Name the Terrain

Some days I feel quite brilliant working in my studio. My process flows – it feels as if I am a spectator and the drawing is drawing me, the painting is painting me. I am filled with giddy confidence and technical prowess. While on other days, I am weighed down with despair. Why do I waste… Read More

Mother Earth in Progress

Giving Voice to Mother Earth

The germ of the idea for my Mother Earth: Hanging by a Thread series was presented to me while I was running a figure workshop at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts. A new model asked if she could bring in an exercise ball to work with on some of her poses. She said the… Read More

Joanne Beaule Ruggles

Empathy Required

If you have any hope of creating profoundly true figure artworks, you must bring your heart to the task. When an artist works from a nude model, our subject is made vulnerable by the act of disrobing. At that point, it is an “uneven transaction” between two humans. The observer remains protected while the observed individual… Read More

Joanne Beaule Ruggles

Each Tool Has a Voice

The hallmark of a beginning painter is to pick up a brush and paint their entire painting with that specific brush. You can be assured that brush does have a voice and it is made for certain tasks. However it is never the best tool for all tasks. Furthermore to complete an entire painting with the… Read More

Joanne Beaule Ruggles

Creating “Environments”

It is a universal truth that the first marks on any substrate are most difficult to place. A clean white surface is perfection, so why mess it up? The emptiness of the space is intimidating – there are too many paralyzing options available to the creator. My university students often had difficulty starting an artwork for… Read More