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Ryan Markley

War or Peace?
International Art Exhibition


I am a queer, self-taught, abstract intuitive artist, single mother, and Peer Support Specialist. My art evolved through struggling to make meaning and find purpose in my life, at a time I consider to be my "Dark Night of the Soul." As a mental healthcare provider, I support others in their darkest moments to channel their emotional experiences into creative endeavors as a form of healing. Contemplating the emotional aspects of existence, I experience healing, insight, and alchemical transformation. It takes months and sometimes years to complete my paintings. When they are finished, it is a snapshot of my life during that period and reflects the issues I care about - acknowledging the daily trauma in our hurting world, encouraging trauma-informed health and mental health care for LGBTQIA+ individuals, and advocating for fair treatment for those with mental health struggles and who have experienced severe trauma.


In my artistic endeavors, the intuitive process in creating art is always more important than the product, allowing for the natural flow of consciousness. In my art, I expose the emotional struggles that exist when experiencing severe trauma, discrimination, and systemic and institutionalized oppression. By acknowledging the traumatic events in our lives and of our time, we can promote change in who we are as a collective. Eyes usually appear in my art that represent a witnessing of our experiences as humans, which is often a violation of our basic human rights. Some eyes as observers of trauma appear frightened, angry, or ambivalent. Some are resilient and strong after overcoming and gaining much post-traumatic growth and wisdom. I feel that I am the artist seeing myself as a witness to my life and the world around me, to the trauma and pain, but also to the love and beauty. My art serves as a form of meditation, and engaging in my artistic endeavors creates space for emotional catharsis and healing. I often choose bright circles to represent balls of energy or create something that feels alive and growing. With intention, I wish that healing into the world and her inhabitants. When I'm finished, my art has taken on a life of its own, encouraging regenerative thinking and the expansion of imagination. I hope that my creations portray the inherent beauty in all forms of emotional experiences and inspire others to look within and reimagine the nature of creative transformation and possibilities for activism and positive change in our world.

Graphic Shapes

Ryan Markley

United States of America

Original or Fine Art Prints Available?

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