The season is here for back to school preparations: parents, kids, teens and teachers are gathering school supplies, shopping for school clothes, decorating bulletin boards, dreaming up dorm room layouts, and getting organized to prepare for the first day of classes. It seems the summer is winding down, with more mellow  weather too. This painting was inspired by summer thunderstorms, always a dramatic event during harvest.

"Summer Storm" ©Ruth Armitage 2013 Acrylic on Yupo 20x28"

“Summer Storm” ©Ruth Armitage 2013 Acrylic on Yupo 20×28″ SOLD

Since my kids are out of school (just one left in college) this season brings on a sense of nostalgia for me. I’ve always loved school, from kindergarten through having my own classroom! I think my love affair with art first started when I opened that fragrant box of eight chubby crayons and the jar of paste with the little brush built in to the lid.

This past week I got into an organizing frenzy in my studio and started going over the calendar. I’m offering several classes in the coming year, and figured it would be a good time to get them on the calendar. Still room in my Creative Spark Session in Salt Lake City, coming up next weekend! I’m busy packing goodies for the class 🙂

If you are ready to get back to a painting routine this fall, sign up for an art class  with me. I offer some wonderful creativity starters, and we always have  productive, inspiring sessions. Check out all my ‘Back to School’ offerings, including a special Columbus Day Seminar for Intrepid Explorers, on my Workshops Page.

Need more inspiration? Please enjoy this poem by Tom Atkins, kindly reprinted here with permission.

Art Class

by Tom Atkins

You draw,

not well perhaps,

with tiny lines, not quite straight,

proportions less

than perfect,

the tower leaning,

like a tree battling a hundred years

of winds,

not the stuff of art school,

a clutterscape of pen and ink,

details abound, and yet

the impression

is abstract,


not the stuff of museums

or glossy magazines,

but something else,

something that resonates

with line and color,

the black ink, scratched

on textured white paper

crying out for

order and fairy tales

that we dream of,

yet never quite

come true.

And yet,

long after class is over,

and the teachers are gone,

you draw

your life, flawed,

at times smeared and untidy,

beautifully imperfect,

but undeniably,

and unexpectedly,


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