Claudia Ryan does not start her paintings with a final image in mind. Having a preconceived idea of her finished work is restraining to her. Similar to Action Painting or Abstract Expressionism, Ryan’s process is one of movement. Her spontaneity involves trust, intuition and a willingness to take risks. As she applies thick oil paint, she observes as intuitive abstract shapes and linear configurations form on the canvas. She works with layers of paint relentlessly, until it’s “right,” creating a dense, rich surface. Ryan’s free flowing, unplanned elements enhance her paintings. The result is curved lines, dripped paint, a gestural surface and emotional energy the viewers automatically relate to. The primitive mark making recall an extended history of shared past experiences, emitting feelings of excitement, drama, or adventure. While she works similar to an action painter, her work is not non-objective. The viewer often finds representational imagery in her work. Her paintings have figurative elements, such as girls faces with long flowing hair and stick figures. There are also symbols, such as plus signs and letters, embedded into the dense paint. Ryan does not want to be restricted and enjoys the freedom to choose her actions based upon how things feel and evolve. Similar to her process, Ryan does not want to have an explanation prepared to inform the viewer as to what the work means. She encourages fantasy and intuition to be the viewer’s guide.
Claudia Ryan has shown her work at Clayton Galleries, the Lois and David Stulberg Gallery, The Ringling College of Art and Design, The University of South Florida and the Tampa Museum of Art. She is in permanent collections, including: Hillsborough Community College, Tampa Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts.
The World Within examines the common, internal desire to rationally, emotionally, and morally, accept and understand today's world. Through video, installation, painting, and mixed media sculptural hangings, the artists in this exhibit reflect on the need to find clarity and harmony in the overwhelming amount of external stimulus and pretenses surrounding us today. Each explores an aspect of memory/remembrance, nature, spirit or fantasy, compelling the viewer to contemplate personal and universal truths in a fast-paced society of conflicting realities.
The exhibition, Organic Geometry showcased the work of four local Florida artists: Marianne Chapel, Cynthia Mason, Laine Nixon, and Jill Taffet. These artists work with nonobjective imagery that appear to reference static from geometric shapes and linear elements, however the forms evolve organically, through each artist's unique inventive process. The results beautifully combine a particular system of points, lines, angles, curves, and surfaces, and an irregularity or asymmetry. The development and materialization of the artwork symbolize an evolving and mutually dependent relationship between the synthetic and natural worlds