How I Got Here

How I Got Here

View our work: How I Got Here 1 - 15


View our work: How I Got Here 2 - 15

In 2015, while purchasing materials, Ryan discovered an acrylics workshop that would change the direction of her life. The Creative Gladstone group running the workshop would play a pivotal role in the next 3 years of her life. Linking her to the Gladstone Region Art Gallery and Museum and pushing her towards the 1770 Captain Cook Art Show, she had the focus she was seeking.


At the age of 55 Jennifer Ryan retired from full time employment and moved permanently to the fami1y property in Captain Creek, where her journey to becoming an artist began. She was suffering severe effects of a lifetime of auto-immune complications, and spent several years enjoying the pleasures of the Australian bush and a hermit’s lifestyle.

Oil pastel abstract art on canvas


Jennifer Ryan expended a lot of energy painting, she tried many different styles, but had, at best , limited success. An avid participant in on-line art courses, her enrolment in a MoMA New York AbEx course was a game changer for her. As a result of the course, Ryan can honestly say she had had her work exhibited in a MoMA exhibition. It was not enough. She felt the need to explore her dreams in art and discontinued her association with the art group. Eventually, she discovered Art Le Brut and felt at home. No longer needing to always seek to create a fine art product, Ryan explored mark making on many materials and with many tools.

View our work: How I Got Here 3 - 15

The genre allowed her to express her hidden emotions linked to living in the shadows of several auto-immune diseases. In 2018 she began developing works with two major foci. One, faces and masks. She began by sketching residents of the Gladstone region, and creating works that used colour to express her emotions through their image. Two, Through the Window works, where a window divides an image into before and after: life and dreams; this and then that. Her lifelong love of individualism found expression in extravagant strokes, and a focus on eyes. Ryan considers all portraits reveal her secret life, and track her artistic development.

JMR Abstract portrait


In 2019 Jennifer Ryan has established strong connections to her Gladstone art community, and groups that have played a pivotal role in her life. Giving her the space to experiment with and learn about what it means to be an artist. Her small farm, with its isolation, calm setting among tall trees and native birds and animals and has been able to move beyond her limitations and look at the sources of her inspiration.

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