True to the unique flavor that can be seen in all of Henry’s works around town, the Twirl mural features a big red bird, some colorful frogs, and a whole bunch of lemurs – a perfect fit for the jungle-gym apparatus the mural surrounds.
Henry first started painting murals in Seattle in the summer of 2008 after he was injured and could no longer work at his landscaping construction business. Since then the popularity of his paintings have soared. When he first started, Henry had a goal: He wanted to paint 50 murals around town. Now, three years later, that milestone has come and gone. This Twirl mural is Henry’s 119th in Seattle alone. He also has works in Olympia, Tacoma, Bellevue, Bellingham, and the Dominican Republic.
“I never planned on being a professional artist – it’s just something that happened,” he said. “It’s the best! I don’t have to have a real job.”
Drop by to see Henry’s brand new mural at Twirl, or catch his work along walls and in storefronts around town. If you haven’t caught one yet, you’ll have plenty of chances – Henry says he plans to keep painting his whimsical characters wherever he can until he either can’t paint anymore, or he runs out of free wall space.
Henry will be having a show of his canvas work later this week, on Saturday, June 11 from 6 to 10 p.m., at Kristos in Eastlake (during the art walk).
If you’d like to catch more of Henry’s work around town this summer, visit his studio at Short Stop Coffee in Fremont (336 NW 40th Street), swing by one of his upcoming shows, and keep on the lookout for his latest project, “The Little Cupcake Gallery,” a mobile gallery featuring works from other local artists (as well as Henry) located in a refurbished blue school bus that parks around town.
Local painter and muralist Ryan Henry Ward will be painting a brand new work live at Queen Anne’s own Twirl Cafe from noon until 5 p.m. today, Monday, June 6.
Henry’s murals can be seen in and around business all over Seattle, as well as on a number of concrete walls and homesteads, like the house on Nickerson that was transformed into a three dimensional work of art last year. His whimsical style will be a perfect addition to the kid-centric Twirl Cafe, which focuses on providing a family focused space for relaxation (for parents) and child play (for kids) in the Queen Anne community.
Want to see some of Henry’s prior work? Check out this time-lapsed video of Henry creating a mural at Lowell Elementary:
While Twirl’s play area will be closed while Henry paints today, the cafe will remain open for coffee and lunch service, and Twirl owner Rebecca Pelletier invites neighbors to swing by and watch the artist in action.
A little background information on Henry, courtesy of Twirl Cafe:
Ryan graduated with a degree in Art, Writing and Storytelling for Children from Fairhaven College in Western Washington. It was at Fairhaven that he began to focus on his writing, theatre crafts and painting. He has written and illustrated several books for loved ones, as well as illustrated children’s books authored and published by others.
Since June of 2008, Ryan has completed over 110 murals, and it is this body of work that he has become most famous for. Previous to becoming a public muralist, he had painted dozens of murals in private residences around the Pacific Northwest. He has created works in India and Thailand, as well as four murals in the Dominican Republic. Selling over 400 original canvases in Seattle over the past couple of years, Ryan’s vision of creating primitive images with a dream like surreal quality has come to fruition… He wants the natural rawness of the painting process to show through his balanced, bright, and whimsical work.
You can check out more of Henry’s work at his website and on his Flickr page. I’ll be swinging by Twirl later today to catch the artist at work, and will be posting updates as he goes.
Local painter Ryan Henry Ward has left the mark of his trade all around Seattle, literally. Using a style that combines chalk, oil and acrylic paints, Ward is most well known for his bright and whimsical murals that can be seen on abandoned walls and on the sides of homes and businesses around town–you’ll know it’s him by “Henry” stamp painted into the picture.
The side of a house along Nickerson just before the Fremont Bridge has long been a site of Ward’s work, but recently the artist was commissioned to “muralize” the rest of the house, a project finished just earlier this week. The largest part of the new mural showcases a giant goldfish over the east side of the house–a picture that seems to be framed for commuters looking for an entertaining pastime while waiting for the bridge to go down!
Check out more photos of Ward’s work here. Many of Ward’s murals are in our sister neighborhoods, like Ballard, Fremont and Phinney Ridge. Henry works have also been commissioned in less obvious places, like inside local schools and on the walls of neighborhood businesses. Keep your eyes peeled! I personally like to play a little game I call spot the “Henry” while driving around town.