Ryan Mckean

Home All

I'm an artist currently living in Mississauga, with a strong traditional background. A graduate of the Ontario College of Art and a small classical studio in Toronto, I continue to exhibit my landscapes and still life at local galleries and art fairs.


When I first started painting, setting up simple objects to study was the obvious and natural choice. Models are easy to come by; it’s a great way to study the elements of painting such as value, form and colour; it’s an opportunity to learn about composition, arranging and
harmonizing multiple objects in space; and it’s a means of understanding light and texture and how these qualities translate into a medium like oil paint. There is something very direct about still life and over the years I’ve returned to simple objects like fruit and
tableware, finding in them infinite variety, possibility and challenge.

Oils have such a range of tactile, expressive possibilities — signals that capture ideas, such as liquid through glass, the skin of an apple, or a mysterious background. Each painting is an exploration of paint application as it relates to subject matter. Working with familiar
objects, I’m trying to get beyond the mere depiction of “things” in search of more abstract qualities like texture, light, composition and mood. My aim is to avoid being overly literal while creating an underlying sense of harmony and order in my work.

I focus a lot of time on process and the layering of paint, but it is ultimately the idea I want people to see. While there is work and effort in their making, I look back and remember how much I’ve enjoyed setting up and painting these arrangements – I hope this is captured at least to some extent in the paintings.