Mary Ann Ryan Sadler

“Born in Japan: my first work Doso, ‘please’ with a little bow; Air Force brat and California girl, welcomed by the open grassy fields of the San Joaquin Valley, Castle Air Force Base and Highway 99; a five year old reaching for the golden ring from a Carousel horse. Was it really Disneyland’s inaugural year? Certainly that world had always existed, but why wasn’t I able to grab the ring? Exile in South Dakota; Black Hills gold and Strategic Air Command; it was a good place to start looking inward, observed by stern prairie teachers and the quiet features of Native faces, with slower smiles than I could understand.

But my father was not only a pilot, he was a writer. Early success led to great
expectations. My mother studied art and handed us her artistic ideals. Together they read a magazine article and set their sights on the artists’s life in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for as long as it would last. Dark struggles and ubiquitous light accompanied by guitar; we grew accustomed to bougainvillea and thick white walls etched with broken glass; little girls in white lace dresses walking the cobblestones in procession; a deep beauty of people and place only to be guessed at. If San Miguel was the end ofchildhood, it was the beginning of the world.

Saddened and relieved we returned to California; the hot roads of the Valley; the gleam of San Francisco; U.C. Berkeley and the teaming streets and cafes of Telegraph Ave.; the Art Deco buildings, labyrinthian studios and Phantom Art Galleries of Sacramento,CA.; all have led me now to the intensely artistic coastal enclave of Monterey, California.

Through the years of painting and drawing, much of it mixed-media working with
watercolor, pastel, oil and acrylic, I have come to accept myself as a natural
expressionist. I say natural to give myself permission to move in an unthinking way, a kind of automatic writing rather than attempting to impose an idea of recognizable style. I will always appreciate the strenuous awareness of not categorizing oneself that I gained early on under the auspices of the serious individuals from my school days at Cal Berkeley: Elmer Bischoff, Earl Loran, David Simpson, Sylvia Lark and many other veterans of the creative process who shocked me into letting go. Though subject and context and ultimately the Humanity of the thing are significant tomeaning, it is the intensity and interactive relationship of the formal elements that drive my art. Surface, movement, texture, elegance and intensity of line, direction, pure color. These are the primary elements that give me confidence and freedon in the creative process.”

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