Ryan Goeken: Botanical Illustrations
My primary medium is fineliner pen and watercolor - used for creating botanical illustrations.
I enjoy painting wildflowers because their beauty is not always immediately apparent.
Garden flowers tend to have been developed for bright colors or large, showy petals, making them more homogeneous and their beauty more obvious. Wildflowers, however, have widely varied anatomies (and so are an enjoyable challenge to draw and paint) and have very specific and sometimes more subtle elements that have to be discovered and studied more closely in order to describe them well.
Therefore, painting a wildflower can be an exercise in finding deeper and more detailed experiences and understandings of beauty. The seeking of this beauty then expands my capacity to perceive and find it everywhere. I hope my paintings help others to recognize and enjoy the beauty in all the little, often overlooked things around them.
I conceive of my art as a journey. My aim is to seek, find, and share beauty. First, as my focus is the natural world, I look for things, usually small and inconspicuous things that are generally drowned out by the glory of the landscape.
Then, when I am painting, I try to use the experience as a meditative exercise in studying details and describing them with ink and wash. I find that this process of looking deeper, describing, and then looking even deeper primes my eyes to seek and find beauty everywhere, which leads to gratefulness. I hope that viewers can see this journey on the page and therefore be inspired to seek and find this beauty in every small and large thing they interact with.
I also seek to focus locally, mainly working with plants and landscapes within the southeastern corner of the state of Wyoming. I believe a celebration of the ordinary and every day is necessary to cultivate gratitude and also to preserve what’s precious to our ordinary and every day.