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Ryn Shell: Internationally acclaimed artist, formerly of Buninyong Gallery. Author of historical fiction mysteries set in Australia.
I have been working on some art, inspired by a visit to KidsTown in Mooroopna and enjoying being in my on-site studio. My studio is very Feng Shui, positively invites me to want to create art and write. Even on a hot day, I have the fan on.
I love our rural retreat in Northern Victoria, its Australian colours of green trees, gold, wheat stubble in the paddock, and blue skies are a painter's delight in late summer early autumn.
Child Portrait Inspired by Margaret Cilento's Art
Portrait of Leanne, by Ryn Shell.
I do love this Ryn Shell portrait painting, and the sitter, because the eyes speak so much of the personality of the person so close to me.
This work has a character that you don't get from photo realism. You can tell that this is art as all the pencil renderings can be seen. It hasn't been overly refined. As soon as the artist has 'told the story,' they stop and do not fiddle and ruin it. I was inspired by the beautiful portraits of the artist, Margaret Cilento, to produce this artwork.
When I first saw Margaret Cilento's portrait of this girl, it shocked me that she had captured such sadness in a child's eyes. Yet, I loved it, because the artist saw the black dog of depression that would follow the girl. Now that is a real artist, one who can see into the mind of their sitter and capture personality and not just an outer image.
I gave the girl Cilento's portrait of her, and I kept this one, my portrait of her, and my attempt to capture in art those beautiful, expressive eyes. I treasure this artwork and keep it on show in my home, a reminder of a girl, now a woman, I love and am proud of.
Jane Mutta Portrait by Ryn Shell
Margaret Cilento b. 1923 - 2006
Also known as Phyllis Margaret Cilento, Margaret Cilento-Maslen
A Ryn Shell portrait painted in pastel pencils completed during my commissioned portraitist days.
This shows how important my Rural-Lit novels are to me, that I gave up such a successful painting career to focus on writing.
A realist portrait such as this would have represented a months work. Writing a novel, or a series of novellas takes me a year.
I far prefer impressionist art, or writing, it is more creative. Photo realism is nothing more than painstaking copying. I can say that because I can do it. It isn't art; it's craft, and easier to learn to do than fine art. I'm not an admirer of photo realism—I just did it, for a few years only, for clients who wanted art to look like a photo.
After I completed this work, I never made another photorealist painting again. I do not even exhibit this work. I cannot see it as art. I'm not proud of having spent a month copying a photo. Not my finest creative moment.
To me, art should set itself aside from a photo and be so much more.
Australian Aboriginal Man from Materanka
"Ryn Shell is an author and internationally successful award-winning fine artist. Her stories are timeless, her paintings are elegant and beyond fashion"