Thursday, July 24, 2014

Artist Profile: Carolyn Ryan

Carolyn Ryan
Thousand Oaks, CA

1.  Describe your signature style in 5 words: mood, strong lines, threadwork, originality
2.  Do you ever work in another medium and, if so, what is it and what appeals to you about it? Printmaking is a great way to generate ideas which cross over into textile pieces. It requires patience, many tools, which I love, and acceptance of failures. The payoff is the moment when a good print rolls out onto the print bed!
3.  What's coming up for you in your artistic world? I enter several fine art shows locally each year, so I try to plan my smaller pieces for those shows. I’m debating whether I should try to get juried in to the LA Art Association, where I might find and learn from some cutting edge artists. I currently have 2 large pieces in the local Hillcrest Center for the Arts. 
4.  Do you have any studio rituals? Yes – my newest one is – I bought two clear plastic, over-door shoe holders (20 slots, I think), and I now have my 20 key tools at hand at all times for easy access. All my scraps and small studies go into the second one.  My rule is, I must have all my tools back in the pockets before I can begin work. Otherwise I waste lots of time searching, especially if I can’t find my glasses.
5.  Who has inspired you on your artistic journey? I have 7 really fine artist friends who meet regularly to share dinner and discuss our current artwork and roadblocks. These friends are both critics and supporters, and I am always amazed and inspired by the originality of their art.
6.  What are the 5 essential things in your studio that you cannot live without? Rotary cutter and mats, artist pens, binders full of ideas, fusibles and iron/board.
7.  What is on your design table right now? A series of portraits rendered with painted fusible and heavy watercolor paper. I’m experimenting with adding texture.
8.  How do you juggle your artistic life, family, friends, etc?  I am retired, and feel I have earned my freedom. I make a to do list every morning, and this takes the anxiety out of my day, and allows me the freedom to get into my creative inner world. Sometimes it takes awhile!
9.  Do you have any studio companions (human or otherwise)? No – I love my solitude, especially on a foggy day.
10.  What was the biggest challenge in creating your piece for Reflections? Making my composition fit the size requirement. The vertical format forces me to trim down to just the essential elements, and to set aside the frustration of not being able to include all the compositional ideas I want.

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