Studying Notan
Ruth Armitage Blog
by Ruth
2M ago
Studying Notan will help you create better paintings. Whether you want to prepare for a painting workshop in Umbria or just for an afternoon painting in your local park, notan will help you simplify and test your composition or design. What is notan? Notan is different than a value study. Rather than a sketch with different values indicating corresponding shapes, Notan studies group shapes together into just dark and light. When we see the world in color, our mind tends to mass all the greens together, all the blues, etc. When we make a value sketch, it is tempting to try to get each shade q ..read more
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New Horizons
Ruth Armitage Blog
by Ruth
3M ago
“We are shaped by change and loss, by our loves and disappointments, by our desires for new horizons and our stubbornness in wanting things to remain the same. We are a mingling of all we have been even as we bear the seeds of what we are yet to be.” Rose Roberts https://www.instagram.com/roserobertswriter/ I have reached a new horizon here in Oregon. I’ve moved into my new studio and started actually working. The calendar woke me up from the daze induced by moving. How can it be the end of February?! Settling in feels good, but also melancholy without my partner. You can watch a little to ..read more
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Procrastipainting Relieves Stress
Ruth Armitage
by Ruth
7M ago
Procrastipainting is when you have a million things to do, but ignore all of them and go make art instead. Being an artist is a bit like living with a pressure cooker lid on your calendar. If you don’t relieve the art valve every once in a while, you might end up with tomatoes splattered all over the ceiling. Life has a way of trying to prevent us from making art. Just surviving takes a certain amount of energy. We have to get groceries, prepare food, maintain our homes, earn a living, manage our health, fulfill family obligations and maybe even get some social time in. Fitting in art-making c ..read more
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The Dark Side
Ruth Armitage
by Ruth
10M ago
I’ve been looking at the dark side a lot lately. This isn’t about perspective, it’s something I have to go through as part of the process of grief and loss. Although I often find myself trying to ‘bright-side’ everything, the pain and fears for the future have been overwhelming at times. I’ve always been a bit of a night owl, and now that I’m alone that proclivity is even stronger. Like many women my age, I struggle with insomnia a bit, and I find my ideas flow more easily at night. Maybe it’s just that I have had the chance to clear the slate of ‘to-dos’ by this time of day – or maybe the to ..read more
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A Tribute to my Mentors
Ruth Armitage
by Ruth
1y ago
A Tribute to my Mentors What made you the person you are? Heredity? Environment? Education? Choice? I considered this question when planning my first show at Waterstone. How do I want my work to be seen? What descriptions would characterize it? Have the evolutions in my work moved me forward? I’d argue that all of the above factors influenced my becoming the artist I am today. It’s been a couple of years of loss for me: teachers, mentors, friends, my mother… These losses affected me, made me want to make paintings to commemorate important figures in my creative life. I also wanted to pay tribu ..read more
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Experiential Travel vs. Tours
Ruth Armitage
by Ruth
1y ago
What’s the difference between experiential travel and a tour? Have you ever returned from a trip feeling like you’ve just barely skimmed the surface of the place? It’s like you’ve read the guide book, ridden the double decker tour bus, visited the museums and even dined at the recommended restaurant, but you just don’t feel like you’ve seen the real city. You’ve ticked every box in the predetermined highlights. That is a tour – and it may not give you a true picture of the place you’re visiting. On the other hand, experiential travel goes deeper. You might meet and dine with a local, talking ..read more
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Color Notes
Ruth Armitage
by Ruth
1y ago
Color notes have been so important as I prepare work for my June show “Tribute” at Waterstonte Gallery. Usually I begin my paintings with a title, which guides my decisions as the work progresses. Now, the ‘Tribute’ show is different, in that each painting will be an abstract representation of artists who have influenced my creative journey as teachers. Early in the process I decided to keep the format and composition of each work similar to provide continuity. Because it worked for the first image, I then decided to fit a color scheme to each artist. I tried to consider my personal relation ..read more
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Making Sense of Challenges: 2021
Ruth Armitage
by Ruth
1y ago
The past year has been filled with challenges that have been a mix of good & bad. We need challenges to help us grow, yet they can also be discouraging if the grade is too steep. Looking back can be productive and help me make sense of challenges achieved and challenges for growth. The ultimate challenge: One big challenge from last year: Moving! It helped me by asking me to sort and prioritize what to keep and what to toss. It also got me to review on a large scale – where my art has been, where it might be going. I looked back on years of paintings – realistic still life, abstracted fig ..read more
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Is Art-work Play?
Ruth Armitage
by Ruth
1y ago
Do you think art-work is play? I just finished teaching a 4 week workshop with Winslow Art Center. It amazed me how students mentioned that when they began to ‘play’ around with an idea, they were more successful. I’m always a bit annoyed when people talk about how ‘fun’ it must be to work as an artist. I don’t consider what I do as fun – but it IS play in a sense. It’s play like you’d decide to ‘play golf. I take it seriously, and I’m trying for specific goals. I may not always know how to make a hole in one, but I can follow general principles to ensure a fairly long and straight shot. Art ..read more
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Time Does Not Return
Ruth Armitage
by Ruth
1y ago
Travel: because money returns but time does not. Time is one slippery beast. It cannot be caged, nor tamed. It passes quickly when we least want it to, and slowly when we want it to speed up. I wish our time in Switzerland and France had been longer. When it takes so long to get there, 2 weeks becomes very short. It was my first time in Switzerland and it was a magical visit. We had great weather, saw incredible mountains, lakes and hillside villages. Hillsides full of happy cows with clanging bells, changing clouds kissing the mountains and blanketing the valleys, beautiful light…. via G ..read more
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