Artist Statement

Painting is the truest, deepest feeling of self expression I have experienced. As I paint, I feel energized; thoughts and ideas flow naturally, unrestricted and unencumbered. I am in a place more deeply connected to my inner self. I best describe my work as a collection of experiences and qualities uniquely mine. Memories become woven into the fabric of my being, both cultural and personal and which symbolically represent the many facets of my life and complexity of my thoughts.

My favorite medium is oil on canvas. I find the entire process of painting fascinating from beginning to end. From deciding my canvas dimensions, to stretching the canvas, to the best type of brushes and colors to use for the particular painting I am about to begin. The technique I most often use is applying thick layers of paint over thin washes of color, some which I leave exposed or later bring back to the surface in various patterns, creating a juxtaposition of different textures. The patterns which emerge are almost always organic, free, flowing, interconnected vine like shapes, woven through the many layers of color and texture. The colors I choose are bold, rich and oftentimes acidic, which I like as I find they help provide a more dynamic flow of contrasting energies to the images. It is this movement, this lifelike energy in the painting which I find most challenging to attain, most satisfying and visually most appealing once completed.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

When colors speak

Everyone who paints, at one time or another may reach a point where an image that was once crystal clear in his or her mind is now suddenly gone. Don't know where they go ... they just disappear, like lightning bugs at the end of August in Indiana. Normally when this happens to me, I set my canvas aside for a day or so, the image resurfaces in my mind and I go on to complete the painting. If it doesn't, all I ever heard to do was "forget it" salvage the canvas if you can and go on to something else.
Something about this painting was different. Something would not let me give up on it. The image was not lost, it was just beyond my reach. Just far enough to taunt me, but not near enough for me to grasp. The painting remained untouched in my studio for a while well, more like several years. Brought it home, propped it up against one wall, then another, upstairs, downstairs. Nothing. I finished several others in the interim and this one stayed behind, sadly still unfinished.
About a month ago, I don't know how or why, I happen to walk by it and in an instant, I knew exactly what was wrong and what I needed to do. I hadn't lost the image, it is much the same. I had lost my colors. The colors were silent. When in school, we were always warned not to "fall in love with our own paintings." This is of course so we could all grow up to be artists and artists, should be objective and open to "constructive criticism." Those were lovely days. I wouldn't say I'm "in love" with this painting though, and I always welcomed other artists' critiques of my work. I would say however, that I'm in awe of how much I've learned from this one small painting. Find your colors, those that speak to your heart, that move your spirit, and touch your soul and you will find yourself in the process ...and you will paint!


Marta Stephens said...

All I can say is OMG! How gorgious!

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Wow, wow, wow! This is absolutely spectacular. I see roses, seashells, beetles, and luscious fruits. All in my mind - I'm sure others will see their own cornucopia of objects. ;o) Thanks for sharing this, it's just wonderful.

Marta Stephens said...

I love your colors! Just what I needed to see on this snowy winter day! :)

Ceci said...

Me encanta! está muy colorida pero también muy vibrante y emotiva. Adelante, queremos que nos sigas deleitando con tus obras. "En el poeta y en el artista existe el infinito" (Víctor Hugo), gracias por recordárnoslo!

Cristina Ruggiero said...

Ceci, Que linda sorpresa. Muchas gracias!! Me alegra tanto que te guste y aprecio mucho tu comentario. Adelante? Por supuesto amiga!!

Carmen Ruggero said...

Mari, the process you describe is what happens with my poetry, at times. I love it. What happens is that the process is one of discovery and by the time the work is done is a lot deeper that what we imagined at the onset. Beautiful piece of work!!