What’s not to love about Rhode Island? With great food, people, and scenery, Rhode Island is called home by over a million people; including artist Mike Bryce who paints how he sees his home.
Who is Mike Bryce?
Mike Bryce grew up near Blackstone Boulevard in Providence, which is where he spends most of his days painting.
"It's very meditative and relaxing," Bryce said. “People will say, ‘You're the guy who sits on the boulevard and paints the boulevard."’
Bryce got his start in art as a child, landing his first gig designing comics for the Providence Journal at the age of nine.
"I started doing contests for the Providence Journal in the junior edition section. The Sunday editor said ‘Okay, no more winning the contest. We're just going to have you draw for us,”’ he said.
He said he grew to have his own column.
“So, I started doing puzzles and comic strips and that became a column called Turtle Soup,” Bryce said. “That ran for over a decade and a half.”
He’s now known for his paintings that showcase the beauty and bites Rhode Island has to offer.
Some of his bestsellers include landscapes of Federal Hill and The Towers, as well as Awful Awful and Del's Lemonade cups.
"Very Rhode Island, nostalgic imagery," Bryce explained. “I gravitate to these images and that's why I make them. It wasn't something like 'I think they're going to sell well.' I just liked them.”
The artwork has been so successful, Bryce quit his job as an art professor to paint full-time.
"I have clients that get them in triptychs. Often, they will have a two-foot or a three-foot or four-foot, even five-foot paintings of the Del's, an Autocrat and an Awful Awful, or sometimes they switch it up and throw a Narragansett beer in the mix," he said.
Bryce said his goal is to share the big picture of the smallest state.
"I think there is that nostalgia that resonates with everyone here. If you're from here, you don't really want to go away, and if you have to go 30 minutes, you have to pack a lunch or an overnight bag,” Bryce said.
He’s also hoping to inspire other artists in the process.
“I run an organization called Providence Artisans Market, where over 300 artists come to my market every year to exhibit their works and the quality of the local art. It's phenomenal,” Bryce said.
Those interested can purchase Bryce’s artwork at the Providence Artisans Market and at most major art festivals across the state.
Taken from turnto10
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