In his 7th one-man exhibit, titled Bountiful Blessings, artist Ryan Rubio pauses to reflect on the everyday graces that fill our lives yet don’t always recognize. On view at the gallery are mostly small oil on paper works and one large-scale oil piece on canvas.
To Rubio, it is a glimpse into his everyday life and his constant pursuit of finding new techniques and strokes that he can apply in his continually evolving body of work. He is not a believer of sticking to just one style or method of doing things. What keeps him going is in knowing that he can portray things differently every time he paints or makes a sculpture. The key is in taking time to paint and in immersing himself in the creative process until he is pleased with what he sees. The results are haunting, ghostly figures emerging from the mist of nearly monochromatic drips of paint, with only slight splashes of color, suggesting very little movement, as if freezing time for self-introspection.
“Recurring Prayer” depicts one’s dependence on prayer and as thanksgiving for graces received. Rubio only hints at a figure and then lets his expressionist instincts take over. It sets the contemplative tone of the rest of the pieces. “Summer at the Seashore” recalls his fondness for his hometown, and how it has vastly changed over the years. In a sense, he still wants to recapture what it once was, clean and unadulterated. Rubio admits he only realized how valuable it was when he had to move away to the city, recognizing what was missing. “Intimacy,” meanwhile, is something he shares with his partner, and is likewise a blessing from the great provider. “Waiting for My Honey” is dedicated to her, as work has recently forced them to live apart. The 6’ x 6’ centerpiece, “Not Good for Man to be Alone,” is a reference to the beginnings of Adam and Eve.
Rubio is so sure of his faith that he even sees something positive and gracious in mortality, as he demonstrates in “A Girl After a Death.” To him, death is not to be feared if you’re treading the right path, and must be appreciated within the natural course and meaning of life.
He knows he has always wanted to paint, and it is with such conviction that he gets to enjoy what he does. There is no self-doubt or regret, adds Rubio, on every brushstroke. He does not care how much time he needs to get it right, whether it takes one hour or one year. Experimenting with the process is part of the joy he derives from the craft.