Stories From Women Who Walk
Abstract Artist Ruth Dent Celebrates Nature, Humanity And The Spirit.
Part 1 of guest interview with boldly abstract artist Ruth Dent who mixes colours with emotions to help you celebrate life on earth. 26 minutes
Coming to you from Whidbey Island, Washington this is Stories From Women Who Walk: true-life, practical, funny, heart-breaking, insightful human experience stories from women who are walking their lives while their lives walk them and the lasting difference these journeys have made. You’ll recognize yourself in stories of adversity, challenge, fear, discovery, adventure, expression, and more. Why? Because the sorcery of stories is this: they help each of us to be seen and heard, to understand and be understood. I’m your host, Diane Wyzga.
Today my guest is abstract artist Ruth Dent who is joining us from Bergerac in Southwest France. I met Ruth a few months ago on Linked In after stumbling on her mesmerizing abstract paintings. How does she do it? Ruth mixes colours with emotions to help you celebrate life, nature, humanity, and the spirit in darkness as well as light. Welcome to the podcast, Ruth!
00 to 2:13 - Intro
Who You Are, What You Do, and How It All Began
2:13 to 5:50 - Background and Interpretive Works
- 10 years since Ruth finished her printmaking degree: what it is and how did you know this was the road you were to follow?
- Foundation course preceded printmaking degree
- “Ah Ha! Moment” led her to print-making in earnest
- Interest in learning the technicalities and alchemy
- Began with interpretive projects
- Choral Evensong that condensed words and music into a visual journey
- Exhibited those works in 2.5 x 1.35 meter banners enlarging from the original small form works in Rochester Cathedral, Peel Cathedral on the Isle of Man, Worcester and Bradford Cathedrals
- Interpreted Virginia Wolff’s first novel, The Voyage Out
- Interpreted War Requiem by Benjamin Britten into a series of prints
Past 5 Years
5:50 to 8:50 - Begins to Follow Her Own Path
- 5 years ago created an image to capture spirit of The Voyage Out novel
- Started paintings, wasn’t moving forward, unsure, so stepped back and sat asking: “what to do?”
- Ah ha! Moment: I’ll pour paint on this giving aqueduct effect to red broken grids effect which captivated and stirred her and that was the coming together
- Seeing grids in nature, hedges, trees, broken grids shifted her work: breaking out and windows to look beyond
- Pathways and inspirations appeared while walking
- Creating her own work
- “Pathways” appeared
- Experienced being transported back to India
8:50 to 10:45 - Breaking Down Her Body of Work
- Ruth shared her journeying life and work and said the past 5 years represent a change to following her own path
- Where and how did this bold statement show up?
- Transformation literally appeared with the broken grids
- Used to interpret other people’s creations; now it was her own expression
- Fundamental change: no longer working toward a given title but actually creating her own titles until it was finished
- Stepped off the path she was one and carved a new one
10:45 to 13:45 - Carving Your Own Walk and Expressing Your Own Voice
- How has this choice informed the very bold and expressive art you now produce?
- Broken Grids work lasted 3 years with much enjoyable experimentation
- “Turning Green” was inspired by watching a tree move through seasons
- Not all painting is so clearly inspired; sometimes you see a blank piece of paper, make a mark and let the painting reveal
- Working “wet” requires a pause while the paint dries; returning to the work is a surprise at what happened overnight
13:45 to 18:06 - Additional Inspiration, Cathedrals, Labyrinths and Forests
- Reading, walking in woods, seeing other art
- Captivated by Robert Graves book, The White Goddess
- The outcome: created a large work designed to envelope the spectator using pipettes to paint
- Element 1: one painting morphed into installation with 6 huge canvasses moving around the colour wheel
- Walking the labyrinth at Chartres further inspired
- The result: created 3 structures situated in a circle like the Celtic Knot
- Element 2: more White Goddess influence resulted in 5 paintings, 1 for each of the vowels which stand at key points of year:
- A - Ailm - Silver Fir: New Year’s Day (Birth)
- O - Onn - Gorse: Spring Equinox (Initiation)
- U - Ura - Heather: Summer Solstice (Consummation)
- E- Eadha - White Poplar/Aspen: Autumn Equinox (Repose)
- I - Idho - Yew: Winter Solstice (Death)
- Did cathedrals, labyrinths and stupas originate in forests?
- Element 3 and final component: collaborated with son to create sonic landscape into space as well
18:06 to 21:30 - Spectator and Emotional Response
- What emotional response do you want to create? In whom? To what end?
- She puts her art out there and the spectator closes the circle with their own interpretation
- The man who visited the “White Goddess” exhibit in the gallery and lay down in the middle of her work - breathtaking experience for her
- People get it or they don’t
- Likely labyrinths existed in the forest in the Celtic times
21:30 to 24:00 - What Will Emerge
- No way to know what will be produced
- You start work - do something - even if it’s just cleaning brushes
- Photo of Ruth in her studio. You say “One never knows what will happen inside that precious space.”
- On the one hand a specific intent to create and other times drift into the studio with an open mind
- If it’s going really well then time stands still
- Being in the zone, playing, giving expression to what we came here to do, what’s my assignment
24:00 to 26:50 - Coming In Part 2
When I’m engaged in your work I sense a trifecta of themes: Mother Nature and climate chaos and sharing beauty and joy in nature; would you tell us more about how these themes spark your imagination....
Here we are, at the end of the road but not the journey. Thank you for listening to this episode of Stories From Women Who Walk with your host Diane Wyzga and my guest boldly abstract artist Ruth Dent. We’ll pick up with Part 2 next Thursday to hear more about Ruth and her work, the themes of Mother Nature, climate chaos, sharing beauty and joy in nature, and much more. Meanwhile, please stop by every Monday through Friday for 60 Seconds, Time Out Tuesday, Story Prompt Friday, and every Thursday for longer guest interviews and Diane-On-Mic episodes. You’ll find us on Simplecast or your favorite podcast platform. Come for the stories - stay for the magic! And speaking of magic, would you leave us a nice rating and review on Apple Podcasts. When you return bring your friends and rellies. You will have wonderful company as we walk our lives together.
Ruth Dent BIO
Mixing colours with emotions to help you celebrate life on earth.
Working from her studio in Southwest France, Ruth’s bold and expressive abstract paintings celebrate nature, humanity and the spirit.
‘Visible, Invisible, Veiled’ explored natures broken grids. A question: ‘Did cathedrals, temples, stupas and labyrinths originate in the forest?’ culminated in Breathing Space. Lying within the installation, Ruth imagined ’The Day the Sky Shattered and Flew Away’. The ‘Q-Series’ captured the angst of ‘lockdown’ whilst current work is linking the Celtic Tree Alphabet, life and nature - as 25 poems and paintings in ‘Scattered Thoughts’.
Links to Contact Ruth Dent
The film: https://www.timeandattention.uk/friday-film
Production Team: Quarter Moon Story Arts
Music: Entering Erdenheim from Crossing the Waters by Steve Schuch & Night Heron Music
Sound Editing: Dawin Carlisle & First Class Reels
All content and image © 2019 - Present Quarter Moon Story Arts