Say it AND spray it at Lucid Paints
“A man with a can and a plan” is how Ryan Cook describes his spray-painting self. Watching him work at a festival or in his garage studio is a little like watching a paint ballet with colorfully topped cans pirouetting across a canvas. The cans dance around a few simple tools like lids from kitchen pots, hand-cut stencils, and old plastic shopping bags, as Cook transforms canvases into magical mountains, moons, and more. In fact, his infectious laugh, passionate outlook on life, and tattoo-adorned visage suggest there might be something a little magical about Cook as well.
Despite the fact that he often paints in front of crowds of fifty or sixty at fairs, Cook says painting is “kind of like meditating” for him – it’s a path to self-discovery.
“Every painting is at its highest potential for that moment in time,” says Cook.
Cook’s creative and quick composition style make it hard to believe he launched Lucid Paints, a speed-spraying studio, in October of 2017. “I’m never satisfied being comfortable with what I know, so as a result I’m always pushing myself for new techniques, new paintings, something original,” he says.
Three of Cook’s seven children are learning to speed-spray. His 18-year-old son even paints with him live at festivals. Nicole, Cook’s wife, has helped him create an online presence where he frequently paints live in front of a green screen with dual shots revealing his current canvas and letting him enthusiastically greet newcomers and his “painting family” to his live feed.
Surrounded by bright canvases depicting everything from galaxies to girls blowing bubbles, Cook explains that labels like “artist” are something he shies away from, but without a doubt, he loves sharing his creations. In fact, after many requests, he’s recently decided to offer speed-spray lessons. My wife Beth and daughters Eleanor and Abigail have enjoyed watching him paint at local festivals, so we decided to shake things up and try our hands at spraying.
Abigail Sievers, age 9
Hello, I’m here to tell you about Lucid Paints spray-paint lessons (which I totally loved)! I personally love unicorns, so I decided to make a unicorn painting. Ryan and I discussed some background details. We chose a waterfall! So you learn many techniques and pointers about spray-painting. You get to choose the colors you get to work with, use different tools, and sign your work! The lessons are highly enjoyable. You get to add special touches and have fun with your lessons. In the end, I give his lessons 5 out of 5 gold stars!
Thanks for reading, sincerely, Abigail.
Eleanor Sievers, age 11
Spray-painting is definitely something I would recommend to everyone! I enjoyed it a lot, and I think you will too. I made a moonlit savannah with a beautiful textured elephant at the center. Using a variety of techniques, I painted the sky. First, Ryan placed an old pot lid (the moon) in the center of the canvas, then sprayed black around it. I then sprayed white and black over it and placed a plastic grocery bag on top, then peeled it back to reveal a beautifully textured moon. I was surprised at the different techniques he used.
Ryan’s studio was really well put together to showcase his beautiful work and also film for his YouTube channel. Since he is working with a volatile substance, he’s taken several safety precautions to ensure a fun and safe time. The table he works on also functions as an exhaust, which is genius. He also had safety goggles, gloves, and masks ready for us to use. With seven kids of his own, Ryan knew how to be both kind and effective with the girls, so they could grasp the skills necessary to create their masterpieces.