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 Ryan Skidmore  (1971 - )

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Lived/Active: Utah      Known for: wildlife in landscape

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Ad Code: 3
Ryan Skidmore
from Auction House Records.
Cottonwood Haven
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
From Utah, Ryan Skidmore is a wildlife painter working in realist style concerned about extinction of species and the necessity, for historical purposes, of recording wildlife in their natural habitats.  He predicts that some species available as subjects today are disappearing such as the polar bear, who may become extinct with the melting of the Arctic ice cap.  He says:  "The day may not be far off when the only record of many species will be the work of wildlife artists, so it would be nice if those representations were realistic and not some individual perception reflected in contemporary impressionism." (46)  Skidmore also believes that it is important to record the landscape where the wildlife is found.

He only paints animals he sees personally and does not paint from second-hand pictures.  He travels extensively in Canada, and is a great admirer of Alaskan painter Carl Rungius (1869-1959).

Skidmore credits his highschool football coach, Mitch Rodgers, and his art teacher, Glen Edwards, of Utah State, for the success of his art career.  Also, his father had many illustration magazines around the household and aroused his interest in wildlife by taking him on many hunting expeditions.  Ryan showed early art talent and was encouraged by his mother.  However, his father was "dead set" against him becoming an artist, until Skidmore had a very successful show in 1999 in Park City, Utah. 

Skidmore attended Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, and took art classes that grounded him in drawing.  Then he went to Weber State University for two years, which he regarded as a waste of time, but enrollment and a B.F.A. at Utah State and working with Glen Edwards proved a turn around for him.  Edwards didn't tell his students what to paint but just told them to paint.

Taking the plunge as a fine artist, Skidmore works hard to help support his family of three children and to make a positive contribution as a wildlife artist.  He says: "Being an artist is very hard work.  I know my neighbors think I have a very good and easy life---just painting a few pictures here and there, but it is the most difficult thing I have ever done.  It is hard." (49)  During the days, he is a 'stay-at-home-mom', while his wife works as a dental hygienist, and then in the evenings he is off to his studio.

Tony Varro, "Ryan Skidmore Wildlife Art", Wildlife Art, November 2006, pp. 46-48

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