Haylee Ryan

Haylee Ryan paints people. Not exclusively, but it’s undoubtedly her preference. She paints people because it enables her to pay sincere homage to what captivates her.

Matilde: Front View, acrylic and oil on wood panel, 24 x 30 inches

Matilde: Front View, acrylic and oil on wood panel, 24 x 30 inches

Haylee has known for the majority of her life that she was meant to be an artist, and the allure of the human form first captured Haylee’s imagination at a very young age. As a child, she began sketching and painting people in a journal she eventually gifted to her beloved grandfather. Before he passed away, when Haylee was only nine years old, he made Haylee’s mother promise to encourage her to pursue art forever. Thankfully, she’s made it the bedrock of her life.

Spanish Family in the Yard, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 24 inches

Spanish Family in the Yard, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 24 inches

Haylee’s fascination with humankind and her intrinsic inclination to see beauty in every face and every body has gifted her with the rare ability to paint people – from friends and family members to total strangers – vibrantly and provocatively. Her most recent series was inspired by a woman named Matilde whom she observed at a street market in Paris. As she so often does, she began sketching the woman from a distance before finally approaching her and requesting permission to paint her, and the resulting collection is extraordinary.

Matilde Sketches, acrylic and ink on paper, 9 x 12 inches

Matilde Sketches, acrylic and ink on paper, 9 x 12 inches

Each portrait Haylee paints draws its audience in and initiates an almost immediate longing to know the person captured. Like the subjects of her work, Haylee unwittingly exists as an almost preternatural enigma to those aware of her and/or her art. While she is undeniably an avid and passionate artist… Haylee is also a devoted, part-time elementary school art teacher. She plays guitar and sings in the popular band Sister. She is a volunteer member of the executive team for Art Conspiracy. And on top of all this, she is (unsurprisingly) a constant adventurer and (as often as possible) world traveler. She lives modestly and deliberately so she can enjoy life abundantly. Haylee’s unique existence, naked humility and irresistible effervescence inspire the same longing experienced by onlookers of her art to also get to know the artist herself.

Written by:

Martha Elaine Beldan