Sunday, October 25, 2009

Works in Progress

12"x14" Pastels on watercolor paper, FirstPastel @ 2009 NinaRuthie

I took an afternoon workshop last weekend at The San Diego Art Department on Ray Street in North Park, which is in my San Diego neighborhood. I learned all about the wonders of oil pastels. After we experimented using oil pastels with different mediums, we were told to copy a Georgia O'Keefe painting. I choose a bright orange and red flower. I ruined the top half of the flower, so I folded the paper in half and am showing only the bottom half; which was done entirely with oil pastels. I fell in love with them and went to Dick Blick's to pick up a set of the best oil pastels for the money, as recommended by the teacher, Susan Osborn. I chose Expressions by Cray Pas, which cost only $22. I'll definitely be doing a lot more drawings with this medium. The colors are much brighter in person. I used my BlackBerry camera phone to take these pics, so they are aren't exact. I'll use my good camera for the finished images. And yes, I intend to finish each of these pieces.

12"x12" stretched canvas; working title Pink Dress @ 2009 NinaRuthie

I painted this after my class last month with the wonderful artist Pam Carriker. She has the softest, prettiest backgrounds, so this is close to how we did it in class. I painted the base yellow ochre with nickel azo gold over it. Then I collaged vintage and music text, added more paint, including a burnt sienna to darken the edges. I stamped with permanent ink some birds, a feather and more text. The next step will be to cover a foam stamp with white gesso and add more paint layers over that, more stamping and some neocolor 2 crayons over that, before the final image is added. I'm building a female in a pink dress as the focal point. I used Golden fluid acrylics in all of my paintings in this post.

12"x12" stretched canvas; Nature Girl - Part 1 @ 2009 NinaRuthie

I did the background similar to the one above. I used cobalt teal with nickel azo gold over it. I added collage elements, stenciled the birds in payne's gray and painted the girl's flowers with Sharpie Poster Paint Markers. The image of the girl was from Dover clip art and the bird stencil came from an online store called The Retro Art Cafe.

12"x12" stretched canvas: Nature Girl - Part 2 @ 2009 NinaRuthie

Next I used copic markers to color her skin, face and hair. I added more layers of paint, used gesso covered foam stamps, added more paint layers and used chalk inks in two shades of blue over punchinella (sequin waste) to make the circles. The paint color isn't what I want, so next I'll add more layers of paint until I get the right color. Finally, I'll add a drawing of a flowering bush on the right side of the canvas. I might add it by transfer, but not sure just yet.

12"x12" stretched canvas: Bride - part 1 @ 2009 NinaRuthie

I used the same background techniques as the first two paintings - lots of layers of paint, collage and stamping. I made it too busy, so I used titan white paint to cover everything but the collage text on the bottom, plus the image of the bride. Some green stamping of leaves shows through a little, but I like it.

12"x12" stretched canvas: Bride - part 2 @2009 NinaRuthie

I added more layers of paint, then painted white gesso on three different stencils. I'm not happy with this color, so many layers of paint will go over all of this until I'm happy with the color. I want a pinkish-yellow color like I had in part 1. I used rose madder and nickel azo gold. After more layers of paint, added collage music and vintage text, some German scrap in a copper colored and some keys; I'll add some stamping, punchinella and words to finish it. I think it will say, "Love is the Key."

When I returned from my vacation, I finished seven paintings, but haven't' been able to complete anything else. I hated everything I made for a few weeks. Part of the reason came from fighting off my depression. That negative energy went into the paintings and looked as ugly as I felt. I know many artists are able to harness their negative energy into wonderful, dark pieces, but I haven't yet learned how to do that. So I scrapped them and started over.

I took a few card classes and was fairly happy with the results, but the teachers made it easy. One class taught me to use water color pencils, gelly pens and a few other colorful pens. I took a class last week where I learned to use embossing paste and crackle paste made by DreamWeavers. I decided I like Ranger crackle paste much better, although I liked the effect of the gold embossing paste under the the crackle. I picked up a few metal stencils by DreamWeavers and will use them in my mixed media paintings and my upcoming Christmas cards.

There will definitely be more to come, including the finished pieces from the above three paintings. I'm taking two classes from the wonderful Chris Cozen at Stamping Details on Halloween weekend and will finish a few canvases in class, which I will show here as well.

Thanks for stopping by to have a look. ~Nina~Ruthie~


  1. Ruthie, I love what you're doing ... Nature Girl, and the Bride, and Pink Dress especially. Well, no; I like them all the same. They're FANTASTIC. I like that you're sharing the process -- and is ROSE MADDER a Golden color? I know it's a colored pencil color, but haven't seen it in Golden's line. Do tell! Will I see you in the COLOR MIXING class with Chris on Friday night? I'm also taking her FAUX ENCAUSTIC class on Saturday. How about you? LOVE your work. See you soon! - Davielle (Davi)

  2. love your work! great expression of use of the different medias, especially the dash of street art with nature girl 1 and 2 !! keep it up look forward to seeing more !

  3. Oh I love your work, too! You have inspired me so much! Thank you for giving us all the "how to's", too. I'LL BE BACCCCCCKKKKKKKK! =]

  4. Hi!

    I haven't seen you for a while, but am happy to see all the work you have been creating - my gosh, the creative muse is busy in you girl! Keep up the good work! Hope to see you at Sally's some time soon again! And huge congratulations on the Sobriety annniversary!!

    Hugs to you!

  5. Ruthie, I love the two with the birds on a line, though I think the second to last one will be my next desktop image.

    I also wanted to let you know that I just wrote a post about DSC if you're interested:

    You all really touched me today.