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Artwork

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About Jackie Ryan

Jackie Ryan I have never seen artmaking as a choice, but rather as a necessary and obvious part of living. What I’m creating is always changing, but my commitment to creativity is an inevitable constant. The way I see it, the process of artmaking helps to integrate the endless information coming into the brain with the already present and always working imagination. It helps to process past experiences and vision future ones, all the while giving my mind, body and spirit a pathway to actually BE in the present moment of creation.

As I paint, I notice my breathing slows down. I enter a zone of concentration that last hours longer than I can concentrate on any other activity. Even though my left arm is doing most of the work and I am often for hours standing, my body does not tell me any signs of tiring. We are aware, we are alert to whatever forces of creation are coming through.

Often I approach the canvas with some kind of experience I had that needs a way to express itself to others, or I’m having an emotional response and feel desperate to be seen. Through painting, I am instantly transformed. Though I do not paint realistic scenes or stories that people can follow, I’ve grown to accept (without understanding) that people can feel when they view my work what I felt when I was painting it. Therefore, the work creates intimacy, and dissolves any illusion of separation between humans who seem to have very different lives on the outside, but can on a deeper lever share the same journey of searching for a life of meaning. The feeling of being witnessed that the painting creates as it is being witnessed by the viewer, is a (for lack of a better term) healing. The therapy for me comes in making it, for the viewer in feeling seen by it. The art, therefore, works as a tool to connect one being to another, to allow the energy of life to flow.

My work and my theories about art are highly influenced by all of the other practices I incorporate into my life with it, including yoga, meditation, dance, psychedelic healing, tantra, and nature immersion. I feel grateful to have the ability to express myself in many different forms and to be able to connect and share with other people as we journey through this beautiful miracle of life together, as one.