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Sally Ryan ​

Medium: Painter of Floorcloths

Sally Ryan, a painter of floorcloths, watercolorist, seamstress, pianist, and flute player.


 I grew up in West Virginia, and never attended public schools that had art classes!  But I was always a doodler and sketcher.  And so I graduated from Marshall University with a double major in art ed and what was then called library science.  Most of my teaching career was spent in elementary school libraries and what are now called media centers—but I was still always doodling and sketching.  I spent the last six years of my career teaching art in the Howard County, Maryland, school system—which had a stellar art supervisor and great art teachers.  


The American Craft Council, a non-profit which “fosters livelihoods and ways of living grounded in the artful work of the human hand, creating a more joyful, humane, and regenerative world” holds an artisan fair yearly, the first one each year being in Baltimore.  Attending one year, I met a lady named Kathy Cooper who designs and paints floor cloths in North Carolina.  We had quite a conversation about her craft, and I decided to try it.  I successfully designed and painted some floor cloths of my own, but never sold them.


Fast-forward to our move to Las Cruces.  For several years, I had not done any serious artwork, but since several of our neighbors are members of the Artists of Picacho Hills, I decided to join the group—and force myself to be serious about painting once again.  As a result, I’m now very much enjoying the creative process of designing and painting floor cloths.  I’m excited that they’ve been so well received, and grateful for the support from the members of AoPH.

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