Ian Ratowsky – Mixed Media Artist
“Roots are not as important as adventure,” affirms Ian Ratowsky, an artist who has exercised his artistic calling across the globe, including Costa Rica, India and Spain.
Travel is embedded in his DNA, absorbed into his being at the molecular level. Landing in a new country or place knowing no one and finding his way through the abstract elements in an unrecognizable space ignites his expression on blank canvas.
“Every time magic happens, as I meet new people and discover amazing images. It all opens up dreams and I fall in love with life all over again.”
Ratowsky has been creating unique artworks for over forty years and has painted in “numerous locations and hotel rooms” around the world. At the moment, he maintains studios in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Longmont, Colorado; and Barcelona, Spain.
Each location flavors his work in a different way and has its own mood and ambiance. "I treasure those changes,” he says, “and the inspirations they bring.”
Drawn back repeatedly to his Colorado studio over the past ten years, it is there that the form and spirit of horses call to him.
Soaring free and letting the present moment emerge naturally is part of what allows Ian to create his current ethereal, textured paintings.
Although he also paints on linen and canvas, his works on sheets of hand-milled “Tequila” paper (produced from agave waste from Jalisco, Mexico, processed in the sun, and milled in the United States) possess “a tooth like no other.” The fibrous character of the ground enhances each artwork even as his luminous color choices, mark making, and gestural lines suggest passionate emotional engagement.
Ian’s paintings incorporate a wide variety of mediums—acrylics, pastels, charcoal, wine, coffee, Japanese inks, whatever seems applicable in his time of creation.
As with his nomadic lifestyle, the artist is an innovative experimenter, not tied to tradition or “rules of the game.”
Marks and images—abstract silhouettes, contemporary forms, horses and more—scatter and flow across their surface, often streaming like poetry that contains an innate depth around central figures.
His openness reveals itself in paintings that are expressive and accessible, with spatial elements that invite viewers to fill in the blanks, to bring their personal stories to bear.
More than anything, this artist loves to fly free—in his daily life and inimitable artwork.