Ryan Dempsey was 7 years old when he first started to draw. Three years, and more than 100 canvases later, he continues to use his talent to paint pictures for himself, for his family and friends, and for a good cause.
The budding Chandler artist will host his own art show Friday, Feb. 1, at Yo Love Frozen Yogurt in Chandler. The shop will donate 20 percent of its sales that night to Ryan’s elementary school, and Ryan will donate a portion of his art sales to the charity Kitchen on the Street, a foundation that works to feed hungry children in the Phoenix area.
Ryan has had no formal training in drawing or painting. He has essentially taught himself the tools of his trade.
“I started painting two Christmases ago,” says Ryan. “My grandma bought me a mini canvas, that’s like 1 inch by 1 (inch), and she gave me some acrylic paints. I just tried it and I liked doing it.”
From round birds sitting in the moonlight to a tall Aspen tree touching the sky to the sun setting over a calm ocean, Ryan says his favorite subject to paint is nature. He takes inspiration from things he sees around him, as well as photos his relatives have taken. Right now, he’s working on a painting of an old cottage his grandparents photographed while visiting Ireland.
“Birds have always been fun to me because you can do their little feathers and their beak is triangular, and it’s fun to do that,” says Ryan. “I also do nature because it’s not always perfect, so you can mess around with it a little bit.”
Ryan has held several art shows around the Valley, but his most recent show was at a photography studio in Claremont, Calif. Ryan says he feels very proud when someone purchases his work, and he is always interested to know what about it caught their eye.
Looking to his future, Ryan hopes to continue painting and turn his recreational art into a full-time career. Until then, he says that he’ll continue to paint and be inspired by everything he sees.
“When I get home (after visiting a museum), I start painting,” says Ryan. “I ask myself, if I like a painting, I ask myself why do I like it, and I try to include that in my next painting.”
If you go
What: See and shop more than 40 paintings by 10-year-old Chandler artist Ryan Dempsey.
When: 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1
Where: Yo Love Frozen Yogurt, 1900 W. Germann Road, Chandler
Cost: Admission is free; 20 percent of proceeds from yogurt sales during the show will go to Dempsey’s elementary school, and Dempsey will donate a portion of art sales to Kitchen on the Street.
Information: (480) 248-7721 or search “Ryan Dempsey Art” on Facebook
• Ellen, a junior studying journalism at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is an intern for the East Valley Tribune. Contact her at (480) 898-6514 or firstname.lastname@example.org.