Featured Artist: Maria Regina Ruiz
I was born in Lima, Peru. I grew up in several different countries in Latin America. I have been fortunate to experience different cultures and to appreciate the value of different points of view. I am self-taught and I am inspired when different audiences are moved in numerous ways by my work. I came to the United States when I was fifteen years old. I became a teacher and earned my PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. I have taught languages, literature and history for 29 years. Art was always my sane and safe place. I have always been fascinated by colours and textures. Artists like Yayoi Kusama, Dorothea Lange and Alma Thomas have inspired me to pay attention and take a closer look at everyday moments and spaces. I have participated in several art competitions and my pieces have been featured in art shows and art magazines in Italy, Canada, California, New York, Massachusetts, Texas, and Kansas. I am a represented artist by Agora Gallery in Chelsea, New York. I currently live in Houston after spending three years teaching in Florida.
I am a teacher and an artist. I am self-taught and I have always devoted myself to observing textures and colours. My medium of choice for most of my pieces is oil on canvas. I do my best to avoid mixing colours, as a result, I use them in their pure form. I carefully study light and how it changes the smallest section of a plant, a fruit, a vegetable, a piece of wire or a rope. The dark background accentuates how light and shadow define an object and how we perceive it.
Painting has always been a safe and genuine space to personally channel joy, challenges and beauty. None of my work was intentional, it developed over time. I explored drawing and painting throughout my youth and adulthood. I never liked to explain a certain piece of work. Composition is not something planned for me, it exists and I embrace it when I come in contact with it. If I have made a picture and I am happy with it, hopefully, it can speak for itself. Each person takes something a little different from the same picture. I use flowers, fruits, and objects to study colour and texture. Sometimes I focus on the smallest section of a photo (one inch or quarter of an inch) a rope, a glass, a tomato and I magnify it to the point of abstraction, not attempting to paint in a realistic style. I observe carefully the ridges, folds and shadows produced by the light interacting with the texture of an object. My purpose is to stop, invest time and bring attention to the smallest details of life, the details that usually go unnoticed.