Ryan Brearley grew up in a family interested in the arts. His mother, a secondary arts teacher, became an internationally recognised textile artist and encouraged his artistic endeavours from an early age.
 
Ryan trained at local TAFEs and at the McNeill Academy of Realist Art in Geelong with Lance McNeill. His wide training has meant he is proficient in many disciplines, from painting to printmaking, and is reflected in his successful range of classes taught through the Queenscliffe Neighbourhood House. He has also had over ten years experience in the art materials industry, which not only has exposed Ryan to the wide range of supplies available and there uses, but also having travelled overseas to see their production.
Ryan approaches his own work and teaching from a tonalist approach. This style focuses on tone creating a sense of form and light within the work, and being able to create mood and feeling. He also has a long standing interest in colour and how it is perceived by eye.
 
He predominantly works with still life, the challenge of bringing together objects in an aesthetically pleasing way and at the same time expressing a feeling, is something that never tires him.
 
Still life allows him to experiment with interesting compositions, playing with balance, contrast and rhythms to create unified and harmonious work. It also allows him to share his love of collecting, the items in his work all having an interesting and colourful story.