30 November 2016

Clear Skies Reflected in Bifocals Belonging to my great-grandmother, Elizabeth Ann Longstreet Parker (the light, the shade)


Clear Skies Reflected in Bifocals Belonging to my great-grandmother, Elizabeth Ann Longstreet Parker (the light, the shade)
4 x 6 inches, oil on linen on panel, 2016.

Today is Robert Lax's birthday (born: November 30, 1915, Olean, NY; died: September 26, 2000, Olean, NY).

This painting is part of my the light, the shade series that I began back in December 2012. I wrote about how Robert Lax was the inspiration for my "the light, the shade" series here. Generous support for my "the light, the shade" series from June 2016-June 2018 is provided by the Norman Johnston Fellowship at Arcadia University.

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Best,

28 November 2016

still life of shadows (the light, the shade) (+ "we hold these truths to be self-evident...")


still life
of shadows
(the light, 
the shade)
"we hold
these
truths
to be
self-
evident"
5 x 6 inches, oil on linen on panel, 2016.

This painting is part of my the light, the shade series that I began back in December 2012. I wrote about how Robert Lax was the inspiration for my "the light, the shade" series here. Generous support for my "the light, the shade" series from June 2016-June 2018 is provided by the Norman Johnston Fellowship at Arcadia University.

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Best,

03 November 2016

Still life with Robin's Egg, Acorn, and Handmade Cup



As you can see in this cup, the leaves on the trees across from my studio have turned bright orange -- almost the color of glowing embers. This painting continues my "Paintings of Handmade Pottery" project that I've been working on since January 2008. Also, there's a self portrait of sorts in the cup's reflection (here are a bunch of other reflection self portraits, too).

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Best,

02 November 2016

Two Red Pears (+ "Social Media Got You Down? Be More Like Beyoncé")



If you're interested, "Social Media Got You Down? Be More Like Beyoncé" is a September article by Jenna Wortham in the New York Times Magazine. Here's an excerpt:

"In high-definition contrast, let’s look at Beyoncé for a moment. Unless televised live performances count, she has never live-streamed a day in her life. She rarely gives interviews, so what we know is scraped from her social-media presence — which isn’t much. I can tell you what outfit and hairstyle Beyoncé posted on social media last week, but I couldn’t tell you where in the world she was, what the inside of her house looks like or even which continent her primary residence is on. Her images tend not to be location-tagged, or even look as if they were taken with a cellphone. I couldn’t tell you who took the photos of her, because, unlike most celebrities, Beyoncé rarely posts selfies. I have no idea who comes to her pool parties, if she has a pool or has ever been to a pool party. I couldn’t guess what she wears to bed. And yet, when I speak about her, it’s as if we’ve been attached at the hip since birth. I feel, very intimately, that I know her. Beyoncé’s feed is the rice cake of celebrity social-media feeds: low in caloric content but mystifyingly satisfying." [Keep reading]

To read about my #digitaldetox and #mindfulpractice 3-part series, visit here: [http://www.vivainstitute.com/course/the-innernet-with-abbey-ryan/].

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27 October 2016

Apple (Yin/Yang) in Last Light (+ On. The. Train.)



click to enlarge
A couple years ago, a painter in one of my workshops shared with me how he took advantage of his long work commute time... to paint.

On. The. Train. (see photo)

How inspiring. In my workshops, I talk with so many painters about my strategies to manage the fact that life's challenges and roadblocks sometimes (often?) keep us from doing what we love: painting. I hope that perhaps this photo can provide a bit of perspective on the matter.

Note: My 3-day July 25-27 workshop at Falmouth Art Center is now open for registration. My workshops fill up fast, and space is very limited. Register today to reserve your spot.

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25 October 2016

Now Open: 3-day July 25-27 workshop - Falmouth Art Center

My 3-day July 25-27, 2017 workshop at Falmouth Art Center is now open for registration. My workshops fill up fast, and space is limited to 12. Falmouth Art Center is a studio in coastal Cape Cod right across from the island of Martha's Vineyard. It's a gorgeous area.

Register today to reserve your spot.

In the workshop, I'll focus on how to strengthen your approach to painting and manage your internal painting dialogue so you’ll have a consistently positive painting experience. My teaching approach is described as "inspiring" -- and I always try to balance all there is to love about painting (everything!) with the most universally challenging aspects of painting. Read more here.

If you have any questions about the workshop or Cape Cod, please contact Executive Director Suzy Bergmann at (508) 540-3304 or director@falmouthart.org.

If you're interested, these photos give a glimpse into the vibe of my workshops, and in this video, past workshop participants talk about my approach to teaching:



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Best,

24 October 2016

Apple with Green Spot & Leaves (+ new 2017 workshop and email list)



New 2017 Workshop
Tomorrow I will be posting a new workshop announcement. Keep an eye out (or join my list) because my workshops always fill up fast and I took this year off from teaching workshops to focus on other projects.

Email Hygiene
If you're considering subscribing to my Painting a Day email, or if you already have subscribed, a big thank you for your interest in my work.

I post periodically now that it's important for you to check on your email list preferences. I have 3 email lists: A Painting a DAY, A Painting a WEEK, or A Painting a MONTH. Sign up for only ONE of the email lists so you don't get duplicate emails. In the weekly email, you'll get whatever I post usually on a Tuesday. In the monthly email, you'll get whatever I post on that day during a given month. If you do not want to miss my painting auctions, I'd suggest the daily email (which I really send out only 4-5 times a week). The weekly and monthly emails are better for folks who are not really often planning on purchasing my work.

Click here to choose your preferred email list to get exactly what you want (or don't want)

IF YOU'RE ALREADY SUBSCRIBED, check your email today -- you can change your preferred email list by clicking on the "Update Profile" link at the bottom of every email I send.

If you find yourself just deleting my "painting a day" or marking the emails as spam or just feeling like unsubscribing, it is easy to do so -- again, at the bottom of every email I send.

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Best,

23 October 2016

Three Apples (family) (+ "the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom")


Click to view auction

My dad recently shared something fascinating with me, if you're interested: "The mantis shrimp has one of the most elaborate visual systems ever discovered. Compared to the three types of color receptive cones that humans possess in their eyes, the eyes of a mantis shrimp carry 16 types of color receptive cones -- considered to be the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom."

"In captivity, some larger species are capable of breaking through aquarium glass with a single strike."

"At least two species have been reported to be able to detect circularly polarized light. Some of their biological quarter-wave plates perform more uniformly over the visual spectrum than any current man-made polarizing optics, and it has been speculated that this could inspire a new type of optical media that would outperform the current generation of Blu-ray disc technology."

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantis_shrimp

Auction Ending soon at 7 PM EST today:
Concord Grapes on Marble

Click to view auction

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Best,

19 October 2016

Red and Green Pepper (+ "In the Company of Women" with Grace Bonney)



If you're interested, AIGA Philadelphia is hosting Design*Sponge founder Grace Bonney and a panel of entrepreneurs and artists for a discussion of Bonney's latest book, In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs. Details about the Grace Bonney, her book and the event are here.

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Best,

18 October 2016

Concord Grapes on Marble (+ the Muddied Meaning of ‘Mindfulness’)


Click to view auction

If you visit my blog regularly, you know that I often write or share about things like mindful practice in the studio. "The Muddied Meaning of ‘Mindfulness’" is an interesting article by Virginia Heffernan about recent uses of terms like "mindful" and "mindfulness" in Western culture. [Read article]

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Best,

10 October 2016

Hand-picked Red and Green Apple with a Light Background (+ "a mammoth collectible")



Seth Godin is publishing a new limited edition book -- take a look here: http://moreseth.com.

*Obviously, I'll be thinking for a while about the "white" background in the John Johntson Still Life from 1810 that I studied last year at the "Audubon to Warhol: The Art of American Still Life" exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. If you're interested, I found a poor quality image of Johnston's still life online here.

Ending soon at 4:30 PM EST: 
Vintage Apple Juice Bottle and Apple with Leaves

Click to view auction

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Best,

07 October 2016

Pomegranate in Last Light (+ Steve Reich at 80: Still Plugged In, Still Plugging Away)



If you're interested, "Steve Reich at 80: Still Plugged In, Still Plugging Away" is a nice article about the composer Steve Reich and his relationship to technology. Here's an excerpt:

"'There’s no free lunch,' he said, musing on the trade-offs we make with technology. 'Whatever you gain, you have to realize that it's at some cost. And if you're not aware of that, then you are, in a sense, living in what we used to call a fool's paradise.'

Asked about ubiquity of technology today — a time when some even pay good money for someone to take their iPhones away — Mr. Reich responded, 'Well, that's the beauty of the Sabbath.' As an observant Jew, he unplugs every seventh day to take a break himself.

In 2016, when countless secular Americans are finding a need for 'unplugged retreats,' Mr. Reich still seems to have his finger on the pulse of the times...." [Keep reading]

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Best,

05 October 2016

Still life with Vintage Apple Juice Bottle and Apple with Leaves (+ Rembrandt, painting, and the digital age)


Click to view auction

Five years ago, I posted about seeing a Rembrandt exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I wrote about art reproduction and the Internet/digital age, but the crux is this: "My point in bringing all this up is to remind myself (and maybe you) how the physical presence of a painting can be so moving, and how complicated it is that a lot of the art we see today is only viewed online or in books. So much of the importance and content of a painting is not found in the image or subject matter, but in the texture, atmosphere, gesture, mark-making, smell, weight, thickness, layering, sensitivity, and... humanity" (Read full post here: My Thoughts on Rembrandt, 19 January 2012).

Not surprisingly, this topic has only become more prevalent and complex. For the past 5+ years, in my own artistic practice, I have only studied paintings in person in museums/galleries around the world. I categorically avoid studying paintings online (I'm fortunate to travel often and live in Philadelphia and close to NYC). The ins and outs of being a painter in the Internet/digital age come up all the time in my workshops and mentoring program and Innernet e-course. This also came up quite a bit in a couple of recent podcast interviews I did with 10,000 Hours and The Studio. It's critical for artists to figure out their relationship to new technologies, while always keeping the conversation ongoing about how we can do that while also continuing to hear our own voices and stay in alignment with our core values and interests.

P.S. If you look closely there's a self portrait of sorts in the glass bottle reflection (here are a bunch of other reflection self portraits, too).

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Best,

30 September 2016

Oyster (+ Annie Dillard's impossible pages)



For his contributions at the NYTimes, I always really enjoy Sam Anderson's work, and earlier this year he published a great piece in the New York Times Magazine entitled "Annie Dillard’s Impossible Pages: Three early and unpublished works by the author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek." If you haven't sought it out, there's a classic and wonderful chapter about "Seeing" in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek ("a long nonfictional account of her experience embedding, Thoreau-style, for a year of close observation of the titular waterway in Virginia.") Here's the beginning of Anderson's article:

"It’s unclear what to call Annie Dillard, where to shelve her. Over more than 40 years, she has been, sometimes all at once, a poet, essayist, novelist, humorist, naturalist, critic, theologian, collagist and full-throated singer of mystic incantations. Instead of being any particular kind of writer, she is, flagrantly, a consciousness — an abstract, all-encompassing energy field that inhabits a given piece of writing the way sunlight clings to a rock: delicately but with absolute force, always leaving a shadow behind. This is an essential part of what it means to be human, this shifting between the transcendent self and the contingent world, the ecstasy and the dental bill. We all do some version of it, all the time. But Dillard does it more insistently...." [Keep reading]

Auction ending soon at 2 PM EST:
Still Life with Blood Orange Slices

Click to view auction

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25 September 2016

Still Life with Blood Orange Slices


Click to view auction

I have been thinking about the white background in a John Johnson Still Life from 1810 that I studied last year at the "Audubon to Warhol: The Art of American Still Life" exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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Best,

23 September 2016

Still Life with Robin's Egg and Japanese Cup (A Meditation on 9 Years)


Still Life with Robin's Egg and Japanese Cup (A Meditation on 9 Years)

A Meditation for 9 Years
A Meditation on 9 Years

Today marks 9 years since I began making paintings for this blog. Starting with a pink zinnia, I set out to make a painting a day and to see if I could develop a sustainable painting practice for myself -- I had no idea it would lead me to where I am today. Nine years later, my blog has had well beyond a million visitors from over one hundred countries, and my work has been the subject of many interviews and articles, and is in books, magazines, and private, public, and museum collections on six continents. I know these numbers because what comes with using the Internet is data, and, for better or worse, data is a force of nature.

The number I can't tell you is exactly how many daily paintings I've painted since September 23, 2007. Because I don't exactly know (an approximate number is around twelve or thirteen hundred).

I haven't counted because that number is not as important to me as what my daily painting practice means to me. Spending time doing daily paintings creates a way of life. Some days are a challenge, but for nine years, this vocation has enriched my heart and mind and soul, and this inspires me to continue painting as often as I do.

Painting for me is about paying attention and capturing a moment. Contemplative paying attention allows me to have an intimate relationship with my painting subjects. Mutual respect and exchange of energy manifests itself as gesture, movement, weight, edges, texture, and color harmony. I often choose from my collection of handmade pottery or local co-op produce or a scene out my window -- and it is magic to me that my subjects can be simultaneously animated and meditative. Painting is both big and small. It is humble and majestic. It is reflective and sometimes painful. It is present moment and vast potential.

For me, my daily paintings are intensely personal, my painting practice is a mindfulness meditation. Through my work, I hope to share with you a sense of awe and wonder I feel about beauty that is all around us in our daily lives. In a small way, I hope my work might awaken the same thing in you.

Today, while I painted this painting, I felt an overwhelming sense of humility. Nine years later, daily painting allows me to feel like a beginner every time I sit down at my easel.

Today (and every day) I offer my gratitude to you for your continued interest in my work. Thank you for allowing me to share it with you.

Best,

22 September 2016

Two Italian Plums on Italian Fabric (Yin & Yang)


Click to view auction

This painting continues my "yin and yang" series that I began back in 2010. You can also see this painting #OnTheEasel here or on instagram.

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Best,

20 September 2016

Two Lemons (+ Why Do Autumn Leaves Change Their Color?)


Click to view auction

If you're interested, this is a neat fall foliage map. It also explains "Why Do Autumn Leaves Change Their Color?"

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26 August 2016

Still Life with Peach and Temmoku Bottle (+ happy birthday)



"Artists have no choice but to express their lives." ~Anne Truitt

Today's my birthday, and I wanted to share this article about artist Anne Truitt and "What Sustains the Creative Spirit." [Read more]

P.S. Instead of sending me a birthday note, pay it forward and send a note to someone in your life who you haven't connected with in a while.

To purchase my work, view my Current Auctions and All Available Paintings.

Best,

23 August 2016

Oyster with Lemon (+ the David's ankles)



If you're interested, in this recent New York Times Magazine article, "David’s Ankles: How Imperfections Could Bring Down the World’s Most Perfect Statue," journalist Sam Anderson talks about his obsession with the flaws, reproductions and potential collapse of Michelangelo’s masterpiece. [Keep reading.]

By the way, this oyster was a gift, and I forgot to mention that the peaches I posted yesterday were also a gift. I like to note here when my still life painting is inspired by someone else's generosity.

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Best,

22 August 2016

Two Hand-picked Peaches with Leaves, 8x10 (+ my interview with 10,000 Hours)


Two Hand-picked Peaches with Leaves, 10 x 8 inches, oil on linen on panel, 2016
Available - email abbeyryan@gmail.com for purchase information

I was interviewed recently by the awesome folks at 10,000 Hours. Hope you enjoy listening:

10,000 Hours Episode 104 - Abbey Ryan - "Sharpening" - 8/21/16
"Grant and Vince are on the line with painter and artistic mentor, Abbey Ryan. Almost a decade into her painting-a-day series, Ryan offers her poignant thoughts about the evolution and growth of an artistic pursuit, and how time, practice and passion can lead to a sharpening of both your technical skills, and deeper understanding." Listen here.

P.S. 10,000 Hours?

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Best,