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Before taking up painting full-time Fergus Andrew Ryan was an Aer Lingus pilot on long-haul routes (707s/747s) including North America, the Caribbean, West Africa, the Middle East and Europe, from 1966 until 1994. This afforded not only opportunity for drawing, but access to a wide range of art institutions, museums and art literature resources, as well as opportunity to participate in art programmes overseas.
After early retirement Fergus Ryan graduated from Trinity College Dublin in theology and biblical studies, which added to an appreciation of the development of art, philosophy, and the ideas that contributed to the development of Western civilisation. Fergus Ryan's principal influences have included 19C landscape British and French painters, and, especially, the 20C American realist painter Andrew Wyeth. The artist spent the summer of 2013 in a masterclass in Italy with the noted Israeli painter Israel Hershberg, following the Italian footsteps of Corot and the Grand Tourists, and has studied for shorter periods with numerous well-known American painters, including the portrait painter David Kassan, the egg tempera master Koo Schadler, and the luminist painter Joseph McGurl. Upcoming plans include springtime study at the Florence Academy of Art in 2015.
Fergus Ryan's work has been exhibited in the Royal Hibernian Academy's annual exhibition since 2008, and at Greenacres Gallery in Wexford. His painting 'Lightkkeeper' was acquired at the RHA by the Government of Ireland and is in the State's collection at Aras an Uachtarain (the Presidential residence). His work now includes both landscape and figure in oils and in the revived medieval medium of egg tempera.
The artist lives in north County Dublin and is married to Sarah, and has four adult daughters.