Are you ever blown away by how a change in perspective can shift your thinking? I’m writing this from our place at the beach- a very different perspective from my view at my home computer. The spring weather is much warmer than usual and the birds are so happy for the sun!

Each time I drive into Newport recently, I’ve smiled at the memory of a friend from Texas remarking that the ocean looked like it was way up in the sky! She’d only seen beaches from a flat perspective – and looking down a steep hill gave her the feeling that the ocean might come right down. Her usual perspective was upset by our hilly terrain.

Travel Anyone?

This quick weekend away has me dreaming and scheming for more extensive travel. I’ve been watching the Corona Virus news from Europe like a high school senior waiting for a scholarship letter. I’m still hopeful that France will get their vaccine program up to speed and complete enough vaccinations that it will be safe to travel there by October.

Eating new foods, seeing modern and ancient artwork, meeting people, and observing different cultures really stimulate my creativity. Travel helps us see differently and keeps us open to new solutions. If you’re interested in my next trips, check out all the workshops I have planned. June at the coast, September in Dallas, October in France and February in Tubac. I hope we can paint together soon!

Notes from the Studio

My client that commissioned the ‘Big Panel’ I’ve been working on this past month or so weighed in on the final aspects of the painting this week. I had shown it to a few trusted friends, and they found the suggestion of a face. My client did too.

In the past I’ve looked at feedback from clients as intrusions into the creative process. Not so with this work! I’ve actually appreciated the comments from this work’s ultimate viewers. Usually I check with family and artist friends on how to proceed with work in process. This time, I’m leaning more on the client’s input. I’ve really enjoyed collaborating with these patrons. It is so reassuring to hear from them that I’m on the right track.

One thing that surprised me was how she reacted to finding the figurative illusion. When she pointed it out, I thought to myself that I’d need to remodel that area – but no! She loves being able to pick out something that’s not evident at first glance. A different perspective changes the viewpoint. I’ve included the final version of the painting. Tell me, do you see a figure?

Seeing her helped me come up with the title for this piece: French Connection.

“French Connection” ©Ruth Armitage, Leather, Cold Wax & Oil on Panel, 36×36″

“That’s what art does: it lets us occupy someone else’s brain and stand in their shoes for a few minutes.” – Brian Rutenberg

And, here is a photo of how the 3 paintings will look hanging together. I’ll try to get an installation photo once the paintings are framed and hung in their beautiful new home.

My Work on Display

If you want to see more new work, the Freed Gallery now has some fresh paintings. One of the pieces I delivered seemed much better to them in a vertical orientation than a horizontal. If you stop in to see them, be sure to look for it. It’s called ‘Going to Town.’ I wonder how many people would prefer the horizontal instead of the vertical? I’d love to hear your perspective.

You can also visit my award-winning painting “November” at Urbanite: 1005 SE Grand Ave, Portland, OR through May 4. I’m honored to be included in this show of 80 watercolor paintings from across Oregon. Also, I’ve just sent my piece “House Divided” to the Transparent Watercolor Society of America’s show in Kenosha, WI. It will be on display from May 1 – August 1 at the Kenosha Public Museum. And I’ll have a new painting in the Rental Sales Gallery Spring Show:

Keep in touch:

I’ve been fighting with some serious resistance lately – I just haven’t felt like sharing much on my blog, newsletter or social media. Lots going on in my personal life – so maybe that is the reason. One thing that helps me overcome this is a change in perspective.

Your comments, replies and feedback help me do that, so keep ’em coming! Take a look at my Instagram for a fun giveaway – last chance to enter is this Sunday! You’ll receive a small Aquaboard painting panel, a vintage Winsor & Newton watercolor set and a sweet-smelling bar of Frida Kahlo soap for cleaning up! 


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