Painting with Paper – Ryan Kohler’s Solo Summer Show

“Some would argue that a painting, just by being a painting, is automatically abstracted to a small degree, no matter how hyper-realistic it is,” says artist Ryan Kohler. “My work falls on the abstraction scale, sure, but where doesn’t matter to me. Tasteful expression matters to me; strong composition and accurate drawing matter; mixing color with integrity matters.”

Kohler’s one-person show will be open on August 13 at The Gallery at the Grand on Maine Art Hill, 1 Chase Hill Road, Kennebunk. The gallery opens at 10 AM, and this show is available every day through September 8.  Please note the artist is attending the opening reception from 5 to 7 PM on August 13. All are welcome.

Kohler has a BA in Art with a concentration in drawing from the University of Maine at Augusta. He practiced many mediums throughout college, but one continually came out ahead.

“While studying for my art degree, I was subjected to all sorts of torturous experimentations with various mediums,” Kohler jokes.  “I knew drawing would still be a relevant skill whatever avenue I chose to pursue in art, so I took just about every art class, sometimes unwillingly, but painting was always my favorite.”


If painting was his preferred outlet, acrylic was his first love. Yet, Kohler has found a new passion, quickly stealing space in his heart and studio.

“My process is evolving. My work continues to be acrylic, but I’m incorporating the use of papers,” he explains. “I’m treating my canvas as collage. Each piece demonstrates different levels of this aspect. Some are more extreme than others.”


Kohler began experimenting over the last few years and has found incredible success. However, even this new process evolves into something more with each piece he creates.

“I like the freedom of adding and removing physical pieces to the painting.  With this, I knew paint alone would never be enough for me,” shares Kohler. “However, I had to find a reasonable, sustainable option to combine with it.  Long story short, I found paper.  Completely safe to use, glue-able, paintable, flexible, archival, and millions of colors.”

The result of this work is similar to palette knife oil paintings. Parallel with distinct planes of color and various shapes layered over each other.  For Kohler, the paper’s advantage is the workability, clarity of color, and the ability to work in small areas without the risk of the muddiness that can sometimes come with an oil painting.

“It’s beautiful when the right shapes in the right color all come together just the right way. I’m proud of these paintings. They are my clearest vision yet in my career and my most cohesive body of work.”

This show is a must see in person, and all are welcome to The Gallery at the Grand in Kennebunk to visit. The opening is Saturday, August 13 at 10 AM, with an artist reception from 5-7 that evening. The show runs until September 8 and is open every day. FMI 207-967-2803 or

Kohler says, “An artist can be anything but boring,” and this show is anything but that.


To see all available work from Ryan Kohler, click the link below.

Ryan Kohler –  ARTIST PAGE

To read more insights from Ryan Kohler, click the link below.


Ryan also has a collection of videos, including Secretly.

Ryan Kohler –  VIDEOS