Eloise Ryan, of Pine River, took on art at age 10, when she imitated paintings from her father’s hunting magazines, freehand with a pencil.
She has two drawings that she’s saved, and while they don’t show the same accuracy as her watercolor paintings do today, the attention to detail at age 10 certainly made them something to save for decades.
Ryan, treasurer of the Pine River Art Club, is willing to teach anyone who wishes to learn how to paint with watercolors. She teaches alongside Pine River Art Club meetings, once month. The club is currently seeking members.
Ryan had painted with oil paints, but now uses watercolors almost exclusively. She never took any art classes in school, but has attended several workshops as an adult.
Many of her paintings, which hang throughout her house, include nature scenes, wildlife and seascapes from her trips to South Padre Island and Corpus Christi, Texas.
“Watercolor is so much fun,” she said.
Ryan loves the way that pigment moves over damp paper.
“They say that watercolor paper has a mind of its own, and it does sometimes,” she said.
Ryan moved to the area with her husband, Marvin, around 20 years ago. She grew up in Staples, and she and Marvin raised six children — two boys and four girls — in Morris. Painting fell by the wayside during that time, but today she has a studio in her Pine River home.
She said she could spend days in the studio.
“I get so into it, I forget the world around me. I don’t know the time. I lose track of everything.
“I so love it,” she said.
Ryan said it took awhile for her friend to talk her into joining the Pine River Art Club.
“Looking back I wish I would have joined five years before,” she said.
When she joined, she also joined the Leech Lake Art League, which meets in Walker. Her paintings are on display at Smokey Hills in Park Rapids and at the Good Samaritan home in Pine River. The Pine River Art Club also has a show once a year during Summerfest.
At many of the watercolor workshops Ryan has attended, artists had a long demonstration, and then everyone would sit and paint. Ryan said that often she had seen so much as the teacher painted that she didn’t know where to start.
Ryan prefers to teach step-by-step. She paints, stops and allows students to try what she’s demonstrated.
Anyone who is interested in learning how to paint, or is considering joining the club, can come to the club and give painting a try. Supplies are available for anyone who’s interested, which they can purchase if they wish to formally join the club.
“We know painters are out there,” Ryan said. “We need more members.”
While Ryan enjoys watercolors, all mediums are welcome in the club. Anyone who would like to join can come paint or create. The club has use of The Warehouse in Pine River all day, and typically meets from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the first Wednesday of the month.
The club will also have a booth at Back to Basics on Saturday, Feb. 1, at Pine River-Backus School.
Anyone interested in joining the club or participating in the watercolor classes should call Ryan at 218-587-5282.