Painting in Paradise was a blast!
Mahalo and Thank you to our hosts, Mickey and Albert, for sharing a studio that was almost paradise with us. You took such good care of us: the meals were delicious and the weather could not have been more perfect.
I really enjoyed getting to know each of the participants. Some were return students, while others were first-timers. Everyone did fantastic work. I think we all enjoyed the two days spent on location. Our first day out of the studio we spent in old Lahaina town. The morning was spent beneath the enormous banyan tree. Our assignment was to emphasize texture – and inspiration was everywhere: bark, leaves, shadows and aerial roots! It was fun to hear the comments of the public – especially the young ones. After lunch we moved a bit north to the lawn behind the library. This cool open area overlooks an historic birthing stone and vistas of the waterfront, boats and surfers.
Back in the studio, we took inspiration from fresh-picked tropical flowers from the garden. We also worked on water, sky-scapes, color, line, composition and design.
Our final day we spent on location near Baby Beach. We didn’t even come close to tapping all the subject matter at this great location. We lucked out and heard a nearby drum performance from the Buddhist temple when we arrived. One artist chose to paint the historic Chinese cemetery, one artist painted the pier, and everyone else enjoyed the view of Lanai, boats and wind-surfers. We loved seeing all the beach-goers – and they loved seeing the artwork in progress.
I guess we’ll just have to come back!
Next time, maybe we will work on portraying the Buddhist Temple and some of the colorful feral roosters! There was so much subject matter to choose from at this beach.
I loved how each artist’s work was a unique reflection of their vision and creativity. Reviews have been coming in and everyone loved the locations… some wanted to paint out every day! But many people liked the lectures and classroom time too. All in all, Painting in Paradise was just what the doctor ordered: inspiration, time to paint and beautiful locations for working. If you were there, I’d love your comments… and don’t forget to send in your review! If you’d like to join us next time, be sure to sign up for my newsletter to be one of the first folks notified when registration opens: Click here to subscribe to the newsletter.
We are hoping to come back next year to soak up more inspiration and sunshine. For now, memories and our paintings will be our souvenirs.
They say Change is inevitable but Growth is Intentional. I have a few new pieces for Portland Open Studios, getting them framed up this week! Please plan to visit me October 14-15 or 21-22, 2017 from 10-5. My studio is #7 on the tour in Community 1. There are several other great artists showing in our area! You can download the free app with addresses, or the paid phone app that shows 3 images per artist. Here is the link! Or you can purchase the tour book, which also includes a directory of teaching artists. Only $15. I have several available here at the studio. Here is a link for a map to my studio from points North. And this link provides a map to the studio from points South.
This week will be my first try at framing an oversized work myself (Fishing in the Dark – below.) Wish me luck! My least favorite part is placing plexiglass over the mat and painting without getting any dust or specks on it! Difficult! If anyone has any tips or tricks for this, I’m more than willing to listen.
“Fishing in the Dark” Watermedia on TerraSkin, 30″x30″ ©Ruth Armitage
I adore this change in the seasons and cooler, crisp fall temperatures here. My mom reminded me that each fall and spring, during the Big CLEAN, her mother would rearrange all the artwork in the house. It is amazing how changing the position of a painting lets you see it with new eyes. I’ve been doing a bit of that myself… getting ready for the Portland Open Studios tour. I think this year I will re-hang work in other rooms of my house too. I’ve had to do that unintentionally, since I robbed our powder room for the Local 14 show last weekend. I didn’t get all my paintings packed up and have to go back for them! OOPS! So I put Orchard’s Edge in the powder room instead of “Autumn Tilling.” I like how it looks!
Complex Vs. Simple
Orchard’s Edge is an homage to this fall weather, the neutrals, and subtle colors of grasses against the backdrop of a dark orchard. I have been thinking about my parents’ farm and what it will look like when the hazelnut trees are grown up. I don’t like to think about how that change will look. But I have to accept it. As a painter, it is difficult to abstract something like an orchard. I chose to represent it as the dark band at the top of the painting. The next band represents grasses, and the bottom area represents water. Attempting a banded composition like this requires an artist to find exciting ways to break up all the stripes and make each one interesting, to hold the viewers eye.
“Orchard’s Edge” Mixed Media on Paper, 15″x22″ ©Ruth Armitage
I have been finding that many viewers prefer a calmer composition like this to the more complicated, active compositions of a painting like “Seismic Shift.” Just like some people prefer seafood and others prefer steak… What is your preference? Do you prefer simple or complex paintings? Leave me a comment.
“Beauty is the only thing that time cannot harm. Philosophies fall away like sand, creeds follow one another, but what is beautiful is a joy for all seasons, a possession for all eternity.”
This weekend I’m participating as a guest of the Local14 Art Show! Tonight is the gala 50th Anniversary Opening reception, from 6-9 pm. $10 admission gets you a great night out with catering by Elephant’s Deliand first access to the bounty of wonderful art presented. The show is open September 28 – October 1 at the Left Bank Annex in NE Portland.
Location & Hours
Left Bank Annex, 101 N. Weidler St., Portland OR 97227 Click Here for a Map
Hours during the weekend are:
Friday, September 29, 2017, 10-7 p.m.
Saturday, September 30, 2017, 10-5 p.m.
Sunday, October 1, 2017, 10-5 p.m
My Space on the Main Level
There are 2 levels to this great industrial space, so don’t miss exploring all the show has to offer. You can use the bucket style elevator or the stairs to move between levels. There is so much to see, you’ll want to spend some time here! I’ve created a special box set of 4×6″ notecards for this show and Portland Open Studios. Each set contains 2 each of 4 different designs. I can’t wait for you to see them! They’ll be on the small pedestal you see in the photo above.
50 Years of History
Local 14 began 50 years ago when 14 women artists decided to host a show in a garage in Lake Oswego. ‘Local’ is an acronym for Lake Oswego Crafts and Arts League, and 14 denotes the original 14 members. The group uses this show to raise funds for arts scholarships for deserving college students. This year, they have awarded $10,000 in scholarships to 4 deserving students. The scholarship winners will have work on display during the show.
What You’ll See:
I’m excited to be one of 15 former members participating in this show to celebrate their 50th Anniversary. This location is great for all the available space. It has allowed more art from more artists than ever before. You’ll find a juried selection of jewelry, paintings, ceramics, wearables, mixed media art, photography, basketry, printmaking, sculpture and garden art, glass and woodworkingl
Current Distractions for this Artist:
These necessary tasks are distractions from the real work of making art. They use different sides of the brain, and can become difficult to manage.
- Getting work ready for upcoming shows and promoting them: Local 14, September 28 – October 1, 2017 and Portland Open Studios, October 14-15 and October 21-22, 2017 from 10-5.
“Damn Cigarettes” ©Ruth Armitage, 2017, 22×15″ Watermedia on Paper – Headed to the CWA show
- Shipping work off to California Watercolor Association Show
- Houseguests and Dinner Guests Arriving
- Upcoming classes
- Keeping online presence updated on all platforms: Facebook, newsletter, Instagram, YouTube, this blog, Saatchi, Twitter, etc.
What I need to Remember:
“Creative work needs solitude.” – Mary Oliver
I love this essay by one of the greatest poets of our time: Mary Oliver. It reminds me that I MUST ignore the trivial, everyday, monotonous tasks sometimes in order to accomplish what makes me an artist.
As Mary says: “My loyalty is to the inner vision, whenever and howsoever it may arrive. If I have a meeting with you at three o’clock, rejoice if I am late. Rejoice even more if I do not arrive at all.”
I must paint. Recently I’ve started heading to the studio first thing in the morning. The other tasks eventually get finished in odd moments. My first priority must be to paint, or else what is it all for?
A Giveaway for Loyal Readers
I’d love to give you an opportunity to see the great artists and studios on the tour this year. You can enter to win a free tour guide below. Best of luck to you!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
“Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.”
-Percy Bysshe Shelley
Objects and Their Influence on my Work
I have been thinking of all the flood victims in Texas this week. I am trying to imagine the devastation they must be feeling and the loss. While our homes contain so many meaningful objects; the familiarity and meaning that they carry can’t be replaced. So, in an effort to make a small difference in the recovery from Hurricane Harvey, I’m donating 50% of any sales through my website from now through Labor Day weekend.
Help for Texas
If you’ve had your eye on a painting, now is a great time to add one to your collection, because your purchase will help relief efforts for those in Texas.
Speaking of water: an oxbow in our river bottom that was cut off from the stream inspired me to create the new painting below. As a kid I loved to explore the woods at the edge of the river. This small pond was a sure place to see ducks, turtles and other natives like frogs and salamanders. Those early years of solo exploration seem to be important to my development as an artist. I would spend hours looking at ferns and moss, small ponds, polliwogs, and wildflowers. Traveling there in my memory gives me peaceful relaxation.
“Horseshoe Lake” ©Ruth Armitage, Oil & Wax on Panel 12″x12″
I hope the colors in this painting suggest the quiet forest and reflection of the water surrounded by ferns, moss and wildflowers.
Another reason I’ve been thinking of objects recently is that I’m preparing for my project for PDX-CSA.
PDX-CSA Season 4 sales are open and project summaries are on the website for your perusal. Pre-sales fund the creation of new artwork and you gain access to the creative process as ideas become reality.
The variety of projects and the quality of the artists are certainly terrific! But, don’t take our word for it – see the project details for yourself. Or better yet, talk to the artists and see examples of their artwork in person at our Meet the Artists party.
Meet the Artists
If you’re curious about the other artists participation, please join us! Each of us will be bringing a small piece of work similar to what we will be doing for our Community Supported Art project! Learn more here: PDX-CSA
Meet the Artists
Wednesday, September 6th, 6-8pm
Wagner Studio, 1522 N Humboldt St,
Portland, OR, 97217
Which objects speak to you?
I’ve been going through some of the rich materials I’ve collected for assemblage to identify the objects that would work as additions to my Oil & Wax paintings. Each one tells its own story and suggests its own color palette. I’m thinking about what kind of colors I might want to use, and whether the objects should be fairly consistent or varied. I’d love to hear your suggestions!
Here are a few objects that have been calling to me:
Do you prefer the shells or the driftwood? Should one of my pieces have that little metal tray or the brush? What about that 45 record? Leave me a comment and let me know… or, even better, sign up to become a collector through PDX-CSA! Click here to get your name on the list.
One may have a blazing hearth in one’s soul and yet no one ever came to sit by it. Passers-by see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on their way.
“Central Hearth” ©Ruth Armitage, Oil & Wax on Panel 12″x12″
A new image in Oil & Wax… this one was inspired by the old oil heater that we used to have on the farm. It sat below the floor boards and the heat came up through a metal grate. I have memories of standing over it with warm rumbling oil-scented air filling the skirt of my flannel nightgown.
Years after the old beast was removed and replaced with an electric heat pump, I repeatedly found myself leaning against the doorway in an useless attempt to warm or comfort myself. Can you see the faint outline of a nightgown in the detail shot?
I love the Van Gogh quote… and I’m finding it especially poignant because I’ve just enjoyed a visit with my good friend and neighbor Judy Wise.
It was so encouraging to talk art and share works in process with her! I’ve been finishing quite a few smaller pieces for two upcoming shows, so mark your calendars! I think these shows function as a kind of hearth to warm ourselves in the early chill of autumn. The camaraderie and excitement are contagious.
1. Local 14 Art Show & Sale
September 28 – October 1, 2017 – At the Left Bank Annex, Portland, Oregon – Directions and more information here.
October 14 & 15, 21 & 22, 2017 from 10am – 5pm each day
This is a self-guided tour. Over 100 artists welcome the public during the tour dates. You can download a mobile app, or buy a tour guide at the following retailers. New this year: a ‘teaching artist’ section, listing participating artists who offer classes and workshops!
I have 2 tour guides left to sell… let me know if you want one! Or pick one up at these locations:
New Seasons, Dick Blick, Artists and Craftsman Warehouse, Portland Art Museum, Madrona Hill Cafe, Guardino Gallery, Bullseye Glass, Copy Pilot
You can also get in on some local ‘action’ by signing up for PDX-CSA. Click to read about the projects from myself and 5 other curated artists. The pre-sales generated between now and September 17th will fun the creation of a limited number of artworks specially made for this project.
It’s like Patreon and your favorite Organic Farm had a love-child. You choose the artist or artist pair that you like, and follow the progress of the work from concept through completion. If you choose a pairing, you’ll receive a discount on the artwork. I’m paired with the fantastic Kirista Trask. I think our paintings will look magical together!
The artworks made for these projects are only available through PDX-CSA. Mine will incorporate found objects with abstract paintings in Oil & Cold Wax medium. They are designed to be affordable and collectible! Click here to get in while you can! I love receiving your comments and I’m honored when you share my posts with friends. Thanks!