Winter Workings – Insights from Artist Ryan Kohler

“I wanted to share some of my thoughts that have been swirling around in my brain,” begins artist Ryan Kohler.

We love it when our artists check in with us to share what has been going on in their studio as well as in their heads. The insight into Kohler’s winter of inspiration is interesting and, as always, full of color.

“First of all, I want to be better about working large this year. Not that anyone needs to have tons of 4’x 5’ paintings at one time. Who has the space for that?” Kohler laughs.  “It is a goal, however, to create more large paintings. This is something I noticed last season and wanted to focus on more. “

Lucky Day 18x24

Kohler has shared three new larger paintings for us to peek at and some slightly smaller work. Lucky Day is an 18×24, but she has a companion piece that is much larger.

“As a general theme, I have been thinking about the fun side of isolation and all the hidden or guarded spaces that exist,” shares Kohler. “Treehouses in the woods, hidden beaches, or even personal watercraft. These are places to be alone and reflect.”

Ironically, the more Kohler thinks about this theme or idea, the more he realizes he has been doing this all along naturally. Very few of his paintings suggest the presence of human involvement. 

Not only has Ryan been reflecting on subject, but also process. It’s not surprising that this goes hand in hand.

“My process is also evolving a little bit. The main meat and potatoes of my work is definitely still painting and continue to be acrylic, but I’m starting to incorporate the use of tape and markers and objects,” he explains. “I’m basically treating my canvas like a collage with more emphasis on the painting part than the collage part.”


Many of Kohler’s works have a mixed media component, so this idea is not new for him. As far as the addition of tape, each of his new pieces demonstrates different levels of this aspect. Some are more extreme than others. Secretly, seen below, is a 20 x 30, but has a companion piece that is larger, as well.

Secretly 20x30

“There are two deer paintings which are the most experimental, with old brushes and other objects taped/glued right to the canvas and expressive line work,” says Kohler.  “For me, it is absolutely okay not to be in love with them, but I am enjoying the creative process.”

Want to see our complete collection of Ryan Kohler’s work? Click here.

Want to read more about Ryan, what inspires him, and how he works? Click here.

Ryan also creates great video so you can watch him create. Click here to view.