Pia, Anthony Ryder, Oil on Linen, 18x14, 2009 ©

Deborah:  "I started with the shorter courses (1-2 week) and found that I loved the process and the teaching method. Completed the 9 month course, feeling that I'd done the most important thing I could do for my art. It was the hardest I've ever worked and I loved every bit of it. The teaching was gentle but firm and very, very instructive. And so much of what I learned I am trying to pass on to my students.”

  "The Ryder studio 9 month course was the making of me as an artist. Before that I had fiddled about taking a lot of week long holiday watercolour classes (very popular in the UK) and had been very helpfully mentored by a local artist, but I wanted something more. The intensive course at the Ryder Studio was quite wonderful and pushed me further, faster, than years of part time short courses ever could have. The atmosphere and teaching by Tony, Celeste and John was kind, hugely informative and supportive of all the students, irrespective of age, gender, level of ability or experience. I attended for 4 weeks in Nov/Dec 2009 and then 9 months 2010/11."

Rhonda: "I went to two of the workshops in a row staying in Santa Fe for that month, the best and most wonderful experience ever. Tony, John, Celeste are equally wonderful teachers, AND they are the most amazing PEOPLE. Very, very nice and knowledgeable. My work exponentially improved (is there a spellcheck on Facebook, sorry for the typos). I really had the scales fall from my eyes... I could 'see' so much better, it is really strange. Tony's demos and explanations are like sitting with a painter from the olden days, I will never forget all the wonderful explanations, and references. He is very smart. Tony has been the yardstick for me as I have sought other teachers in my area, and there is no one like him. I went back to study during the school year for a month, and it was just as wonderful. I have sat with my family and tried to figure a way to go for the 9 month program but my life will not permit it at this time. But if I could I would go tomorrow. I may in the future as the city is also really cool, and considered it a place to move to. It is a small, sophisticated place with lots to do. I rode horses, rafted down a river, rode my bike, soaked in hot springs, painted pretty pictures, drank and ate like a queen. It was really fun. And now I draw so much better, and still keep my palette like Tony helped me do. And do my 'palette hygiene' every day that I paint. Oh sorry to go on: GO TO THE RYDER STUDIO, it is a REALLY good school. I think the atelier style of teaching is very important and good, but there is some impracticality to it, and the Ryder studio operates a bit differently. you will learn no matter what level. Drawing a Bargue or cast will help you too, but working from life the entire time you are there is the most important lesson you can get when learning to draw, which is the foundation of painting and art.”

Eliza: "I'm a newbie and Ryder studio has been a great experience. Prior to attending Ryder Studio summer workshops (and now the 8 month program) I had taken 2 community college drawing classes and had barely touched oil paint. I had no other art experience--zero. There is a wide variety of experience/skill among the students and this is a very good thing; as one of the least experienced students I get to learn from everyone. Starting with the summer workshops was a good idea. Not only was it a great overview of the longer program but it allayed any fears about having too little experience to get the most out of the program. Tony, Celeste and John do an excellent job of tailoring the lessons for you. It really is more like a private education in the company of fellow artists."

Daryl: "Ditto to all above comments.... I've been to 3 summer workshop sessions and two 9 month sessions.... The learning curve there is fast and you will find yourself improving noticeably.... John and Celeste are all super teachers and Tony is there every day... Lots of one on one instruction and also much "TonyTime"... This isn't the type of studio where the "Master" stops by one afternoon a week...."

Anna: "The Ryder Studio is the place to go to learn the skills you want to have, and to absorb the core aesthetic principles that will ultimately guide your work. It is thoughtfully structured as a welcoming and nurturing environment for students of all stages to learn and grow together. Anthony Ryder, Celeste Ryder and John Reger are inspiring artists as well as gifted teachers. The instruction is full of clarity, gentleness, and patience. They each have developed an intuitive ability to sense what would most benefit each individual student, and how best to communicate that through words and demonstration. 

"I first took a workshop with Tony at the end of 2004. I felt a huge shift in my understanding because of his teaching. Within a year or two I had moved to Santa Fe to continue studying with him. I was at The Ryder Studio full time until 2011, and watched the progress and development of many other students, both short-term and long-term. I've since returned for a refresher when I've been able to.

"It can be a challenge for any student to set fear aside and be open to learn. It may be reassuring to realize that as beginners we often learn more quickly, because it can be easier for us to have the humility to acknowledge what we don’t know and need to learn. When we come to a workshop having already developed a certain level of skill, we may be tempted to lean on what we already know in order to avoid embarrassment and produce a slick-looking painting, and therefore miss the opportunity to go deeper into the principles that could transform our work. 

"Learning to draw and paint is a lifetime pursuit and generates infinite challenges no matter the level of the artist. As we learn to work through these challenges in a supportive environment like The Ryder Studio, our studies and work can become infinitely rewarding as well.”

 "I second all of the above comments and will also add that I too had almost no art experience, but just dove headfirst into the 9 month course last year (2012-2013) and am back for another 9 month stint this year (2013-2014). It has been the best decision of my life, hands down. I think Anna is right, having no prior experience to lean on, I was able to put ego aside and try to totally absorb what Tony, Celeste, and John were teaching. The principles of light and form taught in the studio are clear, beautiful, and essential to understand for creating good work. I am extremely lucky to have landed at The Ryder Studio for my first soiree into realist art. I cannot recommend this place highly enough."

Krista: "Tony was my first drawing teacher after high school (there was a 10-year gap in which I did no drawing, so I was plenty rusty!) I spent years between the Ryder Studio and Studio Escalier (between '07 and '11) and learned a ton, with each studio environment providing a different experience and a certain set of strengths. Anyone who has questions or doubts, please feel free to message me. Spoiler: I adore the Ryder Studio."

© Ryder 2021