Happy New Year!

The mad dash of the Holiday season is over and today is a time for recalling some of the successes of 2014 and looking forward to 2015. My posting here has been as thin as my new paintings, though I did finish a gift for my son in time for Christmas (below.)

"Buck for Tim" Watercolor on Paper 15x22" ©Ruth Armitage 2014

“Buck for Tim” Watercolor on Paper 15×22″ ©Ruth Armitage 2014

The past year has brought success. I achieved many of my goals, including exhibiting in National Exhibitions, teaching workshops out of state, and increasing my income. Most recently, two of my paintings (“Learning to Fly” and “Turnover“) were accepted in the North Valley Art League’s National Painting Show by juror Vinita Pappas. The show will run from January 29 – February 28, 2015 at the North Valley Art League, 48 Quartz Hill Dr., Redding, CA.

My blog and website have been a big part of that success, so thank you for reading! I always think it is interesting to see the patterns of what viewers respond to most. My most popular post of the year was last January “Socratic Art Evaluation.” It had 245 views in one day, thanks to the Brush Buzz Newsletter from Fine Art Studios Online. Total views of the blog and website for the year were 21,000!

I wrote 46 new blog posts, bringing the total archive to 372. You can view more interesting stats in my annual report from jetpack: http://jetpack.me/annual-report/39596319/2014/

Each year I set goals, and this year is no exception. My goal is less specific than in previous years, and is inspired by a blog post I read this week by Rebecca Crowell. In it she talks about the balance between Intention and Intuition, and how both are important to the creative process. Read the entire post here: http://rebeccacrowellart.blogspot.com/2014/12/intention-and-intuition.html This balance is something I talk about in my classes.

My favorite analogy is to compare the painting process to a journey, one where you don’t have any reservations to stay or a specific itinerary in mind. You’re just taking a road trip, say to San Francisco. Along the way you might enjoy exploring a museum, an estate sale and a beach, all unplanned. You might never make it all the way to San Francisco, but at least you know you are going to head south, toward the Bay area.

Golf is another of my favorite analogies. Golfers know that they are aiming for the current hole. They may not be able to visualize every step needed to get there, because each stroke depends on the previous. Similarly, each painting step depends on the previous. And no golfer, no matter their skill level, expects to hit a hole in one with every game.

This year I hope to find a more true balance between Intention and Intuition. It is a quest that will likely take more than a year!

I’ll leave you with a beginning… the first layers of a new abstract painting. This piece is planned to be a companion to “Crossover.”

Work in Progress - Abstract Beginning

Work in Progress – Abstract Beginning – Oil & Wax

And, a part of a poem for inspiration. I always think of the Holidays as a sort of Sabbatical from the rest of the year.

“Ten Sighs from a Sabbatical” by Rodney Jones


Let loose. Lists into ashes. Tasks into stones.

In lethargy I revise myself. I loiter in the lily’s canal.

Time to mood-walk among obsolete resolutions.

To drain rhetoric to all that does not speak and cannot listen.

Hello thistle. What do horses hear?

A nap cleans me like a tooth. Mere duty rocks the hours.

The brain’s self-whispering brushes the conscious event.

The face of a good friend is a breast.

A call comes in on the switchboard of the birds.

I swivel and skitter, a potato thrown through a warehouse.

I am injected with dream questions.

Instruct me, heavenly recipe for the worms.

How long must I be buried before I am done?

Rub me right, rule me, sweet other.

I’m old wood and new string.

I can only be an animal through this violin.

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