Rory’s Creative Process
When asked, “What’s your greatest inspiration?”
Rory responded with... “Life is the inspiration. Inspiration is bullshit, it’s all about commitment. You bring forth the inspiration when you are committed. I create today with the same foundation I’ve always created with. The “Drawing Game” now and always. Playing the game with myself- emotions, decisions, my guides, my spirit, my thoughts and commitment to the process is what creates the final art.”
“There’s no way to explain my process, without first explaining what ‘the Creative Release’ process is. I create all my pieces from a starting point of Creative Release. Creative Release is a timed creative event where I narrow the decision-making process with time and supplies, to create things I wouldn’t normally create. The process of the “Drawing Game” is always there because I let the ideas, colors and shapes of each brush stroke build on itself and be a part of the next decision. That way, a vision always come forth- a bigger vision that the process brought forth (one that most likely I would not have come up through thought alone). It’s a true honoring the process, each stroke, each step I want to honor.
Visually I’m attracted to things that seem to be in motion- my paintings seem to be one glimpse of an event, a peek into a scene. When I finish a painting, the detailing is to bring out that vision- the hard part for any artist at that point, is to decide when it’s done, completed.
I try to follow truth, in my life and my art. I start each piece with a vibration ie. Big and beautiful or dark and intriguing or powerful, yet feminine or strong but flowy. Adaptable in form, because that’s what I'm attracted to.
Wonder- The Great Beyond- Spirit- Nature-Consciousness- Pain- Love- Joy- Journeying- Ancient mysticism- Exploring- Multidimensional- Meditations- Tripping- Sickness and Health- Life on This Earth- These are the terms that come to my mind when I think of what I’m expressing through my art. My passion lies in the expression of it all.”
Why do you paint?
“I paint to make myself happy and surprised through exploration in hopes that what turns me on connects with others and makes them curious and happy and reflect upon themselves. Ultimately, if I’m being completely honest, I paint for myself- to get something out, to honor this life. I work through my own shit, allowing and releasing, and while creating it’s all me. Then when it’s complete, I immediately want to share it with others. Every single thing I’ve ever created is a self-portrait- a self-portrait of who I was in that moment.
Art has never not been an option for me, my entire waking life- The thing I hold closest. It’s what’s consumed me and helped me the most my whole life. It’s my therapist, haha. By far, the longest relationship of anything I’ve had in my life.”
To see Rory's portfolio please visit www.TonicArts.com and www.instagram.com/TonicArts
Rory was born in San Diego in 1983. At age 3, his father passed away which led him to be raised by his Grandmother, Carolyn as his mother was in and out of his life. Rory had a very tough upbringing (as prior to Carolyn stepping in) he had experienced much instability in his young life. As early as he can remember he found comfort and healing escape doing art with his Grandmother. From a very young age, Rory and Carolyn enjoyed and bonded over what they called the “Drawing Game”. The Drawing Game started with Carolyn, she would begin doodling numbers or shapes and would pass the drawing to Rory and he would add to it. They would pass the paper back and forth until the doodles would become landscapes and would fill the page. For the first 14 years of his life, his joy, comfort and delight came from playing and sharing and bonding with the Drawing Game with his Grandma Carolyn. In elementary school he took every art class available to him and took every opportunity to experience and experiment with art and would come home to continue experimenting with his art at the end of his school day.
Since the beginning Rory has been curious and interested in creating all kinds of art with every medium (oil, acrylic, sculpture, mosaics, multi media, chalks, drawing), and also has always chosen to experiment with setting a timer and exploring what he accomplished in a limited time. In middle school, Rory was shown Mark Kissler videos which only broadened his internal imagination on a much greater level. He enjoyed art all through high school to include advanced art classes and he could be found creating chalk art drawings in the Quad during lunch time. His Senior project in high school was a beautiful mural at Mount Helix High.
At age 14, Rory began becoming heavily involved in football which furthered his work ethic, self discipline, inner strength and determination. He continued to play football in college, while still having a heavy concentration in art through high school and college.
At age 19, Rory received a football scholarship to Montana State, with a Major in art. During these years, Rory sustained many serious injuries which led him to make a decision at age 21 to leave Montana State and return to his hometown of San Diego and pursue his love of art full time. This move was focused upon delving into self-healing his body and soul while jumping even deeper into his commitment and experimentation with his art. He immediately started working at an art supply store upon his return, which allowed him to converse with many local artists, and he spent all his spare time creating.
During the next 10 years in San Diego, Rory’s personal commitment was to explore styles, mediums, sizes, techniques and materials, all with the purpose of creating and healing constantly in order to better understand how creating and healing are ONE. During this time, his art became deeper and darker. He created album artwork for local musicians, art installations at festivals, did several art shows and live paintings all over San Diego including The House of Blues, Street Scene, and Hard Rock Café/Hotel and was commissioned by Hard Rock to do party flyers. Additionally, he did art collaborations, pop up shows, lots of live painting at restaurants and bars. He worked closely with A.R.T,S. (A Reason To Live), leading several community art projects.
Since the age of 20, Rory has been commissioned a few times a year to do special pieces and this has been a big part of his creativity.
At age 24 he merged his art and his healing knowledge (which included health coaching, herbalist and “Elixir King”, while also practicing Theta healing and energy work) and created Tonic Arts. Tonic Arts as described by Rory is “a healing mantra. It means art is healing and healing is art.” And Tonic Arts has remained the backbone philosophy of Rory’s works until this day, “and until the day he dies”, he remarks.
At age 31, Rory’s devoted Grandmother passed away, which was a very tough time to say the least. A year later, Rory moved to North shore Lake Tahoe with a calling from the mountains and the majesty and expanse of this beautiful lake. The intention of diving deeper into exploring of nature as a calling to immerse himself in a surrounding to further his self-exploration and deep ancestral connections. Upon his arrival, he began working at a local art gallery and soon after procured his own private art studio which furthered his ability to have space to create on a larger scale.
During the following years, he continued to do further private and corporate commissions to include Tahoe Beach Club, Tahoe City preschool, Boarding for Breast Cancer, beer label art for Revisions, the Lady Luck mural in Kings Beach, art installation at Sips in Tahoe City, and the sculptures and mural at Tremigo’s in Palisades Tahoe. Rory also began ‘Kickstart My Heart’ which is a program to further a young artist’s career providing them with encouragement and art supplies. Additionally, he created art installations for High Sierra Music Festivals and Burning Man, and created a must-see gigantic, fully created from scratch, and embellished mosaic sculpture for Cannablue, South Lake Tahoe.
In 2018, Rory became a full-time artist working out of his studio, because he had a multitude of commissioned pieces to tend to. In this time, he fell in love with his long-time best friend of 15 years and committed himself to her and her two children, now finally having a family as a stability in his life.
Rory was given the awesome opportunity to work for Marcus Ashley Fine Arts Gallery as an art consultant in 2021.
The November 2022 solo art show at Tremigo to Rory is honoring the 7 years of work he’s been inspired to do while immersing himself in the beautiful and magical attributes of Lake Tahoe.