About Kat Ryalls

I create because I am compelled to - it has been the tilt of my life since I was a child, though back then it was an experience in working with what was around me - arranging leaves and twigs, collecting and observing rocks and feathers and shells and fabric scraps, and creating spaces in the landscape for magical imaginative escapes.

I was introduced to painting when I was 12 and I was home from school for months during an illness and it became my form of therapy and healing and companionship. My mind and my fears and the anxiety of the unknown settled when the paintbrush was in my hand and for hours and hours uninterrupted I painted.

While at Elon University I kept feeling the pull of the art studio and before I knew it my major had changed to Studio Art with a concentration in painting. Painting is still my primary focus but I love the freedom of allowing myself to create, whether with fabric, watercolor, oil paints, acrylic, wood or found objects. I love the exploration and the newness that being an artist can provide every single day.

Making art is about the process for me, the physical act as it responds to and reveals the different ways I experience the world around me. From gathering inspiration, writing in my sketchbooks, preparing my surfaces, mixing the paint, scraping away layers, and the movement of the creating, these are the things that make me enjoy every moment of being an artist,

My art is rooted in the natural world, with the focus on the journey, allowing color, movement, memories, dreams, loss and joy to collect in a tangible space that honors our connection with nature and life and each other. Often there is a juxtaposition present in my paintings symbolizing the joy and the pain that coexist in life; the light vs the darkness, ease vs tension.