Thursday, January 03, 2008

Ruth Armitage interview at Salem Monthly

My interview with watercolorist Ruth Armitage in Salem Monthly is now online.

In a painting studio above the Columbia Gorge, nine students, all women, work at tables in a semicircle. Large windows on three sides let in the late summer light and a slice of the river glimmers between the cedars. At first the only sound is the swish of brushes on thick paper, then music comes up, the soft jazzy singing of Norah Jones, chosen by watercolor instructor Ruth Armitage....

SM: What is subjective color? Is this your own term?

RA: Choosing a color based on personal emotion or response to the subject rather than the local color. I don't think it is my own term, I think I got it from a class I took from Skip Lawrence. For instance, I did a painting of a woman I was very angry at and I made her skin green and her eyes red and her hair blue. (Laughs) That would be subjective color....

SM: What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?

RA: Make physical room in your home and go there. Make it a place where you would want to be. Study from a broad variety of sources: books, people, different instructors. Ask a lot of questions. Observe. Not just one way, as many different ways as you can before you really settle into your own.



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