THE RYDER STUDIO
"Instruction" means the conveyance of a structured way of seeing to the mind of the student. When this organization of the mind begins to take place, as the setting up of shelving in a supermarket, then information, goods on the shelves, is set forth in an orderly way. If we look at "information" we see that it brings about the actual formation of the mind. However, what is the mind, but a species of light? Now if the mind, the organ of knowledge has within it an enlightened framework, and this having to do with interaction of light with the formal structure of the human body, then this is very good for painters. For the living form of the human person is the apex of an evolutionary process that has its roots in the 13.7 billion year old universe, and is a microcosm of the same. Its order is not the order of the above mentioned supermarket, which is a human creation, but life itself has chosen to take this form, and its wisdom is above human conception. Add to that light, the shining energy, the substance of vision that is mathematically perfect, at every moment to the photon. This is the visual field, our present experience of vision.
Such living energy, literally living color, is our subject, source of endless beauty. We study this subject methodically in the languages of drawing and painting. The visual field is organized down to the very last atom. This natural pattern occurs according to the law of shape, though not constrained by it, rather it is the realm of infinite variation and possibility. All reality is filled with things, each of which has a configuration and a shape. The visual field is a mosaic of organized shapes full of light. The mosaic we study in the block-in and all that follows upon the block-in, in the drawing, the inner curve, the fullness of the contour, and the occupation of space by form represented in tone. The light we study in the poster exercise, the very brilliance and color of it. For in the painting we unite the two, in each brushstroke placement and shape, plus hue, value and chromatic intensity. The marriage of the drawing and the poster results in the birth of the painting itself, a being of light.
The methods and techniques taught at The Ryder Studio are the earth in which the seeds of theory are planted. Each hour of practice more securely fixes the instruction of drawing and painting in the increasingly organized mind.