Stephanie Ryan creates art that touches the heart and inspires the creative spirit. Her soothing, soulful, intuitive paintings are inspired by nature and the feelings that bind her to it, creating an introspective mood that connects the viewer with her art. It is visual poetry—beautiful colors with touches of light and inspired thoughts.
Stephanie has been creating art for as long as she remembers and started writing during a challenging time in her life. Through that experience she found a new appreciation for life and a profound calling to create art and words that inspire, encourage and comforts others. Stephanie has honed her ability to translate beautiful imagery and words into appealing consumer products that can be found at leading retailers and gift stores around the world.
My new work was born during a time when my energy for my life, art and business were utterly depleted. My passion for the path I had spent years pursuing was gone. I was once again feeling like an empty shell wondering where my place in this world was.
I am no stranger to this feeling, I’ve hit more than a few bumps on my path. I had to drop out of college. The company that built my career burned down to the ground. I struggle with my health, having chronic fatigue and a mystery illness that turned out to be late stage neurological lyme disease. All of these things have changed the course of my life and have changed me at my core. I have visited rock bottom more times than I can count but was surprised this time to have touched that low place once again. I had a successful business and was finally able to work from home which made taking care of myself easier. For some reason, even though I had reached this point in my career, there was still something missing. Even though I was experiencing so many successes and exciting accomplishments with my art licensing business there was a strange knowing that I wasn’t where I needed to be. I tried to ignore these feelings but, the gentle whispers within me continued to get louder saying this is amazing but, it’s just not right, keep searching. At the same time, I was going through a divorce and starting to see that my life could be anything I wanted it to be. I was now living in a world full of possibilities with the opportunity to reconnect with the girl I lost to illness many years ago.
Over the next year, I decided to be kind to myself and give my spirit time to mourn, time to rest, and the space to renew itself. I began exploring my art and calling back remnants of my soul that I had lost along the way. I started to connect with who I really am on the inside and my art started to reflect this shift in my perspective. I was no longer creating art I thought people wanted, I was creating art that resonated with how deeply I feel. And for the first time in my life I knew I was finally being true to who I am and that I was on the right path. I had been called to go inward and connect to my source and even though that process was extremely painful at times, it was worth every moment. Through this time of exploration I knew I wanted my art to not only connect with me through its tone but to connect with others who share that same feeling. It’s moody, magical, dreamy, serene, peaceful, introspective and deep. It feels like a cloudy day, bare tree branches and the scent of an approaching storm when you can feel the atmosphere surround you. It resonates with those that seek the light even though they are weighed down by darkness. It is visual poetry, it is about muted colors with touches of light and inspired thoughts. Loosely painted florals, abstract landscapes and organic intuitive paintings are the core of my work but just the beginning. My dream is to fully embody the purpose behind my new art. It is the act of using alchemy to change paint into expression, paper into art, and art into limited edition, handmade, purpose driven, high quality products for the “soul purpose” of connecting with you. I create art and products to soothe your soul and calm your mind and gently guide you forward with compassion and empathy for your struggles and love and support for your dreams and to let you know that you are not walking this path alone.
My story continues…
It’s been a few years since I wrote that and thought it was time for an update. My art and life continue to grow and move forward, forever entwined with each other. They breathe together in a symbiotic relationship that is vital to creating art that expresses my soul. I strive for this union and will accept no less. Art without the soul of the artist is void of truth. It has taken me a lifetime to figure out this simple, but crucial fact. The last few years have been spent embodying this philosophy and refining my art.
Through this time of evolution, I continued to see the whisper of a vision. It wasn’t clear, but the knowing in my heart was. It was time for me to take another big leap and incorporate my spirituality into my work. It’s always been there, behind the scenes, but I didn’t talk about it specifically. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do this, I just knew it would work itself out. Everything happens as it’s supposed to and in its own time. Once I started talking about the concepts that I feel so passionately about, it all started to flow with ease.
As my vision became clearer, the idea of Make Art a Sacred Practice began to emerge.
I have always thought of ritual as a spiritual thing, which it is, but it’s so much more than that. I have found that rituals can serve in many ways. They can bring magic into your everyday life, promote a conscious and intentional way of living, help you to remove or alter patterns that aren’t serving your highest good and it can raise your vibration and connect you to the sacred.
As I’ve experimented with ritual this past year, it has helped me to get grounded and move through my life easier. It has made the mundane magical. Patterns are starting to shift and my energy is lifting. My favorite part of this has been rituals and sacred practices that I have developed around creating art. Little, meaningful rituals to connect me to the process of creating and to deepen my art experience. Clearing my brushes on obsidian, charging my water with my singing bowl, and infusing my art with reiki energy are examples of how I am connecting more with my process. These are all ways to Make Art a Sacred Practice. I will be sharing more about this soon.
Teaching was my next step. I didn’t want to just teach painting techniques, it had to have more meaning than that. Just like my art had to resonate with how deeply I feel, my classes had to help others to make the same connection with themselves. My intuitive painting classes encourage students to let go of their need to control the outcome and trust that by surrendering to the process, they can paint beautiful expressions of their own souls. I also incorporate spiritual creative tools to enhance their experience. Crystals, essential oils, singing bowls, and meditation help to align and lift their energy to a place where they feel peaceful and creativity flows. I continue to grow this part of my business and add new offerings regularly. Online classes are coming soon.
This past fall I made another leap and moved my studio to Kennett Square, PA and opened a little boutique gallery/store. I’ll share more about this soon.