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Welcome To My Secret Garden

Welcome to my blog! My name is Ryley James and for those of you who do not know my story, let me introduce myself. I am a 25 year old female artist, from Barrie, Ontario, Canada. I am a self taught, floral abstract and expressionist artist. I create art as a form of therapy, but also because creativity fuels my happiness in life. I wanted to create this blog to share my story with you, but also to speak about topics that inspire me, how I have built my business and, the stories behind individual pieces and any other content you might be interested in learning about.

So, how did I become an artist? Well that answer is simple; I began my journey as soon as I was able to hold a crayon...

Creativity has always been a large part of my life and my upbringing. I dove largely into art when I was about 11 years old. Art became an escape for me, as well as a form of therapy, that I still use as a daily practice today. When I was 11, I was diagnosed with manic depression and that most definitely was a twisted inspiration in terms of developing my style as an artist now.

Over the years I relied heavily on art, more specifically at the time, drawing. I used my sketch book as a "visual diary". Earlier in life, I must admit, my illustrations took on a more sinister style, but over the years as I grew as a woman and an adult, I also grew as an artist and my style, slowly began to shift in a much lighter direction.

Today, the reflection of my art is very much a reflection of how I choose to live my life today. Battling depression for more than half my life has taught me a large chunk of valuable lessons. One of those lessons, is to chose to wake up happy everyday. That sounds so ridiculous and "if it was that easy...", but it truly is that ridiculously easy. Once I chose to start surrounding my life with love, positivity and beauty, my entire quality of life was enhanced. By no means am I saying I cured myself through power of mind, but making a commitment to yourself to only view the world "glass half full", is like commiting to a diet or medication. It is a lifelong commitment.

So... Today, rather than expressing the darkness I carry within myself, I use a blank canvas to create something that makes me feel lost in love, passion and beauty. While I paint these bright and colourful works, I literally escape the darker places of my mind and become immersed in this beautiful, secret garden of my own.

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