Grounded in realistic painting and illustration, Iryiel’s experience of art drastically changed in high school when she discovered a book of images, Shaman, The Paintings of Susan Seddon Boulet

Creating ambiance with color and texture formed by layers of paint became a quiet obsession for her.  Of paramount importance, the images she encountered sparked a drive in her that defining space on a canvas was not about creating pretty pictures but rather a place to explore what lurks beneath the surface of our human experience. 

Iryiel pursued a strong foundation of figure drawing and painting at Colorado Mountain College and University of Colorado, Boulder.  The Art Institute of Colorado enhanced her understanding of color theory and the use of line in her illustrations and paintings.  

Through several life threatening health setbacks, Iryiel sought a way to understand and find release from these experiences through her art.  Her artistic style shifted from duplicating the outer world to exploring the internal and spiritual dimensions a person faces from trauma, loss and recovery from illness. 

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Utilizing both palate knife and paintbrush to apply and lift the acrylic paint, her unique use of tools creates intense and unpredictable texturing and layering.  Iryiel describes these layers and intense textures as “a reflection of emotions, feelings and experiences that are layered, muddied and swirling with their own intensity; swinging between vibrancy and subtlety”. 

Her abstract portraiture dares to invite people to experience less comfortable emotions as a way of moving through feelings, instead of fearing them.  

In all her work, Iryiel uses her signature brush and pallet knife technique, to remind the viewer that there are layers to everything, the good, the bad, light and dark and everything in between.