John Bryanspaints watercolors in a realistic style, often calling attention to scenes and objects taken for granted by most people. His paintings may have feelings of nostalgia, subtle humor, or a touch of fantasy. Many are landscapes; others are marine, figurative and still life subjects.
John's recent works are large format watercolors or machinery in a semi-abstract but recognizable form. His work has appeared in many national shows, including Watercolor USA and Seasoned Eye 3 sponsored by Modern Maturity magazine, a competition in which his entry was one of the 40 chosen from over 8,000. He has twice been a finalist in Artist’s Magazine’s annual national competition; his work was chosen Best of Watercolor I and II, published by Rockport Press.
He has had over 40 solo shows in the East and Southeast. Several museum and college collections own his paintings and they have been shown in group shows at many museums such as the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC, the John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, FL, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio. John also paints in oil and acrylic. His murals are in churches in the Washington, DC area and Coral Gables, FL, the U.S. Embassy in Madrid and Strathmore Hall Art Center in Bethesda, MD.
He taught art in the Washington, DC area for 47 years, mainly at the McLean VA Arts center and Hill’s Art School in Arlington, VA and was a guest instructor at the Maryland College of Art and Design in Silver Spring, MD. In 1966 he co-founded Painting in the Mountains Art School in Burnsville, NC. He has led workshops in Charleston, SC, Lewes, DE, Tullahoma, TN and Ardgay, Scotland. He has traveled in Europe and Morocco.
John was born in Marion, OH. His artistic ability was recognized from his early years. After service in the U.S. Air Force, he attended the Ringling School of Art and the Jerry Farnsworth Studio in Sarasota, Florida. His love affair with the North Carolina mountains began in 1943 when he attended a Ringling School summer session at Little Switzerland, NC. There he met Frank Stanley Herring, a prominent watercolorist who became John’s mentor and friend. John studied winters in Sarasota; summers he attended the Burnsville Painting classes in North Carolina where his teachers were Herring and Edward S. Shorter.