I have always appreciated all kinds of original art, but only on a few memorable occasions have I found “love-it-so-much-I-gotta-have-it” art.  Creating that same feeling in people who see my work is the reason I paint.

I am a self-taught painter. A big blank wall in my home needed some big art, and I wasn’t able to find that one painting that would give me that glorious feeling, so I decided to paint it myself.  That was almost four years ago. I loved what I created and have been creating ever since.

I paint light and bright natural scenes using palette knives to create sharp lines, pops of bright color, and dimension. My paintings are fresh and dynamically textured with a minimalist and modern bent. I like to paint with oils because the paint has heft and shine.

My approach to painting is “no rules”. I work with quick strokes, wet on wet, often putting paint directly from the tube onto blank canvases and panels. I put on my fearless hat and go for it.


Throughout engineering school, I threatened multiple times to quit and go to art school.  I don’t regret my decision to press in my engineering career, or even to let my creativity lie quiet for a bit.  My “day job” has afforded me the opportunity to live all over the country, to travel the world, and to collect art along the way.  Almost 4 years ago, somewhat on a whim, and somewhat out of frustration of knowing exactly what I wanted on my wall and not being able to find it, I bought my first oil paints.  I have since learned that the blank canvas is simultaneously intimidating and freeing – much like living in a new place or traveling to a foreign country.  Life, nor painting, works out perfectly every time, but when it has for me, it has been rooted in truth.  In my experience, being brave enough to look for my truth is when the magic happens.

In 2018, I hit the road, being accepted to some of the best outdoor art festivals in the country.  By nature of the art festival, you hear lots of feedback on your work, and the recurring word that I am most proud of is “fresh”.  I am not as able to travel this year, because my family and I recently decided to move one last time before our young boys start public school.  We are settling into our creaky old 18th century row home in center city Philadelphia, and I am thrilled about my upcoming partnership with The Stephen Smith Gallery in Topeka, Kansas.

City life with my husband and two boys is full of surprise, new creative inspiration, and plenty of opportunity to be brave and true!  I am inspired to fill blank walls of the world with life and color.  #ilovetopaint #lightandbright @colieryanart