From ‘Still Life Painting Techniques’ by Adrian Ryan
Man is not a camera. The object of painting is not to copy but to express one’s delight in the colours, shapes, forms and relationships of the objects of one’s contemplation.
Donald Locke for Galerie Timothy Tew
…it is here in the method of artists like Adrian Ryan, that the paradox is to be found. The painting cannot be realized without intense, exacting, almost scientific observation, but he inserts a poetic filter, so to speak, between this objective eye and the action of the brush on the paper. The result is pictures where feeling is supreme, poetry rather than science.
Sven Berlin from ‘The coat of many colours’, first published 1994
When I was first asked to write about Adrian Ryan I hesitated, because for a painter to write about another painter he has his own vision in the way, but Adrian has that rare gift of being a painter’s painter. He does not talk from any pulpit of theory but from the paint directly on the palette and the brush rooting about in it, which you can hear because the sounds still stay with the tension and apprehension of the impossible task of throwing a sunset, or lighting a moon over a French village where a sinister curé walks alone.
Painting a church like a Titan in the sky. No wonder the shouting eye is nervous and wants to screech with excitement when suddenly it is done, and silent beauty of the moment is before you with honest facility of a true painter. Even a great painter, if greatness consists in content of a haunting beauty like an opium dream, as in his paintings of Mousehole, or the wonder and awe of moonlight.
[Adrian]… always seemed to be smiling at a joke he never got round to completely telling – it was life. Always generous and kind, a fine painter with a touch of Soutine that betokened a macabre streak. He could paint a calf’s head fresh from the butcher, day after day, until it was teeming with maggots, yet produce a landscape as gentle to the eye as a Ruysdael. A painter whose every brushstroke is the centre of the universe he is creating.