Description Not being Catholic, I never heard of Gertrude of Nivelles until I saw a post on facebook about her. Gertrude of Nivelles(ca. 621 March 17, 659) was a seventh-century abbess who, with her mother Itta, founded the monastery of Nivelles in present-day Belgium. While never formally canonized, Pope Clement XII declared her universal feast day to be March 17 in 1677. She is the Patron of Cats, the Recently Diseased, Gardeners, Travelers, Those with Mental Illness, and those with a Morbid Fear of Mice and Rats.When I found out she was the patron saint of cats and the mentally ill, I knew I had to paint her!
Juli Cady Ryan, Cincinnati, Ohio Member Since July 2007 Artist Statement I grew up on a farm in north-western Indiana in the small town of La Porte. Many of my paintings are inspired from these early years living in the beautiful countryside. I had dogs, many cats and a pony named Thunder. I spent many days riding that pony pretending I was the female version of the Lone Ranger. My imagination was at work constantly. So it's not a surprise that I use this imagination to create whimsical acrylic paintings!
My Inspiration The inspiration for most of my paintings is my own childhood. My childhood on the outside seemed ideal in the beautiful countryside. Yet there was trouble within that could not be so easily seen. My mother struggled with mental illness. And now I watch my daughter do the same. Her story is also woven into my paintings, where my story leaves off hers begins. Almost entwined at times. A bond of newly discovered self-love and acceptance. She is a strong young woman now, but her struggle continues. She amazes me with her ability to deal with what's been given to her and not complain or constantly ask, why me? I use that strength and self-love she is learning to have and I paint it. I try and paint the colors of her spirit as much as I can, to capture that unbridled personality. She shines much too bright for me to ever do her true justice. I will continue to paint of hope and love and all the ways I wish the world would be. She and my inner child will guide me. Recently my two sons were also diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Our journey as a family continues and so will my story on canvas!
I now live in Cincinnati, Ohio with my husband, Sean, and three children, Ashley, Keegan and Lucas. I have two black cats, Francis and Lordie and a ferret, Pauley. I love to read, garden and listen to music.
My first childrens's book and my new art book are available on Blurb! http://www.blurb.com/my/store