Colin Ruel is a self taught artist originally from the fishing village of Menemsha on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Colin’s “journey” paintings echo the modishness of the 60’s, Toile motifs, and Chinese landscape paintings, feature shapes of leaves and plumage, reaching appendages, diving shadows. In some works, they appear to be sprouting and twining, as if from a garden. In others, they hold to organic symmetries reminiscent of Rorschach blots. The works are rooted in Mr. Ruel’s embrace of subconscious exploration. The paintings are representations of spiritual consciousness. The process and subject matter for the work is influenced by the shamanic practice of journeying.
The journey which is taken by the artist is achieved by listening to drumming which uses a repetitive rhythm at a tempo of three to seven beats per second. The tempo will induce light to deep trance states, and facilitate the shamanic journey by lulling the brain into a dreamlike theta state The result could be likened to that of hypnosis.
The descending and ascending color gradients in Ruel’s paintings represent the beats of the drum and the visualizations of the shamanic practice.