06 October 2015

Sunset on the Lake

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To purchase my work, view my Current Auctions and All Available Paintings.

Ending Tomorrow 8:30am EST - current high bid: $152.50

Still Life with Fig and Concord Grapes No. 2
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03 October 2015

Night Sky With Stars No. 2 (+ "Absolutely take this class!")

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My 1-week e-course "The Innernet" is now open for registration. It is January 6-12 and includes 2 live teleseminar calls with me, a phenomenal course packet, and 4 days unplugged (or 3 or 2 if you choose). Email me if you want a coupon code for you and 10 friends (to create your own innernet community). #InnernetMovement  #diveintoYourInnernet  #bethecloud  #digitaldetox

Here's some feedback from the inaugural Innernet class in June 2015:
  • "Abbey’s Innernet class is an enlightening confirmation about practicing your creative practice, without getting distracted by the virtual world, social media, emails, and texts. The true connection is about using your time to create and engage with the people in real life. The class confirms that Abbey's not only a Master Painter, she's a brilliant role model. A gracious thank you to a beautiful soul leading the way!" ~Tamara Gold, TamaraGold.com
  • "I enjoyed being off line more than words can say. Thank you for offering a course that gives us all permission to disconnect and more importantly reconnect. Absolutely take this class! I think we all just need a reason to give ourselves permission to be still." ~Kim Pechous
  • "I celebrate your generous spirit and your willingness to share and teach what life has taught you. I printed out your Official Course Packet and find it to be a fantastic resource of contemplative nuggets of wisdom and peace. Thank you for your inspiration and invitation to take my own Innernet journey - no expectations! Hallejulah! Freedom! What a wonderful gift you present -- spoken directly to one's soul!" ~Jenny Somers, JennysGraphics.com

    Ending Tonight - current high bid: $405

    Still Life with Apple & Silver Cup - 8th Anniversary Daily Painting
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    To purchase my work, view my Current Painting Auctions and All Available Paintings.

    All best,

    P.S. If you're new to my blog, I've painted a few nocturnes before: in Havana, Cuba in 2012 and twice (here and here) in Maine in 2009.

    02 October 2015

    Pomegranate in Last Light No. 2 (+ inspiring you inspires me)

    In my 8 year blog post the other day, I wrote a bit about how much my daily paintings are personal to me, my painting practice is a mindfulness meditation, and through my work, I share with you the awe and wonder I feel about beauty that is in our daily lives. It inspires me when my paintings awaken a similar sense of awe and wonder in you, and I wanted to share a note and photo that I just got from a fan and collector of my work:

    "Abbey -- this beauty [pictured right] I received yesterday in my CSA basket instantly made me think about you. I hope you are well, healthy and happy!"

    I often get emails and comments like that and I always love getting them. Thank you.

    To purchase my work, view my Current Auctions and All Available Paintings.


    01 October 2015

    Peach, Bowl, & Maine Wild Blueberries (+ 6000th blog post)

    Still life with Peach, Bowl, & Maine Wild Blueberries
    6 x 8 inches, oil on linen on panel, 2015
    Email me for purchase information

    Best-selling author and entrepreneur Seth Godin wrote the 6000th post on his blog yesterday -- and I'm honored by his hat tip to me. Take a look. Seth's blog was named the #1 marketing blog in the world, but the point is that Seth spends every day doing what he loves, and this practice helps to make the world a better place just because he does it. His message is one that I hope you will take in and share with others.

    In other news, I've notified the winner of the first Mindful Studio Practice Scholarship towards my October 24-25 Peto Museum workshop. Congratulations, Phyllis R! Thank you to all those of you who applied and donated to help provide a full tuition scholarship. You can still donate here (thanks for paying it forward) and subscribe to my newsletter to find out about the next scholarship offering.

    To purchase my work, view my Current Auctions and All Available Paintings.


    30 September 2015

    Still Life with Fig and Concord Grapes No. 2 (+ Leonardo da Vinci)

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    Right now, I'm co-teaching a course with a leading Leonardo da Vinci scholar about the history and practice of drawing, beginning with the Renaissance. Dr. Jill Pederson and I created this unique cross-disciplinary course, so I will make a note to share more about it later.

    Last week, we taught our students about Leonardo and his nature studies, which I often study and think about in my own work. I'll write more on Leonardo later, but I realized that I haven't yet shared a review of my recent solo exhibition at Gleason Fine Art. Here it is:

    "Philadelphia artist ABBEY RYAN makes some of the most exquisite still life paintings you will ever see. Her background includes undergraduate and graduate work in both fine art and medicine, a combination that would have been understood and appreciated by such great Renaissance artists as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo."

    P.S. If you're interested, just about 6 years ago I painted another fig and concord grapes daily painting.

    Ending Soon - current high bid: $145.50

    Seascape with Waves 
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    To purchase my work, view my Current Auctions and All Available Paintings.

    All my best,

    28 September 2015

    Seascape with Waves Crashing on the Jetty (+ "Gift from the Sea")

    "The beach is not the place to work; to read, write, or think. I should have remembered that from other years. Too warm, too damp, too soft for any real mental discipline or sharp flights of spirit. One never learns. Hopefully, one carries down that faded straw bag, lumpy with books, clean paper, long over-due unanswered letters, freshly sharpened pencils, lists, and good intentions. The books remain unread, the pencils break their points, and the pads rest smooth and unblemished as the cloudless sky. No reading, no writing, no thoughts even -- at least, not at first.

    At first, the tired body takes over completely. As on shipboard, one descends into a deck-chair apathy. One is forced against one’s mind, against all tidy resolutions, back into the primeval rhythms of the sea-shore. Rollers on the beach, wind in the pines, the slow flapping of herons across sand dunes, drown out the hectic rhythms of city and suburb, time tables and schedules. One falls under their spell, relaxes, stretches out prone. One becomes, in fact, like the element on which one lies, flattened by the sea; bare, open, empty as the beach, erased by today’s tides of all yesterday’s scribblings.

    And then, some morning in the second week, the mind wakes, comes to life again. Not in a city sense -- no -- but beach-wise. It begins to drift, to play, to turn over in gentle careless rolls like those lazy waves on the beach. One never knows what chance treasures these easy unconscious rollers may toss up, on the smooth white sand of the conscious mind; what perfectly rounded stone, what rare shell from the ocean floor. Perhaps a channeled whelk, a moon shell, or even an argonaut.

    But it must not be sought for or -- heaven forbid! -- dug for. No, no dredging of the sea-bottom here. That would defeat one’s purpose. The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach -- waiting for a gift from the sea."

    ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea, pp. 9-11.

    Ending Soon - current high bid: $275

    Four Blackberries and Handmade Bottle
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    To purchase my work, view my Current Auctions and All Available Paintings.

    Happy Monday,

    26 September 2015

    Seascape with Waves (+ my favorite poet)

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    Today is the anniversary of American poet Robert Lax's death (read a bit here). Bob Lax was a contemporary of my namesake (Trappist monk Thomas Merton); Merton and Lax were also friends with the painter Ad Reinhardt. During the latter years of his life, Lax lived on the island of Patmos, Greece. Here's one of his works:

    "are you a visitor?" asked 
    the dog.

    "yes," i answered.

    "only a visitor?" asked 
    the dog. 

    "yes," i answered. 

    "take me with you," said 
    the dog.

    To purchase my work, view my Current Auctions and All Available Paintings.


    24 September 2015

    Three Italian Plums (+ thank you)

    Three Italian Plums
    4 x 6 inches, oil on linen on panel, 2015
    Email me for purchase information

    Thank you so much for all your wonderful emails and comments about my 8th anniversary painting and post yesterday. Yes, there's definitely my self-portrait (of sorts) in it!

    To purchase my work, view my Current Auctions and All Available Paintings.


    23 September 2015

    Still Life with Apple & Silver Cup (A Meditation on 8 Years)

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    A Meditation for 8 Years
    A Meditation on 8 Years

    Today marks 8 years since I began making paintings for this blog. Starting with a pink zinnia, I set out to make a painting a day and to see if I could develop a sustainable painting practice for myself. Eight years later, my blog has had more than 900,000 visitors from over 100 countries, and my work is in books, magazines, and private, public, and museum collections on 6 continents. I know these numbers because what comes with using the Internet is data, and, for better or worse, data is a force of nature.

    The number I can't tell you is exactly how many daily paintings I've painted since September 23, 2007. Because I don't really know. I sometimes know an approximate number; for fun, my mom has mostly kept track, a lot of the time. But the truth is, I haven't counted because it's not all that important to me.

    What is important is what my daily painting practice means to me. Spending time pushing paint around is a way of life. Some days are a challenge, but for eight years, this vocation has enriched my heart and mind and soul, and this inspires me to continue painting as often as I do.

    Painting for me is about paying attention and capturing a moment. Contemplative paying attention allows me to have an intimate relationship with my painting subjects. Mutual respect and exchange of energy manifests itself as gesture, movement, weight, edges, texture, and color harmony. I often choose from my collection of handmade pottery or local co-op produce or a scene out my window -- and it is magic to me that my subjects can be simultaneously animated and meditative. Painting is both big and small. It is humble and majestic. It is reflective and sometimes painful. It is present moment and vast potential.

    For me, my daily paintings are intensely personal, my painting practice is a mindfulness meditation. Through my work, I hope to share with you a sense of awe and wonder I feel about beauty that is all around us in our daily lives. In a small way, I hope my work might awaken the same thing in you.

    Today, while I painted this painting, I felt an overwhelming sense of humility. Eight years later, daily painting allows me to feel like a beginner every time I sit down at my easel.

    Today (and every day) I offer my gratitude to you for your continued interest in my work. Thank you for allowing me to share it with you.


    22 September 2015

    Golden Series: Figs, Peaches, and Silver Cup (+ thoughts on Giving )

    This is the eleventh painting in my Golden Series. Also, I thought I'd share causes that I like -- you can find this on my website in the "Inspiration" section -- if you have a moment to check them out.

    To purchase my work, view my Current Painting Auctions and All Available Paintings.


    21 September 2015

    Four Blackberries & Handmade Bottle (+ "the creative part that's been dormant too long")

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    Can you see my self-portrait (of sorts) in the bottle? This painting continues my "Paintings of Handmade Pottery" project that I've been working on since January 2008 (bottle by Jury Smith).

    Thanks for all the lovely emails about the workshop feedback I've been sharing. I have a few more new ones. Here's one:

    "Abbey has inspired me and given me hope. The more I read on Abbey's website, the more I knew I had to meet her and take a workshop with her. Since the workshop, her words and instruction have restored confidence in me. No one on earth could ever ask for more! I felt such peace while taking her class -- Abbey set such a wonderful tone for the workshop. Since the workshop, the best changes I have noticed have been mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I want to enjoy the process and now know how to honor the creative part of me that's been dormant too long. After just one day, Abbey made such a difference in my life and I'm sure soooooo many more. I thank Abbey from the bottom of my heart for sharing her gift so beautifully and being the sweet and generous person that she is." -ES

    To purchase my work, view my Current Auctions and All Available Paintings.

    Happy Monday,

    18 September 2015

    Ceci n'est pas une pipe (Woodstock, NY) (+ Magritte & Peto)

    Ceci n'est pas une pipe (from Woodstock, NY), 6x7 in., oil on linen on panel, 2015

    You probably have noticed that I like to periodically pay homage to certain art historical moments that interest me. This painting references René Magritte's La trahison des images, also known as The Treachery of Images -- a famous painting of a pipe. Below it, Magritte painted, "Ceci n'est pas une pipe." -- French for "This is not a pipe." He painted it in 1928-29 when he was 30 years old.

    I found this amazing pipe over the summer at a market in Woodstock, NY. Of course, it caught my eye because of my connection to John F. Peto and the Peto Museum.

    One of Peto's well-known favorite objects to paint was a pipe (as you can see in his paintings here).

    I may bring this pipe along with me next month to use in my demo painting during my Peto Museum workshop. It's always such an honor to be able to choose from Peto's own still life objects for my demo painting set up during my workshop. More on that later.

    Peto Museum, NJ - Oct. 24-25  - Click to register (several spots left -- sells out at 10)

    Still not sure about signing up?
    1. Read many more testimonials here and here
    2. Watch this video to learn about my approach to painting
    3. View photos from my last Peto Museum workshop
    4. Feel free to email me with any questions
    I look forward to painting with you at the Peto Museum in October. Reserve your spot today.   

    To purchase my work, view my Current Painting Auctions and All Available Paintings.

    All best,

    17 September 2015

    Two Figs at Dawn (+ "a more positive inner voice")

    Here's feedback from a painter who took my last Yardley workshop:
    "Since Abbey's workshop, I have learned to be more patient with myself and my color mixing and having a more positive inner voice when I paint. Abbey's philosophies about painting and life and how they are interconnected are present in the back of my mind when I paint. 
    I am primarily self-taught, so taking her workshop gave me great new information and fueled my creative energy at a time when I was feeling stuck. I liked the color mixing education that I got from the workshop. Abbey really took her time when mixing colors, incorporating several colors into each paint mix and I found that helpful to learn. 
    Abbey is a thoughtful teacher who provides a lot of philosophy and supportiveness to her students. Her dedication to education is evident. I found so many things that Abbey said in both the demo and individual instruction to be very helpful and will make me a better painter!"
    If you're on the fence, check out my last Yardley workshop photos or watch the video below.

    Also, you can read feedback about my workshops.

    To purchase my work, view my Current Painting Auctions and All Available Paintings.


    15 September 2015

    Passing Storm on the Lake (+ "in mindfulness terms")

    I painted this storm from inside a cabin, so I didn't get soaked like I did painting this storm.

    Here's feedback from a couple more painters who took my March Yardley workshop:
    "I loved how Abbey speaks about painting and the objects that we choose in mindfulness terms. So true -- just never thought about it that way. Abbey speaks beautifully and kindly to all, and I loved that."
    "The best part of the workshop was exposure to Abbey's process. I think Abbey is a very good communicator––whether discussing technique or philosophy of painting––I think she would bring value to anyone’s experience––novice or advanced.

    Ending Soon (current bid: $135)
    Auction ends at 9PM EST tonight

    Click to view auction

    To purchase my work, view my Current Painting Auctions and All Available Paintings.

    All best,

    14 September 2015

    Delft Plate of Blackberries (+ "the best gift I could give myself")

    I've been focused lately on my solo show and haven't written about my upcoming workshops.

    Here's feedback from a painter who took my Yardley workshop last March:
    "Abbey's approach has been life changing for me. Her limited palette, relaxed attitude, and the ability to emotionally connect with her subject right away and stay with that connection was eye opening. Abbey was very open in sharing her information during the demonstration and her personal input into my painting was so much appreciated. I feel I have a new perspective. This was the best gift I could give myself." -NW
    You can read more unedited feedback here about my workshops.

    To purchase my work, view my Current Painting Auctions and All Available Paintings.

    All best,

    08 September 2015

    Fig and Halved Fig - auction (+ My Notes on Health & Archival Materials)

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    We artists all need to make our own decisions about what materials are right for us individually, so it's good to be as informed as possible about archival issues and health risks. The health risks related to and archival nature of oil painting materials is something I get asked a lot about in workshops and my private painting mentoring/instruction sessions. As many of my students know from spending time with me, this topic is of interest to me because over the past several years, I have experienced big health challenges -- some of which are due to multiple chemical sensitivities.

    There is so much to talk about: paint, solvent, medium, varnish, ventilation, disposal, safety equipment, studio practices, and so on. I won't get into all of these things since I teach about this in workshops & mentoring, but I will first mention a bit about painting on panels. If you're interested, this is my *start* to a discussion on the nature of painting on linen mounted on panels. I hope it is helpful.

    I primarily paint on three different surfaces: panels by Raymar, panels by the Mackins at Art Boards™, and panels by Bill Ewing at Innerglow.

    I did my own research first. Then I talked to a colleague at the Conservation Center for Art and Historical Artifacts. He basically stated that while panel MDF is used all the time in the arts -- even in museum display cases when long-term exhibition is not expected -- there will always be VOCs coming out of that material over time. It seems to be less of an issue with paintings -- MDF is fairly stable, more so than straight wood (although wood is used in the manufacture of MDF). He said that "acid-free" will never be achieved with a wood product because the lignin in wood is acidic. For those concerned, he suggested alternatives: aluminum panels or honeycomb board.

    Then I reached out to the friendly folks at Raymar. According to Raymar, "the manufacturer where we purchase the panel MDF [on which canvas/linen is mounted] has been a great source of information for us over the years, which is why we continue to use this particular product. The formaldehyde content of the boards is less than 0.1%. There are no added oils, as MDF does not go through a tempering process, like hardboard. The manufacturers do use a urea formaldehyde resin in the production of the board. This improves the tensile strength and reduces water absorption. We spoke with the biochemist they keep on staff, as this was an initial concern of ours, and he told us that the boards are heated in a digester, which cooks out any volatile compounds."

    Then, I reached out to Bill Ewing, who makes Innerglow panels. Bill generously talked with me via email about his panels. Bill says,
    "I started the panel business more than 20 years ago after becoming discouraged from painting on products designed as building materials, i.e. Masonite or hard boards. My research lead to developing a strong, permanent, and safe panel designed especially for painting. Years of the most extreme testing have proven Innerglow Panels to perform and last beyond the call of any artistic need or application. They are suitable for all mediums EXCEPT egg tempera and are available in all standard sizes and custom size orders on request.

    Innerglow panels have obtained a large following from artists across the country and abroad. The company has grown over the years solely from referrals by satisfied customers and recommendations from painting instructors, like the great David Leffel. The panels have earned praise from artists who particularly enjoy Innerglow’s versatile painting surface. Although the panels all wood acid free archival construction may not be a concern to every artist, everyone that uses them can be assured that Innerglow Panels will stand the test of time.

    Innerglow Painting Panels are the modern answer to the wooden panels that history’s paintings have come down to us on for hundreds years. They may well be 'The finest improvement in artist panels since the 17th century'."
    You can read more about Innerglow's impressive panel quality here.

    Finally, I reached out to ArtBoards, but did not hear back a reply. So, according to their site, ArtBoard's canvas is sized with rabbit skin glue and primed with zinc-white. The primed canvas is then mounted to ArtBoards' natural fiber painting panel using a reversible archival conservators adhesive. The fiber panel is made of double refined Douglas fir, and there is no added formaldehyde. You can read more about ArtBoard's panel quality here.

    To purchase my work, view my Current Painting Auctions and All Available Paintings.

    All best,

    01 September 2015

    Heirloom Tomato with Handmade Bottle (+ "my biggest struggle...")

    Heirloom Tomato with Handmade Bottle
    4 x 3.5 inches, oil on linen on panel, framed
    Email me for purchase information

    Here's some last feedback from my recent Sedona Arts Center workshop:
    "My biggest struggle is making painting and drawing a priority in my life and learning how to carve out chunks of studio time. I really appreciated witnessing your process, and what I liked best about the workshop was your amazing, gorgeous paintings, and your approach to painting as a daily spiritual practice.  
    I LOVED the entire format and the tone of the workshop -- it was a calm, relaxed, supportive, inspirational, and productive atmosphere. Everyone seemed to be there to learn and work. The Sedona landscape was spectacular, too! Can't wait to do it again!!!" ~Ann Saberi 
    To purchase my work, view my Current Painting Auctions and All Available Paintings.


    31 August 2015

    Morandi Postcard (Watercolor Still Life, 1962) (+ mentoring info)

    Morandi Postcard (Watercolor Still Life, 1962)
    5 x 6 inches, oil on linen on panel, framed, 2013
    Email me for purchase information

    I've posted recently about my upcoming workshops. If you prefer private instruction -- working with me one-on-one without traveling to a workshop -- I offer Private Painting Mentoring online. Private Painting Mentoring is purely an online program, so you can be anywhere in the world. (The next Mentoring spot is available in mid- to late-October.)

    If you're not sure how you would benefit from online instruction, it's good to read what folks have to say who have gone through the process. I have more that I will add very soon, but I've put together some feedback from a few of the painters I've been working with, along with a short profile on their work (used with permission). If you're considering working with me, you may find it helpful to read those testimonials.

    Here's something perhaps relevant that I saw on facebook: 

    To purchase my work, view my Current Painting Auctions and All Available Paintings.

    Happy Monday,