About my aRt:
All of my work involves a sense of movement in some form. I was drawn to the sea as a child; stationed near the sea during Navy years; and chose to live near the sea ever since. I always need to incorporate a sense of motion in my aRt: Movement of the wind, the ocean, prairie grasses, waves and sometimes the figure in motion. My hand moves with bold, sweeping gestures, brushwork with barely any attention to precision. Folded and layered textures create shadows and color palettes always in motion/transition. Whether a landscape, figure or unrecognizable abstract CoLorField, my compositions capture a bit of chaos. I obey that spirit in me.
You can discern both chaos and harmony, boldness and restraint, tumult and serenity in my work. My life experiences echo these dualities. I [endeavor to...] capture my life's contradictions and complexities through the interplay of colors, textures, and gestural marks. My work portrays ebb and flow in motion...like the sea.
About aNna rybaT:
b. 1953, Youngstown, OH
Currently live and work in West Sonoma County within view of Mayacamas mountain
range and one half hour from the Pacific Ocean.
I grew up in small town southwest of Cleveland. In 1967 Dad gave up his job as a draftsman at Jones & Laughlin
steel mill, went back to night school to earn master’s degree in teaching. His sacrifice
for our family made a profound impression on me. Middle-class in those days meant
doing without things every teenager strives for, yet we never wanted for anything. To help avoid my parents’ the expense of college, I hatched another plan. I wanted to get away from my small town, steel-mill dependent, Midwest upbringing. It felt boring and not suited to my vision as a bohemian artist.
Instead of college, I travelled abroad to meet ancestral family in Austria, from where my
mother immigrated in 1950. I began my formal aRt training in Linz, Austria (1971) at an extra-curricular night school class (Figure Drawing) and one year at Modeschule Hetzendorf in Vienna
(1972/3) where I learned fashion and design concepts. Additionally, I studied
Jugendstil, German and Abstract Expressionism with Josef Schützenhofer until 1974
when our son was born. With no prospects for supporting a child, much less higher
education, I flew home and waited tables.
I joined the Navy in January 1976, still hoping to get to college someday. Josef immigrated when I secured a job for him at the restaurant where I worked. He worked days and at night I
waitressed. I reported to boot camp in June 1976.
The Navy provided 24 years of crazy fun adventures for a kid from the Midwest: I
jumped out of airplanes, learned Spanish (and diplomacy) in Spain, met with Micronesian tribal
chiefs to enlist Asian Pacific Islander recruits. Self-discipline, and the value of service above self:
These values stayed with me in my second career as an artist.
The Navy paid for most of my tuition to attend college after-duty hours. I was accepted to
naval officer candidate school (OCS) in Newport RI and commissioned an ensign in 1982.
Later, the Navy sent me to graduate school at George Washington University (M.A.ed in
Human Resources/Education Leadership - 1990). Retiring after 24 years, I used G.I.
Bill benefits to earn a second undergraduate degree (BFA, Old Dominion University,
2010). My fellow classmates (average age: 18 – 22) inspired me to pursue (renew) my
abstract calling…in thinking, decision making and in visual expression. Their funny,
fresh ways helped update my conservative Midwest values.
In 2012, we (I remarried) drove across country from Virginia to California to live closer to
our son and family in San Francisco. I set up shop in a studio in WWII Barracks building on
closed naval air station in west Sonoma County. I got to work. There are 50 other artists’ studios in these two barracks buildings…an amazing compound where we cross-pollinate ideas across mediums, styles and imagination. It is a privilege to part of this artist community.