Rite of Passage

Rite of Passage, oil, 70 x 100 cm
© Fergus Andrew Ryan, 2015 

A woman is throwing a sprig of rosemary into the sea in remembrance of her father, a sea captain. Our neighbour had been on the last voyage of the QE2 in passage around Cape Horn, the southern tip of South America, where this 'rite of passage' moment actually happened. The seascape at Cape Horn looks remarkably like Ireland's Eye, the island visible from her coastal house in County Dublin, which overlooks this bather's point called High Rock. I merged the two experiences of the voyage and her home, 'sailing' High Rock nearer to Ireland's Eye.

The 'Eye' is from the old Norse word for island, 'ey',  and occurs in the names of several of the islands off the coast of County Dublin (Dalkey, Skerries, Lambay), names dating from the Viking invasions in the eighth century. The inhabited island has an eighth-century church ruin, and is also visible from my studio. It appears in my painting 'Tidepool'.

See all my images on Artist Daily here.

Watch a 2013 video selection of my paintings on YouTube here.


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Fergus Ryan

About Fergus Ryan

View all my Artist Daily images and associated chat HERE ____________________________________________________________ Everything I look at I make a mirror of  Wherein to see my soul in all its seasons.  Patrick Kavanagh To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion all in one. John Ruskin The Presence of Absence I am moved by a sense of the lingering 'presence of absence', the suspension in unbreathed time of reveries of unforgetting, lost presences, and the melancholy of traces. My inspiration in recent years comes from twentieth-century American realism, especially the somewhat disturbing and isolated moods of Andrew Wyeth. There are similar resonances in western Ireland's remote Atlantic landscapes. After a career in flying, my art studies have consisted of extended workshops in the United States with some prominent artists, Koo Schadler (egg tempera), Joe McGurl and Don Demers (oils, en plein air), Stan Miller (watercolour and egg tempera), and David Kassan (charcoal and oil portraits), and in Ireland with Carey Clarke, past president of the Royal Hibernian Academy (oils). In 2013 I spend the summer in Italy studying landscape painting with Israel Hershberg as part of the Jerusalem Studio School master class. In the Spring of 2015 I participated in the 6-week intensive programme of drawing and painting. I have exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy's annual exhibition in Dublin, with works in egg tempera (Buttermilk, Tidepool), acrylic (Extra Room andTerminus), and oils (Dreadlocks, Liminal, Lightkeeper and Reflection). Sudden Breeze was featured in International Artist magazine's Feb/Mar 2009 edition (65) landscape competition, and an 8-page article on my landscape paintings featured in International Artist June/July 2012 issue, number 85.  My website is www.FergusARyan.com  My Facebook art page is here. A video of some of my paintings is here on YouTube.

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