Abbey Ryan, Still Life with Pear and Bumble Bee, 8 by 6 inches, oil.

Abbey Ryan, Still Life with Pear and Bumble Bee, 8 by 6 inches, oil.

 On August 3, Gleason Fine Art will host a First Friday reception from 5 to 7 pm for acclaimed still-life painter Abbey Ryan. This young artist shot to fame when she was selected by Oprah Winfrey to be the featured artist in O: The Oprah Magazine. Since then, Ryan has added more than a dozen magazine, book, newspaper, and radio features to her resume.

     Abbey Ryan creates exquisite still-life paintings. Look closely at a Ryan pear, for example, and you will see the world in a single piece of fruit, round, sensuous, blushed perfection. Or look at her peanut butter and jelly sandwich and understand the pure joy of biting into that nutty, creamy, salty sweetness.   

     Abbey Ryan’s background includes both fine art and science. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in both fields. However, it is her studies with master painter David A. Leffel at the Art Students’ League in New York, combined with her travels to Italy, that continue to have the greatest impact on her work. Her fascination with the painters of the Dutch Golden Age reflects her own Dutch ancestry.

     In her paintings, Ryan investigates simple natural and handmade forms positioned in space so that their context is subdued. Applying the discipline of science to her art, she finds that painting daily provides her with the calm and focus necessary to make the small, gemlike still-life and trompe l’oeil paintings she favors.

     ” ‘Focus,’ I think, is the operative word. Ryan’s approach has always impressed me as contemplative, conveying a quiet sense of devoted attention. Her subjects are traditional–largely fruit, cheese, and other small food items, often accompnied by pottery or metalware. These are approached in a manner inspired by 17th-century Dutch still life, with objects emerging in deep chiaroscuro from dark backgrounds,” (Charles Parker, Lines and Color).

     Friends, collectors, and fellow artists are invited to join us for a glass of wine or beer and the chance to meet artist Abbey Ryan on First Friday, August 3, from 5 to 7 pm, at Gleason Fine Art, 31 Townsend Avenue, Boothbay Harbor. “Abbey Ryan: Poetic Realism” runs from August 2 through September 3. Call the gallery at 207-633-6849 for more information; check out our website,, to view Abbey’s show and our entire collection of contemporary and estate art; or email us at Summer hours are Monday through Saturday,10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm. 


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