Marie Ryan

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Marie Ryan 64 years of age and from a young age wanted to paint. The eldest of 8 my father could not afford to pay for Art College when I was 17.
I had honours Art and Accountancy in my leaving Cert, so I started straight from school working at bookkeeping. The first year I attended Art College at night but that was tiring. I continued over the years at various night time classes,
I was married when I was 21 and 2 children by 25. My youngest son was born when I was 34. It was unfortunate my daughter had a rare disease which causes progressive physical and intellectual disability so it was demanding for a young woman but I do believe painting was such a help in coping.
In this time I did many evening classes painting with Liam Belton and  Ceramic Sculpture with Paul Brett in North Strand
Also in 1996, I was having some success selling my paintings and even some prints but I found I was painting what would sell not what I truly felt drawn to paint.
At 50 due to illness, I had to give up working at accounts but I said that is it from now on I am concentrating on painting. I did a Portfolio Course in Colaiste Dhulaigh and succeeded in getting in through CAO to 4 year Fine Arts Degree. I had to defer because my daughter got very ill but eventually did the first year, and got into 2nd year.
Unfortunately, I could not continue. I loved Art College it was like amazing nearly 9 to 5 most days doing what I loved in all the different ways, painting, drawing, photography, print etc. But even in that year and a half I learned to be much more free in expressing myself.
Looking back I was coping with a lot of illness my children, myself , a broken marriage. But I always look on painting as a gift, a treasure because no matter how I felt once I took my brushes and paints out I just seem to enter a different zone and that has continued to this day.
I never really had the time to concentrate on selling. Painting was like therapy so that is probably why I ended up with so many even after giving so many away as presents.

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