Necessary Exile – New Abstract Water-media Painting

©Ruth Armitage 2016, Watercolor and Acrylic on Paper, 30x22"

©Ruth Armitage 2016, Watercolor and Acrylic on Paper, 30×22″


I have a new abstract work, fresh from the studio, to share. It was a long process to birth this painting, over a month and a half. I attribute that to the difficulty of re-entering the studio after a break for the holidays.

The painting began with experimenting with some new colors provided to me by Qor Watercolors. These paints are made by Golden and are very intensely pigmented. I wanted to test how the colors performed alongside some of my favorites on the palette. I am happy to say that they are a joy to work with! As I continued with the painting, though, the subject began to occupy all my thoughts.

The idea behind the painting had been brewing for a long time… I wanted to make a painting based on the idea of being forced to leave a place one considers home. My reasons for choosing this subject relate to both my personal struggles and to the conditions of so many refugees in the world today.

“We learn, grow and become compassionate and generous as much through exile as homecoming, as much through loss as gain, as much through giving things away as in receiving what we believe to be our due.”

David Whyte

Near the end of the process, I decided to subdue much of the far left side and a large shape across the center with white acrylic spray paint by Liquitex. I love how it softly veils the shapes beneath it and subdues the colors.

I’m interested to hear how you ‘read’ the painting. Leave me a comment!

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