PDXOS – Portland Open Studios – Related Events

PDXOS – Portland Open Studios – Related Events

Portland Open Studios – Experience Creativity

22x15" Acrylic on Paper, Ruth Armitage, ©2016

“River of Dreams” 22×15″ Acrylic on Paper, Ruth Armitage, ©2016

Join me for two weekends of Open Studio, in my beautiful Oregon City studio:

October 8th & 9th and October 15th & 16th, 2016, 10 am – 5 pm each day.

The tour is organized by neighborhood, and our own Community 8 boasts some creative and beautiful artwork. I love the fact that you can find paintings, drawings, photography, jewelry, sculpture and ceramics on this tour. Something for everyone.

Artists will be demonstrating their techniques and available to answer questions about their artwork. It is a great opportunity to meet the creators in your community, listen to them speak and see their latest body of work. I always love the opportunity to peek behind the scenes where the creation takes place. (more…)

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

Holiday – Oil and Wax Abstract

Holiday – Oil and Wax Abstract

“Holiday” Oil & Wax on panel 12″x12″ ©Ruth Armitage

Enter to win “Holiday” – a new Oil and Wax painting

I’m getting my paintings ready to deliver to the Street of Dreams, including the work above. I had been searching for a title, and finally settled on “Holiday.” The brilliant red seems so joyful to me, that it reminded me of the excitement of being on a trip.

“I like to have exciting evenings on holiday, because after you’ve spent 8 hours reading on the beach you don’t feel like turning in early with a good book.” -Arthur Smith, English Comedian

I’ve been planning a couple of trips, and the idea of a holiday is pretty appealing right now. It’s what keeps me going through the slog of weeding the garden, framing and shipping artwork, designing exhibit materials and all the daily chores.

I wanted a way for visitors to the Street of Dreams to sign up for my email list, and an incentive. So, I decided to run this giveaway on my website. And why limit the giveaway to attendees of the Street of Dreams? I say, anyone can enter! I hope you’ll share this opportunity with your friends… who wouldn’t want to win a painting that reminds them to cultivate a holiday frame of mind?

Wishing you the best of luck, and I hope you will enjoy receiving my free monthly newsletter. If you’d like a sneak peek – you can see a past issue here: http://bit.ly/ArtIsTruthPastIssues

Stairway to Heaven Oil and Wax

Stairway to Heaven Oil and Wax

Another new abstract painting – “Stairway to Heaven” below.

Oil and Wax on Panel 36x36"

“Stairway to Heaven” ©Ruth Armitage, 2016 – Oil and Wax on Panel 36x36″

This piece will also be on view at the 2016 Street of Dreams, July 30 – August 28, 2016.

I had been thinking about a quote that my friend Margaret Godfrey found on our trip to Denver in June:

“You can’t look at the top of the staircase and want to be there. You have to look at the step directly ahead of you and ask yourself, “How do I climb that step?” – Patrick Wilson

I wanted to use an s shaped composition to portray a winding route, or stairway. I really love the warm and cool contrasts in this piece. Additionally, the painting came together relatively quickly – which probably makes me love it more!

I found some other fun quotes about stairs, and some ideas about hanging art on your stairway. Check them out on my Pinterest board!  My favorite quote is the one about Optimists. I try to see myself as an optimist, and this particular quote fits me to a ‘T’ – what about you? Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Let me know what you think about my new painting. I’m always interested in your comments.

I’d also appreciate your feedback on what class I should offer next! Weigh in below:

A Quick Guide to Triptychs

A Quick Guide to Triptychs

“Undertow” is a new painting intended to form a triptych with two other oil & wax paintings: “Necessary Current” and “Crossover.”  After seeing house #4 at this year’s Street of Dreams, I realized that I would need a third piece to accompany the other two in order to maximize the wall space.

"Undertow" ©Ruth Armitage, 2016, Oil & Wax on Panel, 36x36"

“Undertow” ©Ruth Armitage, 2016, Oil & Wax on Panel, 36x36″

Here is what they will look like hung together – imagine this in your home or office!

What is a Triptych?

A triptych [pronounced trip-tik] is a set of three paintings designed to be displayed side by side. Triptychs are an especially good way to provide continuity in an interior design. Because they are made to hang together, triptychs automatically provide repetition. Most often the three panels are the same size, but artists sometimes highlight one panel by making it larger. Because they span a wider space, triptychs are a great way to make the most of a large wall space in a home or office. As a result, the series automatically becomes the feature in a room.

Hanging a triptych can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be! I’ve complied a few articles on how to effectively display and hang multi-panel artwork. First, the panels should be spaced between 2-3″ apart, depending on size, and should be hung at eye level. Next, it is important to measure carefully, to achieve a professional result. No eye-balling allowed! Read more about getting the spacing right and executing a perfect installation in these great articles from SFGate and Fotovia.

You’ll be able to see these and several other new works in House #4 – Quintessence – at the NW Natural Street of Dreams, July 30 – August 28, 2016. These works will also be on view in my own studio for Portland Open Studios, October 8 – 9 and 15 -16. Why not invite a friend to join you? Share this post with them via email, or on your favorite social network. I appreciate your referrals!

Have you ever purchased a triptych, or painted one? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. Leave me a comment!

Golden Shore – New Abstracted Landscape

Golden Shore – New Abstracted Landscape

Here is “Golden Shore” a new abstracted landscape. I enjoy sharing new artwork here, knowing that my readers will provide feedback. This painting took a long time to mature. It began as a classroom demonstration, and sat unfinished for weeks. This past week I needed to get back into painting. Rather than start fresh, I decided to experiment with this one.

Golden Shore ©Ruth Armitage, 2016 15x11" Acrylic on Paper

Golden Shore ©Ruth Armitage, 2016 15×11″ Acrylic on Paper

I had not been happy with the color on the original painting. It leaned toward the sallow gold you see near the bottom. I decided to try glazing over it with layers of more pure yellow, and yellow mixed with Golden High Flow Acrylic in white. The lines in the grey blue area are made using the same high flow acrylic.

I wanted to preserve the feeling of a golden landscape yet not become too realistic. As I painted, I tried to recall a song my grandmother used to sing. I couldn’t come up with the tune, but I hope I got the feeling. I hope the painting feels warm, almost fantastical.

“Creativity is like the ocean: sometimes it is an unstoppable wave bursting forth, crashing onto the shore, and overwhelmingly flowing with no hope of restraint; other times it is completely still, lingering aimlessly and endlessly, seemingly devoid of any inspiration.”
-Ken Poirot

Good news!

My mentor, Katherine Chang Liu has juried my painting “Two Sides” into the Rocky Mountain National Watermedia exhibition. It is an honor, and I’m looking forward to seeing the other 79 works that were selected from a pool of over 500 entries. The show runs from September 16 through October 23, 2016 at the Foothills Art Center, in Golden, Colorado.

"Two Sides" ©Ruth Armitage 2016, Acrylic on Paper 30x22"

“Two Sides” ©Ruth Armitage 2016, Acrylic on Paper 30×22″

Question for my readers: do you enjoy an abstracted artwork more if you know what inspired it, or what it refers to? Leave me a comment!

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