An unlikely artist in Saratoga County, with a decorated past, is now making a career for himself through his drawings.
At his home studio in Gansevoort, every small stroke and each fine line all helps illustrate the bigger picture.
“I got into it as a hobby,” Bryn Reynolds explained. “I’ve been fortunate enough to visit most continents. I found this quite relaxing.”
Before Bryn carried his ink pens, he carried guns.
“In the military, I was almost always in the woods or on the water,” he recalled.
He entered the Army right out of high school. He was deployed to the first and second Gulf Wars in Iraq and then to Afghanistan.
“It was amazing what you can see with night vision,” he said. “We operated a lot at night. A lot of unforgiving terrain.”
It’s out of that darkness that beauty emerged and the dangerous places served as inspiration.
“It was almost all mountains, extremely rural; some of the most beautiful terrain in the world. The Panjeer Valley, the Hindu Kush Mountains are gorgeous,” Bryn recalled.
With no formal training, Bryn’s only brush with art was through a translator.
“We’d be doing briefings on, ‘Hey, we are going to do an ambush over here.’ He would grab a piece of charcoal out of fire and draw. We were just mesmerized. It was gorgeous.”
With that memory in mind, his hidden talent started as a way to bond with his twins.
“I would take a brush and a pen and say this is kind of fun, and it’s relaxing. I really wanted to explore that with my kids and my family,” said Bryn
From there it branched out.
“I framed up a few and put them on eBay,” Bryn explained.
To his surprise, they all sold. The artwork caught the eye of Shellie McWhorter.
“One of the sheriff’s deputies told me about it, and I said I gotta check this out,” she said. “My husband worked with Bryn in law enforcement.”
Bryn had joined the Washington County Sheriff’s Office after retiring from the military as a Sergeant First Class.
“They are real but in a simple clean way,” McWhorter said.
She ended up buying three pieces from him and commissioned him to do three more of her favorite places.
“I can’t wait to see them,” she said.
Bryn added, “I can pretty much tell you what prompted each one.”
He says after 25 years of serving, there is a lot to draw from.
“We certainly had a lot of bad days, saw the best and worst of humanity. It’s a rough job at times,” he said.
Putting ink to paper has now become a sort of therapy for him.
“It’s kind of relaxing; you get a rhythm going.”
It’s become an expressive outlet in contrast to the order and discipline of military life.
Bryn added, “I would do this even if no one ever bought a drawing. I enjoy it that much.”
Now the beauty of the Adirondacks, his service, and the people he meets have a hand in keeping him going.
“What calls out to people is surprising sometimes. I’m thankful what I enjoy doing, a lot of people enjoy putting on their homes.”