Artist Sally Ruddy lives on a small walnut ranch in Waterford, California, a quiet farming community. “I was born in California, but raised in Reno, Nevada,” she explains, “where landscapes were barren, and space was wide. Childhood summers at Lake Tahoe developed in me a great love of nature. It is with a sincere tenderness towards humanity and a reverence for nature that I create my paintings.”
The expressionistic qualities of the works of Vincent Van Gogh inspired Ruddy’s work, especially in the early stages of her career. Other artists who have interested her are Botticelli, Bonnard, Gauguin and Alice Neel, and more recently, the decorative qualities of Gustav Klimt’s work as well as Wolf Kahn.
“I work both from direct observation of nature and from imagination,” she says. “My work is about color and feelings. The thrill for me in painting lies in the countless possibilities of the interjection of a single stroke of color upon color. I frequently forget all about a value scale when I paint, and I’m not that interested in the dark to light range. What I do have is a natural inclination for color. I am often told that I am a colorist and that it can’t be taught.”
Ruddy strives for spirituality in her work, where a piece is not finished until it has a certain “presence” about it. For inspiration, she turns to her personal environment, reflecting her intimate world. She notes, “My art is my effort to capture a moment and preserve the uniqueness of it.”
Ruddy’s work will be showcased at the Amsterdam Whitney Gallery in an exhibition from June 11 to September 30. —
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