It seems life times ago I earned my Bachelor of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, and Education Certification from Central
Washington University, located in Ellensburg, Washington. I continue to explore the visual arts. My 23 years
in education, teaching both art and mathematics, has helped influence a diverse visual awareness. Completing
additional college classes and training in mathematics, pottery, computer graphics, web design, and non-toxic
printmaking techniques has provided opportunities for personal creative growth. Numerous drawings, prints, pottery, and computer graphic images that I have produced fill my art studio. I have exhibited, sold, and given away art.
Creating commissioned work, produced logos, calendars, brochures, cards, etc. has been a big part of my creative
life for many years. Now my life is an enjoyable leasurly creative process that is shared with my grandchildren and
My main area of art study in college was printmaking with its endless textures and techniques. The printmaking skills are present in all my artwork today. While creating my latest prints and paintings, I concentrate on using non-toxic materials that are more environmentally safe. My purchase of a flat bed printing press built by Thomas Fine Art Presses a few years back has helped make my dream as a printmaker, working in my own studio, come true.
My high school students influence a great deal of my current studio work. Some of my artwork was created as
demonstrations for my art students. People have questioned the combination of teaching art and mathematics. To me, the two subjects work together. M. C. Escher and Leonardo Da Vinci were experts in both of these areas of study. Kandinsky and Van Gogh have inspired my spontaneity and escape from reallity you might see in some of my work. I am still creating visual art in my own studio. My education and life experiences as an educator opened many doors that I am exploring as a printmaker and painter in my retirement.
My painting “Cultural Rebellion” was inspired from a drawing I drew in 1968. In the 60’s our country was erupting with young people demonstrating and dying while protesting against, racism, the Vietnam War, and women’s rights. I participated in the marches against these unjust behaviors that existed within our social and political norms in the 60’s. Here we are again in 2020 still fighting the same causes. Not very much has changed except the Vietnam War is not an issue but we still have soldiers fighting and dying in places we should not be fighting. In the last 50 plus years our cultural indifferences toward equal rights has made little progress.
Maybe today’s peaceful protests against inequality and injustice by the murder of George Floyd will unite us to change; look within ourselves to recognize our own biases. Equality must transpire now for all people; no matter what color the skin, religion, sexual orientation, and political affiliation. Our police systems and government leaders must be held accountable for the unjust behavior toward all the people of the United State of America and around the world.
The original 1968 drawing and the 2019 painting “Cultural Rebellion” are pictured below. The painting was selected to participate in the 2020 Southwest Washington Juried Exhibition. The painting and drawing depict a young man modeling in 1968 wearing attire to express his individuality. This display of nonconforming expression toward the cultural accepted male clothing and hairstyles was common with the college students in the 60’s. Our parents and other leaders of society were outraged by the show of rebellion in our clothes; wanting social changes, and a desire for equality for all.
Today it is good to see it is not just the young rebelling against the wrongs that plague our society and political culture.
Ruth F. Bravetti