Ruth brings clarity to the creative process for her students. There is so much to think about: design elements, composition, content. Her goal is to help students solve the creative puzzle. She teaches them to put their inner critic to work rather than let it become an obstacle to success.

Ruth enjoys teaching the creative process and watching lightbulbs come on in her students’ eyes. She and her husband Marc maintain a small farm and studio in rural Oregon City.

Ruth Armitage  is a signature member of the  National Watercolor Society , Rocky Mountain National Watermedia, San Diego Watercolor Society, Watercolor West, California Watercolor Association and the Northwest Watercolor Society, and Past President of the Watercolor Society of Oregon. The Watercolor Society of Oregon has awarded her its Outstanding Service Award.  Ruth’s work has received many local and national awards, including the Loa Ruth Sprung Award in the National Watercolor Society’s 95th Annual Exhibition.

Inclusion in numerous national publications and exhibitions has led to wide-spread recognition for Ruth. You may have seen her work profiled on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s “Oregon Art Beat.” Most recently Acrylic Artist Magazine ran a 10-page feature article in their Spring 2016 issue.

You can find Ruth’s work in Portland at the Portland Art Museum’s Rental Sales Gallery and Earthworks Gallery in Yachats, OR. She is a gifted  instructor and has juried national, local and state exhibitions.

Live from Sitka Center for Art & Ecology

Missing Being at the Coast?

Me too. I want to capture the elemental feeling of the tug of the surf, the delicacy of the foam at the waterline. I want to be inspired by the patterns left by the movement of the waves and wind on sand. I want to paint the pull of the tides in the estuary. And I’ll bet you do too!

So, I’m planning a rich virtual experience to share all this with you. I’m taking “Land Lines” on the road to the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. This 3-day online workshop combines inspiring views and videos from Sitka Center for Art & Ecology, live video demonstrations via Zoom, and print & pre-recorded website content. We will share live video content in the morning, followed by working at home with website content, and we’ll re-convene in the afternoon for Q & A via Zoom.

We’ll be inspired by Sitka’s vistas, from mountain to meadow to shore. Our focus on line and mark-making will convey our feelings of place more potently than realistic rendering. The workshop is suitable for all 2-D media and all levels of experience. Experiment with using script, repetition, direction and layering in your mark-making. You’ll finish the class with a new visual vocabulary.

Join me, August 4 – 6 from 10 a.m – 5 p.m.

Confident Color!

Confident Color Online Workshop

Do you encounter frustrations mixing colors?

Maybe you don’t know where to start with choosing color schemes?

You might feel your color choices are monotonous?

Maybe you’re just unsure about how much color to use?


This class is designed to focus on using color expressively. You’ll gain knowledge, inspiration and confidence in your color choices. You’ll work at your own pace in the comfort of your home, enjoying a front row seat for every demonstration.

Registration is now closed. Click the image below to get first notification of the next workshop!

“It was a very rewarding workshop. I feel everyone came away with new and exciting ideas. What I liked most was the slide examples and your description of how, why and what makes each work. No, maybe it was the exercises, no the demos, no the something different each day, or maybe it was —- everything. I felt your workshop was a good all around learning experience for everyone, any level. You have such a great since of humor, it made us all feel relaxed and right at home. “


“Ruth, I think you are a wonderful teacher. Thank you for your positive and fun attitude. I especially liked to learn from your example, and I was glad to see you paint and struggle at times too…then solve whatever problem a work presented.”

Debra Chase

I can't remember enjoying an art-related event so much. You are a gifted teacher, always ready when I hit a wall. I loved your demonstrations... How nice, too that we were all so compatible. Thank you, thank you!


Ruth is a modest and approachable professional with lots of experience she is willing to share. My learning experience in this class was better due to several types of teaching methods—- personal art evaluations, teaching time, reference examples/materials and frequent desk critiques.

I left feeling excited and inspired about my art and a new approach to my creative process.”


“I’ve taken several classes from Ruth over the years. With each class I’ve come away with gems that have remained in my tool box. In her most recent workshop, I wanted to learn more about how to implement line. I feel that I accomplished that along with so much more. Ruth is such a generous teacher, always willing to go to the next step in the process.”

Jennie O'Connor

“Ruth has so much to offer in many different aspects of creating artwork. She is approachable and respectful. She ranks well among the other excellent classes I have taken.  Ruth is decisive and thoughtful with her answers. Her ability to be personal and honest yet gentle are commendable. The class was worth my time and money and I have come away with many ideas, both theoretical and practical to work with.”


Domaine du Haut Baran, Lot Valley, France - October 2021

If you’re like me, when you plan a trip to a foreign country you would like to avoid following the masses of folks who get all their information from a guide book. You’d like to sample a taste of what residents of the area do for fun, get to know a bit of history, and dine in out-of-the-way bistros without having to struggle over a menu.
But language can be a barrier. And how were you to know that yesterday was a special music festival (antique fair, farmer’s market, etc.) in that little village? If only you’d had a bit of inside knowledge! And what is the best time to visit that can’t-miss-it attraction? Where might you stop to eat? What are the best plein-air painting locations? Click below to find out why this trip will have you pinching yourself!

The trip with the art group to southern France was wonderful! It was a highlight in my life!
I am so happy I got to go! I never thought I’d get to go to Europe, and it was a fantastic way to do it!
Thank you for making that workshop available!”

-Cindy, participant 2019

“I loved our trip in so many ways and really, really thank you for wondrous instruction and for setting such a tone of joy and ease.”

– Leslie, participant 2019


Cancellation and Refund Policy

For workshops sponsored by outside organizations, please see their individual refund policies on their registration pages.

Workshops sponsored by Ruth Armitage Studios: Tuition is refundable less a $100.00 administrative fee, which will be retained for all cancellations to offset the considerable time involved in accounting, corresponding and registering participants. Often other artists miss out because the class is full and they are not able to register in a timely fashion. For cancellations less than 45 days before the workshop begins, tuition is non-refundable, unless a waiting list participant takes your place. No refunds for no-shows or withdrawals after a workshop has begun, regardless of the reason.

In the rare case that a workshop must be cancelled due to the illness of instructor or due to insufficient enrollment, inclement weather or acts of God, students will receive a full refund.



ABC's of Abstraction

September 15 – 17, 2020:

Colorado Watercolor Society  – Denver, CO

“Last Day VII” Watercolor and pencil on paper 12″x9″ $395

Join Ruth for an in-depth exploration of abstract painting. You’ll learn how limiting your means of expression can free you to explore painting ideas. Refine your visual language and experiment with simple exercises for unleashing creative potential. Discover ways to get new ideas, and where to start on your journey to painting more abstractly.

We cover both the elements of design and the ‘mental game’ in art-making. Using specific prompts in watercolor, we will explore shape, line, color and texture to craft vibrant paintings that stir the emotions. You will learn organizing principles, painting tips and techniques for overcoming self-doubt and indecision.

Registration is now open here:

New Workshop! Tide Lines - Cold Wax and Oil with Collage

Sitka Center for Art & Ecology, Otis, Oregon

Tides rise and fall, leaving behind evidence of where the water has been. Join me to explore combining abstracted cold wax painting with assemblage and collage to create paintings that express the change and impermanence of the tides. You will work on several small panels using flotsam and found objects along with oil paint and cold wax. Learn how this slow-drying medium creates texture and allows you to adhere small, light objects to the painting surface. Class topics include content, composition, contrast, mark-making, color and texture. You will leave with at least four completed works and several others started.

Looking Ahead

Save the dates and watch this space for details coming soon!

More information coming soon!

September 13-15, 2021 

Southwestern Watercolor Society, Dallas, TX – More information to come.

April 8 – 10, 2022

Madison Watercolor Society, Madison, WI – Details forthcoming

Interested in a Workshop in Your Area?



I am available for jurying and workshops starting in 2019. Click the Contact button below to receive a packet with course description, work samples and testimonials.

Workshops generally span 3, 4 or 5 days and can be customized for your group. Please provide information about location and the needs of your group. I look forward to hearing from you!


About the Instructor

Armitage, Ruth 1Ruth Armitage is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society, the Northwest Watercolor Society, Rocky Mountain National Watermedia,  the California Watercolor Society and Past President of the Watercolor Society of Oregon. The Watercolor Society of Oregon has awarded her its Outstanding Service Award and nominated her as Oregon’s Delegate to the Western Federation of Watercolor Societies.

Ruth’s work has received many local and national awards and been included in numerous national publications and exhibitions. In 2004 her work was profiled on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Oregon Art Beat.

You can find Ruth’s work at the Portland Art Museum’s Rental Sales Gallery. Ruth has enjoyed teaching for over 20 years and watching lightbulbs come on in her students’ eyes.

Ruth's Studio

Ruth’s home studio is perched above an oversized three-car garage, with dormer windows and excellent lighting. Each participant will have an ample work area: both seated and standing areas are available. If you work with an easel you are welcome to bring it. Lunches and slide programs are held in the kitchen and family room of the home. Refrigerator space is available to keep your lunch cold. Ruth provides coffee, tea and munchies. You will enjoy beautiful territorial views if you wish to paint plein air, including the farm’s  goats and sheep. You’ll find ample parking and the company of studio companion “Russell.” 


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