Craftsbury Common, VT
Born in Lansing, Michigan, I was a Humanities major at Michigan State and got an MA in English at Stanford (from Wallace Stegner). I studied drawing and painting at the Art Students League in New York City for six years. Along the way I’ve done a fair amount of traveling and held down a variety of jobs. I make my living now from editorial work (and all-too-occasional art sales).
Since moving to Vermont in 2003, I’ve shown work at various galleries around Vermont, including The Art Gallery in Stowe (now defunct), T.W. Wood, Helen Day, the Southern Vermont Art Center, Catamount Arts, MAC, the Polonaise Gallery in Woodstock, many places in Burlington—and also in San Francisco, New York, and Atlanta. I’ve had four solo shows.
I’m presently producing three different types of art: Social Justice Art, Yoga Art, and Figurative Art. A lot of it can be seen at my website, jerryralya.com. My Social Justice Art seeks to educate and change the world. My yoga art seeks to show the beauty and immediacy I find in yoga. The Figurative Art is a little of both—that is, I find a “unity” message in how we look and how similar we are—and I am at my most humble and in awe of life when trying to capture some of the beauty.
I work mainly in pastels. The lighter color in my work is the paper, and the darker color is the pastel. No computer is involved. I draw from photographs that I take of my models using only a pastel stick, my finger, and an eraser.