStudio.jpg
Born1979 (age 39–40)
EducationArt Students League of New York Hunter College Arcadia University
Known forOil painting
MovementClassical Realism

Abbey Ryan (born 1979, New Jersey) is a contemporary American painter and educator, best known for her representational, classical realism still life and tromp l’oeil paintings. Her work is inspired by 17th century Dutch still life painting.[1] She lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


A recognized leader in the "Painting-A-Day" movement,[2] Ryan’s work has been featured and reviewed in dozens of print and web publications, including Seth Godin's Linchpin,[3] O, The Oprah Magazine, as part of the Women Who Make Beautiful Things section,[4] Boing Boing,[5] Good Day Philadelphia on WTXF,[6] Yale Radio's The Art World Demystified, WYBC,[7] Brainard Carey's Making It In the Art World, New Markets for Artists, and American Art Collector magazine. Ryan was named #5 on the list of “49 Creative Geniuses Who Use Blogging to Promote Their Art” by[8] Ryan’s work is held in over 1500 public and private collections all over the world.[9]


In 2002, Ryan studied oil painting with contemporary master David A. Leffel at the Art Students League of New York. Ryan went on to receive bachelor's degrees in painting and scientific illustration at Arcadia University in 2003. She studied medical and biological illustration at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Art as Applied to Medicine. Ryan then moved to New York, and earned a MFA in painting at Hunter College, City University of New York. She has studied and painted in the United States and abroad, including Italy, Spain, South Korea, Chile, Brazil, and Cuba.[2]


Ryan started making daily paintings for her blog, Ryan Studio on September 23, 2007. About her work, Ryan writes, "painting has become my meditative time and the best part of my day. Attempting to paint every day speaks to my interest in ritual, practice, classical realist still life and trompe l'oeil painting."[10] Ryan’s work has been described as "exquisitely rendered, showcasing both excellent draftsmanship and painterly qualities. In fact, in nearly all of Ryan's paintings there are subtle details that shouldn’t be overlooked."[11] and "Abbey Ryan makes some of the most exquisite still life paintings you will ever see. Her background includes undergraduate and graduate degrees in both fine art and medicine, a combination that would have been understood and appreciated by such great Renaissance artists as da Vinci and Michelangelo.[12]" Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States and Europe.


Ryan is a sought after painting instructor, in part due to her commitment to contemplative and mindful studio practice, and alla prima painting from life. She teaches studio art at Arcadia University and professional painting seminars at the John F. Peto Studio Museum[13]. Ryan's recent seminars have also been at the Academy of Realist Art in Boston and Sedona Arts Center. Ryan teaches private painting instruction in person and online.

Live painting demonstrations[edit]

Ryan conducts live painting demonstrations, a practice reminiscent of the publicly visible Renaissance workshops that traditionally lined the Ponte Vecchio since at least the 12th century. For approximately two hours, she completes a painting from start to finish in front of a live audience and streamed live online. The recording is then compressed into a short time lapse video. In 2011, Ryan's live demo was broadcast on FOX 29's Good Day Philadelphia. Her live demonstrations are typically donation events with the painting auctioned as a fundraiser for various causes.

Selected exhibitions[edit]


In 2006, Ryan assisted Hunter College professor of art Gabriele Evertz in curating Presentational Painting III, February 16-April 15, 2006, The Hunter College/Times Square Gallery, 450 West 41st Street, New York, NY 10036. Ryan wrote all texts on exhibition artists, including Don Voisine, Matthew Deleget (co-founder of Minus Space),[19] Hartmut Bohm, Paul Corio, Daniel Crews, Lynne Harlow, Gilbert Hsiao, Changha Hwang, Susanne Jung, Steve Karlik, Rossana Martinez, Charlotte Nicholson, Francisca Reyes, Steven Salzman, Martijn Schuppers, and Mike Stack. 63 pages. Catalogue ISBN 1885998716.

Scientific illustration[edit]

In 2001, Ryan completed a scientific Illustration Internship at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Department of Plant Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA. She did volunteer work and scientific illustration work at Pohnpei Agriculture and Trade School (PATS), Pohnpei, Micronesia and the Marine Science and SCUBA Study at Marine and Environmental Research Institute, Pohnpei, Micronesia. In 2004, Ryan worked as a Botanical Illustrator in collaboration with Dr. Chris Somerville at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Department of Plant Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, California.

Professional memberships[edit]

  • Oil Painters of America
  • International Guild of Realism
  • American Artists Professional League
  • American Women Artists, Associate with Distinction[20]
  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters' Society[21]
  • Daily Paintworks

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "O, The Oprah Magazine, Features Hunter MFA Alumna Abbey Ryan — Hunter College". Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  2. ^ a b Lear, Len (2016-05-20). "Celebrated Hill artist's work in over 900 collections". Chestnut Hill Local Philadelphia PA. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  3. ^ Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?: Seth Godin: 9781591843160: Books
  4. ^ "Women Who Make Beautiful Things". Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  5. ^ two posts by Mark Frauenfelder:
    "Abbey Ryan's painting-a-day blog". Boing Boing. October 6, 2008. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
    "Abbey Ryan's painting of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich". Boing Boing. June 3, 2009. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  6. ^ Abbey Ryan '03 Featured on FOX 29, Retrieved from Arcadia University YouTube channel
  7. ^ Interviews by Brainard Carey, The Art World Demystified, Yale Radio WYBC, January 1, 2011
  8. ^ 49 Creative Geniuses Who Use Blogging to Promote Their Art by Leanne Regalla, January 23, 2014, Last Updated Feb 28, 2019
  9. ^ "About / Contact :". Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  10. ^ Information in Abbey Ryan's Biography, Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  11. ^ "It's All in the Painterly Details: Daily Paintings by Abbey Ryan". 2 January 2008. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  12. ^ "Three new shows open at Gleason Fine Art". Boothbay Register. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  13. ^ "A PAINTING A DAY WORKSHOP WITH ARTIST ABBEY RYAN". Archived from the original on 31 October 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  14. ^ hvyADMIN (2012-11-22). "Jury Smith + Abbey Ryan". heavy bubble portfolio websites for artists. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  15. ^ Villarreal, Ignacio. "Fleisher Art Memorial Announces the 2009-2010 Wind Challenge Exhibition Series". Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  16. ^ "CITYWIDE: A Collective Exhibition – Mount Airy Contemporary @ Marginal Utility – North By Northwest | Mount Airy Contemporary". Archived from the original on 2016-10-31. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  17. ^ "Artist Exhibitions". ART ESSEX GALLERY Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  18. ^ "Affinity exhibition, Hillerbrand+Magsamen, Abbey Ryan and Jury Smith". 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-09-07.
  19. ^ Matthew Deleget » Blog Archive » Abbey Ryan, Presentational Painting III catalog, Hunter College/Times Square Gallery, 2006
  20. ^ "Associate with Distinction Members". American Women Artists.
  21. ^ "Membership Directory". National Oil and Acrylic Painters' Society.