'Painting inspired by Music.'
Painting and sound as an active meditation in the pursuit of art itself crosses boundaries of cultures thus remaining integral to ones roots, nevertheless.
Origins are universal concepts. As in nature and in music an inner source of contemplation, solace and vital at its core. These are unlimited dimensions leading the action of painting an expression from reality to abstraction a journey of growth. RG
An Understanding of Form: Local Artist Ruth Gonzales Creates Abstract Born From Figure
An imposing, highly polished, ebony concert grand piano confronts all visitors to Ruth Gonzales’ workshop. Consuming a third of the available space, the piano would make more sense in a music conservatory than an abstract painter’s studio space.
However, a quick look at the remaining space shouts: An artist works here! Palette knives, brushes, mortars-and-pestles, paints and other tools of her craft populate the atelier. All of remaining spaces are lined with large, partly completed canvases. One yet-to-be stretched painting can be found flat on the floor, just a few steps from the front door.
Gonzales was born, raised and trained as a classical figurative artist in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, three hours south of the Arizona/Mexico. She study painting at the Academy of Bellas Artes, with Maestros de la Abstraction, Gustavo Ozuna, Mario Moreno Zasueta, a desert City of Light of great sunsets. The artist worked as a missionary in Southern Mexico and moving to this desert in 1990.
The artist’s classical training presents itself in her abstractions: forms are suggested, not obvious. Her deconstruction process produces a tremendous sense of depth.
“It is her understanding of form,” said Jorge Mendez, of Jorge Mendez Gallery, “that allows her to retain its essence while creating an abstract painting. Her finished pieces contain a unique tension.”
Gonzales told me she finds painting on a flat, two-dimensional surface not to be limiting, but to be “freeing.” Her freedom is likely furthered by the fact that the natural and reflected light in her studio produces an ethereal, almost otherworldly aura that is inviting yet mysterious.
When first moving to the desert, Gonzales took a series of classes, including art classes, at the College of the Desert. “The desert became my inspiration as a painter,” she said. “I find the sand, the blue-black, starry nights, the purplish-brown mountains and our blue skies totally engaging.”
Gonzales said she realized she needed to expand the type and range of materials she applies. The artist still uses traditional oil paints (from the tube). “However,” she said, “those materials limit me. I am increasingly drawn to raw pigments that I can mix with linseed oil or apply directly to the canvas.”
Gonzales’ use of these pigments expands her ability to enhance the textural elements of her finished works. At times, she will also prep her canvas with unexpected materials, like sand and marvel dust powder.
The artist credits the late Mexican painter Rufino Tamayo as a major influence. Both rely heavily upon raw pigments, and both artists employ a limited number of colors. There is a difference: Tamayo chose distinctly different and contrasting colors. Gonzales realizes a world built from multiple layers of melded colors, nuanced shading, refracted light and textures. Unlike other painters who apply multiple and thick layers of paint, Gonzales’ finished pieces are neither weighty nor imposing. Her paintings emanate a lightness that is inviting and engaging, giving others opportunities to create their own unique experience, conversation and narrative.
There is an organic quality to all of Gonzales’ paintings. It appears that she starts by applying layers of bright white gesso, marvel dust, silica sand and/or pigments, and the artist’s canvases offer an inherent luster and/or sheen. This is especially true with “Chakra Sun.”
To ground her composition, the artist painted the bottom section of “Chakra Sun” in lush greens. The sporadic addition of contrasting light blue brushstrokes added richness. Above the greens, Gonzales painted a square in varying shades of gold. Because she presents the perimeter in darker shades of the same color, the square seems to radiate its own light. To complete the canvas, the artist introduces angular brushstrokes in carnelian and off-white; she creates what appear to be luminescent stick figures marching across the canvas.
It is incorrect to assume “Liquid Mind,” a large, imposing, horizontal canvas, is a departure. The artist remains true to her aesthetic and process—but in reverse. In contrast to her usual approach of building up colors to create spaces where forms seem to float, the artist here seems to be carefully stripping away previously developed layers of ground pigments, color and paint. The planned combination of highly textured, visually tactile surfaces and a limited palette makes “Liquid Mind” into a highly introspective and inward-looking painting.
“White Mist and Blackbirds” best exemplifies her organic approach and classical training as a figurative painter. Here, the foreground seems like a filmy scrim or mist hovering over a lake. It is through that uneven whiteness that Gonzales presents outlines of forms in bluish-black pigments or paints. The forms seem sketched, and the unevenly painted light tan background amplifies the sense of forms floating in space.
For more information, visit www.ruthgonzales.com. Jorge Mendez Gallery, 756 N. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs, shows her work regularly. For more information on the gallery, call 760-656-7454, or visit jorgemendezgallery.com.
By Victor Barrocas CVI Independent Magazine
The Heart of Ondine 60"x80" each panel on canvas.
ART SPACE 349
Born in Hermosillo Sonora Mexico
1980-1982 Academia de la Universidad de Hermosillo Sonora Mexico
1984-1990 Missionary work western, Mexico
1991-1993 College of the Desert, Palm Desert, Ca. Fine ArtDepartment,Life drawing,sculpture
2018 D Gallery, El Paseo, Palm Desert CA
2017 Studio Tom Hammond, Palm Desert CA
2017 Jorge Mendez Gallery, Palm Springs CA 'PATHWAYS'
2017 Deanna Miller Gallery Palm Desert CA
2016 Jorge Mendez Gallery, Group Exhibition Palm Springs CA
2015 Jorge Mendez Gallery "GROUP OF 7: CONTEMPORARY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN ARTISTS"
2014 Art Space 349 CONCERT AND EXHIBITION 'Love Poems'
Pianist Vladimir Khomyakov, Artists, Sherri Bustad, Irma Rivera, Ruth Gonzales
2012-2013 Art Space 349, Cathedral City, CA
2012 Alicia Armstrong Gallery, Palm Desert CA
2011 Painting and Piano Recital with Stanislav Kristenko, Studio CA
2011 Art Tribe, Los Angeles CA
2011 Alicia Armstrong Gallery, Palm Desert CA
2010 Copal Gallery, Palm Desert CA
2011 Brueton L.A. West Hollywood CA
2009 Bistango, Irvine CA
2008 Studio Gallery, Irvine CA
2009 Naomi silva Gallery, Atlanta GA
2008 Marriott Desert Springs, "Desierto y Luz" Palm Desert, CA
2007 Design Center Oliver Walker, Atlanta, GA
2007 Brueton L.A. West Hollywood, CA
2007 Alta States, Palm Springs, CA
2007 Desert Spring Gallery, Palm Desert, CA
2007 Modern Master Gallery, Palm Desert, CA
2006 Naomi Silva Gallery, Atlanta, GA " Group Show"
2006 Desert Springs, Marriott Exhibit, Palm Desert, CA
2005 Gallery 310, Two Artist Croatia and Mexico, Dec17th Phoenix, Ore
2005 Collections of Mirak Pacific Desing Center, Los Angeles, CA
2004 Gallery Asto, Los Angeles, CA "The poetics of Space"
2004 Art at El Paseo Square, Palm Desert, CA "Sam Francis and Ruth Gonzales"
2004 Mikim Home Collections, Costa Mesa, CA "Interpretations of Life"
2003 Sterling Estates, Rancho Mirage, CA
2003 Naomi Silva Gallery, Atlanta,GA
2003 Arte Gallery, Palm Desert,CA
2003 Tre' Contemporary Gallery, Palm Desert, CA
2003 Don O'melveny Galley, Los angeles, CA "Flutters of Beings"
2003 Mikim Collections, Costa Mesa, CA
2003 Gallery Adrienne Contemporary, La Jolla, CA
2002 Collections of Sterling States, Rancho Mirage. CA
2001 Sunyata Gallery, San Pedro, CA
2000 Don O'melveny Gallery, Los Angeles, CA "L.A. Arrivals; an Island of Greece and
Somehere in the Desert" Sherri Bustad Ruth Gonzales
1998 Learsi Gallery, Palm Desert Ca. "Luz y Sombras"
Bibliography and Film Production Contributions:
2011 Art Tribe,West Hollywood Films "Think like a Man"
2007 For Touchstone, "Brothers and Sisters Series"
2005 Winter/SpringPalm Springs Life ART and Culture 200505
2005 Pride of Palm Desert/ Desert Magazine "Art Has Visual Payoff. 2005
2003 Documentary of Ray Charles "Unchain My Heart"
2003 Dustin Hoffman and Andy Garcia "Confidance"
2003 Angeleno Magazine, High Desert Style Palm Springs ,CA
2003 Art in america, Ruth Gonzales Paintings and Don O'melveny Gallery,
Los Angeles, CA
1999 March Artist Catalogue " Abstract Elegante" Don O'melveny Gallery,
Los angeles, CA
1999 Echoes of Music in Glowing Colors by Shirle Gottlieb.