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.

Auction ending soon at 6 PM EST:
Two Lemons

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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), 5x6 inches
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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)


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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?)


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

To get my painting in your inbox, sign up here. To purchase my work, view my Current Auctions and All Available Paintings.

Best,

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?

To get my painting in your inbox, sign up here. To purchase my work, view my Current Auctions and All Available Paintings.

Best,

18 August 2016

Still Life with Garlic and Eggplant (+ "absolutely take this class!")



I often write about mindful practice as it relates to life, as well as my own practices and teaching about mindful studio practice. (I created the Mindful Studio Practice Scholarship in 2015.)

In alignment with mindful studio practice, my one-week Innernet course is something worth looking at. You can register here and download the course packet I created.

Even if you cannot (or don't need to) unplug, you'll still benefit from tuning into the two LIVE teleseminar calls that I will be doing as part of the course.

#unplugged
#bethecloud
#digitaldetox
#itsnotaboutwhatyouremovingawayfromitswhatyouremovingtowards

Here's some in-depth feedback about the Innernet from the inaugural class in June 2015:

16 August 2016

Golden Series: Two Apricots, Red Pear, Peach, and Blackberries with Two Glass Bottles, 9x12 inches (+ my recent interview with The Studio Podcast)


Golden Series: Two Apricots, Red Pear, Peach, and Blackberries with Two Glass Bottles
9x12 inches, oil on linen on panel, 2016.
Available - email me at abbeyryan@gmail.com for purchase information

This is the 12th painting in my Golden Series. Also, if you're interested, I was recently interviewed by artist Danny Grant for his podcast, The Studio:

The Studio - Episode 12 - Interview with Abbey Ryan - July 28, 2016
"In this episode Danny talks with artist Abbey Ryan and she tells him what it means to be a daily painter, why it's crucial to know yourself as an artist, how important it is to have a daily practice, why she doesn't like tapas, and so much more." Listen and see lots of photos of my paintings here.

Ending soon:
Two Lady Apples auction ends at 5:30 PM EST

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Auction includes detail views

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Best,

15 August 2016

Red Pear (+ "Happiness Tip: stop checking your freaking phone")



If you're interested in my Innernet workshop, you might be interested in this article, "Happiness Tip: Stop Checking Your Freaking Phone":

"Two new studies support your sense that you will be happier (and less stressed) if you check your phone less. A study of college students at Kent State University found that people who check their phones frequently tend to experience higher levels of distress during their leisure time (when they intend to relax!).

In another study, Elizabeth Dunn and Kostadin Kushlev regulated how frequently participants checked their email throughout the day. Those limited to checking their email only three times a day (vs. an average of 15 times) were less tense and less stressed overall.

Unfortunately, it usually doesn't work to just will ourselves to stop a compulsive behavior. We check our phones and our email because it provides us with what researchers call 'variable-ratio' reinforcement—once in a while we get an email or message that is particularly rewarding, and that once in a while is enough to keep us checking compulsively. (Slot machines also provide variable-ratio rewards.)

Instead of willing ourselves to just check less often, we can configure our devices and work time so that we are tempted less often. The goal is to check your phone just a few times a day—intentionally, not impulsively. Our devices are thus returned to their status as tools we use strategically—not slot machines that randomly demand our energy and attention...." [Keep reading]

~Christine Carter, Ph.D., author of The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work.

To get my painting in your inbox, sign up here. To purchase my work, view my Current Auctions and All Available Paintings.

Best,

11 August 2016

Two Lady Apples (+ David Mallett's "Celebration")


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Auction includes detail views

I've shared David Mallett's music in the past (his great song, "Artist in Me"), and I wanted to share the official music video of his song, "Celebration." Enjoy.

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

Best,

10 August 2016

peach, bleu cheese, bosc pear, and five blackberries (the light, the shade)


peach
bleu cheese
bosc pear
and five
blackberries
(the light, 
the shade)
4 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 for the next two years goes to the Norman Johnston Fellowship at Arcadia University.

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

Best,

09 August 2016

Silver Kettle (+ my Cuba interview and upcoming interviews)


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This OPA article about artists in Cuba reminded me of an interview I did about my painting travels in Cuba in 2012 (in it, I talk about one of my top three favorite museums in the world and here are the paintings I did while in Cuba). Also, coming up I will be sharing a few new podcast and video interviews that I was invited to do recently. P.S. If you look closely there's a self portrait of sorts in the kettle's reflection (here are a bunch of other reflection self portraits, too).

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

Best,

08 August 2016

Summer Watermelon from Maine (+ "a benevolent genie")


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If you're considering joining in my Innernet retreat, you might be interested in this article:

"Cell phones make us promises that are like gifts from a benevolent genie—that we will never have to be alone, that we will never be bored, that we can put our attention wherever we want it to be, and that we can multitask, which is perhaps the most seductive of all. That ability to put your attention wherever you want it to be has become the thing people want most in their social interactions—that feeling that you don’t have to commit yourself 100 percent and you can avoid the terror that there will be a moment in an interaction when you’ll be bored.

Actually allowing yourself a moment of boredom is crucial to human interaction and it’s crucial to your brain as well. When you’re bored, your brain isn’t bored at all—it’s replenishing itself, and it needs that down time.

We’re very susceptible to cell phones, and we even get a neurochemical high from the constant stimulation that our phones give us.

I’ve spent the last 20 years studying how compelling technology is, but you know what? We can still change. We can use our phones in ways that are better for our kids, our families, our work, and ourselves. It’s the wrong analogy to say we’re addicted to our technology." ~MIT sociologist Sherry Turkle, author of the book Reclaiming Conversation [Source]

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

Best,

29 July 2016

Spring Onions (larger painting) (+ Artist Louise Bourgeois on How Solitude Enriches Creative Work)


Spring Onions from Red Earth Farm
oil on linen on panel, 8 x 10 inches, available
Email abbeyryan@gmail.com for purchase information

Note: I'm going to be away from my studio and blog for the next week.

"Our capacity for what psychoanalyst Adam Phillips has termed 'fertile solitude' is absolutely essential not only for our creativity but for the basic fabric of our happiness — without time and space unburdened from external input and social strain, we’d be unable to fully inhabit our interior life, which is the raw material of all art. That vital role of solitude in art and life is what the great artist Louise Bourgeois explores in several of the letters and diary entries collected in Louise Bourgeois: Destruction of the Father / Reconstruction of the Father: Writings and Interviews, 1923–1997. Here's a quote:

'Solitude, a rest from responsibilities, and peace of mind, will do you more good than the atmosphere of the studio and the conversations which, generally speaking, are a waste of time.'" ~Louise Bourgeois

[Source: Maria Popova, "Artist Louise Bourgeois on How Solitude Enriches Creative Work"]

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

Best,

26 July 2016

Acorn and Lemon with Leaf (+ Representational Painting in the 21st Century)



I'm a member of Oil Painters of America, and if you're interested, here is an article via OPA entitled, "The Twelve O’Clock – A Case for Representational Painting in the 21st Century" by John Lasater. An excerpt:

"Against all odds in this digital age, there appears to be an increase of representational painters 'of like nature, chosen by the Gods,' as the artist Whistler put it. Gripped by the desire to paint, we have awakened into a fascinating new world and have come to find that sense of calling holy!"

I don't know him, but the article says that John Lasater paints full time, both from his studio in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and on the road painting "en plein air."

[Source: http://blog.oilpaintersofamerica.com/2016/04/twelve-oclock-case-representational-painting-21st-century/]

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

Best,

25 July 2016

Still Life with Cherries on a Delft Plate (+ What is "The Innernet"?)



The philosophy behind "The Innernet" and my motivation for creating it can be found here. During the 1-week retreat, I will host two live calls. You may submit questions in advance and call in to talk with me live. (We’ll be recording the calls in case you can’t make it live.) The heart of the course is your #digitaldetox from the Internet. Unplugging can be nerve-wracking, and how you unplug is up to you. You could turn off mail and social media alerts on your phone so you only access them when you sit down at your computer. You might choose to put your phone in airplane mode. You might want complete Freedom. (Knowing though that it’s possible that you may need to receive text messages or phone calls depending on your profession or situation.) Going offline isn’t an easy thing to do, so you should definitely only do what you can and what feels right to you. The Innernet is meant to be a positive, flexible, rejuvenating, fun experience. Read more here. If you're curious, use coupon code BECURIOUS for $25 off -- and it's even better if you share it with friends/colleagues.

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

Best,

21 July 2016

Still Life with Peeled Tangerine and Handmade Korean Bowl (+ "squeezed to the edges")


Click to view auction

"It’s one of the many points where we feel: work has taken over. Things I’d like to be properly engaged with – including: my sister, pondering what I’m doing with my life, nature, reading novels – have been squeezed to the edges...." [From The Book of Life's "How Not to Let Work Explode Your Life."]

As it relates to my Innernet course, I bookmarked that link a while ago and read it periodically. I'm not quite sure what I think of it yet, but if you're interested:

What is the Book of Life?
"The Book of Life redraws the sense of what a book is. Up to now, books have been the most ambitious way in which ideas are presented. But they have suffered from serious limitations: they’ve had only one author; they’ve usually be written over a relatively short period of time. And once they’ve been finished, they can’t be changed (even if the author gets a great new idea). They have also been largely restricted to words, images being too expensive and film impossible.

The Book of Life is being written by many people over a long time; it keeps changing and evolving. It is filled with images and films as well as texts. By floating online, it can grow a bit every day or so, as new things come along and it can be equally accessible all around the world, at any time, for free...." Keep reading: http://www.thebookoflife.org/how-not-to-let-work-explode-your-life/]

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

Best,

20 July 2016

Still Life with Cherries and Silver Bowl, 8x10 (+ #digitaldetox Innernet)


Still Life with Cherries and Silver Bowl
Oil on linen on panel, 8x10 inches, 2016
AVAILABLE - Email abbeyryan@gmail.com for purchase information

My 1-week e-course "The Innernet" includes two live calls with me, a phenomenal course packet, and a few days offline. Email me if you want a coupon code for you and 10 friends (to create your own innernet community). #InnernetMovement  #diveintoYourInnernet  #bethecloud  #digitaldetox

Here's some feedback from the inaugural Innernet class in June 2015:
  • "Abbey’s Innernet class is an enlightening confirmation about practicing your creative practice, without getting distracted by the virtual world, social media, emails, and texts. The true connection is about using your time to create and engage with the people in real life. The class confirms that Abbey's not only a Master Painter, she's a brilliant role model. A gracious thank you to a beautiful soul leading the way!" ~TG
  • "I enjoyed being off line more than words can say. Thank you for offering a course that gives us all permission to disconnect and more importantly reconnect. Absolutely take this class! I think we all just need a reason to give ourselves permission to be still." ~KP
  • "I celebrate your generous spirit and your willingness to share and teach what life has taught you. I printed out your Official Course Packet and find it to be a fantastic resource of contemplative nuggets of wisdom and peace. Thank you for your inspiration and invitation to take my own Innernet journey - no expectations! Hallejulah! Freedom! What a wonderful gift you present -- spoken directly to one's soul!" ~JS
Read more Innernet feedback here. 

Auction ending soon in 2 hours at 12:15 PM EST
Still Life with Four Cherries on Marble

Click to view auction

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

Best,

18 July 2016

Romeo Y Julieta Cigar (+ Anne Truitt on the Difference Between Doing Art and Being an Artist)



A book worth reading is Anne Truitt's Daybook: The Journal of an Artist, and Maria Popova gives a good taste of it here:

"At the age of fifty-three, the influential artist Anne Truitt (March 16, 1921–December 23, 2004) confronted the existential discomfort any creative person feels in facing a major retrospective of his or her work — the Corcoran Gallery of Art had just staged one of Truitt’s. A retrospective, she felt, forces upon the artist a finite definition — this is what your work is, this who you are. It attempts to make visible and static those invisible, ever-fluid forces that compel an artist to make art.

To tease out her unease, Truitt set out to explore the dimensions of her personality and her creative impulse in a diary, in which she wrote diligently for a period of seven years. It was eventually published as Daybook: The Journal of an Artist — an extraordinary, soul-stretching collection of meditations on the trials, triumphs, and self-transcendence of the creative life...." [Keep reading]

Auction ending at 12:15 PM EST Wed., July 20th:
Still Life with Four Cherries on Marble

Click to view auction

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

Happy Monday,

15 July 2016

Still Life with Four Cherries on Marble


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These cherries were so shiny that I could see in them the exact reflections of my studio windows.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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

Best,

14 July 2016

Oncoming Storm, Fish Bladder Island, Lake Champlain, VT (+ Lax on Cezanne & artists)



This is the same Lake Champlain view that I posted the other day.

If you're interested, I wanted to share another passage from Pure Act: The Uncommon Life of Robert Lax (as I continue working on my the light, the shade project for my Johnston Fellowship):

"One year when I was in graduate school, I visited Lax on spring break and recorded a long interview with him, not because I expected to write a book about him but because I'd long wanted to record his thoughts and even his voice, and the assignment in one of my classes was to profile an artist. At the start of the interview, sitting in his small main room on a cold March day, he began talking about Cezanne. “Cezanne was only trying to paint woods as objectively as he could,” he said. “As he saw them. But in his paintings they appeared unique because Cezanne saw them only as Cezanne. This is why a writer should try to get things down exactly as he perceives them. What results will not be some non-personal 'objective' piece but a piece imbued with all that he is—how he truly perceives the world. When we see a Cezanne, we see what he saw in the landscape, and that opens up the possibility of his sensitivity to the world being awakened in us."

Source: McGregor, Michael N. "On the Road with the Cristianis." Pure Act: The Uncommon Life of Robert Lax. Fordham UP, 2015. 146.

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

Best,

12 July 2016

Green Paintbrush on Blue


Click to view auction 
(auction includes detail view)

If you're curious, I painted the other side of this paintbrush once before in October 2008 (see it here).

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

Best,