Painter Abbey Ryan has spent a half-dozen years creating postcard-size oil paintings inspired by Robert Lax’s book-length poem “the light, the shade.” She painted many of the images in the series in 2017 while living on the Greek island of Patmos, near where Lax spent the last years of his life.
In this video, Ryan talks about how Lax’s attention to simplicity and presence has inspired her in her painting and approach to life. The video also shows a beautifully designed display of her Lax-inspired work at Arcadia University in Pennsylvania.
Painter Abbey Ryan, whose parents were friends of Lax, traveled to
Patmos in 2017 to visit his former home and complete a series of
paintings loosely based on his poem “the light / the shade.” Now, 14
landscapes and still lifes from that series are on display in the Quick
Center at St. Bonaventure University in Lax’s hometown, Olean, NY. The
show runs March 25-June 2, 2019. Abbey will be on campus Thursday, April
11 for a 3 p.m. gallery talk.
You’ll find full information about the exhibit here–and more about Abbey and her Lax project here. If you like what you see and read, check out Abbey’s website, where you can view (and purchase!) more of her magnificent works.
Abbey’s work has been featured in a number of publications, including Oprah
Magazine, Seth Godin’s Linchpin: Are You Indispensible?, FOX’s Good Day
Philadelphia, BoingBoing, Artists & Illustrators, Making It In the
Art World, New Markets For Artists, Fine Art Connoisseur, American Art
Collector, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her art is in more than 1,300 private and museum collections on six continents.
A few days ago, I received an email from a young painter named Abbey Ryan, who embarked several years ago on a series of paintings inspired by Robert Lax’s poem “the light — the shade.” Among the things Abbey told me were that her father, a Merton scholar, once corresponded with Lax, her middle name is Merton, and her childhood drawings might have been part of the mosaic on Lax’s wall on Patmos.
Abbey’s light/shade series is marvelous, with a simplicity and luminosity that make these paintings a lovely and fitting homage to Lax. You can view them–and even bid for them–on her website.
You can read her original post about the series (from December 2012) here.
And if you’re interested in taking online painting classes from Abbey, you’ll find more information here.
A video based on Robert Lax’s poem “the light, the shade,” created by Susanne Wiegner of Germany, recently won the top prize in an international competition at the CYCLOP Videopoetry Festival in Kiev, Ukraine. You can watch Susanne’s winning video (with Lax reading his own poem) and other videos she has made based on Lax’s poetry here.