Solstice Giveaway

Solstice Giveaway

Happy Solstice! Thank you for being a loyal visitor to my site. I’ve been reviewing how my blog and website have grown since I began in 2007. This month my site had almost 80,000 visitors. That’s a far cry from my humble beginning when I had a modest 371 visitors – my whole first year’s traffic totaled 3,738 visitors. Persistence has paid off! So thank you for reading, visiting and sharing this little slice of the internet.

I wish I could send every one of you a gift, but I do want to treat one special reader with the gifts pictured above. First, you’ll love the DVD of Carla O’Connor’s design process in Gouache – opaque watercolor. Carla is one of my favorite artists and teachers and Creative Catalyst Productions are always top notch. Even if you’re not an artist, it is fascinating to see how someone puts their paintings together. Next, I’m including a small 8″x8″ print of one of my cold wax paintings titled “New Green.” It is printed on a cradled panel and ready to hang or frame as you see fit. Finally, I’m tucking in a box set of 8 notecards featuring my artwork – 2 of each design. If you are the lucky winner, I’ll notify you via email and send this off to you anywhere in the continental US.

Enter below, and share this post with your favorite social media. I truly appreciate your support.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Solstice Blessing

“We need society, and we need solitude also, as we need summer and winter, day and night, exercise and rest.” – Philip Gilbert Hamerton

I wish you both solitude and society – time to evaluate where you’ve been and to plan where you’re going. And I wish you all the good things that life can offer – each in its time.

Petrichor: The Smell of Earth After Rain

Petrichor: The Smell of Earth After Rain

The hot weather we are expecting makes me long for Petrichor: the smell of earth after rain. The title of this painting evolved as I worked. I knew I wanted to contrast the delicate, shimmery texture of the pastel areas with something dark and heavy. The brilliant orange accents also provide contrast to these areas.

I loved the pastel areas so much, it was difficult to cover them. But, I also am enjoying the drama of the large dark shape. Let me know your thoughts.

I wanted to make the dark and grey areas represent the rain and the chill.  In contrast, the light and warm areas represent the smells of the earth. Whenever I sense this fragrance, it conjures a vivid memory from childhood of walking barefoot, across a dusty gravel driveway.

I remember it as the first time I noticed the smell of rain on the dry earth. My sisters and I often had the job of waking up the farm hand that stayed in the bunk house on our farm. Smells seem more powerful in the morning, and in childhood. As adults, I think we often don’t take the time to notice.

"Petrichor" ©Ruth Armitage 21x29" Watercolor on Paper

“Petrichor” ©Ruth Armitage 21×29″ Watercolor on Paper

In Other News…

There is still time to enter my giveaway… You may be the lucky winner! Click here to enter to win an original oil & wax painting.

Also, in case you missed it, I have new workshops listed! You can paint with me this November in Portland, or next November in Maui! Check out all the details on my workshops page.

Somehow, the realistic paintings of tropical islands never really seem to capture the wonder, beauty, smells and sounds of the paradise that is Hawaii. I’m hoping to inspire you to express the things that make a trip to Hawaii wonderful: relaxation, sweet fruit, warm sunshine, gentle breezes… you get the idea.

In case you’re wondering how my artwork looks installed, here are a couple of photos! Last night I helped hang several pieces in the Barrel House Tasting Room of Tumwater at Pete’s Mountain: the site of the 2016 Street of Dreams PDX. The event opens July 30th. The homes are beautiful and I love getting decor ideas. My paintings will also be in Quintessence on Lot 5. What a great home to showcase contemporary style. I hope you’ll get a chance to see the show, through August 28th, 2016.Ruth Armitage Abstract

Ruth Armitage at Barrel House Tasting Room

Free Monoprinting Demonstration at Muse

Free Monoprinting Demonstration at Muse

Gelli-Plate Print Collage ©Ruth Armitage

Mono-Print Collage ©Ruth Armitage


Tomorrow, August 15th, 2015, from 12-4 I will be presenting a free demonstration of one of the techniques I use in my acrylic paintings: #Gelli-Plate printing to make monoprint collages. Thanks to Muse Art and Design for the opportunity to meet the public and spread the word about #PDXOS or Portland Open Studios!

Carolyn Hazel Drake will also be at the store demonstrating her Ceramic artwork. Join us! If you’ve never been to Muse, you’re missing out on a local treasure. Independent Art stores like Muse are becoming a rare breed, and are so great to work with. The store is located at 4220 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, Oregon 97215. They are open mon-fri: 9:30-6:30 and sat-sun 11-6. The nice thing about attending a demo at an art store is that if you see something that inspires you, you can pick up the materials right then and there, go home & try it while the ‘muse’ is still with you! Click here to add it to your calendar!

For me, monoprinting is a great way to warm up with my creative process. I can layer color and texture using acrylic paint, and the gelli-plate helps keep me fluid and surprised. I love the way previous layers sometimes show up on the next print or show through the top layer. I also love how using Golden Open Acrylics gives me time to play with pattern, texture, brush strokes and more. Come on over and see what I mean. I will have lots of papers and collages to show you.

And thanks to the folks at #Gelli-Arts, I have a brand new little 3″x5″ plate to play with! I won the contest on Instagram for showing one of my favorite places to create: The Sitka Center. I’m so excited to try it out!

Gelli-Print Feathers

On Wednesday, I had the thrill of visiting some of the other artists participating in #PDXOS for a mini-tour of our community. I’m really excited to participate with this wonderful group of artists. New this year: the tour is organized by community, making it easier to plan your visit! I have tour guides available if you need one! Or, you can easily download the app from your favorite App Market. This year the paid app will have pins for various restaurants and businesses along the tour to tempt you with their goodies! And you’ll love seeing where these creatives work…. always my favorite part of the tour.

If it is not already on your calendar – reserve these weekends now for Portland Open Studios: October 10 & 11 AND October 17, 18, 2015 from 10-5. You’ll need both weekends to explore all the riches that await you on this tour. See a preview on their website here: And don’t forget to come by Muse on Saturday afternoon to keep me company and learn more about monoprinting with the Gelli-Plate!


Red, White and a Blue Ribbon

Red, White and a Blue Ribbon

I was thrilled to receive a blue ribbon at the Lake Oswego Festival of Arts last weekend for “Granery!” Validation like this is hard-won and that is what makes it special! I was even more flattered when I saw all the great work in the exhibit: The Artist’s Vision.

So nice to receive this award - Thanks to juror Paula Booth!

So nice to receive this award – Thanks to juror Paula Booth!

It was an exceptionally busy week, with company in town, work in the garden and a celebration to plan for the 4th.

Thanks to all who entered my giveaways for my blog’s anniversary. Here’s a photo of winner, Kristin Hamilton, picking up her original artwork “Abstract Hillside.”


The winner of the drawing for Jeanne Dobie’s book Making Color Sing is Hal Wright. Hal is a loyal reader whose comments really add to the conversation here on the blog. Hal, your book is on its way!

Making Color

Enjoy a safe and festive celebration of our nation’s Independence, friends!

Anniversary Blog Post & Giveaway

Anniversary Blog Post & Giveaway

It’s my blog’s Anniversary! First, I’m celebrating by doing a Giveaway of my original painting, below.

"Abstract Hillside" ©Ruth Armitage 2015, Acrylic on Paper 15"x11"

“Abstract Hillside” ©Ruth Armitage 2015, Acrylic on Paper 15″x11″

And, the Winner is: Kristen Hamilton! Congratulations Kristen!  🙂

Way back in June 2008, I started an adventure in putting my ideas on the World Wide Web. Little did I know that this blog would still be going strong 7 years later. From its humble beginnings, my blog has grown – it now gets almost 200,000 visits per year, and has almost 400 posts in its archives. That’s a lot of reading & writing!

My hope is that folks who visit my site find inspiration, enjoy seeing new artwork and come away looking at the world a bit differently. In the next year, I’d also like to increase the number of repeat visitors, drawing each of you back in.

Please help me do that: Tell Me, what kind of information or inspiration you’d like to see on my blog! Leave a comment and I will add your name to a drawing for one of my favorite books on color: Making Color Sing by Jeanne Dobie. If you’d like more than one entry, share this post on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest and let me know. One extra entry for each! It’s easy to share using the buttons at the bottom of the post or on the left side of the website page. I will be drawing for the winner of this fun giveaway on June 30th.

Thanks to the artists who took the time to share their work for this online ‘show.’ I hope you’ll click on each image to visit their websites!


“Fox” ©Rachel Urista

"Beachy Goddess Days" ©Kristen Hamilton

“Beachy Goddess Days” ©Kristen Hamilton

"Tracing the Map of Memory" ©Dayna J. Collins

“Tracing the Map of Memory” ©Dayna J. Collins


“Grape Hyacinths” ©Elizabeth Higgins

©Norene Simmons

©Norene Simmons

"Without Hair" ©Margaret Godfrey

“Without Hair” ©Margaret Godfrey

Travelers and Friends – Call for Entries

Travelers and Friends – Call for Entries

“We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best that we find in our travels is an honest friend.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

Up, Up & Away

Up, Up & Away

I’ve just returned from the 40th Exhibition of the Western Federation of Watercolor Societies in Lubbock, Texas. It was an honor to represent Oregon’s Watercolor painters there, and to bring back six awards for artists from the Watercolor Society of Oregon. I felt blessed to reconnect with my friend Margaret Godfrey, who traveled with me as Alternate Delegate and my co-chair for the exhibit in 2017 in Eugene. I also connected with other delegates and alternates from the 11 other societies, new friends and old.

It seems to me that I often hear about friends’ travels to exotic places: Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and feel a bit jealous. This domestic trip, and most all of the domestic trips I’ve made with WFWS, had just as much inspiration and adventure.

I did feel as if I were almost in a foreign country! The dialect, the weather, the flatness of the landscape and culture were all different from my home state. What remained the same were the connections I felt with the people I met and the art that I viewed.

Margaret & I at Texas Tech

Margaret & I at Texas Tech

Joyce Baron & I on an Adventurous flight to Lubbock

Joyce Baron & I on an Adventurous flight to Lubbock

The Committee for next year's Exhibit in Denver

The Committee for next year’s Exhibit in Denver: Left to Right- Gene Youngmann, Marcio Correa, Carla Rouse & Greg Chapleski



Delegates and Alternates from 12 Western Watercolor Groups

Delegates and Alternates from 12 Western Watercolor Groups

My blog allows my paintings and thoughts to travel too. This month marks my 7th year of blogging! I’d like to celebrate by inviting artists and collectors to share images of their artwork for an online exhibit. I’ve done this twice before – take a peek:

I wanted to do something that would enrich both artists and patrons, as I think my audience is composed of both.  My solution is to post an online exhibit and I hope you will contribute!

Call for Entries:

An open call for digital entries to my online exhibit titled “Connections: Friends and Travelers.”

Artists may enter up to two works of art (only one will be chosen for display). To submit, please email your digital image up to 2 Mb in size along with written permission to publish your work on this website only to ruth (at) If you’d like your image to link back to your blog or website, please include that link as well in the body of the email.

Collectors, please share a photo of one of your favorite art pieces installed in your home.

To thank you for your participation, I will be drawing one name from all entrants to receive a small original painting (see below.) Entries must be received by June 12, 2015. If you’d like to have an extra entry in the drawing, or you don’t have a piece of art to enter, create a link to this post on your blog or Facebook page and note the web address of that link in your email too.

"Abstract Hillside" ©Ruth Armitage 2015, Acrylic on Paper 15"x11"

“Abstract Hillside” ©Ruth Armitage 2015, Acrylic on Paper 15″x11″

Once all entries are received I will be posting an online exhibition in gallery format here on the blog. I hope that you will participate, and enjoy seeing some beautiful artists’ work! Watch this space for the exhibit coming up, and more chances to win a giveaway! If you are not subscribed, you can have new posts delivered in your email! Just enter your email address in the box at the top of the column on the right: delivery by feedburner.

Best of luck to you!


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