Artist, Author and Inspiration

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Joyful Gatherings Newsletter

by
Karlene Kay Ryan

Karlene Kay RyanI am so grateful for my life and the people that I am blessed to know. I am so grateful that I get to look at this life through the eyes of artistic vision. I breathe in the beauty of the Divine Creator all around me. “He told me to live fully, be joyful always, to pray continually, to give thanks in all circumstances, for this is His will for me through Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

TODAY is a new day. My first thought, my most important thought, is “Thank You, God.” I’ve moved recently to a new home, city, surrounded with beauty from the sky, trees, landscape, ocean waves, and wonderful people. In this new place, I’ve become spiritually grounded in a deeper level of intention and prayer. I am truly spiritually alive. For today, I am so grateful to be alive, healthy, vital to myself and my family and whomever I meet. I’ve lead a full life, raised a big family, experienced loss and painful lessons, but I always chose the road of inspiration through spiritual direction, mentors, a large creative umbrella to remain in positivity. I’ve had many friends and helpers and I have held other’s hands to remember that it is “all about love.” My truth is that I believe. My truth is that I pray and pray often That communication is to God, Father God, Friend God, to His Son, Jesus Christ and to the Holy Spirit that permeates all---this is the Ultimate Source, the Higher Power. As stated by Willam O’Mally from: Daily Prayers for Busy People: the most important element of prayer is placing ourselves in God’s presence, “God, my great friend, you are alive in me,” and all around me. Prayer is this daily renewal----many times during the day—awareness of God’s presence in all. God is manifest in His creations. Prayer is simple, no words, awareness, “be still and aware of God’s presence within and all around.” Then, as an early mystic, Meister Eckhart states, “if the only prayer you say in your whole life is “Thank You,” that would suffice. Prayer of gratitude first recognizes God’s presence. In gratitude there is recognition of a God who created that for which you are grateful. This prayer is a significant pause from thinking to empty the mind and allow God in –to Let Go of our gravity and let God in. “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” Psalm 100 “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you.” 1 Thessalonians: 5 Quiet the mind and move all agenda aside. LISTEN That is truly praying. “This experience comes in the stillness of the Soul, when the constant thinking and the outer voice are quiet: it is the quickening of the inner person to the eternal reality. Our true prayer is the inner yearning for a deep knowing of spirit. Is this yearning to convince God to come to us? No! It is to convince ourselves that God has never left us.” (Larry Barber) Sometimes, I’ve had to approach a new day by writing what comes next----my communication t to talk with God. Journaling prayer. Then, I add reading inspirational passages from many sources. A definite way to grow in mind, body and spirit. Then, I know that if I ask, I will receive. Biblically I am told as I paraphrase: I invoke your name, O God! “I will keep you safe and help you, I take delight in you, and I rejoice over you with singing.” “The Lord is my Shepherd, and He watches over me.” “Love, one another.” Stretch heart and soul. Be love, do the loving, think love—it’s all about love.” See the light in each person —see it in myself. Spirit is our inner voice, inner song. It is always in us. If we quiet ourselves, we hear this inner song that is an eternal presence. “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand.” The artwork is about LIFE and living in the moment. The breathe of beauty is in all of us and the shift from concerns about health to the positive hope that comes through creativity did move them forward. The day is filled with a time of inspiration that the women take for themselves. usually during a delightful lunch – they write the poetry or meanings that develop the theme. I asked the woman who had been sobbing at the beginning when she stopped worrying about her upcoming surgery. “I have not thought about it since we started our painting,” she answered.  The young patient hugged every person as she ended her experience with gratitude. It is evident in the photo that the ‘hope’ in each personality is alive and well.

Artful Thinking

by
Karlene Kay Ryan

Karlene Kay RyanI am so grateful for my life and the people that I am blessed to know. I am so grateful that I get to look at this life through the eyes of artistic vision. I breathe in the beauty of the Divine Creator all around me. “He told me to live fully, be joyful always, to pray continually, to give thanks in all circumstances, for this is His will for me through Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

I have always been involved in art and music and writing from an early age. This is what has made my artistic and creative self keep these pursuits a part of my everyday life. It is the heartbeat of my soul. As a youngster I was always drawing, designing with imagination for doll houses, paper dolls, with a love of make believe. I was in every choir through college years and maintained piano study and voice study as an adult.

I am a native of Fresno, California and received my education in this community from grammar school through the University undergraduate and graduate levels.

I am a mother of four and a grandmother of eight. My husband, Mayo, and I make our home in Fresno as well as in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

I love my family and friends and like nothing more than the occasions to be with them. I’ve been fortunate to be inspired by so many family, friends, and mentors, that my desire is to share my gratitude to be the inspiration to others.

I have been a professional Interior Designer for many years, but I established myself as a studio artist, when I was introduced to painting as a pathway to healing after a family tragedy in 1986.

“Those first hours of painting were a rebirthing experience, not unlike singing forth my feelings,” explains Karlene. “From the pain, I found the beauty. And, from the beauty, I made a personal commitment to bring more beauty to the world.” My artistic endeavors are my prayers in gratitude and trust and hope.

I paint in the representational tradition of Alla Prima, which means “from life,” and I engage in a sensitive dance of brush and paint – color and light – to create beautiful works of art as still life; figurative, and landscape paintings. I enjoy the camaraderie of an art group as well as work shop study with master painters, and I am currently in a mentoring continuum of study with the acclaimed young artist Daniel J. Keys.

The healing spirit of my art was recently recognized by Holiday Guild for Children’s Hospital of Central California who commissioned an original oil painting, “For the Children.” in honor of the hospital’s 60th anniversary.

Drawing on a compassionate healing spirit, I just completed a Certification as a Life Coach and Practitioner using ARTassignments. I have also been instrumental in developing, under the auspices of an oncology physician, the “Art of Life” program. As an art director to support patients living through cancer I have created “Day retreats of creativity.” In my role as a creativity coach, I have the unique opportunity to inspire others through art, beauty, and the joy of creativity.

As an author, I can only share my strength and hope and wisdom in writings gleaned from my own life struggles, including To Find Hope and the soon-to-be-released This is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life. Most recently, I have taken my practice of journaling to a place of sharing and publication. I bring my insight and story-telling skills to the world of children’s literature, with the Genevieve Series. Through the adventures of Genevieve, a young girl who embodies delightful authenticity and resilience, I shine a light on treasured moments of childhood– moments of discovery, creativity, and true friendship.