Ruth Taveras is the artist of December – her work features a rich array of flowers, gardens and anything nature inspired. With Impressionism as her art style, you can observe the movements of her brush strokes in all her pieces.
Living in bustling New York, Ruth finds refuge from the city in the New York Botanical Garden. The garden is a world away from the Big Apple, allowing the artist to feel as though she’s on an exotic vacation! She was driven to paint her happy place to share her memories and experiences with the world.
From a young age, Ruth would always craft her own paper dolls and design their clothes. Her middle school art teacher noticed her creative inclinations and encouraged her to apply for art school. However, it wasn’t until college that she began taking art classes and developing her talent as an Illustration Major at The School of Visual Arts.
Ruth’s art journey hasn’t always been straightforward – despite her art education, she didn’t earn an art degree. Starting a family and getting “a ‘real’ job to help pay the bills” meant letting her “dream of becoming an artist die”.
The fine artist pursued a Health Degree and worked in the health field, but felt unfulfilled. It was then that her passion for art pulled her back, and she started to paint again. The years of hiatus and overload of art styles on social media took its toll. At this point, Ruth felt confused about her own voice as an artist.
“I couldn’t figure out exactly the right kind of subjects to paint, or what style to paint,” she recalled.
She decided to take swift action by deleting her social media accounts and experimenting on her own. In a few years, Ruth managed to emerge as an artist with her own unique style and voice in painting. There was clarity of how she wanted to represent herself as an artist.
Before painting, Ruth begins with a sketch to help her visualise the final piece. The artist enjoys serenity whenever she paints and does what she can to get comfortable. In the process of painting, she will “ask God for guidance” and “have some tea like chamomile to relax”.
Frustration is always a normal part of the creative process. For Ruth, this means working on another painting when one isn’t working out, allowing her to step away from her work and fix problems later on.
The biggest thrill for any artist is selling their work, and it’s very true for the fine artist. Her art reaches out to many people – those who support local artists, tourists and locals. The biggest similarity among them? They have a strong love for art. From opening her art shop and finishing an art collection, there have been many high points for Ruth.
The artist sold her first painting “Garden Bloom” in front of the Met Museum at a vendor’s spot. She then went on to sell prints in Harlem, original art in Central Park, Guggenheim Museum, and all over New York City! Beyond selling art, Ruth treasures meeting likeminded individuals who love and appreciate art as much as she does.
To aspiring artists, Ruth wants them to learn from her experiences.
“Focus on yourself and your own art, because if you focus on other artists too much, you will lose your own identity as an artist.”
She advices spending less time on social media, or quitting it altogether. “Focus on living normally” and using your own experiences to “shape your visual language”. There’s nothing more important than creating art from an authentic place, and then sharing it with the world for others to interpret.
ATM (Artist of The Month) is a monthly series that features a different artist on Instagram. I contact artists that I admire and write their stories!