Hello! I’m Ruth. Some people call me Rifka. That’s the name I sign on all of my art. I am an artist, specializing in watercolor, pastels, and torn paper paintings. I am inspired by expressive faces (the more wrinkles, the better!), vibrant colors, and glorious light. In addition to creating art, I teach what I call “No Fear Art” classes. Nothing makes me happier than helping others find the artist within themselves. It’s a journey I’ve been on my whole life, one that brought me on a round-about adventure right back to where I belong: creating and teaching art every day.
First, you need to know the whole story. I’ve been an artist my entire life. It’s in my blood. I can’t remember a time I didn’t view the world through the eyes of an artist. My father was an architect and my mother was a piano teacher. I grew up in a small community full of artists, surrounded by art, music, and dance. It’s no wonder that I ended up leaving home to study fashion illustration in New York City at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
But something happened along the way. My dreams got pushed to the side, as they often do. Life intervened. What happened to me was that I got a little lost. On purpose. I fell in love, got married, and had two wonderful children. I went into business with my husband and almost forgot about the art that I had loved since my youth. But the art world kept calling me back. And I answered. After 20 years of not doing any art, other than a quick sketch now and then, I joined my mother in an art class. I was nervous because I hadn’t done any art in many years. I was scared! But when I picked up that pencil and put it to paper – I was home!
I was so excited about my reawakening that I agreed to join the local Arts & Crafts center to teach what I feel I had learned. I started to teach my technique by calling all my courses “No Fear”. I know how difficult it is to get started, to have the confidence and patience to learn all the techniques that a person needs to do a painting. And to face a blank piece of white paper – there is fear! But I instill in my students a love of play and an attitude of not taking it all so seriously. I now teach “No Fear Portraits”, “No Fear Drawing”, “No Fear Watercolors”, and “No Fear Torn Paper Painting”.
After living in Florida for over 30 years, I moved to Edmonds, Washington (near Seattle) to be near my daughter and our new granddaughter. I am inspired every day by the mountains, the water, and most importantly, the people I meet. My passion for what I do keeps me motivated every day and I’m excited to share that passion with others. I believe it’s never too late to make a change in your life, whether it’s moving across the country or picking up a paint brush for the first time.