The Healing Power of Art – Q&A with Artist Vida Ryan

April 8, 2016

TWOSIX Local Love-Artist Vida Ryan reveals her path to becoming an artist and why she believes the power of art changed her life, plus she shares her creative process and see how she creates her inspiring art.

Can you tell us a little about your background-what path has led you to what you are doing now.?

My mother was an artist so I grew up in an environment of creative energy, there was the smell of turps and paints always drifting through the house, paintings on the walls and lined up around the walls. When I was in my twenties I completed a diploma of art in ceramics. I love the texture and form of clay and enjoyed creating mosaic murals which came about through artist in residence positions.It wasn’t till I was in my thirties that I changed course into what I do now. The reason for this was that I became unwell for a period of time and needed to express my creativity, so I set up a studio at home and started to paint.

Where might we have seen your work?

My work has been mainly been seen in Exhibitions at galleries in Melbourne. I have had solo and collaborative exhibitions at the Collingwood Gallery in Collingwood. As a member of The contemporary artist society, my work is represented through their exhibitions that are run through out the year. Some paintings are viewed on the net via my website, and there will be a painting called “Everything is Moving” on the Television show Renovation Rumble in the near future.

What challenges have you faced as an artist and what advice would you give to young artists?

There are always challenges in life the main one for me is not losing heart, life can take its toll on you if you are sensitive and open to the intensity of living in the world today, so what I would say to younger artists is this – Keep painting, writing, dancing,sculpting etc

because that comes from the heart. This is the passion that drives the artist to create, to bring joy and also to bring out or should I say express what is happening in the world today. I think too being in the company of other artists is important too as I found this to be a great help to me when I started renting a studio in Collingwood.

How do you describe your work to random strangers?

The work I do is abstract painting, All of my paintings go through a process of evolving into the finished image. I start with using color and texture  to express how I am feeling, this is the beginning of letting go of everything around me to focus on allowing the  intuitive part of myself to be free. What I mean by this is I don’t plan my paintings so they are very much in the moment. Some paintings are quick and others may take a long time to work through and complete. I build layers of paint until I get to a point of bringing together the finished image.  A lot of what I do is expressing the unconscious reality.

What are your favorite pieces?

Though I have painted hundreds of paintings there is only one that is my favorite and I painted it in 2010, it is called  “Balance 1” painted in acrylic.

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

Driving to the studio in Collingwood at 930am, making myself a cup of tea and having a biscuit before I start. Say hello and have a chat with other artists that are there for a few minutes then depending where I am up to with the painting I organize  the setting out the paints and brushes and the pallet. By 10am, I start painting and have a break at 1pm.  As I have family commitments I have to leave at 2pm. In The evenings when I am able to I  utilize my home studio and have paintings that I am working on there too. I go to the Collingwood studio 3 times a week and am fortunate to  have the flexibility to have more than one painting going on at the same time.

Where do you turn for creative inspiration when beginning a new piece or series-nature,travel,books the web etc?

Due to the nature of how I paint, I start with the searching feeling component of myself finding the connection which for me is really important.  What inspires me to paint? Well, there is nature and its beautiful colors and light also human nature, how I think and feel about the things I see around me through social media and the web.

Which creative people do you admire ?

There are many people in these areas I admire, I will list a few-

  • Emily Kane Kngwarreye  Indigenous abstract painter.
  • Rembrandt.
  • Monet.
  • Picasso.

Can you tell us about your upcoming exhibition in New York, What are you looking forward to most about this showcase?

I will be exhibiting some paintings at the Agora gallery in Chelsea New York in September this year. The gallery exhibits international art so there are many artists involved in the show. I am working on large scale works, over two meters in diameter. I am looking forward to going to the exhibition and meeting the other artists and being a part of a major collaborative experience in New York.

What would be your dream creative project or collaboration?

My dream creative collaboration would be to work with other artists on a contemporary  exhibition in Melbourne at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Upcoming Exhibition: New York City – Agora Gallery



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