Artist Profile: Cherilyn SunRidge

Painter Cherilyn SunRidge creates powerful images with spiritual themes. She shares her portfolio and inspiration.


Am I Comanche Enough?

“Am I Comanche Enough?” 30″ x 30″ Acrylic


ABI:  What influenced you to become an artist?

CS:  Becoming an artist was a matter of flowing with the strong pulls and prompts in life, which occurred during my middle-life years. I had been creating illustrated journals, field and studio paintings, scheduled sketch days, ad hoc life drawing sessions; these activities were simply my way of living.


That Canyon

“That Canyon” 36″ x 48″ Acrylic


Working as a geological field assistant had a profound effect on my visual and emotional library; sitting, walking, sleeping in deserts and rain forests wakened me to see the spirits-of-place. This was followed by in-depth study of human energy systems—a natural fit and calling. Along with these experiences, personal painting became more potent and important as an out-pouring of my world perspective, of my innate and developed inner sight, and of a drive for giving voice to my vision.


Rain Drop Temple

“Rain Drop Temple” 30″ x 30″ Acrylic


A decade ago, my profession was teaching yoga and practicing healing bodywork therapy. I was in love with my work; nonetheless, there was an inner swell growing for a shift. I have the clear light-filled recollection of the moment Spirit pulled me up short, saying “Do what you know–paint!” The rest is history. My career flowed from healing bodywork into the visual arts.


Enjoy the Information

“Enjoy The Information” 30″ x 30″ Acrylic


ABI:  Your art has a very spiritual element to it. Could you describe that?

CS:  One cannot command spirituality, so I am happy you notice an authentic and joyous aspect in my work. I believe that Spirit is joyous and when I know those moments of Spirit in my heart and belly, I feel divinely authentic. Art only works when it is authentic.


Rainbow Heron

“Rainbow Heron” 30″ x 30″ Acrylic


The spiritual element comes when staying true to the “why” of a piece. My spirituality is quite Earth-based. I love this place. My shamanic healing teachings guided me to see wise, healing, even comic spirits dancing in and around everything.

Over the past several years my work has taken a deliberately centered scribe, where I delineate four sacred directions as I begin a piece. Whether the quadrants remain apparent, or get layered over, the under-painted platform of my delivery is solid–I know from where I come. Then, whatever needs to be said becomes clear to me. The Sacred Hoop of Life is the ubiquitous weaver of our days–purposeful, valuable.


Nebraska Milkweed

“Nebraska Milkweed” 24″ x 24″ Acrylic


ABI:  What motivates and inspires you to create your body of work?

CS:  Creating my body of work is paying attention to the threads of connection–series to series, canvas to canvas. Attention and awareness, in and of themselves, are deeply inspiring. Generally a poignant phrase or concept wants its “cherilyn-signature.” I find joy in following the energies of words and philosophies, and the thrill of painting takes over studio sessions.

Several years ago, I was enraptured with affirmation-statement paintings, resulting in an award-winning book of images and poetry. With my current sacred hoop motifs, the edges have softened, my palette has changed.


Thunder Being Proves

“Thunder Being Proves” 24″ x 24″ Acrylic


I had a prompt to create a series of mask paintings, as I moved from one calendar year to the next, a way of moving outside of my inside-self and back again. Now, my recent work has brought in several more masks. I am excited to include these in my forthcoming second book of images with their poems. I “aware” myself daily of where I am. Painting is paramount in this daily affirmation and discovery.


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