Tea Bowl Listening to the Rustling Pine.

Acrylic on paper.

Artist's Statement
There is a continuum of spontaneous, meditative painting, stretching back to the Chauvet cave paintings of 35,000 years ago, through Chinese landscape painting, Zen painting and the Abstract Expressionists, to the present day. I love that tradition and feel a part of it.
My work occurs in phases, and as one phase ebbs another one flows, and each phase flows into the next, yet they are all connected in a way that may not be obvious at first glance ..... they have in common much study and preparation, but then each piece is completed in a spontaneous way, usually in one flourish or session.
I have always loved artist’s materials:  paper, pencils, pens, paint, beautiful brushes, the luxury of canvas and linen. These simple things hold endless, creative possibilities.
How many creative ideas and beautiful drawings lie waiting in a new pencil. A blank sheet of paper is brimming with possibilities. Simple colors waiting to be mixed together to form new beginnings, charcoal or red earth brushed onto cave walls, colored earth, suspended in linseed oil and brushed onto woven linen, have created some of humanity’s greatest treasures.
Simple, yet profound and exciting … the beauty of working with simple things.
David Coleridge Ryan
Langley WA .
On Drawing and Painting:

"I pursued design and teaching as a way of sustaining me both creatively and financially. But all along I pursued painting and drawing as a way of sustaining me spiritually". dr 2023
"Paint with a full heart and empty mind." dr 2019
"Drawing on a sheet of white paper, presence emerges from absence." dr 2019.
"The mastery of the technique of no technique." ancient Chinese.
"Painting uses paint to transcend paint.  Poetry uses words to transcend words." dr 2019
 The Search for Beautiful Form:

​​​​​​​For me the search for beautiful form is like looking for pebbles on a beach. When you first start looking you have this idea in mind of what the pebble, the exceptional and beautiful pebble, will look like. Of course, you come across some and pick them up, look at them and see that they are quite beautiful but also somewhat familiar. You have found what you were looking for or what you thought you were looking for and there is a little disappointment with what you find, precisely because it is similar to the image you already had of what a beautiful and exceptional pebble would look like.

So you put them down, one by one, back into the mass of pebbles, and go on looking. After a while you look around and see there are hundreds, thousands, if not millions of pebbles, and amongst them are many that will fit your image of a beautiful and exceptional pebble. But none really excite you, because they are not a true find. You give up, walking aimlessly, looking at the sea, the sky, enjoying the space of the beach, looking for nothing. Then, after a while, you happen to look down at the multitude of pebbles surrounding you, and there, right there, is a most unusual pebble, somehow different from all the rest, somehow standing out as if it were the only pebble on the beach. You pick it up, feel its weight, temperature, texture, studying its color and form as you move it around in your hands. It speaks to you, it is not what you were expecting, but holding it and looking at it gives you a warm and excited feeling. You have found your pebble but you had to stop looking in order to do so.

On Design:

”Today, life is very complicated. Just getting by, day to day involves doing so many things. Life is busy. Products are busy, our cities and urban areas are busy and filled with much visual pollution. Busy products not only demand too much time to understand and use, but also clutter our eyes with their busy forms. Our spirit is constantly bombarded with advertising. We withdraw to our homes where everything is busy once again. Busy with the nostalgia of the past, busy with the technology of the present, and our minds busy with thoughts of the future. But this will not last. Conciously or unconciously people will be drawn towards simplicity. Then the designer will be challenged to satisfy function in the simplest, most direct and sustainable way. Once again designing objects that can travel through, and last for, generations. There is a lot of talk about design, theories come and go quite often, styles come and go too. Design has to consider an increasingly complex set of constraints. It is rarely appreciated except in an economic sense. A look at most of our cities, streets, malls, products and graphics is illustration enough that the majority of people have little visual sensitivity. Perhaps their lives are full with too many other concerns.

As designers we are very sensitive to our man-made environments and artifacts, and continually ask ‘how well things work’ and ‘how much they contribute to the richness of life’. As industrial designers, we are aware of the beauty of industrial production and conversely its ability to destruct and contaminate. And as designers, naturally we always act like optimists, exploiting the potential for beauty and meaning in industry and our man-made environments.

But sometimes it seems like a struggle, an incredible struggle, and we are overwhelmed and feel like giving up. Overwhelmed by the tackiness, the ugliness, the poor solutions, quantity over quality, the missed opportunities, and we feel like retreating to a ‘design mecca’, where everything is well designed and beautifully made and lasting. But the true designer flourishes where there is lots to be done and many problems to solve.”

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