Artist Statement

My paintings focus on emotionally charged but ambiguous images of people and places, with only fuzzy details around the edge which leaves viewers with a strong sense of déjà vu.


I work with watercolors, oils and if doing a mural, acrylic.  These false memories of people and places I create are based on overly romantic or tragic and are defined as much by what is missing by what is present.


I blur out details, preferring the viewer fill in their own.  I want people to be able to imagine themselves or their relatives in place of the subject. I want the suggested history of the image to feel like their history. My subjects get flattened, blurred, faces blend into the landscape, the clouds melt into the horizon line.  I want the works to be soft, unfocused and distant. A memory almost lost.  Misremembered. Imagined.


Putting the finishing touches on a mural. 

Nicole Renee Ryan 


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


She is obsessed in painting her memories of the natural world.  These memories are misremembered, wrong, overly romantic or tragic and are defined as much by what is missing by what is present.  Her landscapes are dominated by large clouds, grey skies, storms and flattened patches of earth. 


Landscapes are her perfect metaphor. Clouds and weather become mood and personality.  Light and color shift and move to become a simple description of time when seen subtly changing over multiple paintings.   


In 2015 Nicole was awarded a residency at the New York Student’s League at Vytacil and a fellowship at VCCA.  She was also nominated for Pittsburgh Emerging Artist of the Year for 2016.  Nicole is featured in a just released book of watercolors by North Light Books, Splash 15: Texture.  

Demonstrating some of my watercolor techniques during a watercolor workshop in 2013.