This isn’t really a humble brag – it’s a proud brag – but not about me. Right now I’m really proud of the work students in my Roaring ’20s have been doing, and I have to brag! I haven’t been able to paint recently because of our upcoming move… so this is a good excuse to brag – ‘humble brag!’

I like to share other people’s paintings each year to celebrate another year of the community here at “Art is Truth.” This year is my blog’s 13th anniversary.

Should I keep Blogging?

Every time I think about discontinuing my blog I hear from a reader who enjoyed it, or find myself looking something up from a previous year. So, I always change my mind and always seem to find something to write about.

So this year I’ll be sharing work from students in my Roaring ’20s program. We’ve been meeting each month for a year now. I’ve issued challenges and journal prompts and watched as each participant rose to new levels of creativity like the bubbles in champagne.

Different prompts inspired different people, but through the pandemic and storms of life, everyone kept painting. The thing that pleases me most is that each artist retained their own aesthetic and voice. The paintings do not look like they were all painted by me!

Roaring ’20s Examples

Here’s an example of one of the journal prompts that were meant to inspire painting ideas:

Influences – who or what influences your artistic choices? Your life choices?

And a painting challenge that artists took on:
Create a series of 4 studies of your subject. In each study, contrast one texture vs. 1.smooth areas. Make sure that either the smooth or the texture dominates (A lot of one and a small bit in the other)

I’ve also been proud of the level of commitment from participants in this program. Half of the folks from the first 6 month session signed up for session 2. That means they spent a whole year with me, and made huge progress.

I’m interested to know, how long was the longest course you’ve ever taken? What was the subject?

Without further ado, here are just a few of the paintings and comments from some of the ‘Flappers’ of the Art is Truth Roaring ’20s. Read all the way to the end for a chance to win! I’m giving away another block of Hahnemühle Collection Watercolor Paper!

Click on the thumbnails to view the full image!


Paula Fontanini

“Every time I stay at the Red Lion Inn in Pendleton I take photos of the view out the window of my room towards the south west. I tell myself that I will be painting it one day. Finally, years later, I am painting the contours and colors of the hills and farmland from my childhood.


Diane Pinney


Rose West

Thanks for all your advice.  It kept me learning and, someday, it may all stick in my brain.  I am going to go through the exercises again and again and try to ‘see’ like you do.  I am still amazed that you could tell what I was thinking when I did a certain brush-stroke!


Susan Schenk


Amanda James

These are before and after. I have learned that I can take a painting I wanted to do and that was bridges and make it better or I hope. Thank you for that. The class was liberating for me. I enjoyed the projects and look forward to trying to do more of them.


Judy R.

This past year, in isolation and quiet, my painting practice thrived through participating in Ruth Armitage’s Roaring 20’s program.  Monthly challenges, forum postings and monthly critiques kept me disciplined and focused.  I was able to clarify my individual style, to express nature and the human spirit. ?

I think this last painting integrates my last months of work – clarity of shape, color and emotional tone unified to express nature and the human spirit.  


Kathy Seubert

The use of line differs in each of these paintings, but I learned how dominant a figure is within a painting. 

Tara Choate

The last year has been full of zigs when we were prepared to zag. I signed up for Ruth’s Roaring 20’s mentorship program in July 2020, wanting to work on a specific goal. Did I hit the goal? Yes.

Goals fulfilled:
1. Painted more.
2. Took chances.
3. Explored abstract ideas/thoughts/feelings.
And no. 
Goals unfilled.
1. Catch up on painting ideas.
2. For once and for all, figure out my style.
3. Focus on a single subject.
For the last year Ruth has provided support, advice, and the occasional gentle shove. I’d do it all again (okay, maybe I’d skip the global pandemic part…) And that’s my highest praise.

Sue Tellock

A year of color exploration, design concepts and my ever present curved lines….what could be better than that?   Many challenges, many solutions, many suggestions, many new ideas…would do it again! 
The Red Kite is the first painting I have done that is a personal statement. It was hard to do.  The child is alone, as I was most of my childhood for various reasons, and the kite represents hope and dreams.  The Far Beyond is a revision of an earlier painting,  Needs a little more work but it is an attempt to be freer with paint and design, which has been a goal.

Alisha Whitman

I’ve loved participating in Ruth’s Roaring 20s Mentorship program. She has helped give me the courage to take risks and explore my creativity in ways I haven’t before. I really appreciate how Ruth doesn’t try to make any of her students into herself but encourages all of us to grow and progress in our own artistic paths. 

Anji Grainger

“Painting from the imagination amidst the challenge of implying texture without making it obvious…”  One of the things that has really pushed me (and ultimately helped me) about Ruth’s mentorship program is her monthly challenges.  They take me beyond what usually my “normal” way of painting would be and helps me to become a better artist!”

Nila Baker

I did the vertical one for the texture challenge, and the horizontal one for the color challenge.
In both works your challenges pushed to me to try approaches I wouldn’t have done on my own. The challenges have been a great way for me to explore watercolors, a media that I had very little experience in.

Kim Smith


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