Don’t Pancake
Ruth Armitage Blog
by Ruth
3M ago
  When my daughter was small and I was on the verge of a stressed out melt down, she’d always quip: “Don’t Pancake, Mom!” Of course she meant, Don’t Panic! Maybe it’s just daylight savings time making me want to hide under the blankets, but my sense of overwhelm has been growing this week. I’m trying not to ‘pancake.’ Preparing for a solo show seems a bit like preparing to have a baby – it’s major! And just like birthing an infant, once the paintings (or baby) are finished, the work is just beginning. Task List for a Solo Show: 1. prepare the paintings for presentation: wire, frame, lab ..read more
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A Love Letter to Yourself
Ruth Armitage Blog
by Ruth
4M ago
Do you ever write a love letter to yourself? I always enjoy receiving comments on this blog but I really write to help myself remember. Writing this blog has been last on my list recently, but I always appreciate looking back at what I was thinking as I create, and I have been painting. With Valentine’s day coming up, I figured it was a good time to send myself some love. I want to focus my mind and get these thoughts down. I’ve been painting work for my upcoming April show at Waterstone Gallery in Portland. The title of the show is Blame it on the Moon. I wanted to choose a subject that refl ..read more
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One Eye Sees
Ruth Armitage Blog
by Ruth
7M ago
“One eye sees, the other feels.” Paul Klee Moonlight Mist, mixed watermedia, 29 x 21″ In teaching art, it is hard to teach folks to listen to both sides of the brain. Paul Klee’s quote really speaks to the dichotomy of what we pay attention to as we paint. Both the seeing (left brain) and the feeling (right brain) are at play in the best work. After wearing bifocals for a few years, I got tired of having my vision clouded by smudges, dust, etc. and decided to try wearing contacts. Vision is one of an artist’s most important senses, and I felt like I was always struggling to see clearly. M ..read more
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The inner critic and newly minted work
Ruth Armitage Blog
by Ruth
9M ago
The inner critic can keep us from doing our best work if we let it. Successful creatives find a way to work around it. I had a conversation with a writer friend last night that reinforced my belief that writing and painting share many commonalities. He has been working on a project that he is reluctant to share with his editor. It’s not ready for comments yet – he wants to tighten it up a bit first. I often feel the same about works that are freshly minted; I don’t even like to look at them too closely myself! Often if I can catch a quick glance at a painting rather than stare at it, I can de ..read more
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Studying Notan
Ruth Armitage Blog
by Ruth
1y 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
1y 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 Blog
by Ruth
1y 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 Blog
by Ruth
1y 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 Blog
by Ruth
2y 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 Blog
by Ruth
2y 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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