Ruth Robbins, Greendale, WI Member Since November 2007 Artist Statement I'm a self-taught artist with a bachelor's degree in library media education from Western Kentucky University. Apart from art in elementary school, art for teachers, and one drawing and painting elective, I've had no formal training in art. I know what I like when I see it, but not how it got that way. I've read a few books, but don't like the way figure drawing is taught in many.
I paint spontaneously. My inspiration is straight out of the Bible, and that's why I call myself a spiritual artist. My favorite colors to paint with are gold background, with white figures as a contrast. I often start with a single color as a background, or I might build it up with two layers of black followed by two layers of titanium white. Then I build up the painting one color at a time. Often the figures I put into the painting show up in the background brushwork, yet I am not aware of making specific shapes while I'm doing it. Then these shapes may give me an idea for the next color and I might highlight it or paint over it.
The subject of the painting shows up when the paint is dry. For example, I have a painting called Isaiah 58 is Now. I found those words in the paint alongside the bottom of the canvas showing the words in black against the color applied. Except for where the words were, the paint was yellow. Sometimes the subject comes through words, sometimes through shapes that form faces and bodies, sometimes it becomes apparent to a viewer, and the viewer tells me.
I've found an angel announcing the birth of Jesus to the shepherds in one of my paintings. This was done on the inside cover of a puzzle book. Someone told me that she felt a warmth in her womb when she looked at the picture in my gallery. I've done landscapes with a number of angels, angel portraits, the streets of glory with angels and other beings walking or flying on it in white and have seen other shapes in the brushwork of the gold in the background. The title for Isaiah 58 is Now was found on the bottom in the wrap of the canvas. I paint a horizontal stroke and as the paint dries, disctinct words show up with Biblical themes in it.
I've done several studies toward a large painting of the wall of the New Jerusalem, colors based on gem descriptions in Revelation.
When God gets the glory in a person's life, then things happen that cannot be explained except through the Bible. I mean, for example, that when a person looks at some of my paintings, they experience a sense of peace that goes beyond the image presented to them. It goes back to their Creator, the Only God, the One God Who sent His Son Jesus to die for us all. God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and with power and He went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil (Acts 10:38). The peace and the stillness presented in the paintings comes from God, because He loves His creation and wants the best for us. He sent Jesus His Son to redeem us from our sin and from the evil consequences of going our own way.
So when I face a blank canvas or canvas panel or sheet of paper or (rarely now) cardboard, my mind and thoughts are centered on God and His love. Often a song of worship is running through mind. I either start with two layers of black followed by two layers of white or a layer of brown or just colors on cardboard or on white right away. I select whatever colors seem right for the particular canvas and put each one wherever it seems right, not going back to the same color twice. And it's not that I know before I start what the painting will be about, except very occasionally in a general way. Sometimes as the paint dries words may show up and these give a title for the painting. Sometimes someone may look at it and suggest a title that seems to fit. Sometimes I paint one with what turns out to be the bottom at the top and someone tells me that it's upside down (this happened with Eternity: Heaven or Hell). As far as I'm concerned, I'm just the vessel f