On the surface, Mary Jean Ruhnke creates brilliantly detailed paintings of animals. If you look a little closer, you will see that these works are infused with deep spirituality and emotion brought forth from the artist with her brushes, pallet knife, acrylic pigments and ink. The animals that she paints depict her vulnerability, strength, splendor for life, and immense desire to be free from society’s expectations. Her subjects emerge from the backgrounds rooted in the earthly world and shine forth as unique and singular. Like her works, the artist sees humans as colorful, extraordinary creatures with aspects that beautifully set us apart, and the world is our backdrop where we all get to shine. Mary Jean lives on a farm outside of San Antonio, Texas where she raises nubian goats, belted galloway cattle and chickens with her family.