Philip Ryder Dunn

“Against all sound advice, people will stubbornly keep trying to make
pleasing things for no particularly good reason.”
– Elizabeth Gilbert, Author of Eat, Pray, Love
 
Art Goals
My mission is to dazzle and draw people into contemplative states with light, color, shape and story. If I can get someone to stop dead in their tracks and dive into a painting, I’m successful.
 
I love that feeling, and if I were in the business of passing out that feeling, I’d be
eternally happy. There is a bit of a drug dealer aspect to it. It’s so subtle, but if an artist can hijack a person’s brain for a few moments and pull them into an image and a feeling – via light, color and shape – that’s brilliance.
 
I want my paintings to convey wonder and excitement.
 
For the individual collector and local art enthusiast, I think I’ve succeeded most when I’ve piqued their interest with a scene known to them (or one that’s a little different than the classic, tread-worn scene) and then reinvented that scene with more dramatic, captivating light and color. If I can pull a ghost or a dazzling, God-like element into the painting, all the better. Those elements are subtle feel in the end. They’re the sum of a million little parts.
 
 
Process
 
My works are combinations of photography, abstract personal concepts and inspirations from other artists. That’s usually how it comes together.
 
I’m often inspired by an image I stumble across in real life. If I can capture it with my phone, that’s good. I’ll map out the details on a canvas (freehand darks against the white of the canvas). Then I’ll meditate on the image and the prior, in-person experience with the image. Those thoughts go into the color palette chosen and the tweaks to the layout.
 
In some cases, I’ll go to web sites of artists I’m familiar with and see how they’ve treated similar scenes. I print up some of their treatments to gain some input. 
 
Sometimes I’ll look to masters whose paintings are in famous museums. Other times I’ll take an image into Photoshop and adjust light, saturation and color levels to see if I can add drama to the subjects.
 
I paint with a freehand, casual style. Sometimes I get too obsessed with small brushes, however. You’ll see certain areas in my paintings where I took extra time to tinker with shades and brush shapes.
 
There is an emotional element that comes with the process. If the subject is just right, I’ll be moved to paint quickly and passionately. There are bursts of this type of process in my works. They come and go like a quickly forming and receding tide push.
 
Artist’s Biographical Background
Bored out of my head in a re-education class for dangerous drivers, I started sketching my hand. That was five years ago. Now I’m an artist (oil paintings and sketches) and a community college professor (media and journalism).
 
I wrote a book about media in 2015-16. It’s called Media Collusion: Journalism and Marketing Experts Share the Secrets of Sneaky Advertising, Targeted Persuasion, AI and Tracking, Political Deception and Coercion, and Dishonest News.
 
When I stopped writing so much and focused on painting, a huge world of fine detail, color, shadow and light opened up to me.
 
I’m inspired by the “open impressionism” of Erin Hanson.
 
I love ice hockey, dogs, surfing and raising my wonderful children.