Saturday, March 28, 2009

New Blogroll Link: Margaret Ryall

Margaret Ryall

Margaret Ryall is an artist and educator in Newfoundland. I found her by Googling around for Birr Castle and the Bothy, as I do frequently, since that place is so dear to Diane's and my hearts. Ms. Ryall stayed in the Bothy for a fortnight in July of 2008, researching a body of work that will ultimately comprise 16 images that, together, "read" the garden of the Demesne.

That alone would have earned her a place in our appreciation. But her insight, expertise, and ability to express the technical aspects of fine art composition and production earn her a place of significant admiration. A seminar conducted by Ms. Ryall and Brian Fies would and should command an impressive tuition, since their talents and teaching abilities are unquestionably above merely top-tier.

As an introduction to Margaret Ryall's abilities, both in creation and instruction, please visit:

Her detailed recipe for critique, and
Her keen advice concerning enriching a center of interest in a visual composition.

While couched in terms of painting, this latter piece is equally applicable to photography. (And while not so directly applicable to cartooning, there is much that she says that could inform line-art structures. I think.)

As I often say, I'm hard-pressed to draw anything beyond a breath, but Ms. Ryall and Mr. Fies's presence in my daily reading allows me to better enjoy the works of those who can express themselves with facility and skill in visual media. They boost me along, sort of, to at least ride along on their wings and help me to enjoy the view.

And their expertise in wielding words is pretty cool, too.


Margaret Ryall said...

Your kind words arrived with the fog this morning and certainly cast a ray of sunshine on my day. I'm humbled by your comments.

I feel I am getting so much from the community of bloggers I've come in contact with, that it is important to give back in some way. If you found other interests on my blog apart from the Birr Castle connection, I'm glad to be of service! Your photographs of Birr Castle Demesne brought me there, so you had a direct influence on my current body of work. Imagine that! I didn't even know you and we had a relationship.

Brian Fies said...

You were thoughtful enough to ask privately if I minded being mentioned in this post. How could I possibly? Thank you.

I'm still thinking there's a great story to be told about the Leviathan. . . percolating on the back burner . . .

Sherwood Harrington said...

Hi, Margaret! As I mentioned to you in e-mail, I am tickled to have lived into the age of the internet and Google. People like you whom I never would have even known existed are now enriching my life.

Speaking of which...

Oh, yeah, Brian. The Leviathan is still very, very much alive in my plans. The reason why Diane and I are scrimping and saving and otherwise not helping at all to stimulate the economy is to allow me to do some pretty intense background research in the summer of 2010.

The Parsons were doing a lot more than simply revolutionizing science and technology in the 1800's -- they were also true mavericks in the politics of the time, and were instrumental in blunting the devastation of the famine in Birr's surrounding area. The problem is that there's too much material there, and going through as much of the family's correspondence from the 1800's as I can will help me narrow down a cast of characters and choose an emphasis for one, two, or three works that could come out of this. Luckily, a thousand-page index of items in the archives, the Calendar of the Rosse Papers, was recently published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission, and my new copy of it is already dog-eared and annotated. I should be either well-prepared or thoroughly demoralized by our arrival next summer.

I can absolutely see a tremendous graphic novel, too. If you think you might be seriously interested in looking at some possibilities, let's get together -- maybe at the planetarium, so I can show off!

ronnie said...

A marvelous discovery Sherwood.

And I see that Ms. Ryall shows at the Bonnie Leyton Gallery. I gave my best friend a pair of Bonnie Leyton goblets when she moved to Ontario back in the early 90s, and Bonnie's husband, author Elliott Leyton, was one of my professors at MUN (Memorial University of Newfoundland). I'm sure I could very shortly connect us all to Kevin Bacon, as well :)

Sherwood Harrington said...

ronnie, doing the Kevin Bacon thing with me around is no fun. Stephen Collins is a college classmate of mine, and Steve was in "The Big Picture" with Bacon in 1989.

Margaret Ryall said...

This world is just a little too small for comfort. Next you'll know the name of my hideaway when I was a child.... Loving the connections.

Sherwood Harrington said...

... oh, and ronnie: you'll be happy to know that Margaret says the Bothy Cat was around and about last summer, and still up to her "I'll wait a week before I invest any interest in you" judiciousness.