Nicole Renee Ryan

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I paint journeys through imagined spaces and misremembered places. These landscapes are based on my memories of memories. These landscapes include things remembered and things forgotten represented by half realistic and half abstract shapes, things real and unreal.

Parts of the landscape shift and become their own active subject, playing, moving and breaking away expressing the loss of memory with imagination filling the gap.

I work in oils and watercolors in an intuitive way. I am mis-remembering and imagining as I work. I explore and create a world through my brushes one small brushstroke at a time.


Nicole Renee Ryan is a contemporary watercolorist, oil painter and muralist from Mercer, PA.

Nicole paints imagined landscapes but, surprisingly, she’s not all that interested in landscape paintings. She went to school for psychology and she uses landscapes to explore the concept of memory. Her goal is to recreate a place she felt she had been but can’t quite pinpoint. As memories move from reality to abstraction, it becomes easier to misremember things, or think they may have just been a dream. This hazy area is Nicole’s source of inspiration. She uses color and shape to create ethereal landscapes that illustrate the purgatory between memory and imagination, the real and the unreal.

Nicole Renee Ryan attended Washington and Jefferson College and graduated cum laude with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Professional Writing. She has been awarded a residency at the New York Student’s League at Vytacil, a fellowship at VCCA, and was nominated for Pittsburgh's 2016 "Emerging Artist of the Year". In 2017 she was awarded a Flight School Fellowship through the Heinz Foundation.