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 Ryan Wurmser  (1973 - )

About: Ryan Wurmser


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Lived/Active: California      Known for: traditional and contemporary painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biography, submitted September 2011, is from the artist.

Ryan Wurmser was born in Los Angeles in 1973. He showed early promise in the visual arts, and it was his father who first encouraged his creative pursuits. He comes from an artistic family with a history of involvement in the motion picture industry. Wurmser’s grandfather, Frank Wurmser was a highly respected creative engineer and set designer for Universal Studios and his father, Terry Wurmser was a professional sculptor and an art director.

While in high school Wurmser attended the Art Center College of Design on a Merit Scholarship that was later extended upon his graduation. Two years later he began studying at the California Art Institute. Wurmser was twenty-four when he began working as a concept artist in the entertainment industry (advertising and visual development). A brief list of clients includes Landmark Entertainment, Disney, Paramount Studios and Universal Studios. He carried on with his educational pursuits at Steve Huston Studio and Associates in Art. Since then he has studied at Andreeva Academy with Yuqi Wang, Studio Escalier, and L’Ecole de Albert Defois with Ted Seth Jacobs (the latter two located in the south of France). He now teaches at the California Art Institute, and has conducted several figurative and landscape painting workshops internationally.

In addition to solo exhibitions, Wurmser’s work has appeared in several group exhibitions throughout the United States including the prestigious Salon d’ Arts at the Colorado History Museum in Denver and “The Next Generation of Realists” Exhibition at the Forbes Gallery in New York City. He received the Grand Prize at the “Artists for the New Century” Exhibit (2006) hosted by the Bennington Center for the Arts in Vermont. In 2006 he was honored with the Gold Medal for Best Painting at the California Art Club’s 95th Annual Gold Medal Exhibition, Pasadena Museum of Art.

Wurmser spent the last three years abroad studying in France, England and Italy. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

Biography from Jeffrey Morseburg:
Ryan Wurmser is a versatile young California painter who has turned from a successful career in illustration fine art. He paints richly colored landscapes with figures, interior scenes, still lifes and landscapes. Wurmser creates a sense of mood in his paintings by balancing passages of rich color with delicate grays. By working out-of-doors, directly from nature, he is able to give his works a naturalistic quality.

Wurmser, with his training as a draftsman, is able to reconcile accurate drawing with painterly brushwork, following in the footsteps of the early 20th century American Impressionists.

Wurmser was born in Los Angeles in 1973 and has always lived in the San Fernando Valley, north of Los Angeles. He came from an artistic family with a history of involvement in the motion picture industry. Wurmser’s grandfather was a highly respected set designer and his father is a professional sculptor and an art director, so it was almost natural for the young man to choose an artistic path.

After graduating from Westlake High School in 1992 he began attending the nearby California Art Institute with his parents’ encouragement. Initially, Wurmser studied drawing at the institute and credits Glenn Orbik and Steve Houston as outstanding draftsmen and teachers who have had a lasting impact on his artistic development, especially his keen awareness of the importance of good draftsmanship.

Classes with the plein-air painter and former illustrator Dave Jonas were instrumental in helping Wurmser develop a rich color sense and reconcile his academic training with more expressive brushwork. It was Jonas who introduced him to legendary 19th-century painters who came to influence the young artist.

Only two years into his studies, Wurmser was asked to take over Glen Obrik’s drawing classes at the California Art Institute. Then, for the past four years, Wurmser has been putting the skills that he developed through his training into practice as a freelance illustrator. When he began his commercial career, he threw himself into learning how to do the type of conceptual work that is required by major development companies.

As an illustrator, Wurmser had done theme park design for major companies such as Paramount, Universal, Landmark and Disney. Now, like many successful fine artists, he is leaving the commercial world behind for a career as an easel painter.

Wurmser is an avid collector of books on historic painters. He loves the work of Joaquin Sorolla, the Spanish Impressionist; the expatriate American John Singer Sargent; Nicolai Fechin, the outstanding Russian painter who emigrated to America; and other artists from the Russian school like Valentin Serov and Illya Repin. However, his favorite painter and greatest influence is the bold Swedish painter Anders Zorn. He is drawn to the sense of naturalism that Zorn achieved in his paintings of figures in outdoor light and his ability to focus the viewer’s interest on what he wanted to impart to them.

Ryan Wurmser is an energetic and personable young man who has an incredible sense of focus. He is a patient painter who is dedicated to making each painting true to his original idea. Despite the momentary frustrations of picture making, he finds painting a joyful way to make a living. He sees traditional art as a visual language through which he can impart his feelings and moods.

Wurmser is drawn to beauty and makes no apologies for the fact that his paintings are intended to be beautiful. He wants to paint interesting and attractive people. He believes that we all need harmony and that art can be a font of beauty in the hurly-burly rush of our daily lives. Now, with a long career as a fine artist ahead of him, he wants nothing more than to dedicate his life to providing collectors with works of art that will give them many years of pleasure and enjoyment.
– Jeffrey Morseburg

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