Mashayla Ritchie

Mashayla Ritchie
BFA Painting & Drawing // OCAD University ’19

Mashayla is a Canadian abstract artist living and working in Toronto. Using acrylic and various drawing mediums, her artwork embodies her environment and emotions within temporality. With an interest in philosophy and literature, she searches for the inevitable questions of impermanence and human understanding.

Generating from ideas of transition, impermanence, and the human condition, Mashayla’s work embodies unsettled intense emotion, sought to become a manifestation of inner consciousness; revealing, unfolding, and freeing itself. She explores visual language and gestural mark making, creating a visual reality of personal discovery.

“I have always been interested in self-discovery and change. This derives from adapting to new environments growing up. The majority of my life I have grown up in Muskoka, Ontario but I do consider Saskatchewan to be a second home. Both my parents grew up in rural towns of Saskatchewan and every summer we spent a month visiting family and my grandmother. The constant flux of location has imprinted on what I consider home. Home is a mental, emotional feeling, felt by a collective of individuals that situate and exhaust the same feeling. Despite moving many times as a child I believe it has been important to my perspective and understanding of emotions and personal discovery.

The use of acrylic paint and various drawing mediums gives an ode to impermanence and transition. How each drawing method varies from the next, how each mark reveals or masks itself within the acrylic – the discoveries of these two mediums mend to create a coexisting world of drawing and painting.

Similar to navigating a new home, town or place we can either adapt or reject what our surroundings reveal to us. On completing my thesis I have concluded that life is nothing more than a rabbit hole. It is constantly changing and unravelling Through this transition it is hard to make sense of the radical but necessary to understand transparency, accepting uncertainty and embracing the impermanence of self-discovery — the human condition”.

Mashayla has participated in several exhibitions in Toronto, and also has some curatorial experience. In her final year at university, she undertook a residency in Florence, Italy, and won both the Career Launcher Partial Gallery x OCADU Award, and the Project 31 Drawing and Painting Scholarship (2019).

The Heaviest Seed
Acrylic, charcoal, graphite and oil pastel on canvas
61 x 76.3 cm
CAD $375


BFA Drawing and Painting, Ontario College of Art and Design, Tornoto.


OCAD Catalogue Fundraiser: Art Prom, The Great Hall, OCAD University, Toronto.

WAAC & OCADU: Exuberant, Women’s Art Association of Canada, Toronto.
Colour: New Voices in Painting, Liberty Market Lofts Gallery, Toronto.
Emerging Now – Selected Works From The OCAD Drawing & Painting Class of 2019, Bau-Xi Gallery, Toronto.
Inspirations Studio Fundraiser, OCAD University, Toronto.
Dreamscapes, D’Arcy Symposium, Toronto.
OCAD University 104th Graduate Exhibition, OCAD University, Toronto.
OCAD Catalogue Fundraiser: Filth & Decadence, The Great Hall, OCAD University, Toronto.

Awenda Inspired: Group Exhibition, Ada Slaight Gallery, Toronto.

Danielle Coleman & Mashayla Ritchie Abstract Works, OCAD University Learning Zone Gallery, Toronto.


OCAD University Creator in Residence, Florence, Italy.


Career Launcher Partial Gallery x OCADU
Project 31 Drawing & Painting Scholarship

Other Experience


OCAD U DRPT GradEX 104 Catalogue, Toronto.


Exuberant — Co-Curator, Women’s Art Association of Canada, Toronto,


Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own, Private Collection, Muskoka, Ontario.