Bryan Koontz resides in the heart of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, NC. Having roots that go back two centuries and being a lifelong native to the area has given him a deep appreciation for the mountain culture, heritage, and scenery.
His desire to be an artist stemmed back to his early youth when his grandmother would paint, and allow Bryan to try his hand at his own creations. From those positive experiences and from many other creative endeavors following, he decided to pursue a career in the graphic arts, graduating with a BS degree in Commercial Design from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. He then worked in the print graphics industry and was employed primarily at a high-end commercial printer. He would do private commissioned work, book illustration, and commercial illustration such as the pen & ink drawings for the various Mast General Stores located around the southeast. After the economic downturn began, Bryan found himself at a crossroads to begin a new career.
He now owns his own company, Shepherd’s Mountain Studio, where he is juggling full-time freelance graphic design, photography, illustration, and fine art.
Bryan works in many different media, including watercolor, pen & ink, graphite, and silver point. He is now endeavoring to deepen his skills in traditional oil painting – specifically, the techniques employed by the Hudson River and American landscape painters of the mid- to late-19th century. Most of the painting supports Bryan uses involve much hand preparation. He makes his own gesso with traditional materials employing stable hardboard and plywood supports and linen for larger paintings. Gesso and mediums are mixed with formulas based on traditional time-tested painting recipes using high quality components. Quality oil paints are used with the mediums to achieve the layered techniques of the mid-19th century painters to ensure both durable and beautiful paintings.
BRYAN’S MISSION STATEMENT
I strive to create art that draws people into what they are viewing.I want my work to be a refreshing experience of the places I have enjoyed seeing – old historic places, paths and fields I have walked along, expansive mountain vistas and wilderness areas.I want my work to bring the viewer a sense of solace and peace…a respite in this rushed and very often dreary world, to experience a little of God’s good presence and grace that I often feel in these wild and lonely places! May my art bring the one who views it a respite in this challenging world.