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Hello Everyone,
My name is Coleen Ryan Rivera. I'v been signing my work Ryan Rivera for so long that I signed up here on A2A that way . Tried to change it, but for some reason it did'nt work. Hope that's not too confusing.
Been creative since I can remember. Always doodling, then drawing, onto pastels, watercolors, then onto oils , which is my present medium. Worked on silk for a short time.
I am interested working with encaustic. Anyone have any experience in that ? I am trying my hand at collages, thanks to Jay.
What really got me into art was a chance meeting with Willem De Kooning. My husband's family were in the Art Handling business in NYC. One day my hubby called from work and asked if I would like to accompany him to East Hampton. He was to deliver some stretchers to De Kooning studio, of course I said yes. Do not know why I thought he would not be there? Well, he was there. In fact he answered the door. A very pleasent man, he was suffering from Alzheimer's by then. We went into his studio. WOW, windows from ceiling to floor, perfect light. Three huge canvases on easels , he was working on all three at once. I absorbed the light ,the colors, the forms, what energy!!!! Though I was not fully aware of it at the moment , this was a life changing moment.
Started to take classes at a local museum. I have no formal training beyond that. For the most part I'm self taught.
One of my goals is to make art my full time "gig". I have a very flexible "day job". I've started on that path with Aletta De Wal. Had a very inspriring conversation with her and another artist Mary Williams last week. I encourge everyone to take advantage of her expertise.
I've had one solo show. Have had gallery represention for the last 4 years."Had" is the operative word.This gallery is closing at the end of June. Another victim of the economy. And just in time for my solo show, which was scheduled for July, to be canceled. OUCH! Oh well, carry on. But like the old cliche says "One door closes, another one opens". I happened to drop in at a gallery that I had attened an opening last summer. Just to take a look at what was happening there. The owner is very friendly. Chatted for a while and ended up making an appointment to look at my portfolio this past Friday. Good news I'll be exhibiting there in the 2010 season.
I'm a member of various art groups. I am working on a web site as we speak. On Facebook, and just joined Twitter, Thanks Angelia.

As for my style, it's abstract but not purely ,there is alot of represention .
I am endlessly fascinated by how our psychology is interwined with our biology. So you will see alot of inner body parts. I have also explored, and still am, the impact of lose , which unfortunately, I have had alot. I find that abstract is the best way for me to express those emotions.
I approach a blank canvas or paper with colors in mind. Begin with applying a color or two in a small section. Then start to draw, if you will, by using paint thinner as a medium,then continue on to the next section. This is what I call whatever happens, happens approach. Sometimes I sketch things out. I like to work for a time then walk away. Come back some time later and just stare at the work until it reveals what the next step or color to use. I enjoy that realm of being.
My influences are Wilfrado Lam, Roberto Matta, Paul Klee, Georgia O' Keeffe, just to name a few.
I am open to feed back since I do not have a web site yet. You can visit my page here on A2A and take a closer look
Look forward to talking to you all in the coming week.
"Art is neither a profession nor a hobby. Art is a Way of being"

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Hello is anyone out there !
Thanks for telling us your story. I like the interface between biology and psychology. Your paintings are very contemporary images for mind-body connection. I especially liked "Of Heart and Mind". It reminds me of how our ideas should come from the heart. At lest, that's how I see it. And people are out there but they are just trying to fit too much into a busy day.
Thanks Susan,
You hit it right on the head, with ideas coming from the heart.
I particularly like 'materscape'. The others are well executed, but I think 'materscape' must have been a FAR greater challenge to arrange and resolve. Some of the forms in it resemble flower petals, and while I must confess I'm not a big fan of that particular subject matter, it's still an ecellent piece. I'd encourage you to do more stuff alnog the lines of that; whatever the subject matter might look like to me.
Thank you Joe. I painted that a few years back . I started off thinking I was going to paint an lilly, maybe I was trying to channel Georgia O'Keeffee, And low and behold,the creative process took over and it turned out to have alot of other organic things happening.This is just a section of a larger piece, which for some reason I can never get a good photo of.
Actually when I painted this piece It seemed to just flow. It never felt like a challenge. Love it when I can get in the" Zone".
Hi Ryan,
I remember commenting on 'neurotransmitters' when you first posted it. I was very much taken in by it and how you came about doing it. I hadn't realized, until I looked close, that there was a small human figure in it. It's like our thoughts are larger then our physical space. Your 'materscape' piece, along with several others, seems to have hidden images in it which are not as obvious and I like that about it. It takes time to let it soak into our eyes and then more and more becomes visible. That piece also has an almost fabric quality to it with the potential of movement. I also like 'Fallen Angels' and 'balance this' - the background makes it fly off the surface. You talked about the 'Zone' when working. It's where you don't force it to go one way or another but allow it to become what it will be. It does sound simplified when said like that, but I totally know what you mean. I find I do my best work, in my mind that is, when I don't hold the reins too tight. It's also where my joy is. Thanks for sharing your joy with us.
Thank you Barbara,
Painting is certainly a joy. It's also anonther langauge .Some times I understand , but there are many times I don't . It takes a while some times to understand what I'v painted.Especially when approaching a canvas with no particular idea in mind. I step back some times from a completed work and say "who did that?" Like some one else is in the room.
Okay i am saving some quality time to read over your article and pick Joel's brain to death. I do have one quick question for you though. After putting together the first newsletter, which included Aletta's Mastermind group blog, I know that this sounds great and would be a great opprotunity but I don't know if I am at that step yet. I mean, when I started this group, it was to ask foolish questions to just other people. Then all of a sudden "real artist" showed up and kept showing, I think I know less than anyone here! I would love to know and learn all the stuff I need to but it sounds like Aletta's group is for artist who have already reached a certain point. Since you were part of the first phone call what do you think? Please be brutally honest!
I think everyone can gain some thing from Aletta's group. No matter where you are in your career. I'll be honest , the first half hour of the call I felt that I was in over my head. As I listened ,I felt that I can learn so much here. I like to challange my self. That's the only way one grows. You take from it what you need at the time. I am at the point that I need to learn how to market myself.Got lazy with having gallery represention, believe me I was in schock when the owner said he was closing.I think it might be for the better. But if you feel that you have further to go before you reach that point , not sure it's for you. Why not try one phone call . Then you'll know for sure.If there is any thing I could help you with let me know .I'll try my best.
Sloane, we all had to start at some point . I met very very helpfull artist a long the way.I don't take you as been shy.
hi coleen - sorry i called you ryan earlier, although you probably respond to both. ;) i made comments on the individual pieces on your page. i get a LITTLE squeamish with some of them, because i don't like to think to much about being a "bag of parts", but i know this is your vision. my issue NOT yours! thanks for being FA this week! and i'm so glad to hear about you getting the new gallery and show! re encaustic - my late partner died from nasal pharyngeal cancer which we were pretty sure was related to him cooking encaustics without ventilation for many years. i think the new cold encaustics are safe, but i don't know. DONT risk your health for your art! give your life, but not your health! just be careful.
Thanks Jay for taking a look at my work.It's ok to call me Ryan I do answer to both.
Here's a little back ground info on each one of the paintings that you looked at.
Can't Tell The Tears From the Rain was painted right after my youngest brother died suddenly . very painful piece. I hide it for years , cause peoples reaction to it disturbed me. People would ask me if I was OK.And give me a look like I was crazy. I was just grieving. A conservatoire saw it an bought on the spot. Yeah, guess I'm not that crazy after all.
Sunmmer Garden I was inspired by my garden that one particular year was so amazing. I happy with the colors. That piece is also sold.
You and Your Bright Ideas I stumbled over that technique , it actually was a part of a large painting and some how it was not working in that painting. Made a mental note of it an tried it by itself. I've done alot of that type . But try not to get stuck with painting one thing over and over it bores me. The new gallery owner thinks I should do more of it. PS. that sold too
Balance This is a commentary on balancing a busy life , most woman I know are trying to balance so very much , myself included.
Deep Tissue the colors in this one I am very pleased with . I painted that one for my now canceled solo show.
Matterscapes III Is actually a small part of a very large piece. But for some reason I can never get a good photo of it. lots going on in that one.

Thanks for the warning about encaustic . I have no clue as how it's done.
Thanks again for taking a look.
I see so much of under the surface in your work. Some feels painful and I believe that is a personal reaction on my part as I had open heart surgery some years ago and the body never forgets what it felt although there are no words for the experience. So the pain you express is mainly emotional? Is there a medical background in your career? I am really at a lost for words as I view your work for I think they go way pass just being personal. Not sure of how to say that but that they are so personal that there are no words to convey.
I would love to see some of your work in three dimension as it has that feel of very open ended space. Most of all thank you for sharing. I have a feeling that the body of your work is only beginning and I hope to see the progression.


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