Throughout my career my goal has been to communicate the human condition through my artwork – whether I am painting or drawing. Struggling to capture the feel rather than the look of my subject(s), to capture the soul rather than the surface. My art functions as a mirror that reflects our humanity – my humanity. I want that reflection to be large, revealing, passionate, and even raw. Pleasantly skillful work does not interest me, not asking enough from the viewer or exposing enough of the creator. I prefer work that records an honest struggle – an intense and often an awkward search.
Along with traditional artist’s tools, I employ a wide range of unorthodox implements including twigs, primitive dowel pens, trowels and abrasive materials in order to create the expressive marks needed to carry the emotional charge I desire within a certain work. My artwork is often initiated by building a chaotic field of colorful paint, abstract ink mark, and collaged shape because I enjoy making order out of apparent disorder. Entering this uncharted territory – full of risk, full of potential – provides me the exhilarating creative environment that I seem to require at this point
I find this process has metaphoric relationship to life itself – we get the life that is delivered to us. We don’t earn it any more than we deserve it. We just try to make sense of what comes our way, to do the best we can. This IS the human condition – my condition. I have walked with cancer. I am a survivor. I am finding my way.
Joanne Beaule Ruggles